Best Dog Food For Puppies
The nutritional needs of dogs vary throughout their life. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, and senior dogs have their own nutritional considerations. Most dog food companies carry specially formulated puppy foods for each stage of a dogs life, making it easier to narrow down your choices. If you are concerned about which is the best dog food for your dogs life stage, consult your veterinarian to see what stage food is appropriate for your dog.
Your puppy requires a different nutrient balance than an adult dog. This is especially true for large breeds. Feeding a large breed puppy food can help, as their growth needs to be monitored carefully to prevent bone and joint problems. Other puppies do well on both puppy food and food labeled for all life stages. The best food for your puppy depends on your puppys size and breed. Always consult your veterinarian for recommendations on puppy feeding, and advice on how to switch puppies to adult dog food.
Life Stage Is Important
Many foods state that they are “complete and balanced for all life stages.” This sounds super convenient, but may not be the best for your puppy or your senior dog. Just like humans, dogs have different nutritional requirements at different life stages, so choose food that is designed for that stage. Here is what dogs need at each stage:
PUPPIES need food that supports their growth and should include a single source protein like beef, lamb, turkey, chicken or tuna. It should also contain at least 25% protein. Be aware of portion guidelines – overfeeding puppies causes health problems later.
Canine Journal has an excellent article and chart for feeding puppies of various sizes and breeds at several stages through their first birthday.
ADULTS can be less active than those puppies or just as rambunctious! Generally speaking, adult dogs need less protein and fat. There are a lot of factors associated with feeding portions, including:
- Activity level – clearly the more active your doggo, the more food they will need. Lap doggies need less food.
- Outdoor temperatures – keeping warm or keeping cool burn more calories and energy, leading to a potential need for more food.
- Work load – working dogs burn loads more energy and need more foods with more proteins and carbs for all that energy output.
A tip about senior dogs. The ASPCA has a handy guideline for determining the transition from “adult” to “senior” dog. In general, the bigger the dog, the earlier they age.
What Pet Owners Need To Know About Pet Food Ingredients
Pets are important members of our family. They love us unconditionally and rely on us completely to take care of them the best we can. Some of their needs are straightforward like giving them plenty of playtime. But when it comes to determining the right diet, choosing a dog or cat food has become increasingly more confusing thanks to the many options on the market.
When you go into a pet store it’s overwhelming even for me as a veterinarian, said Dr. Alexia Heldman. Last year alone there were 1,500 new pet foods.
What should you be looking for when choosing the right diet for your pet? In partnership with Tractor Supply Co., here are a few important factors to consider when deciding on a diet including signs that your current formula might not be the right fit for your four-legged friend.
1. Do your research
The internet is a helpful resource to turn to for just about anything but Dr. Heldman cautioned pet owners to be sure that the information theyre gleaning about pet food is coming from a credible source. More reputable pet food manufacturers belong to the American Association Of Feed Control Officials, said Dr. Heldman. Pet owners can visit their website, where the true definition of most ingredients will be listed.
2. Consider a diet with limited ingredients
3. Recognize signs that its time to switch formulas
4. Introduce your pets new diet slowly
5. Keep treats within your pets nutritional guidelines
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Confused About Canned Dog Foods Don’t Know What To Choose Let’s Look At Labels Together And Learn
What should I feed my dog? Its the most common question that I am asked. I wish I had the ability to magically know what combination of ingredients and protein and fat levels are needed to nurture each one of your unique, individual dogs!
Sorry, but nobody but you can answer that question, because only you can determine how your dog responds to different foods. And that is more important than my opinion or your veterinarians opinion or anything else. Your vet, trainer, breeder, or I could give you the names of our very favorite dog-food makers, but there is no guarantee that the products would perform well for your dog.
What does it mean to perform well when it comes to dog food? It means it helps promote a healthy stool , it maintains or improves your dogs skin and coat, and it neither makes your dog fat nor thin. As a bonus, your dog should like the taste and be glad to get it!
Should I Feed My Pet Raw Dog Food Or Raw Cat Food
Both raw dog food and raw cat food can be made up of raw meat, offal, and raw bone, along with other ingredients such as fruit, vegetables, oils, nuts and seeds.
Raw food, especially meat, contains bacteria, parasites and other pathogens that would normally be killed during the cooking process. So feeding raw food brings extra risks to your pet’s health.
