Your dog is family, and you want to make sure they get the best nutrition possible. When it comes to food though, many people don’t put a lot of thought into what they are feeding their dog. Often they will buy what is on sale and call it good.
That doesn’t always work though. There are some dog foods out there that are the equivalent of fast food. You wouldn’t give that to your kid all the time so why give it to your dog? And if you notice your dog has frequent stomach upsets or skin conditions, what you are feeding them could be the culprit.
So, whether you’re feeding kibble or wet food, this will help you choose the dog food that is best for your pup.
What Does a Dog’s Diet Look Like?
Dogs eat meat but that isn’t all that they eat. A dog’s diet consists of meat, vegetables, fruits, and grain. When they are included in your dog’s diet they provide important minerals and vitamins as well as fiber.
Your dog food can be kibble, canned, pre-packed, or raw. Or it can be a mixture of any of these. You also have the option of making your dog’s food yourself. So many options! You also want to make sure that they eat at least once, but preferably twice a day. Many quality foods contain fruits and vegetables. If your dog food doesn’t talk to your vet about adding those ingredients to your dog’s food or finding a better food for them. You vet may recommend that you do it yourself and add peas, green beans, sweet potato, apple, or banana to the dry kibble. These also make nice treats!
What your dog eats is important. With pet obesity on the rise, feeding your dog good, quality food is a must.
🐕Related Read: Using Positive Interactions (Instead of Food) With Your Dog
Check Out the Company Making Your Dog's Food
When you are looking for a good food for your dog, start by checking out the company. Look at their values, what they stand for, is quality important to them? If you have concerns about the environment or community involvement, look for that too. If these things are important to you, it could be beneficial to locate a dog food company that has standards similar to your own.
If you are not sure, you can always talk to your veterinarian. They will probably have a few brands that they prefer. Once you have found a company you like, you can start researching the dog food that they offer so you can make sure it is healthy.
How Do You Make Sure Your Dog Food Is Healthy? Read the Label!
If you’ve never read dog food labels, now is a good time to start. They look very similar the labels on foods that humans purchase. Look at the calories, fat, and protein, then read the ingredient list.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) provides guidance of feeding adult dogs as well as puppies. Read the ingredients list to find a food without fillers. Dog food fillers are ingredients added into the food that offer no real nutritional value and are generally unhealthy for the dog. There is no standard definition of what fillers are, but if an ingredient doesn’t provide any nutritional value then you probably don’t want your dog eating it.
Ingredients that are meat based should be at the beginning of the list, the first two or three items. Foods that contain a lot of chemicals or have a lot of filers like soy, corn, and wheat should be avoided.
Different dog breeds and sizes have different nutritional needs. Puppies have nutritional needs that are different from adult dogs and senior dogs. If you have a small or toy breed, regular kibble will likely be too big and too hard for your little guy to chew. Feeding adult dog food to your puppy will rob them of the nutrition they need to grow strong and healthy.
Make sure that you check the formulations before you check out.
Check Dog Food Ratings
If you wan to make sure that you are feeding your dog the best food possible, check it out on the website Dog Food Advisor. They have a comprehensive database that is free to access. You can search to read reviews, view the ratings, and find a food that is healthy for you dog.
The site also lists the latest recalls on dog food as well as their top rankings for dog foods. With pet obesity on the rise, getting food that is nutritionally solid with no fillers should be a priority. You can compare different types and brands to find a food that is right for your dog.
Ask Someone You Trust
The staff at your local doggy daycare or someone at your local store that carries pet supplies can give you advice of dog food and explain the benefits of certain brands or types. Of course, your veterinarian is always a good source of information. Getting feedback from several people will help you make an informed decision and you can get your dog the best, most nutritious food possible. After all, they deserve it. Right?
Purchase from a Pet Supplier That You Trust
You aren’t likely to find quality dog food on grocery store shelves. Pet supply stores and specialty stores carry high quality dog food brands and treats. At Central Pet we carry some of the highest quality, most nutritious dog food available. You’ll find brands like Taste of the Wild, Open Farm, and Orijen dog foods on our shelves and our customer loyalty program lets you earn FREE pet food.
At Central Pet your dog is like family to us. Whether you are looking to board your dog, schedule a grooming appointment, enroll in doggy day care, or go through training classes, we have a lot to offer. Contact us to learn more about our exciting programs and do something special with your dog.