Pets can be loyal companions. This is especially true if you have a pet dog. Having a pet dog can be beneficial in several ways. From physical to mental benefits, there are many reasons why you would want to have a pet dog.
However, irrespective of the breed you have, it is essential that you take good care of your pet dog. One of the important things to consider is purchasing the right dog food.
Following are some of the factors to consider when purchasing the right dog food:
- Know the terminology
The first and foremost thing that you need to know is the terminology. There are particular guidelines that you need to be familiar with. These guidelines can be seen on the package of the dog food. If you want to purchase the right option, you need to understand what the wordings mean. In case the package says that there is only one ingredient, it means that major component is that ingredient. Sometimes, it will refer to a combination of ingredients. This would mean that majority of the food is made up of that combination of ingredients.
- Look at the ingredients
It is imperative that you go through the ingredients list. This is one of the most important considerations to take into account when purchasing dog food. The ingredients are typically listed according to their weight. These specifications can be found on the package of the dog food. However, it essential to know that higher weight does not mean that such ingredient is more in quantity in the dog food. For instance, the weight of chicken may be more due to its moisture, compared to other ingredients such as corn.
- Grains are important
This is an undermined tip. If you visit an Animal Shop, the right professional will probably advise you to look out for grains in the ingredient list. Pet foods are normally made up of carbohydrates. Gluten is also used to create a more filling meal. Therefore, you should look out for grains in the ingredients. This indicates that there is more sources of carbohydrates which can be healthy for your pet dog.
- Preferences of the dog
This is a very important consideration. If you purchase something which you dog doesn’t like, then you will probably waste money. No matter how much research you do in terms of looking the nutrients and ingredients, if you dog doesn’t like the food, he will not eat it. You need to take into account and balance all the relevant factors and accordingly, purchase something which your dog prefers. Make sure you spend some time knowing what the preferences are of your dog in order to make the right choice.
- Dry food or wet food
The next essential factor is to evaluate whether you want dry food or wet food. There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of food. Wet food typically comes in cans or pouches. It is an ideal type for those dogs which are picky and selective. It even provides more nutritional advantages compared to dry options. However, it is an expensive option to go for. On the other hand, dry foods are much cheaper and is a better option if you the dog to have a cleaner mouth.
- Special food
The next question to ask yourself is whether your dog requires any special food or not. There are some dogs which need special treatments in term of nutritional intake. Some foods are even catered particularly to some sizes. For instance, puppies may need special food. Depending on the weight, breed and health conditions of your dog, you may require special type of food. Therefore, it is always advisable that you visit professionals as well to determine whether special food is required or not.
- Visit the vet
This is another tip which is often undermined by pet owners. The typical course of action that every pet owner takes is to visit the store and purchase pet food depending on the instructions listed on the packages. However, this is not an ideal approach. It is advisable that you visit the vet. Vets are professionals who are well equipped in terms of their experience and expertise to guide you regarding the food which may be required by the dog. Some professionals will advise you with specific brands which may be purchased. Some may just give you a general idea.
- Animal byproducts
There is a general perception amongst pet owners that all animal byproducts are bad. However, this is not an absolute rule. Normally they are of bad quality and accordingly included in the ingredients. However, there are some animal byproducts which can be beneficial in different ways. Nevertheless, you need to ensure that the animal byproducts that are mentioned in the ingredients are suitable for consumption of your dog. Otherwise, it may cause severe allergies.
- Portion sizes
Whenever you are purchasing dog food, make sure that you consider the portion sizes. Most packaging will indicate how much is needed to be fed to the pet. This will depend on the size of the dog. In case you have a limited budget, you can choose dog food which provides more fiber and accordingly, it will keep the dog full. High protein portions are normally ideal if you want a filling meal for the dog. However, the same can be expensive.
The final consideration that you need to take into account is the additives. Some animals, especially dogs, are sensitive to some additives. This includes food colorings as well. Some foods even contain chemicals and preservatives to add more flavor to the food. Make sure that your dog is not allergic to such additives. You may consult professionals to ensure that you are completely familiar with what your dog needs and what is to be avoided. If there are any harmful additives, make sure that it is avoided at all costs.