Food is one of the basic pillars of our dog’s health and, for this reason, knowing how to choose a good dog food is essential if we want to have a healthy and long-lived dog. Although it may seem easy, it can really be quite an odyssey to find the right one. For this reason, it is necessary to be advised by the specialists, but also to know ourselves the best keys to be able to discern a good product from a not recommended one.
Here we are going to explain the basic but necessary steps that we must follow to choose a good feed for our dog, which is healthy and adapted to its nutritional needs.
How to choose the feed for my dog - tips
Each dog is different, even within the same breed. There are dogs that have a high daily calorie expenditure due to their physical activity and others that consume much fewer calories because, simply, they only go out for a walk or play but not to exercise. We cannot feed a dog that exercises every day the same as a dog that goes out two or three times only to walk and play with other dogs. The reason is that if we did, the dog that does not exercise would begin to progressively gain weight by accumulating energy in the form of fat, running the risk of being overweight and obese, among other diseases.
For this reason, when choosing a good feed for your dog you have to look at the calories it contains. Foods with more than four thousand calories and with a high fat content are indicated for dogs with a high physical activity, while foods with a low level of fat and less than four thousand calories are more suitable for dogs with physical activity medium or low.
Finding the ideal composition of dog food that works for everyone is impossible, since there is no single perfect formula. Each dog will have some needs or others, so one food or another will do better. An example of a good low-calorie formulation, ideal for adult dogs that do not exercise strenuously, might be NFNatcane’s Beef and Vegetables or Orijen’s maintenance range.
The size of the dog also matters, because if our dog is of a small breed, we must look for a feed that is specially designed for dogs of this breed size. Otherwise, we could feed it with a feed whose croquettes or balls are of a medium or large size, causing problems such as difficulty when chewing them, damage to the teeth and gums and choking, among others. In the same way, feeding small kibbles to a large dog can cause other problems, such as food cravings and eating too quickly. Therefore, you have to choose a feed that has the right size croquettes for the size of our furry.
Choosing the feed according to the age of the dog is also essential when choosing the most appropriate food for our dog. This is so because puppies, adults, and seniors have totally different needs.
development, such as calcium. The same happens with feed for older or senior dogs, since to feed an elderly dog it is necessary to choose a feed that is specially formulated for dogs that hardly use calories, in addition to other aspects, since elderly dogs do not have the same pace of life than younger dogs.
What ingredients does a good dog food have to have?
For our dog’s diet to be balanced, regardless of its age and size, it should be composed mostly of products rich in animal proteins, such as chicken, beef or lamb. Fish is also an excellent choice as a source of animal protein.
Their diet should also contain a moderate amount of carbohydrates, so the feed should include cereals, tubers or legumes. However, not all cereals are equally nutritious, rice is by far the best cereal that we can find on the label of a good dog food.
Fruits and vegetables are also necessary for our dog to eat properly, although they must be present in smaller quantities. The use of fruits and vegetables is due to the fact that dogs in nature as well as their relatives and their common ancestors, such as wolves and the ancestors that these species had in common, when eating prey, such as a rabbit, they also ate what was inside, that is, the vegetables in the stomach and intestines. In addition, dogs in nature also eat a variety of vegetables from time to time, although it is not the basis of their diet at all.
Thus, fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of fiber for our dogs, also providing necessary vitamins and minerals. However, in excess it can cause diarrhea and other problems, especially if the excess of these serves to reduce the amount of animal protein in the feed, so it is advisable not to abuse them.
Choose the feed that your dog likes and you too
Marketing is the art of making a product sell even if it is known that it is bad and that is how many advertising campaigns will make us think that some feed is good, when in reality its composition is of low quality.
Therefore, we must not fall into deciding that we will buy one brand or another for a convincing advertisement or a beautiful packaging. Apart from listening to the advice of our trusted veterinarian, we must review the list or table of feed ingredients ourselves. A good feed will always be composed mostly of animal protein, such as meat, not carbohydrates, such as cereals.
The brands of feed that use many inappropriate products in their composition, such as an excess of cereals, use a high level of animal fat, which is not the same as animal protein, so that the feed smells good for our dog, that way We will think that it is a good feed because our dog eats it well. However, just because you like it because of the smell and taste does not mean that it is going to be healthy or the best option and, therefore, in addition to the dog’s liking, the feed must also like us. Thus, before decanting but one brand or another analyzes the composition indicated on the container, know what percentage of meat it contains, what number of calories and if it is designed for the size and age of your dog.
There are no magic formulas or better brands than others, each dog is different so the best food for your dog can be very different from the best food for the other dog.