Dogs are our best friends. About 64 million Americans keep dogs as their pet. However, not many know the correct food for their dog. This dog food guide has been crafted for all dog lovers.
Unlike our human friends, they cannot tell us about what type of food they like or need. Healthy food is crucial for our canine friends, but as there is a lot of food available in the market for Dogs, it becomes challenging to opt for the best among all accessible food for them.
Dog food guide
There are some factors that influence the type of dog food. For example, breed, age, level of activities, sensitivities, or allergies are directly related to your dog’s food. So, to make the best decision for the food of your Dog, let’s plunge into the world of dog food guide so we can disintegrate the food available in easily comprehensible ways.
Dog Food Nutrition
Dogs have endured in the nutritional resemblance of humans. This is so because both Dogs and Humans are omnivores. There are three chief nutrients that an omnivore’s food must contain, i.e. Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Your Dog’s health is dependent upon the availability of these three nutrients in a balanced way. Now we will follow through them step by step and figure out the reason for their importance.
Fat for Dogs
The fundamental fountain head of your Dog’s food is Fat. When we equate it (Fat) with proteins and carbohydrates, it is twice the connected onset of energy. Nevertheless, this core nutrient is not only essential for energy, but is also significant for the growth and protection of the muscles, tissues, and cells of your Dog.
The manner of life in which a dog live has a large effect on the quantity of Fat it needs. Higher quantity fat is required for active dogs as they can easily absorb and expend the energy.
As compared to it, a lower quantity of Fat is needed for less active dogs. In the case of over intake of fats, dogs may suffer from over nutritional problems, i.e. obesity or weight gain, which ultimately makes them ill.
In order to provide your Dog, the best Fat is given to them Animal or fish fat. Animal Fat is one of the natural geneses of Fat for them. It (Animal Fat) is prepared in such a way that their digestive system is intended to hammer out.
Fish fats are also best known for their unmatchable characteristics. The fish fats obtained from fish contain Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that primarily improve health to thinking abilities, healthier skin and coat, and lesser chance of heart disease to name some.
Protein for Dogs
The prime ingredient in Dog food is protein. Dogs need them as these (Proteins) are essential for the development, cure, and protection of their body, cells, and tissues. Proteins are also necessary for the defence activities of the immune system of Dogs.
Activities of a dog largely dependent on the number of proteins it required. So, the proteins are directly linked with a Dog’s performance. If the dog is more active, it will need a large number of proteins to maintain its body and to be healthy than the less active Dog.
For an inactive dog, it is vice versa. As it (inactive Dog) has a minimal cure and preserving abilities, so it needs a low quantity of proteins.
However, it is pertinent to mention that oversupply of protein can be transformed into calories after burning directly, or we can say that it changes into Fat. Anyhow, through the system of excretion, i.e. Urine, a large quantity of protein is likely to waste.
Carbohydrates for dogs
As far as the carbohydrates are concerned in the Dog’s food, they are not much needed, but it doesn’t mean that they (carbohydrates) have negative adding. They are also crucial for Dog’s health as they are a source of fiber.
The taming of dogs from wolves made them able to absorb a large amount of vegetative material in the absence of meat and fish. This taming adjustment allowed them to digest carbohydrates effectively.
To give carbohydrates to the Dogs, it is recommended that they feed them with high-quantity ingredients. For this very reason, whole vegetables and some grains like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, chickpeas are oatmeal is best. In addition to this, grain-free dog food which is used for legumes can also be used for this, and that comprises peas, chickpeas, and Lentils.
However, grain or legume flours, for example, Pea flour, Rhe Flour, or starches like potato starch are by-products of carbohydrates processed ingredients. These by-products are known as lower quality carbohydrates.
Nevertheless, some low-cost dog food brands use a large number of carbohydrates during the preparation of Dog’s food. This is because carbohydrates are economical, Plentiful, and easily available and they (carbohydrates) can store dog food for a long period.
Percentage of fats, protein, and carbohydrates
Over the last some decades, there is a significant advancement in the Dog’s food market. So, you must take care in the selection of the food for your dogs. All dog food brands in North America and Europe have evaluations with surety which can be seen on their packets. You can exploit these evaluations in order to know the nutritional value of these dog foods. Some of the core points that you should keep in your mind when buying food for your Dog is mentioned below:
- Fibre (Max)%
- Moister (Max)%
- Protein (Min)%
- Fat (Min)%
However, to add to this information, some brands also provide the data of vitamins and minerals available in the food. These specimens contain the following:
- Calcium (Min)%
- Omega 3 fatty acids (Min)%
- Omega 6 fatty acids (Min)%
- Phosphorus (Min)%
Must keep in mind that the amount of these ingredients is present in a mixture of Maximum and Minimum Percentages. As far as the number of fats and Protein is concerned, you should note that the Dog food mixture must comprise these two ingredients. At the same time, as the manufacturers are bound to mention the exact quantity, there are chances that Dog food formula ignoring the variant may contain more of these.
