Basic Guide to Choosing Dog Food

Bringing a canine to your home is one of the bigger decisions you will make. But buying the right kind of dog food is the biggest one. There will be multiple choices to choose from but we are here to prepare a basic guide for you to choose the right dog food. This guide will prepare you before you make a decision to bring home a canine companion.

 

Look For Life-stage Based Food

 

As each canine differs, every canine has its own unique nutritional requirement. That is why it is important to look for dog foods formulated for three life stages – puppy, adult and senior or for “all life stages”. All three have different and specific formulas suited to the canine’s life stage. To ensure buying life-stage based foods, make sure it contains all the vitamins and nutrients required. This is often written on the dog food label as “complete and balanced”. Additionally, check for ingredients that contain a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in the dog food.

 

Learn To Read Dog Food Labels

 

After checking off the life-stage based food criteria, the best way to begin choosing the right dog food by comparing product labels. When reading a dog food label:

 

  • The ingredients should be listed in order of largest quantity to the smallest.
  • Notice a healthy variety and combination of nutritional ingredients – meat, vegetables, fruits and superfoods.
  • Each ingredient should be of high-quality without any hard-to-digest ingredients such as corn, soy or wheat.
  • The ingredient list should have at least 70% meat – chicken or lamb

 

Select Grain-free Dog Foods

A canine’s primitive digestive system does not allow easy digestion of grains and gluten. And this is why many dog food manufacturers now offer grain-free dog foods. Not more than 10% of grains should be allowed in a canine’s daily diet. Instead, a canine’s diet should contain plenty of animal-based protein, vegetables and digestible yet canine-safe fruits.

Just like their ancestors, domesticated canines benefit from a grain-free diet. This diet gives them healthier teeth, skin and coat, increased energy and easy digestion.

Learn About The Type Of Food – Wet or Dry

Dog food is available in two types of formulas – wet and dry. At this point, a canine parent has to learn to choose between the two. Dry food has the advantage of not requiring refrigeration after opening and it is more affordable and convenient than wet food. Wet dog food’s canned or pouch varieties require refrigeration but they contain a higher amount of fresh animal-protein than dry dog foods. High-quality pet food manufacturers offer quality dry and wet food varieties for each life-stage – adult dog wet food or puppy dry food.

 

 

 

Learn How To Transition A Canine’s Diet

 

After spending enough time carefully selecting and purchasing the right dog food, it needs to be slowly introduced. If a canine is used to a low-quality commercial pet food diet or only homemade diet, the transition from old to new needs to be gradual. This transition may take up to a week or two. The new food should be fed little by little each day until it is right to completely switch the diet. During the transition period, keep a check on the canine’s bowel movements to make sure his or her digestion is getting well accustomed to the new diet.

 

Learn How Much To Feed

 

Each canine has an individual dietary need. After the diet transition is successful, feed according to the size and activity levels of the canine. As a guideline, each dog food label prints a table which recommends the amount of portion to be fed to a canine over a 24 hour period. Follow the feeding guidelines to avoid overfeeding.

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