The market today is awash with all sorts of dog foods. Which ones do you trust? Making this decision is becoming increasingly harder. This is more so when you are looking for a specific diet type.
Stores are filled from aisle to aisle with all kinds of food brands. Interestingly, each claims to boost the health and life expectancy of your beloved pet.
It is no wonder, then, that many pet owners get confused when confronted with all these claims. This needs not to be the case. We have provided this guide for you to ease your process of finding the best dog food for specific diet type.
BEST FOOD FOR PUPPIES
Pups are adorable. You want to make sure that you give them the best. You need to give them the right diet, to start them off on the right footing.
The right diet is important for your puppy. It enhances their muscular strength and enables them to build strong teeth. In addition, good food equips them with the energy they need to play and grow.
Pet stores have varieties of puppy food. And, your puppy must have received a certain variety from the animal shelter or the breeder.
But, how do you tell that a certain diet is right for your pet?
The Best Food for Your Puppy
There are three types of dog food – dry kibble, moist, and semi-moist. Your puppy requires the dry type because it has what they need most: protein.
Dry kibble is more affordable. It will help your puppy maintain their dental hygiene as they grow.
Moist food is easy to digest. However, you’ll need to fork out more coins for it. Also, it goes bad rather quickly if you don’t store it under the right conditions.
Since moist foods have over 70% water content, they may not provide your pup with all the nutrients it needs. Also, they are likely to affect their young teeth.
So, what is the best option for you? We strongly advise that you create a balance between moist food and dry kibble. You may choose to vary them from one meal to the next, or blend them during feeding time.
Alternatively, you can settle for semi-moist food. These are easy to use as they come in measured packages. However, they tend to be a bit more costly than the other types of puppy food.
What to Look for in a Good Puppy Diet
Check for any of the following:
- Foods high in meat proteins
- Foods high in natural oils and fats
- Foods without colors, flavors, and artificial preservatives
- Low carbohydrate foods
- Low calcium foods
- Foods with a known source of protein
According to AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), a well-balanced puppy food should not have less than 37 key nutrients.
- 11 vitamins
- 12 minerals
- 10 amino acids
BEST LOW-FAT DOG FOOD
Low-fat food for dogs is important in combating obesity and pancreatitis. However, it is quite difficult getting good quality low-fat dog diet.
In trying to come up with low-fat diets, some manufacturers remove more meat from the diet than they actually should. As such, most diets end up containing more carbohydrates than proteins.
How to Spot Low-fat Diet for Your Dog
You probably know by now what constitutes a good diet for your dog. If you don’t already, then you need to liaise with your vet for advice on this.
But, if your dog is suffering from Pancreatitis and obesity, you need to deal with this by feeding it low-fat foods. Of course, this has to be in conjunction with the meds that it’s already taking.
Make sure that the food you settle for contains a high percentage of meat meal or whole meat. Verify that it has incorporated wholesome carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, oats, and brown rice.
Omega fatty acids are an important component of a low-fat diet. You can get these from flaxseed and fish.
In addition, you need stuff that helps in digestion. These are things such as leafy green, which contains much fiber.
So, in a nutshell, you are looking for foods with:
- High protein content
- Low-fat content
- Low to average carbs
- High fiber content
- Rated upwards of 4 stars.
BEST RAW DIET FOR DOGS
Before the advent of civilization, as we know it, dogs were used to having their meals raw. This is because they have the instincts of carnivores. They would hunt and capture another animal, eating them raw.
Just like their close cousins the wolves, dogs are averse to feeding on carbs. In fact, you’d be doing your canine friend an injustice by feeding him/her a meal comprising 50% or more carbohydrates.
Surprisingly, some manufacturers do offer these kinds of diets and pass them off as good diets for your pet. Be on the lookout!
Should your dog be taking raw foods in this modern day and age? Well, you need to consider a number of factors as you make this decision.
- If your dog is not physically active, do not feed it raw food. It may not be able to digest efficiently the food. The same is also true if the dog is on immune-suppressants.
- Ensure that the raw food is very fresh before you give it to your pet. Anything short of this is dangerous to your pet’s health.
- You can serve some vegetable raw, while you must mildly cook others
- All raw food must be chemical-free.
- Don’t serve raw food to very sick dogs, as they may not handle it well
- Cook any pork and fish, as they carry harmful parasites.