It means the quantities of Fiber and moisture can vary from the actual amount present, as they are sometimes labelled as maximum whereas they are minimum in fact. Regardless of this, these minimum quantities are supposed to very near to reality as minimizing any of these is not beneficial in terms of finance also.
Dog food packets allow you to check the ingredients and their quantity along with quality. You can find and locate the baleful contents present in your Dog’s food. This checklist contains the categorization of the ingredients in descending order, i.e. the component which is present in high quantity should be on top of the list and so you can find at the bottom the ingredient which is least in quantity.
Always follow the specific dog feeding instructions mentioned on the food packaging.
The following chart shows the dog food guide by weight.
Types of dog food
Dog food guide can’t be completed without discussing the dog food types.
In modern days, there is a wide variety of dog food available in the market. You can find a lot of high-quality food for your Dog in any supermarket, grocery store, an independent or commercial pet store. There is ample dog food available, you can select it according to your Dog. Among all, three are commonly used dog food. They are listed below.
Dry Dog food
It is the most commonly used Dog food and can be available in the market by the name of Kibble. The benefit of this dry dog food is, it can be stored for a long time and can be found in a lot of flavours and kinds. It is used to give your Dog a balanced diet without the use of any kind of supplements.
Contradict to it, the processed ingredients or additives make this dry dog food harmful to the dogs. However, if you use high-quality dry food, it reduces the chance for the usage of the least quality ingredients during its production.
Canned/wet dog food
The canned dog food contains a higher amount of moisture than Dry Dog food and usually available in cans. Same as dry dog food, wet dog food is prepared to provide complete nutrition to your Dog. By using this also, your Dog doesn’t need any kind of supplementary food.
One of the advantages of using canned wet dog food is that it contains less quantity of additives, fillers, or processed ingredients. So, in order to confirm this, you can check the packing as well.
Veterinary diet dog food
The veterinary diets are given to the dogs when they are suffering from various health issues. These diets can only be recommended by your vet. You should check the stools to find out if your dog is unhealthy.
Raw dog food
A raw dog food diet typically consists of Muscle meat, often still on the bone. Bones, either whole or ground. Organ meats such as livers and kidneys. Raw eggs.
Raw dog food can be added to other diets to enhance nutrition.
In order to grow your puppy to a healthy and mature dog, you must keep in mind that there is a difference between the diet of an adult dog and a puppy. So, provide your puppy with the food which is beneficial to it.
A balanced diet for a puppy comprises an equal amount of phosphorus and calcium and a large number of proteins. This is suitable for all puppies. Furthermore, dry and wet puppy food share many characteristics of adult dog food. However, for puppies, they are available in a smaller size than dog food. This is for the sake of palpable consumption.
Ingredients of Dog Food
When we consider the dog food guidelines, ingredients of dog food should not be missed.
Classification of dog food with respect to high and low quality is not an easy task. This always remains a contentious debate among manufacturers as to what type of food is best for dogs.
Here is the list of high- and low-quality ingredients. To add to these, some of the deleterious ingredients are also mentioned below:
|High quality ingredients||Low quality ingredients||Deleterious ingredients|
Dog food which comprises of whole meat and fish ingredients are high quality in nature. This food contains a large amount of protein and fat, which helps in the maintenance and development of its (Dog) body. This type of diet is essential for a daily basis, which is high quality. Concisely, a meal that contains meat has a low quantity of moisture that is the denser source of protein and Fat.
By-products are low-quality ingredients. These are grains and vegetable by-products, i.e. proteins, pea flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and Rhy flour.
The methodology of ingredient splitting made these by-products low in quality as during preparation of these, highly processes and inauspicious methods are used.
Sensitivities or Allergies
Nowadays, the common problem of dietary allergies,
i.e. sensitivities and intolerances in pets, mostly in dogs, is increasing. But thanks to the growing market of dog food which has prepared a number of foods for dogs which prevent your pets from such illness.
For the very reason, Novel meats are used in hypoallergic dog food which prevents them (Dog) from any type of allergy.
In this dog food guide, we explained the dog food nutrition, Dog food ingredients, dog food types. Have question? Let us know in the comments section!
Written by: Usman H. Yahya Reviewed by: Stephanie G. Gabriel