It’s no secret that people need a healthy and balanced diet (with a little treat now and then of course). So, it should be no secret that your dog also needs a healthy and balanced diet (with a little treat every now and then of course).
But while it’s easy for us to figure out our diets, it isn’t always so easy when it comes to our favorite furry friends. We see commercials all the time for dog food claiming to be the most nutritious, natural, good for all dogs, healthy, made with real salmon, and even ones for fake bacon.
But it can be difficult to sift through all the clutter and decide which dog foods are best. So here are a few things you should think of when deciding on your dog’s nutrition.
Talk To Your Vet
This should be the very first thing you do. Depending on the health of your dog, your dog may have specific nutrition needs. Your vet will be able to help you narrow down some choices of dog food that are optimal for your pup’s health and lifestyle.
Be Aware of Your Breed’s Health Issues
Great Danes have heart issues. Labs can turn their stomachs. Knowing what health risks your breed has is integral in deciding on dog food. Some dog foods have special ingredients that help with specific breed issues. So those brands might be worth a little bit of research.
Determine the Activity Level of Your Dog
If you have a lazy dog, a low cal dog food might be the way to go. If you have a very active dog, you want to make sure you have a dog food that gives them energy for the day. Just like a human body, a dogs body needs to be fueled properly too!
Big Dog or Small Dog
Size has a lot to do with dog nutrition. Big dogs require more food than little dogs, and little dogs have different nutrient needs than big dogs. Make sure that you get a dog food that is best for the size of your pet.
Does Your Dog Like the Food
If your dog isn’t going to eat it, then you need to switch dog foods. Just because something is unhealthy doesn’t mean that it’s better than having your dog eat nothing. Make sure there are a variety of foods to try out with your pet. Plus, keep in mind how often they eat. If they eat more than twice a day, maybe keep two kinds in the house. Dogs like variety too!
It’s okay to once in a while give your pup a treat from the table, but it should never be a completely regular meal. Also make sure to stay away from chocolate! Dogs have a hard time digesting and processing chocolate which can make them very sick.
For more tips about reading food labels for dog food check out this video below to debunk your nutrition label assumptions!
Now that your pup is all set with their diet, if you need a little help with your own, contact our in-house Registered Dietitian!Schedule a Nutrition Consultation