Like people, dogs are individuals. A good dog food may be suitable for a dog but may not be appropriate for another dog. For example:
- A Setter who goes jogging with his owner every day needs a lot more calories than the Labrador who stays at home all day.
- The diet that contains a percentage of fat to keep a dog warm through a cold winter would be deleterious for a Shi Tzu who suffers from pancreatitis.
Every food on the market contains different ingredients and a different ratio of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) and you have to choose the food that is best for your dog.
Access to our dog food selector and find out the perfect food for your dog.
Features to attend to before choose a dog food:
1. Age: choose a dog food that’s nutritionally appropriate to your dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior).
2. Breed size: nutritional requirements vary according to your dog’s breed size. Consult our articles about nutritional needs of small, medium and large/giant dogs and find out more about the requirements of your dog.
3. Body condition: consider if your dog is overweight or underweight. Choose a food suitable for your dog’s needs, whether it’s weight control, performance, maintenance, or other.
4. Health history: if your dog suffers from diabetes, allergies, tumors, or digestive problems, you need to select a food that is appropriate for that condition. You should consult your veterinarian assistant.
5. Dog’s preferences: Some dogs prefer dry food, some canned. Some dogs prefer chicken, some prefer lamb. Today’s market offers lots of well-formulated dog foods for dogs at all life stages.
6. Look strictly at ingredients: check the ingredient list on the back of the bag. Look for dog foods with meat, fish, or eggs listed as the first ingredient. High-quality ingredients are vital for a healthy food.
7. AAFCO statement: Dog foods should be labeled as ‘complete and balanced’ and must meet standards established by AAFCO.
8. Exercise level: The more a dog exercises the more energy he requires to consume.
9. Growth: a food with a higher protein rank, but a moderate fat level is ideal for growing puppies. Obese puppies are prone to degenerative joint disease.
10. Environmental conditions: Dogs who live outside in rigorous cold temperatures need more energy than dogs who enjoy a temperate climate.
11. Pregnancy and lactation: Pregnant females in the final third of pregnancy and nursing females require more energy. At that moment, you should give her a puppy formulated food.
12. Neutering: neutered dogs have reduced energy requirements. It has been suggested that these dogs put weight due to better appetites and/or reduced activity levels.
13. Other factors: temperament (nervous or calm) and skin, fat, and coat quality.
After you address all these features and choose a dog food suitable for your dog you should take a look at him after he has been on the new food for at least 30 days.
You should expect your dog to have:
- Bright eyes
- Shiny coat
- Good body condition
- Good energy level
These 4 characteristics will let you know you are doing a good job bout your dog’s nutrition.