When you go to your local pet shop or grocery store it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the countless pet food options on the shelves. From wet and dry to organic and grain-free, finding the best food for you pooch can become a bit of a scavenger hunt if you don’t know what to look for specifically.
According to PawNation.com many owners tend to assume that the most expensive food is probably the best. However, veterinarian Joseph Wakshlag at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine said this is not always the case and therefore shouldn’t be a guideline when choosing foods. Instead, Wakshlag suggests owners get to know what makes a quality dog food in order to select the best option for their pet.
All dog foods on the market must meet the standards set up by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The specifications cover protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that must be found in the food in order to help dogs stay healthy by eating the products.
To find a food that fits your dog’s lifestyle, first look to make sure the kibble you’re looking at is approved by AAFCO. Then, it’s best to look for the right life stage for your pooch. Many companies create specific options that cater to the needs of dogs of all ages – from puppy, to adult, to active and senior. Some companies create a balanced option that works for all ages, such as Canidae All Life Stage Formula Dry Dog Food, which provides the right nutrients at each step of your dog’s life. As your canine ages, you may want to add in a supplement like Cosequin for Dogs or Glyco Flex for Dogs to ensure it gets joint support it needs to keep active and healthy.
Aside from the nutrients and the stage that’s right for your dog, you may also be wondering if dry or wet food is best. According to the source, this simply depends on the dog’s preference. If your dog isn’t eating its dry kibble, switching to a wet option may get it to eat more regularly – without losing any vital nutrients. Dogs that are prone to urinary tract problems may benefit from canned food like Merrick Canned Dog Food as the added moisture can keep issues at bay.
Whenever you switch to a new dog food – whether wet or dry – make sure to keep your dog on the new option for at least six weeks to see how its body handles the change. If you notice changes like a shiny coat or a boost in its activity levels, then the food is probably working. However, if it develops diarrhea or if its skin or coat looks dull, you may want to try a different option.