Taking care of a dog can encourage you to exercise more often and socialize better with other people. Having one at home can also teach you valuable life lessons, such as compassion, patience, responsibility, respect, and trust. The benefits of pet ownership can ward off stress and gradually improve the quality of your life, but being one isn’t all fun and games.
As a dog owner, you will be fully responsible for the health of your furry friend. The behavior, energy, and lifespan of your dog depend on the food you give them, which is why you should be careful in choosing. The market is saturated with countless dog foods today, but picking one that doesn’t suit your dog’s needs can eventually take a toll on their health.
Give your pet pooch the best life by paying attention to the following factors before choosing meals for them:
1. Age, Breed, And Lifestyle Of Your Dog
You can easily find dog food Canada and other reputable local brands in the market today. In fact, if you’re going out to buy dog food, expect that you’ll see yourself overwhelmed because of having too many options.
For you to easily narrow down your options, think about the age, breed, and lifestyle of your dog. All of these factors are essential for you to end up with meals that are suitable for the nutritional requirements of your dog’s body. For example, since a French Bulldog is a small breed, expect that they will need different types of food from a Pointer.
Depending on the age, your dog’s meals should contain the following nutrients:
- Puppies (two years old and below): Since they are still growing and developing, puppies need a lot of calcium, fat, and protein in their bodies. Digestible carbohydrates are also a must to ensure that they remain energetic and playful.
- Adult dogs (three – six years old): Adult dogs require foods that contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and water to ensure that their bodies continue to function.
- Senior dogs (seven years old and older): Senior dogs can greatly benefit from eating foods with fewer calories and less fat. It’s also best to feed senior dogs with foods that have L-carnitine and amino acids.
2. Appropriateness And Quality Of Ingredients
While there are ingredients that are necessary for specific stages of a dog’s life, there are also ingredients that their body requires throughout their lives. Regardless of your dog’s age, breed, and size, these ingredients should be present in the food you give them to ensure that they remain happy and healthy.
When choosing meals for your furry friend, it’s important to read the label and make sure that it contains the following:
- Animal protein: All dogs need animal protein as this can boost their immune system and keep them healthy long-term. Animal protein is usually found in dog foods that contain dried chicken.
- Animal fat: For your dog to look good, only provide foods that contain animal fat as this can improve the condition of their skin and coat. Animal fat is also essential for a healthy brain.
- Omega 6 and 3: Feeding your dog with foods that have omega 6 and 3 is essential as these nutrients are responsible for your dog’s brain development and immune function.
3. Track Record Of The Brand
As mentioned, the market is saturated with several brands that sell different kinds of dog foods today. You can even buy any of these products from several online and offline stores in your area.
For you to know whether the dog food you’re eyeing to give to your best friend is indeed safe and healthy for them, check the track record of the brand or maker of the dog food. It’s important to know more about the brand you’re planning to buy from, so you’ll have peace of mind, knowing that what you’re feeding your dog is, indeed, safe and healthy.
Visit the website of the brand and look into other online platforms as well. Does the brand have positive reviews from their clients? Or, are their social pages bombarded with complaints? If it’s the latter, it’s best if you look for other options. You should also do the same once you’ve known that the brand has been involved in legal battles with unsatisfied customers in the past.
4. Accessibility Of The Product
Consistency is key for you to see results from your dog’s meal plan. Regardless of how expensive or age-appropriate the food is, if it’s only given for a limited period, don’t expect that your dog’s health will improve.
Another factor to consider when choosing a meal for your dog is the accessibility of the product. Make sure that the product can be purchased locally, or the brand covers delivery to your area. You can also consider buying in bulk to ensure that you’ll have plenty of supplies and even score discounts from the manufacturer!
5. The Yum Factor
Your dog will consume the food you chose for them, so don’t forget to consider their verdict. How your dog likes or dislikes their meals is essential because they won’t be able to maximize the nutrients and minerals from these food choices if they don’t even love to eat them in the first place. A dog that doesn’t like what their owner feeds them will usually leave their food bowls untouched, and can become the reason why they’ll get sick.
When introducing new foods to your dog, do it gradually. You’ll see yourself going through a trial and error process, so make sure to extend your patience. Give your dog time to adjust to their meals (around seven to ten days is enough), and decide from there whether to continue their meals or look for other options.
This phase will require a lot of time and effort from you, but you’ll be motivated to continue since all of these are for your pet’s wellbeing.
Talk To A Vet
Before you give any food to your dog, spend some time to visit your local vet first. Let them know about the meals you’re planning to give to your dog and be open to their recommendations. With their help, it’ll be very easy for you to come up with a meal plan that can make your dog healthier and live longer!