Buying Food for Your Dog

We’re bombarded with brand names and specialty foods. Low fat, active, young, senior dog, sensitive stomach, organic, middle-aged, big, small, and tons of other labels stare at us as we walk down the dog food aisles. You may have a brand and type that your dog loves to eat but if you don’t and want to upgrade or just switch brands, talk to your vet but also, keep the following tips in mind.

  1. Don’t shop based on your tastes – Just because you’re on a no starchy vegetable diet doesn’t mean your dog is too. Corn, wheat, and other ingredients are ok for your dog and may even help with maintaining your dog’s weight.
  2. Know the words – Certain words may not be as important as you think. Premium might just be the same food as “regular” but maybe has a little more protein. Natural generally means no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives but that doesn’t always mean the quality is great.
  3. Water content – Water is present in dry and canned food. The percentages vary and meat mostly is water, not mostly protein. The levels of nutrients are usually lower in percentage on canned food due to the water added but often are higher than the levels in dry food. You can do a little math to figure out what works best for your dog.

Give up? It’s definitely confusing. Talk to your vet and if you want to have more control over the contents of your dog’s food, discuss the details of cooking for your dog or moving to a raw food diet.

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