Few experiences in life are more satisfying than bringing a new dog into your home and you may require a few tips on choosing a healthy dog food. If you are like most dog owners, however, you want to choose a nutritious dog food brand. The following are some tips that may help simplify the selection process:
Selecting a brand that is high in protein is a good place to start. Unlike humans, dogs get most of their nutritional needs from protein, rather than the grains and other carbohydrates we humans consume. For this reason, you should always try to select a high- protein brand. However, it is wise to avoid formulas that place “crude protein” at the top of the ingredients list, as some substances in this category are not even food!
Commercial pet foods are highly popular, as they are cost-effective and convenient. Unfortunately, many commercial brands are worse than what we humans refer to as junk food. Premium dog foods on the other hand have higher-quality protein sources, no dyes or fillers, and are often fortified with extra vitamins. Therefore, premium brands are a relatively safe choice for most dog owners.
When choosing a commercial pet food there are key ingredients that you may want to avoid as some of these are less than beneficial to your dog and can actually cause problems. One of the most common ingredients in many commercial brands of dog food is corn. The reason for this is that corn is an inexpensive filler however it provides little if any actual benefits to your dogs diet. Corn is very difficult if not impossible to completely digest. Large amounts of corn over time can actually cause serious digestive problems for your dog. For this reason it is important to look for dog food brands that use more of other more beneficial ingredients in their production. Brands that use more grains for example would be a much more beneficial choice and much healthier for your dog as well.
It is also important to select a dog food brand based on your dog’s breed. For example, highly active canines require a diet that supports their energy level. Similarly, breeds that have a tendency to overeat will benefit best from low-calorie formulas. Breeds that are vulnerable to certain physical ailments may require special meals. If the latter is the case, you should discuss your choice with your pet’s veterinarian. Homemade pet meals are also an option. These typically include meaty soups, healthy stews, vegetables and occasional raw meat. As long as the foods are fresh and contain high amounts of protein, choices in this category are primarily up to you.
One of the most important aspects of creating homemade meals for your pet is to know which human foods are not safe for your dog to eat. Three common vegetables that are very high on this list include garlic, avocado and onions. Avocado contains minerals that are actually poisonous to your dog and can cause serious health issues and possibly even death. Garlic is toxic to dogs so it should never be used for seasoning or any other reason. This common seasoning is toxic to dogs even after it has been cooked. Onions are also toxic to dogs although it does lose some of its toxicity after being cooked. Even with this however onions should never be used in the preparation of a dogs meals. Other foods that are also not safe for dogs to eat include raisins, grapes and chocolate. When preparing homemade meals for your pet you should also avoid excessive amounts of fat as well as any kind of meat that contains bones.
It is not surprising that the kind of dog food you give your pet is an essential decision that will influence his or her life. Feeding your dogs the best food for their individual needs is one way to help ensure that your furry friends live happy, healthy lives. Educating yourself about the best options in choosing the diet for your pet is one of the best ways that you can ensure your pet will remain healthy and get all the nutrients that he needs. Sometimes this may be a time consuming and frustrating process however it is well worth the time you will spend to keep your pet in good health.