Nutritionally, dogs have come a long way. Indeed, the concept of specialized food for our canine companions is relatively new—as recently as a half-century ago, many dogs were simply fed table scraps.
Times have definitely changed, though. . These days, dog owners have their choice when it comes to things like grain-free kibble, diets that are supposedly based on science, breed-specific foods, weight-control options, foods designed for senior dogs, and on and on.
So how do you choose the dog food for your dog? Fortunately, there are some common sense guidelines you can use, and what follows is a brief overview of a few of them.
Start with the basics. There are plenty of good resources available when it comes to finding a quality dog food, and you should avail yourself of the best of them.
A site like dogfoodadvisor.com is a good example of a site that can help. The person who started this site was passionate about exposing some of the more horrific aspects of the dog food industry, and as a result the site now offers a starred rating system that can be incredibly useful.
Simply put, any five-star food you find on this site will be a quality food. But you shouldn’t stop there—some dogs may not handle even a top-quality food well, so you might need to do some experiments to find the one that keeps your dog the healthiest.
That’s where reviews come in especially handy. Everyone’s different, but if you start tracking and comparing individual reviews you’ll probably start seeing patterns that will pertain to your situation and your dog.
If you own a Golden retriever, for instance, you may find certain foods coming up with consistently positive reviews, so you should at least consider trying one of these brands.
Also, be sure to carefully check out the ingredients. You’re looking for high-quality meat protein, the possible addition of vegetables and fruits, and the presence of omega fatty acids for overall health and a shiny coat.
Be sure to avoid additives and fillers that can be harmful to your dog. If you see an ingredients list full of chemical additives and things like soy, corn and wheat, be aware that that might not be the best food for your dog.
Above all, watch your dog’s reaction when you choose the best dog food. If your dog consistently has an upset stomach, loose stool or other diet-related issues, be willing to make the change. You’ll be glad you did.