How do you select your dog’s dry food? Would you pick anything off the shelf that has a low price-tag or whatever on sale? Ask the sales guy for their opinion? Well, all these are bad options if you care for your furry friend’s overall well-being.
None of these enables you to pick the right dry dog food that not only provides all the necessary vitamins and minerals but also easily digestible.
Now, how do I know what pet food is right for my pet? Don’t worry, to help you out we’ve curated a mini-guide that includes seven critical things to consider when shopping for commercial dog dry food products.
#1 Tip: Check the Protein & Fat Levels
You can know the minimum protein and fat level which are guaranteed to be present in a particular dry food under the “Guaranteed Analysis” (GA) Section on the label. When you are switching your dog’s food, you must be aware of the protein & fat levels contained in the early food, and how much in the new food.
Make sure the difference is not huge; otherwise, your dog’s stomach won’t be able to take and lead to diarrhea and gastric troubles. If the new food is high on fat and protein levels, then you need to reduce the daily food intake of your pet. The ideal protein level is 15-20% and 10-15% fat for a middle-aged dog.
Today, there are various options for dry foods in the market and some even specialized for dogs with specific health problems. Ultamino by Royal Canin for instance is formulated for dogs with digestive issues. There are other dog food comparable to Ultamino that are specifically made for dogs with specific health conditions. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you must not forget to flip the product and read the label carefully. Some dog foods cannot just be bought off the shelf as they require a vet’s prescription.
#2 Tip: The Best Buy Date
In general, you must pick the freshest pet food in the store. If the canned product is within six or (fewer months) from the best-by date, then talk to the stock manager to know when the fresh stock of the particular pet food will be arriving.
#3 Tip: Dog Food Allergies
Similar to humans, dogs are not sensitive to certain foods. So, you need to avoid feeding such food that can cause distress to your furry mate. Suppose you’ve discovered from your own feeding trials, that your dog reacts badly to specific ingredients. In that case, you must carefully check the label and make sure it doesn’t contain the problematic ingredients.
#4 Tip: Avoid All Wheat-Based Dry Food
Without a second thought, the wheat is the number one antigen in dogs. They are one of the most wheat-gluten sensitive living creatures on planet earth. Most breeds of dogs find it hard to digest wheat.
If you feed your pet all-wheat canned food, apart from suffering from malabsorption, they are most likely to end with the gut condition, and recurring skin & ear. Both of these conditions contribute to arthritis in adult dogs. So, it is highly recommended to opt for a wheat-free dry food or one that contains a very limited amount, not more than 1%.
#5 Tip: Avoid Kibble
You probably have listened to the famous theme song known as “Kibble & Bits,” and many of us like the song. But, when it comes to buying dry dog food for your pet, you simply must avoid the thing called kibble. Why? It is a processed mixture of preservatives, which means your furry friend isn’t getting the right nutrients that are needed for a healthy body. Look for preservative-free dog food; they are very popular nowadays in the market.
#6 Tip: Natural Food Ingredients
You should take care of what’s going into your dog’s tummy., Ideally, go with canned food that is made from all-natural ingredients. If you check the label and come across a bunch of ingredients that you simply can’t pronounce, then it’s a red flag that the particular food is not right for your pet. Also, it is important that you don’t fall in the trap of brands that only market their products to natural ingredients, but actually not.
Brands such as Royal Canin that contain natural ingredients are best to keep your pooch happy & health.
In the end, you can always seek the advice of your dog’s vet; they have better understand your pet’s health to recommend the ingredients to buy or prescribe a couple of food products. If you are new to pet caring, then you can speak to your friend or relative who has a dog master for years, they can help you pick the best dry dog food.
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala / Shutterstock.com