Just like you stick to a diet for your everyday life, your four-legged friends need to as well. The human body is capable of digesting a variety of foods and beverages but your puppy may not be able to do so. This makes choosing a diet for your puppy infinitely more difficult. The internet, pet catalogs, and flyers at the veterinarian are flooded with potential diet recommendations but planning a perfect meal plan is still no easy task. We will give you 6 tips for choosing a good dog food.
1. Focus on the essential 6
Few vital dietary components can make or break your dog’s diet. Proteins, Carbohydrates, Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, and Fibers are the six essential food groups that your dog must consume regularly.
Dogs have evolved to adapt to an omnivorous diet, which means a canine’s nutritional requirements are fulfilled by the consumption of plant-based and animal foods. However, an all-meat diet would not meet all of a dog’s requirements.
Proteins and fats are essential for dogs at all stages of life, be it puppyhood, adolescence, or pregnancy. Nevertheless, vitamins and minerals should also be served in adequate amounts.
A lot of dog parents recommend cooking at home for their dogs. Canines with a history of domestication have adapted to consuming diets offered by humans. In fact, dogs are capable of digesting complex carbohydrates as well. Veterinarians recommend avoiding uncooked complex carbohydrates like grains and raw diets. Along with this, your dog should drink water at regular intervals, especially after food, in hot weather, and after activity.
Keeping in mind your pet’s individual health conditions and lifestyle, a veterinarian will be able to make helpful recommendations. For instance, a health professional would recommend a low-calorie diet for an adult, indoor, or neutered dog. This is because they have low energy requirements. The ideal recommendation would be more or less 350 calories per cup, depending on your canine’s weight and size.
2. Limit treats
Pavlovian obedience and your canine buddy has no complaints – it simply tastes so good! Due to this, treats end up forming a large part of your dog’s diet. Most of these treats are brimming with calories and harmful fats that can lead to difficult health conditions like obesity, joint ache, poor liver function, decrease in stamina, and depression.
As pet owners, the easiest way to prevent these potentially fatal situations is to limit treats for your pets or give your dog healthy treats. Why limit a healthy lifestyle to yourself? It’s time to take the trend of healthy indulgences to your pets. For example, fibrous cartilage sticks are low fat and digestible. Additionally, the best option for your pet is homemade dog treats. It is a great way to interact with your pets and show you care. Additionally, avoid using baking containers containing BPA, which is a cancerous contaminant and can lead to other health maladies. However, there is a huge caveat: consult a verified nutritionist to make sure your home-cooked food is nutritionally balanced.
3. Discard a one-size-fits-all approach
Every person’s diet differs from each other; whilst you might prefer a pescetarian diet, your sister might find a vegan diet more healthy. Similarly, every dog has unique needs that need to be fulfilled. Some might lean towards a plant-based diet while some might prefer a meat-heavy diet.
Not only does it depend on breed-specific allergies and health conditions, but also his nutritional requirements and ultimately, what makes his tummy feel good. PS: Keep a check on how much you feed your dog, obesity in dogs is a serious nutritional problem that is associated with multiple health risks such as diabetes and cardiac diseases.
Note: Dog lovers and dog parents know it: dogs try to eat everything. If there is any unsolicited advice a veterinarian can give you, it is that toxic food for dogs such as alcohol, avocados, and caffeine must be kept out of their reach. The list is long but most of them are common items found in and around your house. If ingested, these poisons can have fatal consequences for your dog.
4. Choose commercial food carefully
Most pet owners worldwide go for commercial food for their pets. While buying pet foods, it is crucial to not buy based on brand popularity or what your dog’s friend eats for lunch. Instead, consider the following parameters:
As a pet owner, you may have your own lifestyle preferences which may lead you to prefer a sustainable, environmentally-friendly, plant-based, or perhaps poultry-based diet for your pet. Consider these preferences alongside the cost and convenience of obtaining pet foods.
Ensuring the quality of your pet food comes from ensuring the quality of the manufacturer of the pet food. A good quality manufacturer checks for toxins, contamination, and more. They monitor the whole process, employ professional nutritionists to ensure quality, and constantly improve on their products.
The complete list of dietary components is usually featured on the back of the packet/can/box. Since commercial pet foods are dry, evaluate and analyze the list according to your pet’s requirements. Make sure to avoid exotic ingredients and unusual meat items such as emu, duck, rabbit, or venison.
Note: A dog’s nutritional requirements change with age. Whether your friend is in his infancy, puppyhood, or senior years, make sure you are buying age-appropriate food. Additionally, always buy commercial dog foods specifically formulated for your dog’s size and weight. Pay attention to your pet’s activity levels and specific nutritional requirements and buy accordingly.
Conclusion for Choosing a Good Dog Food
You are what you eat isn’t just for you, but for your canine friend as well. A high-quality diet is crucial for your puppy to lead a happy and healthy life. As a responsible dog parent, this might be a little intimidating. However, with this guide, planning the perfect meal for your dog is a no-brainer.