Dogs are not merely pets, they are a part of the family. One of the most important aspects of taking care of any member of your family is their diet. These days you can find hundreds of varieties of dog food online and in the grocery store but the question is: are they actually healthy for your dog?
Breed of dog
The diet and the amount of food intake will depend on the breed of dog. If you have a German Shepherd or a Doberman then the intake of food will be more than what you would ideally give to a poodle. There is no particular type of food out there, which can be termed as the super-healthy food for dogs. When talking of dog food, you need to decide the intake keeping in mind several factors like:
Exercise: If your dog is exercising twice a day or going for a run in the neighborhood park then he needs a high-calorie diet. On the other hand, if your dog spends most of its time in front of the TV or just being at home then he needs a low-calorie diet.
Breed: The bigger the dog, the more they eat. A poodle and a St. Bernard can never have the same food intake. The St. Bernard will probably eat a few pounds of chicken as compared to a poodle who will be fine with a couple of pieces.
Health: This is important. Depending on the health of your dog, the amount of food will change. Just like humans, dogs also face severe health problems like Diarrhea, stomach infection etc. During such times, irrespective of the breed, you should stick to a particular diet so that your dog can regain his/her health as quickly as possible. Never over-feed or under-feed your dog!
Packaged Dog Food
These days, you will find packaged dog food everywhere but it doesn’t mean that they might be the best for your dog. Different pet food will contain different ingredients, and you need to check the list of ingredients because some of them might be potentially harmful for your dog. The most common danger to dogs is allergy and this can be caused by certain types of dog food.
Different types of pet food contain different ratio of various nutrients or macronutrients like fat, proteins, and carbohydrates. The amount of vitamin and minerals in each of these products will also vary although most of them will be well within the limit that is acceptable by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). You will need to take a decision on whether a particular dog food is deficient in the nutrients for your dog’s needs or not. Accordingly, you can purchase the dog food.
Where to Start
If you have adopted a dog or puppy recently then you can visit a vet to get him/her checked before deciding on a diet. If your dog is around 1 year old or older then you probably have him/her on a diet. The important thing is that there is an approved list of food that your dog should eat on a regular basis and this will keep him/her healthy. The food that you buy should ideally have high -quality ingredients like vegetables, whole meats, fruits, and grains.
But before you buy any particular type of food, you need to assess his/her health. Make a note of any particular condition that might need veterinary care or even medications. Some of the conditions that you need to keep in mind include bad breath, itchy paws, tartar buildup, thinning of the coat, stinky ears, recurring constipation or diarrhea, worms or flea infestation, low energy, and even anti-social behavior.
These are certain areas that you will need to consider prior to buying dog food and it will help if you refer to a pet nutritionist and get a particular diet for your dog. The most important thing is how many times you feed your dog. He will wag his tail but it doesn’t mean that you start feeding them; it will do more harm than good. Your dog is family and requires a quality diet!