“You are what you eat.” Well, that goes for your dog too, for this reason alone it is so important to choose the right food for your dog. It is also really important to consider the age of your dog as so many of the food manufacturers now produce very different offerings to suit the age cycle of your dog., Dog food manufactures spend huge sums of money to produce foods that are targeted to particular type of dogs or even the breed. With so many choices now available how do you choose the right food for your canine companion?
Just as there is no “one size fits all” diet for humans, the same holds true for our four legged friends Some dogs thrive on a raw diet, whilst others do better on a home-cooked diet with supplements. Still others may require a wheat-free diet, and others may need a bit more fibre in their diet. What is the perfect diet for the active working dog might be devastating for the older, diabetic dog. Don’t despair there are now a huge selection of really good dog foods available to suit your dog.
Generally speaking you will know and more importantly so will your dog when you find a food that suits him/her. It is important to watch the stools for consistency and quantity, generally larger stools indicate that the food has a lot of fillers in which means that the nutrient levels are less. Dog food has developed over the last few years from wet food to dry food and now this has resulted in the main manufactures improving the quality of the foods hence the complete dog foods have now become the mainstay of what we generally feed our dogs. This complete dog food is rich in nutrients and particularly the high meat content foods coming to the fore.
As a very general rule you have several choices on the shelves in pet stores as well as feeding them with natural foods. The choice of what to feed them is going to be determined partly by the health problems they can exhibit in life.
Dry food is one of the best choices you will have. Some of the dry food may be high in carbohydrates and processed foods, but you will find overall they contain the most nutrients you will need to provide your dog. Dry food only contains 10% of water in the ingredients making it hard to chew for some older dogs. However the nutrients provided in the dry food is best even for older dogs. You can wet the food down just a little to make it easier. Y
Semi moist food tends to taste better to your dog, but it would take twice the amount of food you supply with dry food to find the proper ingredients. Semi moist food contains about 30% water along with turkey, chicken, other meat, and vegetables in the processing. The semi food, though not as nutrient rich is often easier for older dogs to eat. It provides a soft material they don’t have to chew as much. You will also find the semi moist dog food is a little more expensive, but not outrageous.
Canned food is the worst food you can supply your dog. It is made with 75% water and the rest is natural ingredients. Like semi moist it takes at least a double dose of the food to provide proper nutrition. You may find your dog prefers the taste and texture, but you are holding back essential nutrients and vitamins they need to be healthy. You can always supply one can of food or semi moist food for a special treat, but for over all healthiness in a dog you should head towards dry food or raw foods.
Raw foods need to be handled with special care. They need to be checked just like our food for problems before feeding it to the dog. Keep in mind that raw food is not going to be cooked like we do to kill some of the bacteria. So you can also be harming the dog if not supplied with top quality raw products. You will need to incorporate vegetables and raw meat in the food dish. You can grind the food into a paste for wet food or just serve the meat. If you are choosing the raw meat option you should talk it over with a vet before doing so.
It is very much the case that you get what you pay for when buying dog food , the more expensive brands actually work out cheaper than lesser priced brands as you don’t need to feed the same quantities, so please bear this in mind when choosing a type of dog food. So many customers have difficulty in choosing the right food and really it is about talking to other owners about there experiences, talk to other dog owners at shows, in forums and of course if in doubt ask your vet.
Whichever dog food you choose, it is important to remember the following rules:
Fresh water should always be provided with the dog food. Always remember to make sure the bowl remains clean and doesn't get contaminated with food. Another very good idea is to provide their food at around the same time every day. This helps to develop a routine for your pet and creates a comfortable eating programme. Whatever dog food you choose, it is important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines especially keeping a note of your dogs weight. Overfeeding can cause obesity. It is also very important to remember to not give your dog human treats, this can be harmful and can lead to sickness in certain situations and also contribute to obesity.