For a dog owner, choosing the suitable dog food for your pet can be a daunting task. Especially with pet stores and grocery store aisles filled with dozens of brands of dog food. Then, you have to choose between dry or kibble, canned or wet and semi-moist preparation of dog food. There are some important factors to consider before you make your selection.
The first step before choosing the best type of dog food for your pet is in understanding their dietary and nutritive requirements. The daily intake of your dog should meet the energy requirement and provide a balance mix of all the nutrients necessary to its health. To understand your dog better; you need to consider the following: the dog’s age or life stage, breed, size or body condition, activity level and/or health conditions.
Dogs have three stages, in terms of age: puppyhood, adulthood and the geriatric stage. Major dog food companies offer foods for these three stages and generally use the terms, ‘puppy’, ‘adult’ and ‘senior’. In general, puppies and growing dogs burn a lot more calories so they require more quantity of protein and fat-rich food. Protein and fat is also needed to build tissue and fuel growth. Since puppies have small tummies, their food needs to be nutrient-rich so that they get the calories and meet the high caloric and nutritive demand of their fast, growing body. As a dog matures, his growth will slow down and so will his caloric needs.
During its adult life, you will have to take into consideration its breed or size. One important difference is its energy requirement. The exact amount of energy that a dog requires depends mainly on its size and its activity level. Fat provides the most energy although carbohydrates deliver quick bursts of energy as well. It is also very important to moderate or control the growth of big breed dogs since it might cause orthopedic issues if they grow too heavy too fast. To address this, a protective food for joints diet must be considered. Small or toy breeds have higher metabolic rates thus they need more calories per unit of body weight. An energy-packed diet is always best for these types of dogs.
An old or senior dog, have reduced energy requirements. They should be fed according to overall health and level of activity.
Another factor to consider is the activity level of the dog, the more active the he is then the more energy he requires. Moderate exercise is important for all dogs and helps them keep fit and trim throughout their lifetime. If the dog is especially athletic, then you might need to select a product with higher protein and fat content to meet his higher demand for energy. Weather conditions can also affect its energy requirement, as they need more energy during cold weather.
If your dog also has some medical conditions, then you might need to pay extra attention to his diet. If your dog falls under any of the following categories, you might need to consider a low protein diet: dogs with impaired kidney function, dogs with diabetes. Dogs with these underlying conditions might have difficulty in digesting proteins. Low protein diet can also be applied to elderly dogs that might have difficulty in protein digestion as well. On the other hand, lactating females can benefit from a high protein diet so that their body can produce milk of good quality.
When all these factors are properly considered, the dog owner can be more confident in selecting the best suitable food for his dog from among the variety of dog food options.