With each dog food brand claiming to be the best on the market, choosing a healthy, affordable dog food brand can be an overwhelming and even frustrating process! With all the dog food myths and misinformation floating around, how is one supposed to know what to feed their dog? There are quite a few factors that contribute to how one should go about choosing their dog’s food type such as their age, medical needs, and even flavors that you know your dog likes! Continue reading to learn how you can find the best diet for your furry friend.
Before jumping into purchasing the first bag of dog food that you see, it’s important to educate yourself on the different diets and foods that are available to feed your dog. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with a list of foods you are not supposed to feed your dog or let them eat, as some foods, such as grapes and raisins, chocolate, or avocado, can make dogs violently ill.
A crucial part of any dog diet is consistency which means sticking to one dog food brand, unless instructed otherwise by your dog’s vet. This also means adhering to a regular daily schedule for feeding times, treats and medications. Dogs are known to thrive on a schedule and if you are inconsistent with their feeding time, they won’t be able to get into a routine. Changing your dog’s food too frequently could cause them to miss out on important nutrients, while keeping their diet the same helps their bodies adjust to the nutrients coming in.
Be cautious of misleading dog food labels! Just because it meets The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) requirements, does not necessarily mean it is the best food for your dog. Make sure to look for food companies that exceed AAFCO guidelines and use the highest quality of ingredients. Use these two helpful tips when reading dog food labels:
- Choose foods with meat-based items listed as the first two to three ingredients.
- Avoid foods that contain excess chemical preservatives and high amounts of fillers like wheat, corn, and soy.
It can’t hurt to get ideas from friends and family about what they feed their pups, however, you’ll quickly come to find how every dog owner has their preferences. Additionally, it’s important to remember that different dogs can react differently to the same food and your dog will have their own preference on what they like to eat. Watch your dog’s reaction to specific foods to get a better idea of what they do and don’t like. As an educated pet professional, your veterinarian is also a great resource for recommendations. Use all this information to help narrow down your options, but keep in mind that opinions are not facts! And remember, it is important to always consult with your vet first before making any drastic changes to your dog’s diet.
If you’re a past or present dog owner, you know that dog food is not cheap … especially if you have to feed them prescription food. Remember that it’s okay to not be able to afford the fanciest dog food but be sure to take the time to consider your budget and feed your furry friend something that’s both vet recommended and that fits within your budget. You should also keep in mind that as your dog grows older, they may need a change in diet to keep them safe and healthy. Ultimately, the bottom line is that you are the one who needs to decide what food best suits your dog, so use these helpful tips to ensure your dog has a long, healthy life with a happy belly!