Another hot-button issue within the dog owner community (aside from the classic Purebred vs. Mutt debate), is the subject of dog food. There are people who swear by mass produced foods and then there are dog owners who hand prepare each meal for their furry friend. There is a massive range of preferences and an even larger variety of options available to your dog.
With every blogger, magazine, pet store employee and dog owner saying something different, how is anyone to choose? It can be a stressful endeavor, because we want the best for our four-legged friend. Though, the best option for your pet doesn’t always have to be the most expensive or trendy, nor should it just be the cheapest available.
To help you navigate this tricky process, we’ve compiled three must do’s before deciding on a new brand of dog food for your pet.
#1 Assess Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs
The number one thing to keep in mind when researching, testing and choosing the right food for your dog, is that every dog is different. Not only does this vary by breed, age, etcetera, but also from dog to dog. What works for your pug may not work for your neighbor’s pug.
Major factors to consider when assessing your own dog’s nutritional needs include:
Age – Older dogs require fewer calories, and every breed ages at a different pace. Meanwhile, puppies are growing at a rapid rate and require a lot more fuel in the form of high protein and moderate fat levels.
Activity Level – If you exercise your dog a lot, he/she will require food that can replenish their energy levels.
Current Health Condition – A great way to assess this is by comparing your dog’s health assets and health problems. If your dog seems to have bad breath, chronic goopy eyes, ear infections or problems with their coat—these are important to note. However if your dog doesn’t seem to exhibit many or any of these issues, and the health assets outweigh the problems, your dog’s current diet may be working. If you’re finding issues, look into the food you’re currently serving and seek to make adjustments.
Allergies/Intolerance – Food allergies usually manifest as itching and skin problems. About 10% of dog allergies are food allergies. This can be caused by a variety of factors, but it’s usually due to a genetic predisposition. On the other hand, a food intolerance can be more severe. Dog food intolerance usually results in diarrhea, vomiting or another response not typical to an allergic reaction. The best way to find out if your dog suffers from a food allergy is to eliminate certain ingredients until you find what works and what doesn’t work.
#2 Scrutinize Viable Options
If you find you need to make a switch for your dog’s health, you’ve got to do your research. It’s important that you find a trustworthy, honest brand. Food labels for both dogs and humans can carry a certain amount of dishonesty. In fact, pet food labels do not require information on sourcing and quality control in manufacturing.
Be sure to check out a company’s website and if there still isn’t information, give their customer service line a call. Any remotely trustworthy brand will be happy to speak with you and provide the answers you need and deserve.
#3 Opt for a Professional’s Opinion
At the end of the day, there are real experts out there who can help put you on the right path for your pet. Speaking to your vet is always a great idea, since they know your pet pretty well, medically speaking.
There are also pet nutritionists out there, believe it or not! They can be found and contacted through veterinary school websites. These individuals, along with your vet, will give the answer to you straight with your dog’s health in mind.
While the decision is ultimately up to you, Top Tails sells and fully believes in Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food For Pets. You can purchase some in our shop and if you’re a regular client, you get free delivery! For more information on Life’s Abundance, we encourage you to read about it on our site and to further research it on theirs.
Whatever you decide for your dog, be sure it’s exactly what they need! They’ll thank you for it.