Choosing the Best Dog Food
In an ideal world, dogs’ food would be created equal. Instead, dog owners are presented with an overwhelming array of options, all claiming to be the best dog food on the market. Wading through these choices to find a dog food brand that is healthy, affordable, and appealing to your pet is often frustrating. We’ve compiled expert advice to help you narrow down your options.
What do our dogs need?
The six classes of nutrients are water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Only protein, fat, and carbohydrates provide energy; vitamins and minerals.
The best dog food for your canine companion should meet his nutritional needs. While most commercial dog food brands are specially formulated with at least the minimum nutritional requirements for dogs, it is important to remember that not every dog has exactly the same nutritional needs.
Dogs require a wide range of nutrients in different quantities over the course of their lives. The nutritional needs of a puppy are different from an adult dog, which is why it is a good idea to feed a puppy formula or an “all life stages’ ‘ food to your young dog. Large dogs and puppies have different nutritional requirements than small breed dogs and puppies.
Best Dog Food for Puppies
The nutritional needs of dogs vary throughout their life. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, and senior dogs have their own nutritional considerations. Most dog food companies carry specially formulated puppy foods for each stage of a dog’s life, making it easier to narrow down your choices. If you are concerned about which is the best dog food for your dog’s life stage, consult your veterinarian to see what stage food is appropriate for your dog.
Your puppy requires a different nutrient balance than an adult dog. This is especially true for large breeds. Feeding a large breed of puppy food can help, as their growth needs to be monitored carefully to prevent bone and joint problems. Other puppies do well on both “puppy food” and food labeled “for all life stages.” The best food for
your puppy depends on your puppy’s size and breed. Always consult your veterinarian for recommendations on puppy feeding.
Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs
Senior dogs, usually considered 7+, vary in their individual nutritional needs. Younger senior dogs may struggle with being overweight and older senior dogs may struggle with being underweight, which is why there is such a variety. Choosing the best senior dog food may come down to what your dog finds palatable. Many older dogs prefer wet food while others may need their food warmed up to enhance the aromas. Ultimately, your vet can help choose the best dog food for an older pet.
Best Food for Dogs With Special Dietary Needs
Allergies, sensitive stomachs, and dietary restrictions affect dogs, as well as people. Feeding dogs with special dietary needs can be tricky. Your best course of action is to consult your veterinarian for advice about the dog food that best helps with their condition.
How Much food?
Dog obesity is a growing concern in the veterinary community and has been linked to many health problems in dogs. Luckily for our pets, we are usually more disciplined about controlling their diets than we are about controlling our own. Knowing how much to feed your dog and what healthy dog weight looks like can be tricky. Many owners accidentally overfeed their pets, which is why it is important to take your dog in for regular checkups and to talk with your vet about appropriate portions. The guidelines on the back of the bag are just that – guidelines. Some dogs may require more than the recommended amount, whereas others require much less. Activity level, time of year, nursing, illness, and more factors can all impact how much a dog needs to eat. Dog people will often advise that you should “feed the dog that’s in front of you” instead of strictly adhering to dog food serving size guidelines that may or may not be exactly what your dog needs.
The best dog food for your dog is ultimately up to you to decide. As an owner, you are the one who sees your dog on a regular basis. If your dog produces firm, healthy stool, is active and fit, and has a healthy appetite, then your dog food is probably working just fine.
Your veterinarian is a valuable resource to you during this process. They know more about pet nutrition than the average owner, and they also have access to research and resources that owners do not have.