Choosing to become a dog owner is a big decision and certainly not one which should be taken lightly. Any dog owner will tell you that our furry friends aren’t just pets, they are family. Just as a parent wants the best for their child, dog owners will go to great lengths to ensure that their pet feels safe, happy and loved.
Keeping them healthy through diet and exercise is an essential component in a dog’s well-being and happiness. It can be tough knowing what to look for when it comes to choosing food that will not just satisfy your dog, but keep them healthy as well. Here are a few essential tips to help you on your way:
Look for Balanced Products
When checking the packaging, look for a ‘complete’ or holistic dog food. This will indicate whether the food has been designed to meet the full nutritional requirements for a certain type of dog. Just like humans, dogs need a balanced diet. When it comes to treats, it is important to understand that these are more supplemental and should only be used in addition to good quality food.
Read the List of Ingredients
Knowing what is in your dog’s food is important, so take the time to read the list of ingredients. Protein is important, so you should see chicken, beef, or fish at the top of the list. Note that the use of the term ‘meal’ simply indicated that the protein source had been processed or dehydrated.
Focus On Serving Sizes
People often make the mistake of buying the largest bag of dog food they can find, as it seems to be the most cost-effective and efficient option. However, rather than looking at the weight of the food, you should focus on serving size. A smaller serving size indicates that the product is nutritionally dense, which may indicate the food will last longer.
Be Mindful of Your Dog’s Age and Breed
You’ll probably notice that there are specific foods that have been developed for dogs at different stages, such as puppy, adult, and senior. While the ingredients may be very similar, there will be certain adjustments made to the nutritional balance that accounts for the dog’s age. For example, older dogs tend to experience joint issues, so additional glucosamine can help. More energetic dog breeds require more food. If your dog is extremely active, then it is worth finding food with higher protein content.
Don’t Overdo the Treats
Treats will become your greatest weapon when it comes to training your dog and encouraging positive behavior. However, it is important not to overfeed our pups, as this can lead to a whole host of issues, including obesity, diabetes and joint problems.
Choosing what to feed your dog is often easier said than done. If you do have any real concerns, then it is useful to consult a vet who will guide you on the best ways to keep your pooch happy, healthy and strong.