The Food Your Dog Needs
Unfortunately, in regards to proper dog pet care, many dog owners aren’t very well-educated about the nutritional needs of dogs. Most dog owners simply purchase a mid-price range dog food formula, and assume that they are giving their dog the best nutrition that they can afford. Actually, the nutritional needs of a dog are actually a bit complicated, and are definitely worth researching for any responsible dog owner. A dog’s nutritional needs are subject to many different studies, debates and controversial viewpoints. There are hundreds of different dog food formulas available for purchase, all of which claim to be a superior source of nutrition for your dog. However, there are a few key points that are worth remembering about your dog’s nutrition.
Dogs are carnivorous animals, and as such, require quite a bit of protein. Dogs in the wild have a diet consisting primarily of hunted herbivores. As such, a wild dog will get their protein, as well as ingest some of the nutrients provided to a herbivore from a diet of grasses and vegetables. Domesticated dogs may not be as active as wild dogs, but they still do require a lot of protein. Protein should be the foundation of a dog’s diet, and it is recommended that your dog consume roughly a 28-40% protein ratio in their dog food formula. In addition to this, you also have to take into account something called “protein quality”. Each protein is slightly different, and contains different levels of amino acids. The ability of these amino acids to be extracted from the protein is largely determined by the quality of the protein. Better quality proteins will contain higher levels of usable amino acids, while low-quality proteins will not be able to be broken down efficiently by a dog’s digestive system.
Though most people view fat as being a bad part of a dog’s diet, it is actually a nutritional requirement for a dog’s overall good health. Most dogs need no more than 20% fat, but this is different for every dog. For less active dogs, it is recommended that the fat percentage be around 9%. For a performance dog, 20% is usually best. If your dog is lactating, it is recommended that your dog be fed about 17% fat. If you are trying to help your dog lose weight, or if your dog has a significant weight problem, you definitely want a diet that is low in fat, and slightly lower in protein as well (though protein is important for a dog’s diet, it can be converted to fat if consumed in excess).
The carbohydrate content of your dog’s food can actually pose a significant problem if you are not careful. Excess carbohydrates can cause many different health problems in a dog, especially if they make up the majority of a dog’s diet. When looking at pet care, some inexpensive dog food formulas contain up to 70% carbohydrates, while a dog’s carbohydrate needs are actually less than 30%. Though dogs do require some carbohydrates, this is more focused on a dog’s fiber needs. Dogs do not actually have a fiber requirement, though a small amount of fiber has been said to contribute to a dog’s overall colon health.
Dog Food Overview
In general, it’s possible to figure out the quality of a dog food formula simply by reading its ingredients. For most dry dog food, reading the first five ingredients will give you a better understanding of the formula. This is also true of canned dog food formulas, though canned dog food has a higher water content. At least two of the first five ingredients should be based off of a high quality protein source. Avoid any dog food formulas that include corn in their first five ingredients. Corn can cause digestive upset in many dogs, as you may be able to tell from dog food reviews of some low quality formulas. Corn is often used as a filler ingredient, in order to cut the cost of manufacturing a dog food formula.
Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food is generally more popular than canned dog food, so it is a bit easier to find dry dog food reviews. Dry dog food is generally well received due to its ability to keep a dog’s teeth clean, as well as promote healthy growth of jaw muscles during early development. However, since dry dog food needs to maintain a “kibble” shape, it sometimes contains more carbohydrates than your dog’s digestive system can handle. Be wary of any dry dog food reviews that cite a formula as being full of starchy ingredients, or causing indigestion in dogs.
Canned Dog Food
Since canned dog food formulas are more expensive, they tend to be less popular than dry dog food formulas. However, they are also sometimes much higher in nutritional value, since they don’t need to add filler ingredients in order to maintain their shape. To find canned dog food reviews, you can do a quick search on the internet for the specific formula that you’re looking for. Try to obtain dog food reviews from several different sites, and not only from sites that are directly selling the product.
Grain Free Dog Food
Many dog owners aren’t familiar with the concept of grain-free dog food. Due to the increase in dogs developing diabetes and other disorders, some dog food companies have decided to produce formulas that are completely free of all grains. Most grain free dog food formulas are subject to positive dog food reviews, due to the higher nutritional content and lower amount of filler ingredients. However, switching your dog to a grain-free dog food formula can result in digestive issues at first, if the switch is not done gradually. This is why it’s important that some of the digestive problems that are present in grain-free dog food reviews may be due to a sudden change to the formula.
Dog Food Reviews
So, which dog food should you buy? We have reviewed several dog foods and you can find those on our site. But of course there are many to choose from.
When reading dog food reviews by members of the public, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First, people are much more inclined to get on their computer and knock out a quick angry review of a product if they have had a bad experience. People often write reviews to get something off their chest. They reckon for every bad review there 100’s of happy people. But if review after review of a particular product is bad then it might be more than just an isolated case or a grumpy individual.
Watch out for reviews that don’t state a particular reason for giving a dog food formula a low rating. By contrast, be wary of positive dog food reviews that are suspicious. Sometimes, a dog food company will hire people to write fake positive reviews, in order to artificially boost their rating on a specific site. This is the main reason why it’s extremely important to thoroughly research a dog food formula before deciding if it’s the right type of food for your dog.