Your favorite canine is an integral part of your family’s life. Maintaining a dog’s health and nutrition can be confusing when so many products claim to be best for your pet. Although there are numerous options available, some pet food provides only a minuscule amount of vital protein, vitamins and minerals. You can determine which foods and supplements are the right fit for your dog by examining the following sections.

Warning Signs of Bad Diet

It’s challenging to decide which food is right for your dog, but the animal may exhibit symptoms that indicate the food is inadequate or harmful. Excessive itching, vomiting or diarrhea are possible signs that your dog is having an adverse reaction to the food. Schedule an immediate vet appointment if your animal has any of the symptoms to determine if food is the cause of the sickness. Your vet can check for allergies, bacterial infections and previously unknown conditions.

The shape, size and smell of the dog’s stool can also show that a diet change is necessary. A healthy stool is cylindrical, slightly soft and not overwhelmingly smelly. If your canine’s droppings are the opposite of those descriptions, the animal probably needs its food changed.

Allergies

Like humans, dogs have food allergies. Gluten-free food has helped many people with wheat sensitivities improve their digestive health, and the same is true for dogs. Commercial dog food often contains wheat grain as a main ingredient, but you can find several grain-free varieties that may help your pet’s digestion. When you switch to a new food, it’s a good idea to introduce the food gradually. Mix in a small amount of the new food with the old and increase the amount of new food every day. Although the most expensive food is not always the best, you should avoid the cheapest brands. Cheaper food has low quantities of meat and contains high levels of filler and preservatives. You can look into how the pet food industry produces its products by examining pet food exposed. After having your dog tested for allergies, you can avoid the food that may make it sick.

Your Dog’s Age

Your pet’s age can also help you choose the right food. Puppies, up to a year old, require more protein and calories than older dogs. After a year of puppy food, you can switch over to an adult variety. Puppy food is too rich for adult dogs and may lead to weight gain or digestive issues if they eat it for too long.  Adult dogs need less protein and calories but need more fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and calcium for growth and development.

Senior dogs typically need food that is higher in protein and fiber but lower in overall calories. When your pet reaches old age, they may also need nutritional supplements to guard against arthritis and urinary problems.

Wet or Dry Food

If your dog drinks plenty of water, it may be sufficient to rely on dry food. Healthy dry food contains more protein per portion than wet food and is less expensive. However, wet food is better at hydrating your dog and is ideal for animals that can’t eat dry food. When you’re shopping for commercial pet food, be sure to read the labels for ingredient and nutritional information carefully. Avoid purchasing items that aren’t AAFCO approved. The AAFCO certification means that the food meets the minimal nutritional requirements for your dog, and anything without the approval can be detrimental to your pet.

Raw Diets

Recently, some dog owners have switched over to feeding their animals a raw food diet. Raw meat, vegetables, and fruits are more expensive than commercial food, but the diet lacks the preservatives common in pet food. If your dog reacts badly to processed pet food, the raw diet may be a healthy option. Check with your vet before feeding your dog a raw diet and closely monitor its progress when the new regiment begins. Due to the higher level of calories and proteins, some dogs can gain weight quickly on a raw diet.

Homemade Options

Your dog may not have an allergy or medical condition that limits its food choices, but some dogs are merely picky. If your dog doesn’t warm up to any of the brands you’ve tried, you can resort to feeding your canine homemade dog food. Compared to mid-level and high-end pet foods, homemade meals are much cheaper.

Maintaining a healthy diet for your beloved canine may seem like a daunting task, but with the previous tips, you can discover the ideal food that ensures your pet lives a healthy life.


About the Author: Kevin Gardner works as a business consultant and unwinds by getting out of the office to spend time with his dogs, Stuart and Pepper. He enjoys writing about the things he’s learned as a pupper parent and loves to share his insights to help others.