There are two types of raw feeding home-made raw diets and commercially prepared ones. The main concern with a home-made option is whether all the right nutrients are provided in the right proportions for healthy bodily function.
Some manufacturers produce frozen and freeze-dried raw cat food and raw dog food with both ‘complete’ and ‘complementary’ varieties. These products help owners to feed their pets a raw diet responsibly.
Professor Daniel Chan, professor of clinical nutrition at the Royal Veterinary College, warns that feeding a raw diet could lead to bacteria spreading around the home, which could have an impact on your health or others in your household. Owners are advised to thoroughly research raw feeding if its something they are considering, consult their vet and then review the options.
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Before You Start Cooking: Homemade Dog Food Needs To Be Balanced
Your homemade meal must contain protein, fiber and carbohydrates. Puppies require about 25 percent protein in their meals, while 18 percent is sufficient for adults. However, protein needs change according to your dogs age and vary according to breed, so check with your vet regarding the right amount for your dog. You might have noticed that commercial dog foods often dont list the percentage of carbohydrates. Thats because the proper percentage of carbs in the dogs diet is still not set in stone by the veterinary community and regulators. If youre making Fidos meals yourself, you have the freedom to purchase the freshest, highest-quality ingredients available. Make sure you weigh your dog frequently to verify he stays a healthy weight. Take your dog to the vet before starting the homemade diet so your vet can determine Fidos ideal weight.
Good News: Most Modern Dog Foods Are Pretty Darn Solid
First things first: Most modern, mainstream dog foods will work perfectly well for the vast majority of dogs.
The most important guidelines to follow are:
- Pick a food that is formulated to meet the AAFCO guidelines for your dogs life stage
- Make your selection in conjunction with your vet
- Select a dog food that addresses any specific health ailments your dog has
If you do all that, your doggo will almost certainly receive adequate nutrition and enjoy a much higher quality of life than he would if he were born a few decades ago or lived outside of the western world.
So, dont stress out about your dogs food.
But, with all that said, some dog foods are likely better choices than others. And wed like to help you select one that is not only acceptable but as close to ideal as is possible.
Were trying to make this really easy on you. Heres how everything works:
Its seriously that simple.
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How To Choose The Best Dog Food
As the sole provider of your dogs nutrition, youll naturally want to give them the best possible food you can find. But how do you choose the right food for your dog? What is the best type? What ingredients should you look for? These are questions that many dog owners have asked, as choosing the best food for your four-legged companion can be stressful.
Most dog foods are in the form of dry kibble or wet canned food. While these may seem unappealing to us, they contain all the nutrients that your pooch needs to thrive, and most of these foods undergo rigorous testing before they are put on the market. There are hundreds of different options available, though, and making the right choice for your pooch involves a fair bit of research. After all, what food is best for your pooch has varying opinions between experts, vets, and food manufacturers. However, this is largely because there is no overall best dog food all dogs have unique requirements according to their age, energy levels, and breed.
The best food for your dog is just that the best food for your dog but how do you know what that is? In this article, we take you through the steps to find the best food for your pooch so they can live a healthy, happy life.
How Much Should I Feed My Dog
Dog obesity is a growing concern in the veterinary community and has been linked to many health problems in dogs. Luckily for our pets, we are usually more disciplined about controlling their diets than we are about controlling our own. Knowing how much to feed your dog and what healthy dog weight looks like can be tricky. Many owners accidentally overfeed their pets, which is why it is important to take your dog in for regular checkups and to talk with your vet about appropriate portions. The guidelines on the back of the bag are just that guidelines. Some dogs may require more than the recommended amount, whereas others require much less. Activity level, time of year, nursing, illness, and more factors can all impact how much a dog needs to eat. Dog people will often advise that you should feed the dog thats in front of you instead of strictly adhering to dog food serving size guidelines that may or may not be exactly what your dog needs.
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Look For A Food Formulated For Your Dogs Age
Dogs have different nutritional needs at different points in their lives, so feeding your dog a healthy food formulated for his lifestage is an important way to make sure hes getting all the nutrients he needs. If youre looking for a healthy puppy food, choose one with high-quality protein to help support growing muscles and DHA, an important nutrient found in mothers milk. And as your dog gets older, you may want to switch to a senior formula, or consider creating a personalized senior dog food. This can help him maintain a healthy weight while also supporting his activity level.
