How to choose the best food for your dog

A good diet is the best way of keeping your dog happy and healthy. But choosing the right brand of dog food can take time. You will have to do your research and really learn what brands are good for your dog and which ones you should avoid. These are some of the things you should be looking at in your dog’s food.

The “buzzwords” in dog food packaging

Here’s a surprising fact: the way food is described in the packaging can give you an idea of how much of any protein is actually found in the food. Here’s a guide:

  • Beef for dogs, chicken dog food, pure salmon sticks indicates that the protein (beef, chicken, salmon…) comprises 95% of the total product, before adding water (with water it becomes around 70% of the total product).
  • Foods that contain the words dinner, platter, entree, nuggets or formula indicate that there is only 25% of the chosen protein in them. If there are several proteins listed on the label (chicken and turkey dinner for dogs), both of them combined must make at least 25% of the total product.
  • In foods “with” this or that, the mentioned ingredient is only required to appear in the formula in 3%. A chicken dinner for dogs with turkey, for instance, could be 25% chicken and 3% turkey.
  • The most concerning one is the food that is described as beef flavour or chicken flavour: that means there are just trace amounts of beef or chicken in it, to trick your dog to eat it thanks to the taste and smell.

Is it right for your dog’s breed, age, and activity level?

It is very obvious that a chihuahua won’t have the same nutritional needs as a Saint Bernard, although the differences between them when it comes to food go beyond their size. Different breeds are prone to different health issues. For example, breed-specific diets for labradors will be lower in calories to avoid their tendency to put on weight, while diets designed for bulldogs or pugs may be softer and have kibble shapes to make it easier for them to eat since they have shorter jaws.

Age is also a very important factor in what kind of dog food is best for your dog. Senior dogs are a lot less active than puppies, so food that is labelled as “Senior dog food” contains more carbs and less protein and fat to control weight gain. On the other hand, if you feed your puppies adult dog food, they could suffer development problems that are easily avoidable.

In the same way, not all dog breeds are as active, and every dog has its particularities. Some brands really take this into consideration and produce food for bigger dogs, for puppies, elderly dogs, working dogs… Bella & Duke are an example of this (you can check them out here

When in doubt, always check in with your vet

As we just mentioned, every dog is different. They all have different personalities that make them more or less active, different taste, different conditions… Overall, they just have different needs. That’s why, if you are really interested in changing your dog’s diet but don’t know how to choose the best food for your dog, the best place to start is to ask your veterinarian. They know your pup, they know you and they will be able to advise you about the best foods for dogs.

this is a collaborative post