Top Tips on Choosing a Dog Food
This resource is meant as a guide to help you choose a dog food for your canine companion.
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What is the best food to feed my dog?
- Did you know? Dogs are omnivores, which means they can thrive on a specially balanced vegetarian or even vegan dog food.
- Visit your vet and learn what food your dog needs based on its age, activity level, and physical condition. The amount of fat, protein, carbohydrates and total calories your pet needs will influence what pet food you should buy.
- Check for an expiry date and that the packaging is undamaged before you buy. Refrigerated food should be cold and frozen food should be solid.
- Check food packaging for an AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement. Is it complete and balanced for your dog’s stage of life? The AAFCO approved dog food does not have a required nutrient profile specific to large breed puppies yet nutrition is a key factor for reducing the risk of developmental orthopedic disease (DOD) in large breeds. Excessive calories and rapid growth, excessive calcium intake, and unbalanced diets all increase the risk of DOD in young, large breed dogs. Large breed puppies should be fed a food designed for large breeds until at least 12-18 months of age. The food should contain at least 30% protein and 9% fat (dry matter basis). The calcium content should be around 1.5% (or 3 grams/1,000 kcal).
- Wondering what to look for in dog food ingredients? Don’t judge each ingredient on the package to determine the quality of a food. The combined nutritional value of all of the pet food ingredients is what creates a balanced meal for your dog. Instead, contact the manufacturer to learn more about the quality of their ingredients, where their products are made, and more information. The WSAVA has a complete list of suggested questions. Follow the link: https://www.wsava.org/WSAVA/media/Arpita-and-Emma-editorial/Selecting-the-Best-Food-for-your-Pet.pdf
- The real judge of a pet food is your dog! Try a food for two months and see how it responds. Their body condition, skin, coat, and overall vitality should all be good.
Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.