You should be concerned about proper nutrition that you feed your dog. As food is his basic need, it’s about much more than just the dog food brand. Good dog food should not upset your dog’s digestive system and it should give him plenty of energy. Here is a rundown of some useful tips that can help you choose the right food for your dog…
1. Consider Your Dog’s Breed, Age, Activity, and Reproductive Status
You must consider your dog’s physical characteristics, breed, and overall health while selecting her food. Lactating mothers and puppies require more calories per day, while senior pets require less. Similarly, couch potato breeds require fewer calories than highly active breeds. If you feed your dog the right type and amount of food, it will help to avoid health issues resulting from weakness or obesity. Some dog food brands formulate their food based on the type of breed, but most will only distinguish between large breed formulas and small breed formulas. This difference is mainly based on kibble size.
2. Know the Buzz Words on Food Packaging
The wording on the dog food package is a sort of code for how much protein is contained in it. Simple names like “Chicken Dog Food” or “Beef for Dogs” indicate that the protein comprises 95% of the total product, excluding the water content. Furthermore, foods with labels like “Salmon Dinner for Dogs” or “Chicken Stew Dinner” contains only 25% of the protein. The same rule applies to the terms like “platter,” “nuggets,” “entree,” and “formula.” If there are ingredients on the label, they should combine to reach 25% of the total product. If you see a phrase like “with salmon,” “with cheese,” or “with” anything, the food should contain only 3% of that ingredient. Lastly, if a food label reads “chicken flavor” or “beef flavor,” it should only contain trace amounts of beef or chicken that’s enough for a dog to detect the taste.
3. Learn to Read the Ingredients
Bear in mind that the ingredients listed on the package are based on weight, and meats take the first spot because they contain a high content of water. Select the food that has meat as the first ingredient. Because dogs are omnivores, ensure that the first ingredient on the dog food is not a grain, vegetable, or filler, such as ground corn. Although ground corn is digestible, it does not have high nutritional value. Corn has low protein, and it’s inexpensive. It may not necessarily “bad” for your dog, but don’t fall for the product that advertises it as having nutritional benefits. (Learn more about all things dog, including food at zooawesome.com.)
4. Check the Nutritional Adequacy Statement
Check for the adequacy statement on the dog food packaging that might say something like “provides balanced nutrition for your adult dog” or “for all life stages.” Always look of the AAFCO statement on the back because all the commercial dog foods with AFFCO label are considered complete and balanced. Moreover, AFFCO has high enough standards to ensure that the diet sustains the dog’s life and meets his basic nutritional needs.