Are you stranded on choosing the best food for your furry friend? Indeed, proper nutrition is a key determinant to the quality of life that your dog will get. It’s not just enough for your dog to be on a full stomach. You have to go out of your way to ensure you feed it on a balanced diet so that you have a healthy, satisfied, and happy dog. In this piece, we show you the important considerations you’re supposed to bear in mind when choosing the diet to feed your pooch.
Read the labels
There are different food profiles for puppies and adult dogs. When you go out shopping for dog food, you need to be intentional about getting the food that corresponds to the age of your dog. The information is displayed on the food label and gives you the exact picture of the food content, the age, and ingredients used in the manufacture.
However, you’ll need to be a little bit smarter as unscrupulous manufacturers don’t display the correct information on their food labels. The best place to begin is by determining the set standards that are set by dog and animal welfare organizations in your area. What do they say that a dog at a given age should feed on? After you determine those, you’ll need to look for manufacturers that are adhering to those standards.
Ask family and friends for recommendations
You may have got friends or colleagues who have dogs. If you admire their health, you can ask them what food they use for their pooches. If you’re thinking about a certain brand you came across somewhere, pass it by them to see if they’ve got any prior experiences with them.
Dog trainers, breeders, and groomers can also be a wealthy source of information on the best food for your dog. As you take your dog for checkups with the vet, you can also get their opinion on what they would recommend based on the previous experiences and interactions with other clients. If any of those methods don’t yield the results, you can also consider talking to your local pet supplies store. Could you also be having access to educated pet professionals? If so, you can ask them to recommend the best diet based on the specific requirements of your dog.
Don’t worry if you get conflicting pieces of information and advice. Again, you shouldn’t blame any of the people since they’re simply telling you what worked or didn’t work for them. At the end of the day, you should take every piece of advice you get with a pinch of salt bearing in mind that things might not be the same. Whichever way, the data you collect will be an important eye-opener in knowing the direction to take in coming up with the best food.
Consider the breed, age, and overall age of your dog
Different types and qualities of food will have different outcomes depending on the age, breed, and overall health of the dog. For instance, some dogs can only be fed dry food because of certain factors, while others will do well with grain-free wet food, etc. The best approach to go about this would be to determine the kind of food that works best for the stage your dog is in at the moment. That’s where the earlier point about consulting widely comes in to save the day.
But you should have at the bottom of your mind that there’s food that’s recommended for puppies, adults, small breeds, large breeds as well as dogs with specific medical conditions. Also, many dogs might respond negatively to a sudden change in their foods or ingredients. That’s why it’s recommended that the moment you establish the kind of diet that’s compatible with your dog, you stick with it for as long as possible.
In case you’ve got to switch diets, you’ll need to that gradually. At the start, you’ll feed it with more of the old diet and less of the new diet. As you reduce the ratio of the old diet, you increase that of the new diet in equal proportions. Eventually, the new diet will take over fully, leaving your dog with little to no side effects.
Consider dog allergies
Dogs also get allergies which can further be aggravated by a poor choice of food. As is the case with humans, dog allergies can be managed so that there’s minimal itching and irritation of the skin. Most manufacturers are sensitive to the issue and so they’re producing foods that make it easy for dog owners to manage the condition of their dogs.
But first, for you to help your dog, you’ll need to know the exact type of allergies it’s suffering from so that you can learn the corresponding management practices.
These are the tips that will help you in choosing the right food for your dog. At first, it might prove to be a lot of work but the moment you’ve got the perfect diet that matches your pooch; you’ll be glad that you took the time to research.