Choosing the right food for your dog can be a daunting task when you walk into the pet store and see ample dog food varieties, but you have no guidance on what you are looking for. There is no dog food on the shelf that will be dangerous to your dog, but not all dog foods have the same nutrient availability for your pet. Other important factors to consider are the preservatives in the food along with any allergies your pet may have.We will share our most important tips to help you select the best dog food on the market for your dog.
Nutrient Availability and Balanced Rations
Like people, dogs must acquire the right nutrients to feel their best and most dog foods on the shelf will provide your dog what he needs. Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Minerals, Vitamins, and Fiber all play an important role in your dog’s digestive health.
Nutrient availability doesn’t always equate to the components listed on the back of the bag meaning that your dog will not use all the protein if it is delivered in excess. Since you don’t want food that is nutrient dense in one component and lacking in another you should ask your veterinarian or a technician what your dog’s specific nutritional requirements are.
Preservatives: Good and Bad for Your Dog
Preservatives are the most vilified ingredients in your dog’s food with some merit, but it is important to remember that without preservatives your dog’s food would not be safe for consumption. A few natural preservatives present in your dog food will be ascorbic acid, sage, and clove. These beneficial preservatives fight off mold growth and ensure your dog food stays fresh and appetizing, no matter how large and empty the bag becomes over time.
Artificial preservatives aren’t inherently bad for your dog either, but if there is a chance he will break into the bag and overeat, you should stay away from foods with higher ethoxyquin concentrations. Even artificial preservatives help keep your dog food fresh and safe, but when choosing a food with artificial preservatives portion control is key.
Allergies and Sensitivities
Our canine companions are more like us than you realize and they have allergies and sensitivities to certain foods just as often as we do. If you have a dog with a grain allergy, then grain free food is the way to go. If your dog has an uncommon but not unheard of dairy sensitivity, you will want to limit the number of dairy derivatives in your dog food.
These sensitivities can be diagnosed through your veterinarian if your dog is currently having digestive issues with their current foods. Remember your dog is an individual with specific needs when selecting dog food, just because grain free works for one of your dogs does not mean it will be ideal for your friend’s pet who doesn’t have allergies since grains can be an important energy source in moderation.
Whether you are spending ten dollars on a small bag of dog food or thirty dollars on a small bag of dog food the best way to ensure you’re getting the best nutrition for your dog is to read through the ingredients and nutrition information on each bag. Keep in mind that each dog food will have its benefits and occasional drawbacks for your pet.
Never be afraid to switch up your four-legged friend’s diet when he gets bored or seems under the weather. By keeping our tips in mind, reading dog food reviews before you buy, and monitoring your dog’s response to his food, you can rest assured that your pooch is getting everything he needs from his food.