Jul 17, 2014

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How to Choose the Best Food for Your Dog

When you see commercials for dog food on television the sheer number of choices can confuse you. Each brand claims that it is better than the rest because of the ingredients and nutritional content. They all claim that your dog will love the taste. Some companies seem to want you to feel bad if you don’t choose their food, after all, you do want only the best for your dog, don’t you?

One of the first things to remember is that when it comes to eating, dogs can be just as picky as we are. Also, just as we sometimes make the wrong choices based solely on taste, so will dogs. Don’t be surprised if your dog seems to prefer treats that lack real nutritional value. Some of these same foods could also cause them to put on weight. So you need to focus mainly on the ingredients and the nutritional value of the dog food you buy, so in that sense, the dog food makers have it right.

What Does Your Dog Need?
Here is where it gets a little bit tricky. Dogs have different nutritional needs based on factors like size, weight and health. If you have been feeding your dog the same food for years and it seems to be in danger of becoming obese, you need to either cut portion sizes or change brands. Be wary of terms like “all natural ingredients” which are commonly used in marketing. There is still some confusion as to what that means, and some food makers may play fast and loose with the term.

What Not to Feed Your Dog
The vet knows your pet’s health status, and has information on the best dog foods so they can offer some advice. They will tell you to avoid doing what many dog owners do; feeding your dog the same foods that you eat. It might come as a surprise that many pet owners still make this mistake. This is a recipe for obesity and poor health. The biologically available raw food (BARF) diet is growing in popularity, but it is not for every dog. Additionally, switching from a packaged dog food to BARF can cause health problems like pancreatitis.

Focus on dog foods that provide a good balance of meat and vegetables. Typically, many dog foods have a ratio of 50 percent meat and 50 percent vegetable content. However, if the label states that the food is most beef, then it should ideally have approximately 95 percent beef as the ingredient. Meat sources are usually chicken, lamb and venison. It can be difficult to tell from the ingredients what exactly is in the food, but be cautious about terms like “isolate” and “concentrate” as these could indicate the presence of low quality fillers. On a final note, dogs can sometimes be allergic to ingredients in dog foods including grains and meat. If this is the case with your dog, ask the vet to recommend an alternative food. Visit to know more.

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