A balanced diet for dogs is one with the six main constituents like protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. With advancement in technology, pet food manufacturers are able to bring out the best dog food that is nutritious, balanced and also tasty. A wide variety of dog food is now available which is specific to the breed and the activity level that differs from dog to dog!
So how does one find the best foods to feed dogs? Four factors have to be considered when choosing dog food. The food must have the label ‘complete and balanced’. Just like any other food industry, pet food manufacturers have to follow certain rules and regulations. The Association of American Feed Control regulates the type of nutrients and the proportions that go into it. The label AAFCO feeding test protocols or AAFCO feeding test certifies that the quality of food was tested with feeding trials.
With all the best nutrients in the dog food, it is equally important that dogs finds it tasty! Just like kid’s food, the healthiest foods are the ones that make them wrinkle their noses. So just start from the dog’s viewpoint and see that the food it likes has all the proper nutrients.
You can figure out the digestibility by examining the stools. If the food is well digested the stools are small and firm. If not, it is loose and large with excessive gas formation. The label can guide you. It should have 75% to 80% dry digestibility.
How much food is food and how much is excess? Breed, age, size and activity of the dog decide the number of calories required. Dogs that are small or very active have a metabolism that may require double the number of calories compared to a large one. Growing puppies need food that is calorie rich while in adulthood the same food may make them gain weight. It is best to check the number of calories the dog needs in a day, and divide it into two portions. One portion in each meal, twice a day will suffice. Dog food is also available in both wet and dry. The premium dry dog food has the best nutrients. Most of them have chicken, rice or corn as its base ingredient. Some dogs don’t care for dry food, in which case some biscuits or a favorite food can be mixed with it to make it appealing. The advantage of dry food is that it can be left in the bowl, letting the dog eat freely whenever he likes to. It can even be moistened with a little, clean water to make it semi dry.
Although premium foods may be slightly more expensive, the quality in terms of nutrition is so high that a smaller amount at feeding time may be enough. The same quantity of a cheap variety may lack the nutrition that dogs require, leading to expensive vet bills.
So when feeding a dog consult the vet for the calories he needs and get premium, dry dog food that may be slightly more expensive and feed him twice a day. Don’t forget a bowl of fresh, clean water and also a small treat to spoil him!
This article is a guest post from Kelly: About the author: Kelly is a blogger by profession. She loves writing about pets and parenting. She is also very fond of dogs! Recently an article on alternative medicine attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article about a baby monitor.