The Best Dry Food for Dogs and Puppies
April 6, 2019
How do you decide which dry food to feed your dog? Do you grab whatever is on offer at the supermarket? Or do you want the best for your dog?
This article will give you all the information that you need to know that your dog is enjoying a balanced and healthy diet! Instead of listing a range of brands and products which are highly rated, we will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision for your dog’s diet.
Please note that this information will not be applicable if your dog is suffering from health conditions and this advice is not intended to replace the information your vet can give you.
Sadly, there are plenty of companies out there taking advantage of people with lower budgets who will be looking to feed their dogs for the best possible price. There are also plenty of companies taking advantage of the fact that for some pet owners, simply only the best will do for their pets!
This advice will enable you to make informed choices which are healthy for your budget as well as your pet!
Why are Some Dog Foods Better Than Others?
In many ways, dog foods aren’t all that different from human food! Highly processed food and food with plenty of additives will never be beneficial for your pet. Their food will also need all of the correct nutrients to ensure that they remain fit and healthy.
Dogs aren’t strict carnivores, even though meat may be a large part of their diet, their natural diet also incorporated plenty of grains, fruits and vegetables. It is important that you don’t view these foods as fillers, but instead essential to your dog’s health as they will contain fibre, minerals and vitamins which can’t be ingested through eating meat. However, you’ll still need to make sure that any foods given to dogs are appropriate for their digestive system. Some dogs suffer from grain allergies if this is the case grain-free diets are available.
Even the cheapest of brands will ensure that with their dry food formulas the basic requirements are met for dogs. However, most dog breeds will have very different nutritional needs! Their nutritional needs will also change as they age and grow.
Puppies, adult dogs, and older dogs will all need very different nutrition to stay fit and healthy. While there may be food which is marketed as being suitable for all ages, this is simply not the case! Age must always be considered – as should weight.
You’ll also need to be wary about the different types of by-products. There are regulated by-products which are healthy for your dog and actually contain more nutrients than meat from the muscle. These by-products include entrails and organs. The by-products which have been regulated will never contain hair, hooves, or intestinal contents.
Always Check the Label
There are eight different things which you will need to look for on the label of dog food. This includes the name of the product, net weight, manufacturer name, analysis of nutrients, list of ingredients, the animal the food is recommended for. Finally, you will want to look for a statement on the nutritional adequacy and feeding guidelines.
But all of that is easier said than done – you’ll need to pay extra close attention to the wording.
For example, if you find chicken dog food, if it simply states ‘chicken’ this will be guaranteed to be at least 70% chicken. If you notice that the tin says ‘chicken platter or entrée, then you may only get 10% chicken! It gets even worse if the food just says ‘with beef’, this may mean that beef only acts as a flavour and there can be less than three percent!
Another thing which you will need to figure out is the quality of the ingredients in the food as it is not guaranteed that the manufacturer will indicate the quality. However the phrase “whole meats” does guarantee that there has been no water added to the meat to increase the weight.
“Complete and balanced” is yet another key phrase which you will want to look out for. As not every manufacturer is able to use this phrase. This phrase ensures that the food has been approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Their guidelines are incredibly strict, so you can always trust those three words.
Size Up the Labels
Small and large dogs will always need different types of dry food. They differ in size, and their nutritional needs also differ. Larger dogs are much more prone to suffering from musculoskeletal problems, so they will need more of the nutrients which promotes healthy bones and muscles. This is especially important when they are younger and growing.
You must also be careful feeding smaller dogs larger kibble as this can become a choking hazard.
Best Dry Food for Puppies
Puppies have very different nutritional needs to adult dogs, never feed a puppy with normal adult dog food! You may be limited when you’re in the supermarket, but the right food for your puppy will be stocked by your vet who will also be able to advise you on the best food for your pup as they grow. Feeding your dog the correct food when they are younger means that they grow at the right rate. If dogs, especially larger dogs grow too much they can end up with problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia when they are older.