Pet owners will all agree that having a dog is one of the greatest gifts in life. They become children, part of the family, and give you the love and attention that you crave. Therefore, it is so important to care for your dog’s health, just as you would your own or your child’s health. Nutrition is fundamental to this. Serving your canine, the wrong kind of dog food can cause problems including obesity, allergic reactions, negative responses if they have special needs diets, and more.
There are several factors to take into place when choosing the right dog food, but here are some tips to get your started:
1. Choosing the right food for breed and size
Every breed of dog and size of dog require different nutrition levels to meet their needs. Larger breeds need more of a high protein dog food as compared to little dogs. A Great Dane is going to require different nutrients because of their size as compared to a chihuahua. These are some rules that you can follow to help you decide what is best.
2. Small dogs need more calories
Smaller dogs tend to use a lot of energy, especially when they are young. One thing to take into consideration is the size of the dog food. Make sure the kibble pieces are not too big that they can choke. Like most dogs, they need ample protein and fat for their bodies, but ensuring that their blood sugar levels don’t drop due to lack of calories of grains is important.
3. Large breed dogs
Large breed dogs tend to eat greater quantities of dog food. They also grow very rapidly from pup to full grown canine. Balancing their nutritional needs to ensure that they are getting enough nutrition, but that they are not overeating, is important. Talking to your local vet or pet provider may give you more insight on the amount of food that they need.
4. Choosing food according to age and activity level
Puppies are going to require different nutritional needs than older dogs. Part of this is because they are still growing and require a lot of energy rich foods to keep up with their metabolism.
5. Highly active, younger dogs
Puppies and athletic dogs are just like weightlifters. They need a high protein dog food that also provides enough calories to keep them going through the day. They will burn off energy quickly. There are many gluten free dog foods that are available that will still provide them the energy that they need, without the additional allergies. Ensuring they are getting enough protein for proper muscle and organ development is vital.
6. Older, or less active dogs
As a dog matures, they begin to slow down. Therefore, their nutritional needs are going to change. As a dog gets older, they may develop more health issues, which may require a closer eye on what and how much they are eating. Dogs that suffer from food allergies, diabetes, and other conditions benefit from gluten free dog foods. They do not require a high level of protein that was needed when they were puppies, but still need essential vitamins and minerals.