Important Basics Of Dog Food You Need To Know Today
Dog feeds can be confusing, especially when you are new into the scene. With all these brands trying to prove their product as the best. It is very tough to come to a conclusion. But explaining each component which a dog feed comprises of, can be more confusing and not to mention time-consuming.
Therefore, here are the basics of dog food. That should guide you through your food buying decision and also help you get familiar with the subject.
Before starting though, I want to congratulate you. For you have taken the time and trouble to research for your precious tucker’s health. Kudos to you :).
But nevertheless, I would always recommend you to keep your research on. And find out more about the topic. So that you know everything your dog will be requiring in terms of its nutrition. This article should help you get the hang of it and help you get started without bombarding you with a lot of information.
1. Types of Dog Feed
There are different types of dog feed available in the market which includes dry-kibble feed, wet feed, and semi-moist feed. These three are the main types of feed you would find in a pet shop or any commercial pet store. (Apart from those, there are home-made feed’s which can be categorized as the home-cooked meal and ultimately the raw feed. )
Brief info about the three most common commercial pet food:
Dry feed is the most popular cause be its ease of keeping (as it requires no refrigeration and lasts long) and also because of the cost. Many owners also like the fact that the dry feed also help’s in dental hygiene because of the chewing factor.
Wet feed (the canned food) is another option but it can be quite expensive. Another thing to be noticed about wet feed is the nutrition value. As there’s a lot of water content present the nutrition value may decrease substantially. So we have to keep an eye and choose the one with a standard nutrition value food. And just to add the dog’s love there canned food (they find it rather tasty). So if your dog is not showing interest in its food. It’s worth to try a wet feed to see if thing’s clear.
Semi-Moist feed though being a type of feed cannot be considered as a dog’s full diet. As it lacks nutrition content which a growing puppy will need and a grown dog will need for its maintenance. But it can rather be a good treat! Which is what semi-moist feed is mostly used for.
2. Understanding the nutrition
Dogs are carnivores (well not like a lion :p). Therefore a large portion of their diet includes meat. But a fully meat-based diet can also be problematic as it will not be balanced. And because of the dog’s dietary requirement, their intestinal track has adapted to digest an omnivorous diet.
Dog food should consist of a good amount of protein, fat, vitamins, and carbs.
Although most of the big dog food brand’s have the required amount of all these. But what they lack is in the quality of these nutrients which depends on the source. This affects the digestibility as well as the overall health.
Transition to a super healthy dog food might sound pretty exciting. But it might not always be good for your pocket. As these kinds of products usually cost way more than the traditional dog feed do. So if you have the cash go for it. But if you are on a tight budget, don’t worry these traditional feeds aren’t all that bad but be sure to get a good one.
From a pup to an adult. Your dog’s food requirement will be different. When a puppy, it is growing at a substantial rate. Therefore the nutritional requirement will be much more when a dog is at its puppy stage.
Now there are usually 3 types of feed recommended for different stages of a dog (traditional feed).
The Starter Feed – The started feed has the most nutritional value out of the three. And is recommended to feed the puppy onwards from 4 weeks. Most owners stop feeding their dog the starter pack around 90 days and transition to puppy feed. Although you can always keep feeding your dog starter as it has high nutritional content. But it is generally more expensive and an adult dog most of the time will not be requiring that extra protein and fats. But nevertheless, if you feel like your dog is lacking something you can always feed him the starter.
Puppy feed – Puppy feed is usually given to dog’s after 3 months till it becomes adult. Now depending on the breed, it will determine how long the puppyhood of your dog be. It may be 8, 10, 12 or even 18 months in some breeds. But usually, it is around a year till your puppy becomes an adult (sad isn’t it :/). Puppy feed contains less nutrition value compared to the starter but more than the adult feed.
Adult feed – The final feed that you most probably will be giving your dog its lifetime. An adult feed will contain all the nutrient’s which is required to properly function and maintain your dog’s body. The adult feed will contain much less nutritional value than the above two feed.
Another thing to keep in mind is. Puppies will have to be fed around 3-4 times a day (full-fledged meals). While an adult dog can be fed just 2 times a day. But every dog is different so your dog’s breed and appetite will also play an important role.
Based on the above information you can get an idea of what the requirements are and how you can fulfill them. This was just to give you an idea of the whole picture. And making you familiar with it. Again I will highly recommend you to research more and also experiment with different feed. Cause let’s be realistic here. Every dog is different and no one can declare the best food for all dogs. That is very subjective and will come down to your needs and also your budget.
Don’t worry, even though the end decision will have to be yours ultimately. We here will make sure that the decision making doesn’t get difficult at all. By the way isn’t that the reason we exist anyway? Haha.
And as always Good luck! and have a great journey.