If you’re looking for the right type of food for a new dog, or if you’re thinking of upgrading your dog to something new, it’s important to take the time to look for the best food to suit their needs.
Read through this article to learn more about choosing the best dog food. With the help of this information, you can make sure you’re feeding your dog the highest quality option that will work best for them in terms of their overall health and wellbeing. Feel free to call Arbor Pet Hospital at (954) 565-1896 for more advice.
Look at Regulations and Certifications
There are a lot of regulations in the United States that focus on dog food (as well as food for other types of pets). These are mostly headed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, although some of them may come from other sources as well.
It’s important to read up on this and other organizations that focus on the quality of dog food. This way, you can better understand which groups are regulating the food your dog eats and what standards they hold that food to.
From there, you can look for the AAFCO’s label on the dog food you’re thinking of purchasing. You can also look up the dog food with the AAFCO to figure out whether or not it meets their standards. Ideally, you can even find one that greatly exceeds their standards.
By paying attention to these regulations and the groups that provide them, you can learn more about what makes a dog food high quality and which ingredients you should focus on when purchasing food for your dog. Look for AAFCO on the label to get started.
Look at Ingredients
Next, you should take a look at the ingredients list for any dog foods you’re thinking of buying. Dogs need both meat and vegetables in their diets, so you should stay far away from any food that is only comprised of meat or, conversely, only made up of vegetables. Ideally, your dog needs a little of both for their health.
Despite this, meat products should still be the first ingredient listed on any quality dog food. This means that the food is made up mostly of meat with other ingredients that add bulk to the rest of it. Your dog will be getting plenty of protein this way.
The second and third ingredients should ideally also be meat, although there are some high-quality dog foods that only include meat as the first two ingredients. Check the rest of the list if you notice this so you can determine whether or not the rest of the dog food is good quality.
Stay away from dog foods that have a lot of corn or wheat in them. A little bit is usually fine, but there shouldn’t be very much. On the other hand, stay away from grain-free dog foods that use peas as a substitute for grain, as these have been linked to heart disease.
Think About Your Dog’s Specifics
Finally, think about your individual dog’s specific needs. Are they a puppy? Are they a senior? Are they a healthy adult, or do they have underlying health problems? Are they overweight, or could they stand to gain a couple of pounds?
All of these questions can help guide you toward the right formula and blend for your dog. This can be a great place to get started when choosing dog food, but there’s even more you’ll need to think about as you narrow down the many options out there.
For example, you’ll also need to think about your dog’s breed. Are they large? Extra-large? Super small? Somewhere in the middle? These features will help you choose not only the formula you feed them but also the size of the kibble they eat.
Finally, you’ll want to think about your dog’s food allergies or intolerances, if they have any, as well as their food preferences. If they are allergic to chicken, if they hate the taste of fish, or if they are intolerant of foods that contain multiple types of protein sources in one, all of these can help you decide.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re looking for the best dog food, and it can take some time to figure out the right choice for your pet. However, when you take the time to check out each dog food carefully, you can ensure you’re giving your dog the best quality food with the right ingredients for their needs.
If you have any further questions or concerns about your dog’s food, talk to your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to give you specific information about your dog’s individual health needs and can recommend the right type of food for their age, size, breed, and more. Call us today at (954) 565-1896.