Your mom probably told you that you are what you eat, and the same thing goes for dogs. To grow healthy and strong, dogs need a properly balanced diet. This includes 30-70 percent carbohydrates, 18-25 percent protein, and 10-15 percent fat. However, it can sometimes be hard to find these proportions when shopping for dog food. So, to pick the right one and help your dog stay healthy, check out these paws-itvely essential tips.
Consider your dog’s age, breed, and health
The most important thing to consider when buying your dog food is your dog. You’ll need to take into account his physical characteristics, behavior, breed, and overall health. The bone growth of a Chihuahua is very different from that of a Boxer and therefore, they shouldn’t be fed the same food. Most dog food brands will make food that is specific to a particular breed and size, so you should check the packaging to see if your food is recommended for your pup. You should also research health problems that are typical for your dog’s breed. From there, you should pick food that eliminates these problems or supports strong healthy habits. Lastly, active breeds require more calories than the lap dogs, so you’ll want to match the calorie intake to your dog’s needs.
Read the label
The wording on dog food packages can be extremely difficult to cipher. It’s almost like a cryptic message and therefore you need to do your research before heading to the store. According to an FDA analysis of pet food labels, the words “beef for dogs” or “chicken dog food” means that the listed ingredient makes up about 95 percent of the total product, not including water content. That means that there’s actually only about 70 percent of the protein in the packaged food. If you see words like dinner, entrée, or formula to describe food, then the ingredient listed is only 25 percent of the product. Therefore, “Salmon Dinner for Dogs” only has 25 percent salmon. Lastly, the analysis found that the phrase “with cheese” or “with beef” means that the food only has about 3 percent of that ingredient. Learn to decipher the phrases and understand exactly what ingredients are in your dog’s food.
Pick a reputable brand
There are many factors that go into picking your favorite dog food brand and package. You’ll want to check the feeding trial info on the back of the product. This will tell you if the formula has gone through feeding trials or simply met a standard nutrient profile. The ones that have gone through feeding trials are the ones that you’ll want. This means that the food has actually been tested and fed to dogs to make sure that they were not only willing to eat the food, but also remained healthy after digesting it. Another item you want to investigate is product recalls. Recently, there have been a lot of studies regarding dog food and many brands and products have been recalled as a result. Before you settle on your dog’s food, do a quick search online to make sure the item hasn’t been deemed unhealthy.
You wouldn’t eat anything that’s given to you and Fido is the same. Protect him and support his healthy lifestyle by choosing the right chow for your pal.
Guest Post by: Jenny James