Dogs make wonderful human companions, and can be loyal pets that spend their lives as a member of a human family. However, when trying to choose a dog food, the abundance of choices can be incredibly confusing. There are hundreds of different dog food formulas available on the market today, each of which claims to be the best possible choice for your dog’s overall well-being. Here are some simple guidelines to follow which will help you in choosing the right type of dog food for your dog’s needs.
Perhaps the first thing you need to take into consideration when picking the right type of dog food is your dog’s age (or life stage). Many dog food companies offer different types of dog food formulas which are specifically designed to be fed to dogs that are of a certain age. This is because dogs in different life stages have specialized needs for the amount of protein and fat that they consume. For example, it is generally not recommended to feed an adult dog a puppy food formula, unless they are pregnant or lactating. The reason for this is that puppy food tends to have a higher amount of fat contained in its formula, which is to supplement the specialized needs of a growing puppy. If an adult dog consumes a food formula that is too high in fat, they will usually become overweight. In most cases, there are three different life stages in which you should purchase a specialized type of dog food: Puppy, Adult and Senior.
Though it’s generally recommended to feed your dog the best quality dog food that you can afford, you may have to take the price of a dog food formula into consideration. Most ultra-premium dog food formulas are relatively expensive, and may put a significant dent into your grocery budget. Though it may be tempting to purchase cheaper dog food, don’t forget to factor in the health problems that are often associated with long-term consumption of an inexpensive dog food formula. This can produce additional costs in veterinary bills.
This is common sense, but it is generally recommended that you choose to feed your dog a formula that is easily obtainable in your area. Some dog food formulas are a bit hard to find, even though they may be popular among some dog owners. It’s always best to take the availability of a dog food brand into consideration when picking the right dog food for your dog.
Perhaps one of the more important parts of choosing the right type of dog food is to actually read the ingredients label. The first five listed ingredients on a dog food formula label usually make up the bulk of the food, so take this into consideration. If the first five ingredients are all corn, wheat or soy-based, you may want to choose a different formula. A formula with several different carbohydrate ingredients will probably not provide your dog with the best nutrition.