Sometimes, having too many options may not be a good thing. This is especially true for dog owners today, who often face the daunting task of picking the best dog food from a ton of options. One should remember that different dogs have different nutritional requirements. It is important to keep in mind the ingredients used, all preservatives and additives, among other aspects, before ordering the next batch of dog food. Here are five important points to keep in mind before buying dog food.
You must consider your dog’s age, breed, and activity level. Puppies that are only a few weeks old and have just started to eat solid foods require more calories to supplement their daily requirements. However, older dogs that might not be very active will benefit from a low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet. The breed is an important factor to consider — what works best for a labrador may not work for a husky. This is because they both grow up in different environments and living conditions and get accustomed to a certain way of living and eating.
Understand food labels
Labels on dog food can often be confusing. It is advisable to purchase dog foods that are labeled “complete and balanced.” Brands that associate pet foods with this label must follow a strict set of requirements decided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO-certified dog foods have just the right amount of nutrition essential for different breeds and sizes of dogs to maintain a healthy diet.
Source of protein
There are a lot of different types of meat available in the market, and the primary source of protein will determine the type of dog food. Chicken, beef, and salmon are among the popular choices of meat to supplement your dog’s daily protein intake. Check the back of the packaging to confirm the list of ingredients including the ratio of protein to carbohydrates per serving.
Essential oils and fats
One should always prefer dog food that is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Healthy fats provide energy and help improve the food’s taste. A well-balanced ratio of essential vitamins and nutrients per serving will improve your dog’s immune system. Essential oils will help the dogs maintain a shiny, healthy coat.
Source of carbohydrates
Active dogs need the right amount of carbohydrates to maintain high levels of energy throughout the day. Grains are a great source of healthy carbs and are commonly found in different types of dog foods. However, if your furry friend is allergic to common grains, you can consider grain-free alternatives like wheat, barley, corn, oats, rice, beans, and soy.