What dog food should you feed your loyal pet? That depends on a number of things:
The Age of Your Canine
Puppies’ nutritional needs are different from those of adult dogs and senior dogs. Puppy food is designed for growth and reproduction; therefore it has higher levels of protein and essential amino acids like arginine, histidine, isoleucine, and leucine. Adult dogs just need to maintain their weight and health, therefore the fat and protein content is lower than in puppy food. Beware of dog food that is aimed at the senior dog food market. They can be loaded with more fillers like corn and wheat to add bulk to the food; as a result, it will be high carbohydrates with fewer nutrients.
Some pets are allergic to grains and need to have a grain-free diet. Too much, too little or even an imbalance in the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio could cause many pets to have itchy skin problems. This is a very common complaint. Here is a tip: The lower the ratio the better, 7:1 or lower being optimal.
Has your pet been spayed or neutered? Many dogs’ daily activity or active personality many lessen after being spayed or neutered, as a result, a dog’s ability to burn fat is lowered. This is when weight gain may become a problem. Food with lower fat and protein is ideal.
Is she an expectant mother or nursing puppies? A mother dog will need a large amount of protein and calcium in her diet to help maintain energy and to produce nutritionally rich milk for a litter of puppies. Her body will be taking protein from her muscles and calcium from her bone when there are not enough nutrients in her diet. If her calcium levels get too low her life could potentially be in danger, going into seizures called hypocalcemic tetany. When she becomes pregnant, start feeding her puppy food mixing cottage cheese, an excellent way to increase calcium and protein to her diet.
Size of The Dog
Size of the dog is important also. Large dogs will need more calcium and protein to maintain their large bodies of bone and muscle. A small active dog will need more carbohydrates to maintain high energy levels.
Some breeds are hyperactive while others are laid-back. Keep in mind your daily lifestyle with your dog whether its running 10 miles or being your couch potatoes buddy. The more active your furry friend is the more fat and carbohydrates he will need. Some dog breeds do hard work like weight pulling, therefore, they will need more protein in their diet to maintain muscles.
And of course, the budget cannot be overlooked. I’m sure our meat eating carnivores would love steak every night but let’s face it–most of us would go broke doing that, especially if you have a giant dog with the appetite to match!
When it comes to dog food there is a delicate balance between the absolute best dog food money can buy and something we can afford to keep our pets happy and healthy.