You want your dog to have the best life possible and that starts with their diet. Our Los Angeles vets will go over what you need to know when selecting the best food for your dog.
What Does Your Dog Need in Their Diet
While each dog has their own health requirements in general a dog is not a pure carnivore. Dogs can benefit from some non-meat ingredients for the extra minerals and vitamins, but the bulk of their diet should be meat.
There are vegan options available but if this is something you are interested in consult your veterinarian about it. This dietary plan may not be suitable for your breed of dog.
There are also diets that involve not using commercially produced dog food but feeding them raw meat and vegetables that are human food grade. This takes more work and you should consult your veterinarian if this is an option you wish to explore.
The more common diets involve commercially produced wet or dry dog food. If you are trying to pick a dog food the best thing you can do is to look at the label. Check the label for information on what is in the product. Meat should be a main ingredient.
Checking for an endorsement from the AAFCO is yet another way to determine whether or not it is one of the better choices. It will say something along the lines of the following: "(Name of product) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles." This will be printed on the packaging. The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) will not tell you that it is the best food, but it will guarantee that the products at least meet the minimum requirements for most dogs.
How Old is Your Dog?
The age of your dog affects the nutritional requirements of your dog.
It is important to feed a puppy food that is specifically formulated for them. Although there are some puppies that will be fine with a food label that says it is appropriate "for all stages of life," it is best to consult your veterinarian regarding your particular puppy.
Senior dogs are normally dogs that are 7+ years old. Often less active, their weight needs to be monitored more so does their diet.
How Big is Your Dog?
If your dog is a big breed variety they will need a diet that is rich in nutrients that will help support their large skeleton and muscles.
If your dog is a smaller breed then the choice of food is more often to do with avoiding choking hazards. Small hungry dogs can choke on kibbles made for larger dogs.
It is in your best interest to choose a diet that is designed for the size of your canine companion.
Dry Dog Food vs. Wet Dog Food
Dog owners often wonder whether their pets would benefit more from a dry or wet diet. Sadly, it is not quite as easy as that. It depends on the food itself whether a particular food is considered healthy or not.
The best way to pick is normally asking yourself ‘which one will my dog eat’ . Some dogs are picky while others will eat whatever is in front of them. The second question is lifestyle. Wet food requires refrigeration after opening it. Do you have the facilities to refrigerate the food and will it spoil before your dog actually eats it?