When you’re welcoming a new dog home, one of the most important things to consider is his diet. Every dog has different needs, and a balanced diet is the best way to make sure they’re getting the nutrients and care they need to succeed.
All dog owners want the best for their dogs, but it’s not always easy to know where to begin when it comes to dog food. Providing them a healthy, happy life starts with the right meals and treats, but where do you start? This guide will walk pet owners through how to choose the best diet for your dog.
What Nutritional Requirements Does My Dog Have?
First, you have to know a few things about dog nutrition. Don’t worry, you don’t need any veterinary training to understand the basics. Most people mistakenly believe dogs have the same dietary needs as humans, but this is far from the truth.
According to the FDA, dog food should be “complete and balanced.” What does this mean? It’s a term established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to make sure specific food mixes have all the vitamins and nutrients dogs need.
Dogs need a balance of minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids, and fatty acids. All of these things help your dog carry out daily life, and these needs shift over their lifetime (puppy, adult, senior, and so on). Lastly, you should talk to your vet about how much food to feed your specific dog depending on his activity level, age, and special needs.
How to Choose a Dog Food
Once you understand basic nutrition requirements, it’s time to choose the right dog food diet. There are many different options, each with its own benefits:
- Raw diet: A raw dog food diet is usually homemade, though some varieties can be purchased from pet food stores. These include raw ingredients like meats, ground bones, raw eggs, fruits, veggies, and yogurts.
- Commercial dog food: Commercial dog food is typically kibble (dry) or wet food purchased from a pet food retailer. These come in a variety of price ranges and ingredient mixes. Check dog food reviews before making your purchase.
- Grain-free: Grain-free diets can be commercial or homemade. These are pet foods without added grains which can often worsen pet allergies.
Which of the above is right for your pet? Again, talk to your vet about your dog’s weight, goals, and health needs. In general, the best quality of food you can afford is the right fit for you.
How to Choose Dog Treats
Lastly, how do you choose a dog’s treats? Because treats are a special occasion item or a high-value training tool, you can choose something a bit more exciting for your pet. Wüfers.com has a great selection of delicious, high-value pet cookies that are perfect for training or special occasions.
Just be sure to pay close attention to your dog’s overall activity level and calorie intake. You can afford to have some fun with pet treats, but keep in mind your dog’s overall health goals.
Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy
A healthy dog is a happy dog. Investing in your dog’s diet and treats early on not only avoids problems down the road, but this also keeps them active as they age. Luckily, it’s easy to learn what’s in your dog’s food as well as their favorite treats.
Whether you’re investing in a new dog food or welcoming a puppy home, this is everything you need to know about their diet. When in doubt, talk to their vet for specific recommendations.
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