- Are you a new or old pet parent that is worried about the kind of diet you are giving to your loved dog or puppy?
- Do you know some essentials you need to check to ensure you have the best food option?
- Have you looked at aspects like nutritional value, meat percentage, certifications, and other essentials?
If you want to keep your dog healthy, active, and free from illnesses, you need to focus on their food and diet.
Selecting the right food for your dog is not an easy task. With so many different brands and products in the market, the task of selecting the best dog food can become an overwhelming experience.
The task gets even more complicated as breeders, vets, trainers, and others drastically vary. Add to that the natural versus processed food debate and we are looking at a world of confusion. In this article, we speak to experts at Briopets.
Research, Homework, and Background Checks
According to experts, every type of dog food does not suit every breed of dog. What’s more confusing is the fact that some dogs, even from breeds that are suited to a brand may exhibit signs of distress after consuming the food.
This is why you must tailor the food according to your dog’s needs rather than going the other way around. If they have any allergies or pre-existing medical conditions, find out about the same and then zero down on the food choices.
At the end of the day, it is all about doing research. You can always check with great institutions like the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and see what kind of brands and products they suggest.
It is important not to get swayed by the huge marketing and advertising budgets of pet food brands. Many of the biggest brands spend a ton of money on promoting their products. they might not necessarily be the best, but they push aggressively in terms of exposure, sponsorships, and branding.
The Best Dog Food is a Combination of Different Nutritional Goodness
According to experts, the best combination of nutritional elements in dog food should be as follows-
- Meat should constitute the majority percentage of processed dog food. This percentage should be anywhere between 60% to 80% of the entire ingredient count.
- The rest of the percentages (20%-40%) should be made up of vegetables and other nutrients. Remember that the protein percentage should be the highest.
- If your dog is allergic to grains, you would want to shift them to a grain-free diet. However, if they are not, there is no reason to remove 10% of grains from their diet.
Pet parents must check the product packaging and study the labels in great detail. Talk to the vet to understand the different terminologies better. This will allow you to create a balanced and healthy food option for your dog.
You should also note that testing your dog for allergies is also something that should be done. Many people are unaware that dogs can be lactose intolerant. However, rather than wait for a serious episode, it is important to get your dog tested in advance.
Dogs, especially the middle and larger breeds should be kept away from sweets. Breeds like Retrievers tend to gain weight and can become obese, leading to the onset of diseases.
BARF Diet: What Experts are saying?
BARF stands for Bones and Raw Food. It is a way of feeding dogs from an early age. Many believe that this is how dogs were meant to be fed. However, given the changing scenarios in 2021, we hardly have any working dogs left.
Many believe that putting your dog on a BARF diet is not such a great option, as it leads to an unbalanced diet. There is also the danger of internal punctures and ruptures arising from sharp bones.
The principal reason why many recommend a raw diet is because commercially processed food can be allergic to certain dogs.
If you see that your dog is not allergic, you can always feed them processed food without having to worry about any dangers. A Siberian Husky in an apartment has come a long way from being used as a sled dog a couple of hundred years back.
How to look at the Ingredient List from the Product’s Packaging?
If you are a responsible pet parent, the first thing you should do is study the product packaging of the food. This means looking at the individual ingredients and understanding what they are and what do they stand for.
For starters, the first thing you should look for and something that should be right on top of the ingredient list should be the protein. Now, this can be anything like beef, mutton, lamb, chicken, turkey, etc.
The ingredient list is often decided based on the percentage of ingredients it has. If protein occupies the first position, it means that the maximum percentage of protein is there.
However, it should be pointed out that there are several grey areas. Clever wordplay by brands often gets people confused. another element that you should be looking for is the moisture content.
You also need to check for words like ‘byproduct’. This is a clever way of stating that the food contains preservatives and chemicals. If you see something like this on the packaging, you should stay away from such brands and products. You should always go for pet food of specially curated brands that offer high protein percentages and do not contain any preservatives and artificial ingredients.
The Final Word
We can understand that there might be a lot of trial and error when selecting the best dog food. This is ok. Experts recommend that the key is to keep altering the dog food at different times. This helps the dog gaining nutrition from several different sources.
If you need any more information or are a first-time dog parent let us know in the comments section below. We will request our experts to help you understand the nutritional needs of your furry friend better.