Dog food is readily available in many forms in todays commercial market. It is frequently quite difficult to tell which ones are superior to others and why.
First of all, you can't judge by advertising which is the good dog food and bad dog food. Numerous advertisers spend millions of dollars advertising inferior foods. Unfortunately, a fair pointer on quality of dog food is price. Low priced dog food is not always, but most frequently, the lowest quality food on the market.
You need to make certain that the adult dog food you are feeding is 22-25% protein and 15-19% fat. The protein should come from a good quality origin. Some dogs such as puppies, large breeds, and active breeds have different protein and fat requirements. Be certain to discuss this with your veterinarian to guarantee the appropriate dog food for your pet.
In order for you to make an enlightened decision, you must understand which ingredients are better than others. When you look at a food label, the following are the kinds of ingredients that you are looking for:
Human Grade Ingredients Chicken meal, Turkey meal, Fish meal, Rice, Potatoes, Lamb meal, Potatoes, Rice, Sunflower Oil, Vegetables and others. Good dog food's first four ingredients should not be grains, but should consist of items like meat and proteins.
You also want to make sure it says chicken meal and not chicken as the main ingredient. If it says chicken alone, this means that the manufacturers are counting the entire chicken toward protein value. This includes beaks, feathers, and feet. With chicken meal, they are only counting the cooked down version of the protein.
This will confirm that your dog is getting the appropriate kind of protein and not byproducts. Vitamins and fatty acids are also commendable ingredients in dog foods. Some examples include Vitamin E, Omega 3 and 6, etc. These are very significant for a healthy looking skin and coat. Make sure the dog food is not laden with preservatives.
Some of the ingredients that you don't want to see on your dog food label include:
Inferior protein which consists of but not limited to variations of the following: Wheat, Corn, Chicken by-products, Soy, Gluten. These ingredients are hard to digest and can cause health problems later on if used for a protracted period of time. Sugar is another ingredient that you want to stay away from.
You are usually better off purchasing food from a company that spends time and money field testing their products. You can always be sure that companies such as Purina, the Iams Company (which also includes Eukanuba), Royal Canin, Nutro, Diamond, and Hill's Science Diet are constantly testing their dog food to supply the optimum quality ingredients.
These companies offer different grades of food, however, from lower quality to premium quality so make sure that you always read the labels. These are not the only companies by any means who make good quality dog food. The important thing is to read the label, do your analysis, ask questions of your veterinarians and pet professionals and always be informed.
Individuals who work at feed stores are usually a good resource and can help you find good quality dog food. Breeders can also be a good source for finding a quality food for your dog. Dog trainers will also regularly have a good awareness of suitable nutrition.
You should always follow your veterinarian's guidance on food as well. Many times dogs of certain ages or with certain health problems need to be on a prescription diet. While these diets are often not cheap, they do contain the appropriate nutrients that dogs in these categories need. Many times owners will switch to a commercial dog food because of cost or palatability concerns and the dog's health will suffer. Your veterinary staff know what is best for your particular dog.
While it is often confusing, proper dog nutrition is vital to the health and longevity of your dog. By knowing what consists of good quality ingredients and which ingredients to stay away from, you can be certain that you will find the correct dog food for your pet. As always, if you have questions, ask your veterinary staff for more information.