Dog Food – The Right Choice
What is all the fuss about dog food and what food is best for your beloved pooch? Nadia Crighton tackles the tough questions about the foods we choose to feed our loveable dogs.
Food glorious food! Let’s face it, today more than ever we are completely spoilt for choice when it comes to pet food. With so many impressively designed pet foods to choose from, and specific dog needs it’s no surprise many of us get confused when it comes to what is best for our pets. We’ve come up with some solutions and the types of things to consider when choosing the best food for your dog.
Balance – it’s all about balance!
The key component to a quality dog food is balance. There has to be the correct amount of protein and minerals. Also have a checklist;
- High quality protein content? What is it? What is the percentage? If it reads by-product, then what is that by-product? By-product means a secondary product. Do your research and ask the right questions.
- Artificial colours, preservatives and flavours? Remember if your dog food has some brightly coloured morsels, chances are it’s packed with fake ingredients. Artificial flavours have also been linked to allergies so it is best to avoid these at all costs.
- If your dog food provider is able to boast that they are free from genetically modified ingredients, this is a really good thing. We don’t know what impact GM products have on us, or our beloved dogs.
- Prebiotics? Does your dog food contain any natural occurring prebiotics, these are very beneficial to your dogs overall health and condition.
- Essential omega 3 and 6. This is vital for a good coat and health in your dog
Bad Food – Symptoms
So how do you know if your dog food is not up to scratch? It’s simple really…the proof is in your dog. If your dog shows some of these signs consider a gradual change in their pet food.\
- Poo? Is it large and really smelly? Loose or pellet like?
- Gastrointestinal upsets (gurgling guts) or lots of smelly gas?
- Coat condition? Oily, dry? Patchy, smelly?
- Behaviour? Overly energetic/excited? Lethargic and tired? Some dogs can also become aggressive from too much protein and a poor diet.
Change of Diet?
This has to be a gradual process or you could induce sickness and gastrointestinal upset like diarrhea. Start by adding small amounts of your new food to your dog’s current diet. Slowly increasing the amount until you have eventually changed the food.
It’s a fact that you pay for what you get for. However, many premium dog foods are easily affordable (just make sure you follow the feeding guide so you do not over-feed your dog). The costs of feeding your dog an inferior diet will show in their condition and ultimately their life-span. Look at purchasing premium dog foods direct from the manufacturer or look out for the best deals and loyalty programs.
If you pooch suffers from a specific aliment such as allergies, liver, obesity or even teeth problems they may be prescribed a specific dog food to help with these conditions. It is very important that you always seek veterinary advise before changing your dogs diet as it may cause problems and illness. These pet foods are only available from veterinary clinics with many needing to be specially prescribed for your dog specific issues.