Often, we choose food for our pet based on the opinion of the seller or friend.
However, it is worth having basic knowledge of your pet in order to choose the best option.
We will give you some of the most important tips that will quickly help you choose the best food. In addition to good quality food, the below should be taken into account:
- Age of the pet, older pets need different ingredients to a puppies.
- Activity level of your pet, the less active, the lower need for high-energy food.
- Size – small, medium, large. Manufacturers offer, different sized granules, depending on the size of the pet.
- Food allergies to ingredients such as cereals, chicken, etc..
- Intestinal and stomach hypersensitivity.
It is therefore essential you take all aspects into account. On the market you will find specialized food that will meet all needs.
When choosing food, quality is important. How do you recognize high-quality food?
To begin with, it is worth reading the labels and checking the composition of the given food. It often happens that most of the ingredients are complex to us. High-quality foods have simple and understandable ingredients such as meat, vegetables, fruits, vitamins, fats and minerals.
And how to read the labels?
- A short and understandable is the best choice.
The best being, in first place meat, then vegetables and additives such as dugouts, rice, vitamins and minerals. If you come across these, you can be sure that you have made the right choice.
- How much meat should be in the food?
Listed first on the label should be meat, making it a greater percentage of the food.
Remember that animals are carnivores, therefore meat is essential to their nutrition. Manufacturers add various forms of it, i.e. fresh meat, dried meat, offal, etc.
It is important to check the percentage of animal products in the food. Veterinarians recommend 40% to 60%.
We discuss more about the best meat options in the article – What kind of meat in food?
Cereals in the food are a source of carbohydrates. Easily digestible carbohydrates can be a source of many beneficial ingredients for the dog’s health, but too much is not good as well.
Dogs do not need as many carbohydrates as humans.
Many cereals, such as wheat, barley and oats, contain gluten. Unfortunately, some dogs are allergic to gluten and vegetable protein. The most common allergen being rye, its consumption can result in itching, lowered immunity and even changes in the dog’s behavior. Often, excessive excitability or aggression in a dog can be due to a change in diet.
Of all the grains, rice and corn are safest and easily digestible. Rice can act as a kind of brush in the dog’s body helping clean the intestines faster and more thoroughly.
- What other ingredients should be in the food?
High-quality dry food should also include:
- Vegetables and fruits. Currently, many companies add fruit to food in addition to vegetables, this is beneficial as fruit have a lot of vitamins and a positive effect on the digestive system. Fruits and vegetables are the main sources of vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes in a dog’s diet.
- Vitamins and minerals improve the condition of the coat, joints, teeth, eyesight and internal organs.
- Fats are primarily a source of energy. Without them, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) found in food is impossible. How fats in food are used, will depend on the animal’s nutritional needs and physical activity. The fat will either it will be directly converted into energy, or it will be deposited in the form of fat tissue. Fat is the most efficient energy component of the diet and provides twice as much energy as carbohydrates and protein, on the other hand, its excessive amount in food is a simple way to obesity.
What if the label has more ingredients?
Aditional products are treated as fillers, it is worth paying attention to their bioavailability and the content of minerals and vitamins. Most of them don’t have significant nutritional value to animals and can do more harm than good.
Let us also remember that the main advantages of dry food include its higher energy value – a gram of dry food contains about 4 times more energy than its wet counterpart. This means that the dog will be satisfied after eating a smaller amount.
Dry food contains additives that have a positive effect on the condition of the teeth, and biting hard crisps stimulates the gums and prevents the formation of plaque. Chewing dry food also fulfills certain behavioral needs.
The best dry dog food, with the correct meat content should have the following characteristics:
- No artificial preservatives, dyes and flavors;
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids;
- Easily digestible carbohydrates;
- Meat protein, preferably from 2-3 sources;
- Vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin D3, vitamin E, selenium, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
How many grams of dry food should we feed?
All foods have recommendations regarding the amount and frequency of feeding on their packages. Remember that puppies or kittens require to eat more often. It is worth following the standards stated the packaging. The food available for purchase is adapted to the age and developmental stage of your pet. of development of the animal.