14 Mar 2019 Guest Blog—How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Your Pet’s Needs
Every pet parent wants their dog to eat a healthy, balanced meal. However, it can be challenging to find a high-quality dog food that’s good for your furry pal and for your budget.
The Significance of a Good Dog Food
Processed kibble or wet food may not appear appetizing to you, but they actually contain all the essential nutrients for your dog’s needs. But what exactly is contained in these dog foods?
Unlike cats, dogs aren’t strict carnivores. Although meat makes up a majority of their diet, most domestic pups derive nutrients from fruits, grains, and vegetables as well. These are not merely fillers, but a good source of essential fiber, minerals, and vitamins. High-quality dog food contains great versions of these ingredients which are appropriate for your pet.
Understanding Dog Nutrition
For a healthy meal, you should give your dog age-appropriate food that also meets his nutritional needs. While most dog food brands are formulated with these nutritional requirements, bear in mind that not all canines require the same levels of nutrition in order to stay healthy.
Every dog requires a wide range of nutrients in various quantities over the course of his life. For instance, the nutritional needs of a puppy are different from those of an adult one.
To deal with the complicated task of feeding your dog the best possible food, here are some helpful tips from a trusted Dubai pet food delivery service provider.
1. Consider activity, age, and breed
The behavior, physical characteristics and the overall health of your dog are all crucial details to consider when picking out the appropriate food for him. Lactating mothers and puppies will need more calories each day, while senior dogs will require fewer calories. Likewise, a highly active breed will need more calories than others and will have to eat the right amount of food to avoid health issues.
There are some brands that formulate dog foods according to breed, but they typically only distinguish between small breed and large breed formulas. The difference is mainly reflected on the kibble size, but it’s still beneficial as your dog will be able to eat comfortably.
2. Read the food packaging
The labels on dog food packaging can actually give you an idea of how much protein is present. For instance, a simple label like “Chicken Dog Food” or “Beef for Dogs” shows that the specified protein makes up a great percentage of the product.
When looking at dog food labels, here are some of the key words:
- Dinner – Dog foods with labels like “Salmon Dinner for Dogs” or “Chicken Stew Dinner” only contain about 25% protein. The same applies to terms like entrée, formula, nuggets, and platter.
- “With” anything – If you see phrases like “with salmon” and “with cheese,” expect that the food only needs to contain about 3% of that ingredient. For instance, if a food label reads “Pork Dinner for Dogs” and adds “with cheese,” it only contains 3% cheese and 25% pork.
- Flavor – If a food claims to have a “chicken flavor” or “beef flavor,” they only need trace amounts of chicken or beef. This means that just enough ingredients are added for your dog to detect the taste.
Learn to Read Ingredients—
Dog food labels list ingredients based on weight. Meats usually take the first spot since they have high water content. Pick food with meat or meat meal as the first ingredient as dogs are omnivores and only under special circumstances should they get fed a vegetarian meal.
Decide if your dog needs a grain-free diet—
Unless your dog has a severe allergy, grain-free foods are actually good for him because these are very natural. Just make sure that before you switch to a new grain-free food, consult your vet first.
Check the nutritional adequacy statement—
This is usually found with the rest of the nutritional information on a dog food can or bag. An adequacy statement may contain “provides balanced and complete nutrition for adult dog maintenance” or for “all life stages.” These statements ensure that the right nutritional value for your pet is present.
3. Do your homework on food brands
After all your careful considerations, you may finally have a specific dog food brand in mind that you think your canine will love. However, it’s equally important that you have it checked by your vet first and do some research on the manufacturer. This will help ensure the quality of the products as well as the appropriate source of ingredients.
Remember that manufacturers aren’t required to list these things on the label. It’s up to you to make certain that the brand is good for your dog, and to give yourself peace of mind that you are doing everything to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Think of your dog’s needs
It’s easy to assume that your dog would love just about anything you feed him. What you must keep in mind, however, is that he may like the food, but it may not actually be satisfying his nutritional needs.
When buying dog food, decide carefully and select what you think would give the best nutrition for your canine. And of course, aim to choose something appetizing for your pup because the nutritional value won’t matter if your pet isn’t willing to eat it. A tasty, nutritious dog food is your best bet.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.