Are you thinking about which food would be more suitable for your dog? Proper nutrition is a basic necessity in a dog’s life. A proper diet is one of the best ways to keep your puppy healthy.
There are thousands of dog food formulas on the specialty market, so making a choice can be quite difficult. Options on canine nutrition vary among veterinarians, breeders, dog trainers, or puppy owners.
The bottom line is that even the experts don’t always agree on the best type of dog food. In part, this is because there is no single answer.
In the end, you are the one who has to decide what food is best for your dog. You’ll need to consider things like the type of food, the quality of the ingredients, and the cost within your budget. You need to do a lot of research so you can make an informed decision for your dog’s diet.
Educate yourself about nutritional choices
There is a wealth of information about canine nutrition available online. However, use the advice you find online with caution, as not all sources of information are reliable. Some websites are more serious, others, not so much. However, most of the time, your vet is the best source of valid information. If you still have questions about feeding your dog, you may also want to consult a veterinarian who specializes in canine nutrition.
In general, dog food falls into the following categories:
- Holistic/Natural Food
- Diet food, prescribed by the veterinarian
- Premium food
- Cheap food
- Fully cooked food
- Raw food/BARF
Most of the types of dog food sold are usually available as dry or wet food. Some also come in a dehydrated form that you add water to before feeding.
You decide which category best suits your dog, then you need to start researching food companies. Don’t forget to ask your vet for advice too!
Some puppy owners prefer to avoid commercial diets altogether, and cook their dog’s menu at home. The fact that many foods on the market have been withdrawn from sale for various reasons makes some people afraid of commercial dog food, regardless of its quality. However, cooking your dog’s food from scratch requires care, you need to make sure you are giving him a complete and balanced diet.
If you decide to cook them, you again need to inform yourself, learn how to do it correctly. There are very good sites that will help you with this, such as: BalanceIt.com or PetDiets.com.
You may also be interested in: The Best Natural Dog Food
Read the product label
The dog food control associations have developed special nutritional profiles for puppies and adult dogs. These standards are reflected in the label/leaflet of the food.
From there you will also get an idea about the ingredients of the food, but be careful: the labels can also mislead you. Just because they are “recommended by experts”, and praised in attractive advertisements, does not mean that those types of food are the best for your dog.
Choose that type of food produced from meat, with meat being among the first two or three in the list of ingredients on the label.
Avoid foods that are high in chemical preservatives and fillers such as wheat, corn, and soy.
Ask other people about dog food
Once you’ve done your research and generally decided on a food category, ask other people about their opinions on certain food companies or their recipes. Start with the vet. You can also talk to authorized dog breeders, trainers, or groomers, to find out more opinions.
Even the pet store can provide assistance, especially if it is a store that carries high-quality food formulas. People who are self-educated about pets can also give you their recommendations, but remember that not all experts agree when it comes to canine nutrition. The same goes for talking to other pet owners.
Be prepared to receive conflicting advice, then take that information and research it for yourself. Keep in mind that different dogs may react differently to the same food. Use the information you get to further narrow down your options, but remember that opinions aren’t set in stone.
Feed the dog
Most of the time, the puppy itself can help you in your decision. You can buy small amounts of several types of food, give the dog a taste of each, and only then make the final decision (but we insist that you read the food leaflet carefully, because many companies use flavor enhancers and other chemicals to enhance the pleasant taste of that food, at the expense of healthy ingredients).
When you’ve decided what to feed your puppy, don’t suddenly change his food. The transition from one type of food to another is done gradually, adding a little of the new food on top of the old each day for several days.
Once the dog has grown to exclusively eat the new diet, it may take as long as 3-4 weeks before you see a change in the puppy’s condition or attitude. However, if you notice that your pet shows signs of not tolerating the new food, take him to the vet immediately. You may need to change his diet again.
About the dog’s diet, over time
Many experts recommend rotating food types every few months if you feed your dog commercial food. Offering a variety of formulas over time will have a beneficial effect on your dog.
When feeding your puppy home-cooked recipes, you need to use a variety of food types. However, it is always important to cook complete and balanced recipes for dogs.
Feeding the same food all the time can bore your puppy. It is also believed that this can lead to allergies or other diseases. Remember that individual dogs’ needs may differ. As always, ask your vet about choosing the best food for your furry friend.