A Guide for Picking the Right Food for Your Dog
A Meal Is Your Dog’s Biggest Paycheck:
A pet is always part of the family, which is why they deserve the best dog food available. Plus, as your dog grows up, their dietary needs may change following their age and activity level. The basis of your dog’s diet should be a high-quality balanced premium commercial dog food that is appropriate for their life stage (puppy, adolescent, adult, pregnant, senior) and health status.
It is not surprising that pet owners are confused about the best food for their pets. There is so much myth and misinformation about pet food that it makes the decision much harder than it used to be.
Choose the right dog food:
Wet or Dry?
- When picking out dog food you’ll have a choice of either wet or dry dog food, in addition to dehydrated food.
- Dry dog food has the advantage over wet dog food of not requiring refrigeration after opening, and it can also be a little less expensive than the wet, canned food varieties.
- Wet and dry dog food both contain similar ingredients, but wet food may contain a higher amount of fresh protein and animal byproducts.
- Dehydrated food can be more expensive, but can also be of higher quality, and is meant to be combined with water for rehydrating into a meal.
- Dry dog food is affordable and convenient to feed,
- Wet dog food tends to contain more meat and fewer fillers, but it’s expensive
- While fresh dog food tends to be more expensive than dry or wet, it can be a good option for pups with digestive or other health issues.
There are many quality options available in these varieties, but some of our recommendations are Blue Buffalo, diamond natural dog treats, Wellness and Nutrish which can both be bought either canned or as dry kibble. As for dehydrated food, a popular option and one that applied for and received a “human grade” rating from the FDA is The Honest Kitchen.
How Do I Pick Out Commercial Dog Food?
- It’s difficult to narrow down exactly what food is best for your dog because of the abundance of choices available to you.
- Dog foods can be formulated for three stages of life, growth stage, adult stage, and senior stage, while other foods will simply be for “all stages of life.”
- After choosing which stage of life food you want to look for, the best way to begin selecting a brand is to compare product labels.
- When reading a product label, the ingredients are listed in order of largest to smallest quantities.
- Be aware of manufacturers hiding the amount of undesirable ingredients by listing them separately and disguising what percent of the food they make up.
- When looking at the product label you’ll want to see a variety of nutritional ingredients.
- Dogs can digest and gain nutrition from fruits, grains, and vegetables in addition to meat, so diamond naturals grain free beef is best option.
- A portion of good dog food i.e. diamond dog food in usa will contain a combination of those ingredients, while the best dog foods will contain the highest quality versions of those ingredients. Ingredients to avoid are corn, cornmeal, soy, wheat as they are harder for dogs to digest.
- To ensure that you’re buying food that contains all of the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs, look on the label for the words “complete and balanced.” This is a term the FDA uses to regulate dog and cat food nutrient profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Research has shown that ingredient lists are the most common way that pet lovers decide on their pets’ food.Unfortunately, the ingredient list is one of the worst ways to select your pets’ food.
While there are some regulations on the format of the ingredient list, it doesn’t tell us anything about the quality of the ingredients or if they’re in the right proportions.
And the ingredient list is often used for marketing (Think those blueberries and artichokes are adding nutritional value to your pet’s food?
Human Grade Natural foods: Shall we give pets the same food that we eat?
- You can also offer some natural foods to provide variety.
- Natural foods include fresh human-grade raw meat (e.g. raw lamb), raw meaty bones, and finely-cut vegetables.
- You should check with your vet first that raw meaty bones are suitable for your particular dog.
- We recommend you choose only human-grade raw meat and raw meaty bones because some raw meat products marketed as pet food (pet meat/pet mince/pet rolls and bone products) contain preservatives to keep them looking fresh, but these can be detrimental to the dog’s health.
- Many pet food safety incidents are linked to sulfite preservative-induced thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency, which can be fatal.
- You should avoid sausages, sausage meat, and cooked manufactured meats as they can also contain sulfite preservatives.
Some will say that the only reason for your dog to eat a raw diet is to eliminate ingredients in commercial foods that cause allergies. If your dog seems to have a food allergy and you’ve tried grain-free, but the irritation has continued, a raw diet could be an option. If you do decide to try a raw diet, do as much research as possible beforehand and consult with your vet or a nutritionist. Diamond pet food distributors will help you in selection.
Going raw will lead to an unbalanced diet as;
- Most homemade (and even some commercial) raw meat diets are extremely deficient in a variety of nutrients.
- This is usually true even if chicken necks, bones, or eggshells are added.
- Deficiencies of calcium and other nutrients can be disastrous in any animal, especially in young, growing pets resulting in fractured bones.
- In addition to the nutritional imbalances of these diets, raw meat products are likely to carry bacteria (like any raw meat products we encounter at home or in restaurants).
- These diets pose a health risk, not only to the individual animal eating them but also to other animals and people in the household.
