We get it – choosing a great dog food can be difficult. There are countless factors to consider and, sometimes, it can be difficult to even read some of the words on the back of the ingredient list.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you keep a few key points in mind, you can easily select dog food like a pro.
Here are the three most important things to keep in mind when choosing the best dog food:
A dog food’s ingredient list is essential to judging a food’s quality. What a food is made out of largely determines its nutritional contents.
Preferably, your dog’s food should be made mostly out of meat. Dogs evolved to mostly eat meat. It contains most of the vitamins and minerals they need, including high levels of protein and fat.
The meat should also be high-quality. Whole meat is always preferred. By-products and meal aren’t necessarily bad, though. This simply describes how the meat is processed and both are usually decently nutritionally-complete.
Still, the source of the meat should always be named. Choose “chicken meal” over vague “meat meal”.
All dog food contains veggies as well as meat. When choosing your pet’s food, aim to choose veggies that are packed with nutrients, like pumpkin.
There are quite a few veggies that aren’t necessarily good for dogs. Stay away from veggies that are high in starches, as those are sometimes used as fillers. You should also avoid foods that seem to be relying too heavily on veggies and not meat.
While grain-free is the current trend in dog food, most dogs do not need a grain-free food. Only dogs who are allergic to grains need to stay away from them. Otherwise, your dog is completely fine eating grain-inclusive food.
If you do choose food with grains in it, aim for whole grains like brown rice. These are actually quite nutritious.
Personalize it To Your Dog
Your dog’s size, age, and overall health all play a role in the food you should choose for your dog. There is no one-size-fits-all dog food out there that is the perfect choice for every dog.
Larger dogs will need more food than smaller dogs, while smaller dogs will likely need a smaller kibble size. You may also want to consider feeding your smaller dog wet food since this eliminates the problem of kibble size.
Puppies also need different dog food from adults, though seniors don’t necessarily need a special dog food solely based on their advanced age.
If your dog has any health conditions, you may need to keep that in mind when choosing their food. Some health conditions are linked to diet. In these cases, you’ll need to choose a food that works with their condition.
Some dogs have allergies. Often, dogs get allergies from protein that they eat a lot. A dog that has been eating chicken for his whole life is likely to develop a chicken allergy.
Because of this, dogs tend to be allergic to the common ingredients in dog food, like chicken and beef.
If your dog is allergic to anything, you’ll need to steer clear of it when choosing the appropriate dog food.