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Ilovemydog   , 44

from Toronto


How to buy the right dog food?

Buying dog food is a tricky
exercise because of the limited nutritional information given on the packaging of most products and the fact that different dog food suit different dog breeds.

The different types in the market have the potential to cause intolerance or allergic reactions to dogs in addition to offering satiety and nutrients. These being the reality, it is important to have the right guidance that will help in the selection what is most healthy for dogs. 

Factors to consider in the selection of the right food for dogs

The price tag should not be a guiding factor in the selection of dog food because the most expensive does not necessarily mean that they are the best. The high price can set one back but in the end what has been purchased is not different from the next available option.

A visit to the pet care store is important because of the assessment of the dog's health so as to identify any potential allergies to specific foods.

The careful reading of the package contents of the dog food is the most important guiding factor in the selection of dog food in the identification of the correct nutrients and allergens. One needs to know how to interpret the wordings because of the effects of some of the ingredients.

As a general rule the following ingredients are helpful when used in dog foods: meat protein sources of a specific source, healthy forms of carbohydrates and fat sources of a specific origin.

This is because some meat sources may contain up to 70 percent moisture which is not helpful. The inclusion of carbohydrates is not of much benefit to the dogs because they get most of their energy from protein and fats but is included to hold the product together.

Some forms of fat are not easily utilized by dogs. These include vegetable oil and beef tallow. The right sources of fats are chicken fats, sunflower, canola and flaxseed oils.

Dog foods containing the following should be avoided: left over of human foods known as by products, corn, unidentified ingredients, chemical preservatives, soy, brewers rice, wheat, sorghum, salt, flax, onions, mill run, artificial colors, flavors and vitamins. The carnivorous nature of dogs necessitates food with an appetizing flavor such as chicken, lamb and salmon.

The age of the dog has to be considered because of the different energy requirements as a result of the different activity levels and the nutritional requirements essential in growth.

The reproductive aspect also needs to be taken into account since dogs that are in their third and final stages of their pregnancy require 3 times the energy that would otherwise be consumed under normal circumstances.

Lactating dogs on the other hand have 8 times the energy requirements than dogs of the same size and age that are not lactating.

Environmental factors and illness also affect their energy requirements. A dog will in winter require as much as 90 percent more energy than in normal climatic conditions. An ill dog requires additional energy so as to repair tissue or augment their immune systems.

Top dog food brands

The following are some of the best available dog food brands: Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Avoderm Natural, Pinnacle holistic, Innova, Solid Gold, Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Science Diet and Canidae.