Dog Food Buying Tips From the Experts
Nothing beats the joy of having a cheerful canine in your home. They keep you company, make you exercise, make you smile, and even give you a chance to make new friends during those dog walks. As a parent to a loving pooch, however, you can undoubtedly agree that taking care of a dog is a huge responsibility. The lovely furry creature will need occasional grooming, vet checks, vaccinations, walking, a comfortable shelter, toys, and a lot more.
Most importantly, they will need to be properly fed for them to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. This means choosing the right food for their needs based on various factors, including weight, size, age, breed, and so forth. It also means supplying them with well-balanced and quality nutritious meals every day to ensure their wellbeing. It means that those dinner scraps and leftovers just won’t cut it if you want to raise a happy canine.
But then again, it is not unusual to find yourself out of ideas on what to feed your dog. Also, some people just buy dog food for the sake of it, until they realize they were making a mistake and it’s too late to correct it. Knowing the right food to get for your dog can also help you save a significant amount of money. Having put this into perspective, here are some tips for buying dog food that canine nutrition experts would want you to know.
1. Premium Isn’t Always the Best Option
Even if most stores will group dog foods into categories such as ‘popular’, ‘premium’, or ‘gourmet’ types of diets, there are actually no nutritional requirements for all the mentioned groupings. In fact, many experts will agree that there is no problem with feeding your dog a combination of both popular and premium dog feed diets.
As long as the food you get has a combination of nutrients from the major nutritional groups based on their needs, your dog can be guaranteed healthy nutrition. Therefore, you do not need to rob a bank in the name of ensuring that your pooch always gets quality food. A good portion of the most affordable dog foods from reputed brands will often possess quality ingredients for your canine pal. All the same, you will still need to steer clear of foods with bulking agents, additives, and cheap fillers. Instead, settle only for pocket-friendly formulas containing whole ingredients selected to help raise a strong, fit and healthy puppy.
In short, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a portion of less-expensive popular dog food when operating on a tight budget. That way, you can save a few dollars to spend on other important things that your dog needs –things like heartworm prevention medicine, toys, treats, vet appointments, and even pet insurance.
2. Look For The Right Ingredients and Nutritional Guarantee
A dog’s main food should have a label of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The label should confirm that the product provides complete and balanced nutrition or is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog nutrient Profiles. Otherwise, you could be buying some sub-standard dog food that has no nutritional value to your dog.
Also, ensure that your dog’s feed ingredient composition is on point. For instance, if dog feed says ‘with chicken’ then make sure that it actually does. Remember, there is a giant difference between a dog feed that is chicken-flavored and one that actually contains the chicken ingredient. High-quality dog food tends to contain more chicken, lamb, or beef meat. Also, Even if the meat can be used better in the body after digestion, it is crucial to give your dog a mixture of both meat and other plant matter.
3. Don’t Leave Out Other Byproducts or Grains
Byproducts of chicken and meat may often get a bad rap from most folks. However, according to dog feed expert Sanderson, the ground-up of animal carcasses including bones and organs can be very nutritious even more than most muscle meat enjoyed by humans. Associate professor at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Joseph Wakshlag emphasizes that grains and cornmeal forms a common ingredient for commercial dog meals and it’s very much okay. He adds that although most people are going gluten-free nowadays, dogs with gluten sensitivities are hard to come by.
4. Both Wet and Dry Food Are Good for Your Dog’s Health
Whether you choose to feed your dog wet food or dry food, it’s just a toss-up. In actual fact, your dog requires both. For instance, dry foods are easier to store and less messy. Moreover, dry dog food like kibble is good for the dog’s teeth. On the other hand, wet food is the best alternative for dogs having trouble chewing or aren’t able to drink adequate water on their own.
5. Unlike Cats, Dogs Can Go Vegetarian
If you assumed that dogs should only be fed with meat products, you are totally misadvised. Our canine friends can actually go vegetarian and still be healthy. In fact, if your dog has allergies to animal products such as chicken, it is advisable to feed them a vegetarian dog meal for a while.
However, getting a perfect balance of protein, fats, carbs, and minerals from a homemade vegetarian dog meal can be tricky. This is why experts advise dog owners to go for commercial meatless dog food. Furthermore, you will find a wealth of information on tips and ways to ensure your dog stays healthy on a vegetarian diet. This means that if you are a strict vegan or vegetarian, you may not need to worry about feeling guilty you consumed animal products.
Lastly, it is crucial to note that each dog will have its own specific dietary needs. Often, this will depend on the breed, size, weight, and overall health. All in all, the food should be balanced with carbs, protein, fats, and vitamins in the appropriate proportions. Don’t forget to occasionally boost your pooches diet with a good dose of supplements and multivitamins. With this and the above tips in mind, buying dog food should be a walk in the park for you.