- It’s hard to fully recommend a raw diet for your dog considering the concerns nutritionists have of creating an unbalanced diet that could be harmful long term.
- Raw meaty bones such as raw lamb ribs (but not lamb chops) and raw lamb flaps provide several important health benefits like keeping teeth and gums healthy.
- Bones must always be given raw (uncooked). Never feed your dog cooked bones as these can splinter, causing potentially fatal internal damage or intestinal obstruction.
- Too many raw bones may lead to constipation. Generally, 1 to 2 raw bones may be offered per week with a few days in between each serving.
- The bone must be large enough so that the dog cannot fit the whole bone in its mouth or swallow the bone whole.
- Avoid large marrow bones (these have very thick outer rims), T-bones, ‘chop’ bones (e.g. lamb cutlets), large knucklebones, and bones sawn lengthwise (as done by some butchers) as dogs may crack their teeth on these.
- You should always supervise your dog when they are eating bones.
Giving Vegan foods –is healthy for my dog or going against nature?
- Most dogs can do quite well on a carefully designed vegan diet that meets all of their nutritional needs.
- The challenge is that designing these diets is not the easiest thing to do.
- While several commercial vegans and vegetarian diets exist on the market for dogs, not all of them are equivalent in quality.
- In general, diets that include eggs or dairy as protein sources are less worrisome than diets based only on plant proteins.
- Home-prepared diets always fare worse as the vast majority of home-cooked meat-based diets dog owners are feeding lack essential nutrients and the vegetarian and vegan ones typically have all the same deficiencies and then some additional ones, such as protein.
Overhyped Organic Pet Foods:
- If you feel strongly about feeding an organic diet to your pet (commercial or home-cooked), your pet doesn’t have special needs that restrict the type of diet you can feed, and you can afford the price difference, do so.
- Just be sure to get your recipe from a board-certified veterinary nutritionist or research the company making the commercial food carefully to be sure you’re not sacrificing nutritional knowledge and quality control just to be fed organically.
- If, on the other hand, your pet needs a special diet or you can’t justify the expense or limited options, don’t worry that your pet is missing out on any health benefits. You can get help of oklahoma diamond dog food suppliers.
- Talk to your veterinarian about the optimal high-quality diet for your pet with conventional ingredients.
- You can be confident that if you give your pet plenty of exercise and enrichment, regular veterinary care, keep them lean, and provide lots of love, you’re providing them with the best of care.
- Don’t believe the hype! There is no reliable evidence that suggests that it is harmful to feed grains as a group to dogs or cats.
- Whole grains, rather than being “fillers”, can contribute valuable nutrients including vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and fiber to diets.
- Some grain products even provide protein that is easier for your pet to digest than some protein from meat.
- Even refined grains such as white rice can be beneficial for health depending on the type of diet and the pet.
- The vast majority of dogs (and cats!) are very efficient (>90%) at digesting and utilizing nutrients from grains in amounts typically found in pet foods.
- One downside of grain-free is that those diets frequently are higher in fat and calories and could lead to weight gain in your dog.
- Going grain-free will also be a more expensive option, so you’ll have to decide if the potential benefits are worth the additional cost.
- If you already have a perfectly happy and healthy dog, then there is likely no need to drastically change their diet to grain-free.
Alligator, wild boar, bison, ostrich, brushtail, and kangaroo in my Meal??
- Diets containing alligator, duck, rabbit, venison, bison, ostrich, brushtail, and kangaroo can now be purchased at a typical pet store.
- These diets are often marketed as being more “natural” for your pet, less likely to cause allergies, or just generally healthier than diets containing less expensive and exotic ingredients such as chicken, pork, or beef.
- Along with these promises typically comes a hefty price tag.do not switch between multiple diets containing different exotic meats.
- They aren’t helping your pet, but they are likely hurting your wallet!
Do not ever feed the following substances as they are toxic to dogs (note this is not a complete list):
- Alcohol, onions, onion powder, garlic, chocolate, coffee or caffeine products, moldy or spoiled foods or compost, avocado, bread dough, yeast dough, grapes, raisins, sultanas (including in Christmas cakes, etc), currants, nuts (including macadamia nuts), fruit stones or ‘pits’ (e.g. mango seeds, apricot stones, avocado stones), mushrooms, and fruit seeds.
- Also, never feed the following as these can be dangerous for dogs: corncobs, green unripe tomatoes, cooked bones, small pieces of raw bone, fatty trimmings/fatty foods, salt, and roughly-cut vegetables.
- Also, ensure your pet dog doesn’t have access to string wrappings around rolled roasts or absorbent pads found under meat when wrapped on trays.
So, what’s the conscientious pet owner to do?
The above information is general advice, but as each dog is an individual, seek veterinary advice, particularly if your dog has any special dietary needs or has a reaction to a standard diet. Your veterinarian can help you select a food that meets your pet’s nutritional needs during different life stages, based on body condition and activity level, and if medical conditions should arise.