Dog Food – Feeding Your Dog The Correct Healthy Diet
With so many different brands and types of dog food on the market today, what should you be looking for when selecting your pet’s food?
Feeding your dog the correct type of food with good nutritional value is critical for the overall well being of your pet, but this does not always mean you have to choose the most expensive food available.
Manufacturers spend millions of pounds on marketing and advertising their products, these costs are paid for by the consumer, so if you know what to look for you may be able to save a little or maybe even a lot of money by checking the ingredients and nutritional value of the various foods on the shelf.
If your pet has any health issues always ask your vet for advice on what foods to feed, in particular dogs with kidney, thyroid problems and food allergies may need a special diet to keep them healthy.
Dogs are carnivores, the main ingredient in your dog’s food should consist of meat, and many complete dog foods have a high content of corn (corn being the first ingredient on the list), look for foods where the main ingredient first on the list is chicken, beef or lamb. Corn is used to fill out the food to help reduce the price of the food, it is not utilized well by the dog’s digestive system.
A good quality food based on meat may cost more, however you will find that your dog does not need to eat quite so much, will be more healthy which in turn may help reduce expensive visits to the vets. A good diet will also reduce the amount of waste your pet produces and you may find less fur being shed.
I feed my dog a diet based on 3/4 dried food made up with a good quality canned food. Dried food works out much cheaper than canned food and has a higher nutritional value, canned food contains a lot of moisture, always make sure plenty of fresh water is available no matter what you feed your dog, but they will drink more when fed a diet based on dried food.
When checking the foods you are considering, check the ingredient list and make sure the first item listed is meat, for an average healthy dog you want a food with protein level around 30% or a little more, fat content should be around 18% or more, omega fatty acids and vitamin E are also good for your dogs health so look out for these.
A puppy will require a diet with a higher protein level to help them grow, always feed puppies a diet specifically designed for the needs of a puppy.
I feed my German Shepherd once a day, he never ate his morning food and rather than leave out for him to graze on we moved him to an evening only diet, most adult dogs will need to be fed once or twice a day, generally small dogs will require feeding more often than large dogs.
Puppies will need feeding 3 to 4 times a day, consult the breeder and your vet for the best advice.
Feeding any pet is key to good health and well being, whilst you may not always need to buy the most expensive food available, the cheaper ‘budget’ foods are generally high in corn or grain, and as such will not be as healthy as a food with a high meat content.
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