Dog food: Learn how to choose the best one in 2021
Anyone who has a pet at home knows how important it is to take care of all aspects of their health, and it all starts with food. Today, we bring you a complete analysis of dog food.
Balanced and developed especially for dogs of different breeds and sizes, food is a healthy way for man’s best friend to grow strong and full of energy. See more information in our article.
First, the most important
- It is important to choose the food according to the breed and size of your dog, so that they have a balanced diet and with all the necessary nutrients.
- Avoid buying bulk feed. In addition to the quality generally being inferior, it is difficult to obtain information such as the expiration date.
- In addition to the age and size, it is also important to choose the food according to your puppy’s age. There are special rations for puppies and neutered dogs, for example.
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Best dog food: Our favorites
Unlike natural food, feed is a balanced source of vitamins, proteins and healthy fats. Therefore, it is important to accustom dogs from an early age. See some brands that we separated for you.
- A great option for those looking for a balanced diet
- The food for dogs that deserve a premium food
- Our recommendation for dogs with refined taste
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your puppy full of energy, with its fur shining and playing in the yard. It is even better when they grow up healthy, with less risk of disease.
The feed provides all this and getting your dog used to good eating habits is essential to avoid spending on the vet. Take a look at our buying guide for more information.
How should I choose dog food?
First of all, you must observe the dog’s bearing. Although some diets are specific to certain breeds, most brands focus on the size and weight of the dogs. Look:
- Puppies: The grains are smaller to facilitate chewing and the feed is richer in nutrients that the puppies need for their growth.
- Small breeds: Ideal for dogs between 0.5 to 15 kg, with height up to 43 cm.
- Medium-sized breeds: Suitable for dogs weighing 15 to 25 kg and with an average height of 60 cm.
- Large breeds: Developed for dogs weighing between 25 and 45 kg, with an average height of 70 cm
In addition to the size, it is also important to consider the quality of the feed and if your dog has specific needs, as we will show in the next topics.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dog food?
Dog food has numerous advantages, as it offers a balanced formulation for each type of dog, keeping the flavor and aroma for much longer.
It can be served in automatic feeders, it is easy to store and you can even choose between dry and wet food, to make your pet special.
But, there are also some disadvantages. It is common for the dog to get sick of the taste after some time, so it is good to vary it from time to time. And, it is worth noting that some formulas are not entirely natural.
- Balanced formulation
- Maintains flavor and aroma for longer
- Can be served in automatic feeders
- It is easy to store
- You can choose between dry or wet food
- The animal may get sick of the flavor over time
- Some formulas are not entirely natural
Dry or wet food: What is the best option?
When we talk about feed, it is natural to think about drought, while wet is generally considered a treat for the dog. Of course, the price has an active factor here, since they tend to be much more expensive.
Dry feed is cheaper and easier to store.
While dry rations are cheaper and easier to store, wet food needs to be stored in the refrigerator to keep from spoiling and, once opened, must be consumed on the spot.
However, they are ideal for older dogs, who already have more sensitive teeth. It is also great for situations where the dog is sick, as it is easier to swallow.
Wet food is also excellent for animals that are consuming little liquid, as it has more water in its composition. So, it is not just a question of which is the best, but which is the most suitable for each situation. In general, dry food still has an advantage, mainly due to the price.
What are the different types of dog food?
The brands work with four main categories of feed. The standard is the most common and most accessible, having all the necessary nutrients for your dog without you having to spend a lot.
The Premium feed is ideal for puppies with special nutritional needs, so they have high quality ingredients. They can be found in an intermediate price range.
Super Premiums raise the bar even more, being the most recommended by veterinarians, as they have natural ingredients, are free of transgenics, dyes and other ingredients that are harmful to dogs.
And, lastly, veterinary rations, used to treat specific health problems. They already have medication in their formulation, facilitating ingestion. Unfortunately, they tend to cost much more than traditional rations.
Is using dog food better than feeding with food?
Yes. Although many owners prefer to feed their dogs with leftover food or even prepare their food every day, this is not the best option, mainly because it is difficult to always keep the same diet.
As long as you choose a quality feed, there is no reason to worry. See below what an expert has to say about industrialized feed:
“Industrialized foods are formulated to fully meet nutritional needs, both in macros and microelements. Therefore, not only in terms of protein the dog will be served, but will also obtain the appropriate amount of fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins and minerals.”
What is the best way to serve dog food
As with human food, there is no single rule to be followed and each owner opts for a type of food. As long as the dog gets used to it and is always healthy, there is no problem with that.
Some owners opt for traditional feeders, serving the feed twice a day. Others prefer automatic feeders, which are great for those who will spend a lot of time outside the house, where the dog feeds whenever he feels like it.
The ideal here is to observe what the average portion your dog usually eats and to see if he is not overeating, as this can result in obesity problems.
A great way to accustom your dog to specific times is to encourage him with games and toys before serving the meal. And, if your dog eats too fast, there are specific feeders for them to slow down.
Buying criteria: What to analyze before buying dog food
The feed is practically unanimous among veterinarians and animal health specialists, and there are obviously good reasons for this. The feed has everything your dog needs.
But with so many brands and qualities available, you still need to be aware of what is the best formulation for your pet. So, be sure to check out the topics below with more information that will help you in your choice.
- Grain and texture
- Flavor and aroma
The main factor you should be aware of is the formulation of the feed. That is, its ingredients. And this can vary a lot between brands and different categories of feed.
As we have shown throughout our article, feed has its own quality categories, from the cheapest to the most expensive. And this can have a direct impact on your pet’s health.
Although they cost a little more, Premium and Super Premium diets are the most suitable, since they use natural ingredients, free of artificial colors or flavors.
But even among the cheapest formulas, it is important to always be aware. Check carefully, as excess sodium and other ingredients can end up harming the dogs’ health.
The packaging is also very important, especially for dry food. In addition to containing all the necessary information with easy visualization and informing all the nutritional values, you must consider the weight.
If you have a lot of dogs at home, it is worth investing in larger feed bags. But, if you only have one or two, smaller packages are best.
Despite having a long useful life, it is natural that over time the feed loses aroma, flavor and texture, especially if the bag is not well closed and stored.
Grain and texture
Brands already tend to adjust the grain and texture of the feed according to the size of the animal.
While the puppies’ feed has smaller and softer grains, for large animals the ideal is that they are bigger and tougher.
This is important for chewing and for facilitating digestion. And, if your dog is sick, it is worth investing in wet food until he can get back to dry food.
Flavor and aroma
Dogs have much sharper senses than ours, which is why it is so important to pay attention to the taste and aroma of the food. Fortunately, here the options are numerous.
Meat, lamb, salmon, chicken. You can choose and even change from time to time if your dog gets sick.
The most important thing here is to note if both flavor and aroma are natural, since artificial ones can contain ingredients harmful to the dog. And, unfortunately this is something that you will notice over time, as it has a direct impact on the dog’s health.
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