A trip to the pet store can be daunting for new dog parents. Some days, the dog food aisle seems to stretch for miles. Among all of the cans and bags, you know the perfect food is somewhere—but where? Luckily, there are ways to narrow down the process.
The Canine Diet
A good dog food attempts to mimic the natural canine diet. Many people believe that dogs eat only meat, but this is not entirely true. Unlike cats, dogs are not strict carnivores. The domestic canine diet consists of primarily meat, but also fruits, vegetables, and grains. These other ingredients contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Your dog may also have specific needs. Puppies, new mothers, and highly-active dogs require more calories than most. Alternatively, older or less active dogs require less calories. This affects not only the type of food you choose but also the amount you feed to them. If your dog has any health concerns, they may require a specific food formulated for their conditions. Talk to your veterinarian if you think your dog needs a more “scientific” diet.
Uncomfortable with Labels?
Every dog food claims to be “the best dog food out there.” Knowing how to properly read a dog food label is an important skill for every dog owner. Always look at the ingredients list. The first two or three ingredients should be meat-based. Avoid dog foods with high amounts of wheat, corn, and soy fillers. Not only are these common allergens, these fillers may contribute to poor health and obesity later down the line. Finally, avoid any food with excessive chemical preservatives.
Try, Try Again
Unfortunately, dogs can be difficult to feed. At one point or another, you will likely choose a food that your dog dislikes. When trying a new food, look out for any adverse symptoms such as excessive licking of the paws or gastrointestinal problems. These symptoms point to a food allergy and may benefit from medical diagnosis. Alternatively, your dog may simply dislike the taste or texture of their food. They may refuse to eat. In either case, you will need to start the process over again.
Claws N Paws Day Spa in Fountain Valley, California provides professional grooming services to both cats and dogs. Right next door, Claws N Paws offers cat boarding in our cats-only facility. For more information or to make an appointment, call us at 714-962-1005.