Think About Your Dogs Activity Level
A dog who works or competes is going to burn more calories than a dog whose only exercise is an occasional walk. If your dog is an athlete, he may benefit from a nutrient-dense dog food designed for athletic dogs. On the other hand, if your dog doesnt get much exercise, you may want to consider a dog food for weight management to maintain his ideal body condition.
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No Two Dogs Are The Same
Just because a food meets all your dog’s nutritional needs doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for them. They could be allergic to one or more of the ingredients or develop taste preferences, believe it or not. That means you’ll need to do a little bit of experimenting before you can find the perfect food for your dog.
First, start by picking out some nutritionally balanced foods within your budget. Give your dog a few weeks to get adjusted to the new food and see how they do. If it causes any issues then slowly make the switch over to another dog food. Repeat the process until you find one that works for your dog.
Feed To Your Animals Age And Energy
Most foods are developed for different life stages in animals . Although the ingredients for the food may not change, the nutritional balance has been formulated to help your animal live its healthiest life at that time. For example, senior dog food will include glucosamine for joint health, while a puppy formula is packed with protein to aid in growth.
More active animals will need more food. For extremely active dogs, this can mean selecting a pet food with a higher protein makeup. Keep a close eye on your animals when you change their food to ensure a smooth transition.
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Does The Food Address Any Specific Health Concerns Your Dog Has
In addition to meeting the AAFCOs guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition for the appropriate life stage, your dogs food must address any specific health concerns he has.
Consider the following examples, but there are countless others:
- Dogs with food allergies will need hypoallergenic dog food recipes that are made without the irritating ingredient. Youll likely want to seek out dog foods with limited ingredient diets, which means they are made with as few ingredients as possible to avoid certain allergens.
- Dogs suffering from kidney failure may need a renal-support dog food recipe.
- Overweight dogs may need a weight-management formula.
Its also wise to consider your pets digestive system when selecting a food.
Some pets cant digest high-fiber foods very well. So, youll want to avoid these foods if your dog has a history of stomach issues to keep your pets tummy feeling its best.
You may not pick the perfect food on the first try you may, for example, not know that your pets digestive system will revolt anytime he consumes a food containing cheese.
But, when you do know in advance, be sure to keep these types of things in mind and just be prepared to make a switch if need be.
How Much Should I Feed My Cat Or Dog
Always follow your dog food and cat food manufacturers’ guidelines and, where possible, weigh out food using a set of electronic weighing scales.
Remember, these are intended as a guide and you may need to adjust the amount you feed depending on a number of factors including age, size and level of activity.
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Is The Food Formulated To Meet The Aafco Guidelines For Your Dogs Life Stage
Your pets food must provide the recommended quantities and ratios of vitamins, minerals, and macromolecules for his or her life stage and ultimate size.
To do so, pick a dog food thats designed to provide complete and balanced nutrition.
Generally speaking, youll want to avoid foodsdesigned to be used for intermittent of supplemental feeding.The only exceptions would be cases in which your vet has recommended that you select one formulated in this manner, or you are using it supplementally .
If a food does not feature one of the three phrases listed below, exclude the food from consideration :
1. Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that provides complete and balanced nutrition for .
2. is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for .
3. provides complete and balanced nutrition for and is comparable to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests.
In practice, this criteria isnt hard to meet.
But, there are different AAFCO guidelines that reflect different feeding goals. And this is something you do need to pay attention to.
For example, some foods are designed for maintenance, some are designed for growth and reproduction, and some are designed for all life stages.
Dont worry its really simple:
- Feeding an adult dog whos not pregnant or nursing? You want a food designed for maintenance or all life stages.
Thats all there is to it!
How To Choose The Best Dog Food Treats And Insurance For A Happier Pet Household
Pet owners have a special connectionto their companions, or “fur babies,” and they know that caring for abeloved pet can be as meaningful or important as raising a child. The health ofa pet is of the utmost priority, and getting the best care for them is anecessity.
Dogs are one of the most popular pet choices for many animal lovers, largelybecause they are friendly, social, intelligent, loyal, and loving. While dogsare sturdy animals and dont require too much care, ensuring they get propernutrition is one of their most basic needs. A good diet is critical to any pet’shealth, and many dog owners would be suprized to learn that the right food canmake a huge difference on many health factors, including energy levels,regularity, and weight.
The choice of dog food matters.
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