Choosing the right food for your dog requires understanding the bodily need of your dog. Depending upon the age of the dog you must pick food best suited for your dog. The dietary requirements of a puppy will be very different from that of a growing or a full grown dog. If your dog not looking as healthy in comparison to other dogs his age, check his diet. The dog's responses and behavior are to a large extent dependent on the food that he eats.
Your visit to the local pet food store or shopping online may leave you a little bewildered as to the plethora of choices you will find under dog food. So here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing dog food:
- Ideally, a healthy diet for the dog must include 40% of meat, 50% vegetables and the rest should be carbohydrates. Check the ingredients mentioned on the ready - made dog food packet. Pre – cooked food does not lose its nutritional value as it does not require more cooking. A high protein diet suits most dogs, so look for ingredients which are good sources of protein like chicken meat, lamb meat and venison meat.
- According to the AAFCO guidelines, all dog food must contain animal by – products like the head, feet and intestines of the animals. Wheat, corn and cornmeal may contain allergens and may have to be avoided. The grain that you give to the dog must be in whole form so that the dog gets full nutrition. Grains acts as a cheap and good filler for proteins.
- Dogs may be fed an all – vegetarian diet but they will not grow as well on a vegetarian diet as they would on a non – vegetarian diet. Being omnivores by nature, a dog needs a well planned vegetarian diet.
- Buy a premium brand instead of an economy pack because the premium brand will use good quality products.
- A low quality dog food manufacturer will list a meat ingredient first followed by a host of other by – products and fillers. In such cases, the ratio of fillers to protein will be more. This alters the diet balance and may not be a very good meal for the dog.
- All pre – cooked foods contain added preservatives. So you must be very sure that the food item you are buying is free of any chemical preservatives like BTH, BHA and Ethoxyquin. Buy a food pack that contains Vitamin E and Vitamin C as preservatives.
- Try giving your dog holistic foods that are 100% nutritious and 100% natural. This type of food is also called human – grade food which means that the food has passed all the tests prescribed by the AAFC. Beware of those dog food manufacturers who use the term human – grade illegally.
All pet food labels must mention the amount of protein, carbohydrate, fiber and fat on the packet. As a rule, what is not good for your consumption is not good for the dog.