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Choosing the best dog food is often one of the greatest challenges dog lovers face. The vast variety of dog food brands available at the market can be quite confusing, especially to less experienced dog owners.
Luckily there are several simple guidelines that can help you decide which food is good for your little pal.
Dog health and overall wellbeing depends on several factors of which proper nutrition is the main factor.
The quality of food you feed your pet directly reflects its growth and development, prevents or promotes the likelihood of health problems and is directly connected to the lifespan of your dog.
Any dog food brands selection should start by finding out the needs of your dog. The type of breed is often very helpful in determining that. Feeding a dog with food inappropriate to its size and energy may lead to incorrect development and health problems.
Find out whether your dog is of a large, medium or small breed and how active it is.
Most food brands will have food ranges designed for large, medium and small dog breeds as well as foods for active and less energetic breeds within each range. At this stage you will have discarded many of the foods available because many brands do not manufacture breed specific products.
The next step is to match the type of food with the nutritional necessities according to age. Nutritional needs of dogs change with each phase of their life. Correct nutrition during the first and the last stage of life of dogs is crucial.
Young puppies need food that will help them develop correct bone and muscle structures as well as strong immune system. The best dog food for puppies is one rich in proteins and featuring adequate amounts of calcium and phosphorous.
It is generally considered that aging processes in dogs begin once 25% of the expected lifespan of the dog has been reached. Aging and old dogs need food that will compensate the geriatric changes occurring during this life phase.
The food must be easily digestible, featuring adequate protein amounts to prevent weight gain and supplements to slow down declining vision and hearing.
Since not all dog food brands have products specifically designed for very young or aging dogs, narrowing down your selection according to age should be fairly easy.
Once you have determined the type of your dog in accordance to your dog’s breed and age, you need to pay attention to the quality of dog food ingredients contained by products of different brands.
Although recent regulations regarding pet food manufacturing have increased the overall quality of pet food, there are still many products that contain inferior and even dangerous ingredients.
Moreover buying the most expensive food doesn’t necessarily guarantee you the highest quality. Ideally, high quality dog food is considered one that:
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