Today’s pet food market is larger and more diverse than
ever before. While this offers a large number of choices
in various types of pet food, it also presents a dilemma in
choosing healthy food for your dog. Are generic
or store brands suitable for a dog? Familiar
name brands like Purina and Alpo? Are the more expensive
that advertise specially formulated ingredients (Science Diet,
Eukanuba) really living up to their claims and worth the extra
money? All of these are valid questions that loving dog
owners deserve to have answered.
Dog Food Considerations
There are several factors to consider when choosing
appropriate food for your dog. Dogs thrive on a mostly raw
diet. This is a dog’s natural diet, and is the best
food you can give your dog – plenty of raw meat, with some
bones, and a little raw (or lightly steamed) vegetables, and
perhaps some fruit and occasional cooked rice.
But many people do prefer the convenience of a pre-prepared
food for their dogs. That’s why it’s so very
important to understand the difference between almost all
commercial dog foods, and a very select few that really are
healthy. For information on healthy dog
Dogs have different nutritional needs at different stages
in their lives. Some things to consider when selecting
the food you’ll give your dog follow.
· Your Dog’s Age
Puppies have different nutritional requirements to adult
dogs, just as human babies and very young children have
different needs to their adult counterparts. Senior dogs
also have different requirements than younger adult dogs.
So ensure that you select a food that is appropriate for your
dog’s stage in life.
· Your Dog’s Health
Does your dog have a specific medical condition? If
so, the food you choose may need to be partially dictated by
that condition. Diabetic dogs need low-glucose foods and
dogs with specific allergies (yes dogs can be allergic to all
sorts of things, just like people) may require certain foods
as well. Your veterinarian can help you choose foods
that are appropriate for a dog with a specific medical
condition, although be very wary of any recommendations for
commercially prepared foods.
The fact is that the majority of vets are not adequately
trained in correct nutrition for dogs (it’s not taught in
veterinary school, believe it or not), and most of their
information comes from the commercial dog food companies who
want them to peddle their food.
· Your Dog’s Size or Body Type
Some dogs are overweight. Some dogs are underweight.
Some have a natural tendency to get lots of exercise while
others tend to prefer to lie around a lot. There are, of
course, small, medium, and large dogs as well as the miniature
and toy breeds. All of these different types of
dogs may have different requirements for the type of food they
need as well as how much of it. A mostly raw diet will
suit almost all dogs without exception. If a dog has
always been fed on such a diet, he or she is unlikely to be
overweight or underweight to any significant degree. But
dogs who have been fed commercial pet food may well have
weight (and other health) problems, which need to be
· Your Budget
Dog food can be expensive, there’s no doubt about it.
And where dog food is concerned, the rule really is “you get
what you pay for.” Low cost generics and store brands
will lighten the burden on your wallet, but are definitely not
a healthy choice for your dog, as they are made with cheap
ingredients and lots of fillers. Indeed, they contain
much that is positively bad for your dog's long term health.
The so-called “premium” brands available at your
supermarket, your pet store, and even from your vet, are not
much better (if at all). And the thing about real
quality, healthy, pet food is that although it may seem more
expensive, you actually need to feed less. So in the end
result, the cost of these ultra healthy foods compare very favorably with the rubbish which is passed off as dog food.