Many dog owners want to choose the best diet for their pup, but there are several things to consider when choosing the best dog food. Our White Hall vets talk about what diet is healthiest for your dog and what food may be best to provide for all of their nutritional needs.
One of the most important parts of being a pet parent is ensuring your little one has a balanced and nutritional diet. The variety of different brands and types of dog food out there can make choosing seem impossible.
To help, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing what food is best for your dog:
Learn About What Foods & Diet Are Best for Your Dog
Start building your dog's diet with research. When online or reading books, be mindful that not all information on pet care is reliable or applicable to your unique dog. Things like breed, size, age and even genetic makeup can change what food is best for your pup.
If you have any questions or doubts about what to feed them, you can also consult professionals like dog breeders, trainers, and groomers. Your local pet store may also be a good resource for advice on feeding your dog, although the best source of information will always be your veterinarian.
Keep in mind that premium dog food brands will include meat for protein, vitamin-packed vegetables and fruit, and omega-fatty acids which help your dog keep a healthy, shiny coat. This premium dog food will also typically contain fewer fillers such as corn, wheat or soy. If your dog has known allergies or reactions to any of these things, ask your vet about appropriate substitutes.
Learn The Differences Between the Types of Dog Food Available
The two most typical options for dog food are wet and dry food. Recently, options include dehydrated or freeze-dried food that you add water to before giving it to your dog.
Commercial dog food has the advantage of oversight; the nutritional information on dog food brand packages comes from the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This doesn't mean skip the nutritional facts sheet! With your dog's specific dietary needs in mind, review what is in that bag of puppy chow before purchasing. If you're unsure how the breed, size and age of your dog impacts their nutritional needs, consult your vet for advice.
Introduce New Foods Slowly to Avoid Issues
Always try to avoid abrupt changes and inconsistencies in your dog's diet. Sudden changes can cause issues with your dog's gastrointestinal system, as well as make them more averse to trying new foods. If you're looking to change your dog's diet, gradually increase the amount of new food mixed in with your dog's regular food over a few days or weeks.
During this transition phase, you can monitor your dog for any changes in health or allergic reactions. If you have concerns about your dog's reaction to their food, contact your vet right away to have your dog examined.
Monitor Your Dog for Any Usual Symptoms
You know your dog best as you spend the most time with them. Your insight into their daily life, activity level and baseline health makes you the final say in what your pup eats. So long as you are sticking to a consistent, balanced diet with appropriate portions for your dog's size and breed, there's no reason why your canine companion shouldn't live a long and healthy life!
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.