- Don’t cook raw bones as this increases their chances of breaking
The Merits of a Raw Diet?
Raw food has many benefits. Here are the main ones:
- Healthier stools
- Firmer skin and coat
- Better digestion
- Good weight management
- Good management of allergies
The Demerits of Raw food
- Unlike kibble, it’s hard to measure the right quantity of raw food your dog needs
- It may pass on bacterial infections such as E. coli and Salmonella.
BEST FOOD FOR PREGNANT DOGS
Your dog should be enjoying good quality nutrition way before breeding starts. Pregnancy takes about 63 days. However, it is only after the first 6 weeks that you need to consider increasing what she’s been feeding on.
You need to change to a new diet if you are not very sure about the previous diet. Whatever the case, ensure that meat and protein count high in the quantity of ingredients.
Why a Proper Diet is Important to Pregnant dogs
Your pregnant dog requires good nutrition. This means that you need to avoid artificial preservatives, colors, and fillers.
Upon delivery, you need to introduce puppy food to the litter. The puppies will need the extra fat. Also, be ready to handle the mother’s morning sickness. This is likely to last for a week.
To alleviate this condition, use some high protein foods. This should ease her stomach, and she’
The Key Nutrients for Pregnant Dogs
Vitamins are very important for your pregnant dog. Consult your vet who’ll recommend the brands and dosage suitable for the weight of your dog.
Also, protein is critical. Choose a brand that offers high meat or meat meal ingredient. Don’t settle for by-products and other poor sources of protein.
Boiled eggs are a good source of protein. You can add them to your dog’s daily meals to help boost its protein content. Also, ensure that you give her adequate drinking water daily.
Avoid giving your pregnant dog a calcium supplement. Dogs do produce calcium naturally. Excess amounts of calcium can cause high blood pressure and developmental issues in puppies.
BEST FOOD FOR HUNTING DOGS
Hunting dogs come in various sizes. From the small Boykin Spaniel to the huge retrievers, they all have one thing in common – athleticism!
Apart from the Sporting dogs, many hound dogs are very athletic today. Examples of these are the Beagle, the Coonhound, and the Bloodhound. As you can see, covers a wide variety of dogs.
What Constitutes Good Food for a Hunting Dog?
Hunting dogs need more energy than the other dogs do. As such, you need to feed your dog more calories.
This is more so if your dog is a regular hunter. Avoid feeding them a lot of calories at once, as this could cause problems for some breeds.
This is a good source of endurance energy. It is the equivalent of what carbohydrates do to the human body. Fat provides the hunting dog with long-lasting, slow-burning energy. This means that the dog is able to perform better, for longer.
Carbs are not bad for your hunting dog, contrary to what many people think. A diet with some level of complex carbohydrates will help your dog regulate its blood sugar levels. Some good sources of carbohydrates include sweet potatoes and brown rice.
BEST GRAIN-FREE DIET FOR DOGS
Grain-free diets for dogs have been on the market for years now. While grains aren’t the number one thing on the list of pet allergies, they are in the top five, which means that some dogs might need to cut out things like corn and wheat in order to live a happy and healthy life.
Why Grain-Free Diets are Good for Your Dog
Grain-free diets contain more protein than other grain-based foods. Most use a plant-based source of protein like soybeans, lentils, and peas.
Although they are rich in protein, they may contain some ingredients that can alter the ideal nutrient balance in a product.
Some grain-free products are better than others. This is because they use legumes and potatoes as part of the ingredients. Legumes are particularly rich in protein content. This is good for the health of your dog.
All the same, ensure that legumes do not overshadow the role of meat in the diet. You see, legumes cannot provide your dog with the amino acids that are present in meats. As such, it is important that you rely on foods that have meat as their key source of proteins.
What to Look for in the Best Grain-Free Diet
Ensure that the grain-free brand you settle for offers the following:
- High protein content
- Low to above average carbohydrate content
- Good fat-protein
- Zero cancer-causing chemicals
- Zero high-risk coloring agents
- Zero artificial sweeteners and preservatives
- Zero generic animal fat
- Know sources of meat ingredients
Getting the right food for your canine friend may require that you do some experimentation and research. If you put in the right efforts, you’ll reap the dividends of enjoying many years of happiness with your dog.
Ensure that the food you decide on is safe and beneficial to your dog. Where in doubt, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian.