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Choosing The Perfect Dog Food

Updated on August 28, 2009

Selecting The Right Dog Food Is Very Important

 Owning a dog means you're going to have to buy some dog food. Just like people, dogs are unique and each has their own dietary needs. When choosing dog food there are several factors to be considered. There are dog foods formulated for almost every condition that a pet may suffer from; overweight, sensitive stomach or old age. If you're not sure that you're feeding your pet the right food, consult your veterinarian for a recommendation. However, try not to get trapped into buying their dog food as it is grossly overpriced!

A dog food that works for one dog may not be right for another. For instance, a hunting dog that chases down prey all day will need many more calories than an old Lab who lazes around soaking up the sun.

Start with a little research, either online or at the pet store, to determine which dog foods contain the highest amounts of natural ingredients like, whole meats, grains, fruits and vegetables. Dogs do require some fats in their diet, so look for a high-quality source of fat in the food you choose.

Choose foods that contain healthy ingredients.
Choose foods that contain healthy ingredients.

Dog Food Must Contain Quality Ingredients

 Some quality ingredients may include:

Turkey    
Chicken    
Barley    
Brown Rice    
Potatoes    
Peas
Chicken Meal (avoid by-products)   
Chicken Fat    
Flaxseed    
Apples    
Carrots    
Sunflower Oil    
Egg    
Cottage Cheese    
Alfalfa Sprouts    
Pumpkin    
Dried Chicory Root    
L-Carnitine    
Lecithin    
Vitamins/Minerals    

He relies on you to choose the best dog food.
He relies on you to choose the best dog food.

Read The Label On Your Dog Food

 Each brand of dog food contains different ingredients, some of which have the potential to cause intolerance or symptoms of allergies. Many health issues with animals can be attributed to poor food quality. Switching to high quality, natural dog food may eliminate problems such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, dry or itchy skin, oily fur, infected ears, runny eyes and bad breath. Keeping a record of how your dog reacts to his food will help you determine which ingredients to avoid.

Proper caloric content of dog food is very important. Each dog has different energy requirements which will require high- or low- calorie food. Active dogs that get a lot of exercise require more calories to maintain a healthy weight. Overweight dogs, or ones that are inactive, require fewer calories to reduce or maintain their weight. Obesity in dogs can lead to numerous health problems and in some cases, a reduced life span, so it's important to keep them fit.

Reducing a dog's food intake to cut calories and help them lose weight can have a negative for your dog and for you. Your dog may resort to whining and begging if he does not feel satisfied or full. This behavior may create feelings of guilt for some people, who will react by giving their dog as much food as they want. Try switching to low-calorie food that is high in fiber and that will help him feel full without consuming extra calories.

Cooked white rice or pasta is just one ingredient in healthy homemade dog food.
Cooked white rice or pasta is just one ingredient in healthy homemade dog food.

Dog Food Should Be Matched To Your Dog's Caloric Requirements

 Other factors that will affect caloric requirements include:

Age: Puppies have high energy levels, while senior dogs are less active.

Sickness: Dogs that become ill require more energy to fuel their immune system response.

Environment: Dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors will require more calories during cold weather.

Pregnancy and nursing: Females need additional nutrition during the last stages of their pregnancy and even more while they are nursing.

Neutering: Dogs that have been spayed or neutered may become less active or exhibit increased appetites as a result of decreased hormone levels. Monitor them for a couple months after the operation and adjust their food as required.

Unfortunately, for some people, the price of dog food may determine the quality of food they choose to buy. It's important to understand that food quality will directly affect a dog's health, so be prepared to spend a few extra dollars and make the right choice.

Consult a Vet Before Switching Your Dog to Homemade Food

 Disclaimer: The information on this Hub page does not constitute medical, legal, commercial, product, and/or service advice or endorsement of any vendor, supplier and/or brand, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author. Listing of an entity or service on this Hub page is not a warranty of the quality or efficacy of the products or services furnished by any entity. The author is not directly compensated by any entity other than the advertising placement services shown on this page.

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