- Reading labels is important
Labels are crucial for understanding what is in your dog’s food. It is important to know that the nutrition that the food offers is based on the amounts recommended for your dog’s weight. The best quality of dog foods is categorized as “Performance ” food, followed by “Super Premium 1”, “Premium” and “Economical”.
- Your dog needs protein
Dogs need protein in their diet and the more expensive foods will obtain this protein from meat. The meat may come from several different sources. Animal protein is typically far better than foods that rely on grain as a source of protein. A deficiency in protein can cause a long list of ailments in your dog
- There are different types of food for dogs of different ages
Dogs require nearly twice the amount of food when they are young as they do after they reach adulthood. There are different types of dog food that are designed to provide your dog with the ingredients that it needs in different stages of its life. It is important to match your dog’s food with its age.
- Your dog needs carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are required by your dog in order for its normal body functions to occur but a low carbohydrate diet is usually better than a diet with a lot of carbs. Many of the carbohydrates in dog food lack nutritional quality due to the process that is required for your dog to digest them. A diet high in protein is preferred over one that is high in carbohydrates.
- Your dog needs fats
Fats, both saturated and polyunsaturated, are a required ingredient in your dog’s diet. Often fat is added to the dog food after the food is produced. A lack of fat in your dog’s diet can result in major health issues in the animal. Ideally, your dog food should contain both animal and vegetable oils.
- Dog food may contain chemicals that are bad for your dog
Dog food manufacturers use chemicals in order to prevent the fat in the food from spoiling. While some foods will use a natural preservative, such as Vitamin C and E, this shortens the shelf life of the food and requires that it be stored in a cool, dark location.
- You may need to add vitamins to your dog’s food
Your dog needs vitamins as well as nutrients but many of the vitamins that are included in dog food are destroyed by the heating process that is required to manufacture the dog food. Dogs should be getting Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and Vitamin B-Complex. Because the vitamins are often destroyed in the making of the food, you should consider adding vitamins to your dog’s diet outside of its normal meals.
- You may need to add minerals
Just like the vitamins, most minerals in your dog’s food are destroyed by the manufacturing process and the heat that is required to make it. You should consider adding additional minerals to your dog’s diet. Your dog needs minerals to build strong and healthy bones and to form body fluids.
- There are strict regulations about dog food labels
Dog food labels are carefully regulated and there is a specific format that each must use. The items are listed in the order of weight, or amount, with the largest weights being listed first. Claims on dog food labels such as “meets 100% of your dog’s dietary requirements” are also regulated.
- Don’t forget about the water
Your dog needs access to fresh water. This is one of the crucial ingredients that your dog needs on a daily basis. Just like humans, dogs can live for a few weeks without food, but only for a few days without water. The kind of food you give to your dog will determine the amount of water your dog needs.