==========The Scoop on Premium Dog Food========
In case you’re desirous about premium pet food, then I probably do not have to inform you concerning the importance of food regimen in keeping your dog energetic and healthy. You already know you would like something higher than “average” to your furry friend.
But how much do you actually find out about what’s in a premium food and what your particular pet’s needs are? I’m no veterinarian but I do know a thing or two about health and nutrition. (As a family dentist who practiced for twenty years, I saw first hand the consequences of poor dietary habits on human health — and particularly on human teeth!!).
Such as you, your dog has to cope with the consequences of stress, age, exertion, a polluted environment, and foods grown in nutrient-depleted soils. Unlike you, he has to get practically all of his nutrition from a single food. Sure, you might give him just a few treats or the occasional table scrap (not too many I hope!), but otherwise he’s eating out of the identical bag or can day in and day trip. You would like him to get complete nutrition out of that one food.
Even the experts appear to disagree on exactly what complete nutrition is. Possibly this explains why there are such a lot of formulas for premium pet food on the market. There’s one thing they do agree on, though: premium pet food is healthier to your pet than economy and food market brands. Although you will pay more, it often holds true that you simply get what you pay for.
Experts also agree that, because premium foods are more nutritionally dense and easier to digest, your dog won’t must eat as much. One study even concluded that if you happen to fed your dog the advisable amounts on each package, you’d find yourself saving money on the premium formulas. That is because your dog must eat rather a lot less of it. (You may save on pooper scoopers too!)
One other solution to know in case your dog is getting a correct food regimen is just to look at him. Are his eyes shiny, his coat silky and glossy, and his skin free from dryness and itching? Is he at a healthy weight? How about his energy level? This will vary from one animal to a different, but as you get to know yours, you will know when your dog is not feeling as much as par.
In fact, any persistent health problems must be looked into by your vet, and the identical goes for any special dietary needs. But generally you will know in case your friend is doing well on the food regimen you are feeding him. In case you see signs that he is not, try a unique formula or one other brand of premium pet food.
Introduce recent foods steadily, especially if you will have a picky eater. And while we’re on that subject, it is often nice in case your dog enjoys eating his food. This has rather a lot less to do with taste than it does with smell. Dogs have fewer taste buds than we do, but about 40 times as many scent receptors. So make certain he eats with gusto, and doesn’t just pick at his food.
Listed below are some basic guidelines you’ll be able to follow:
Every dog needs the proper amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Your dog should have all these in correct proportions to remain healthy. Needs vary with life stage, breed and activity level. Pet food firms make premium pet food for all life stages, from puppy to senior. A median adult dog needs a every day intake of about five ounces for each ten kilos of weight, with essential nutrients in the next proportions:
Protein –23% of total intake
Fats –5% of total intake
Carbohydrates –65% of total intake
Additional vitamins and minerals your dog needs are: Vitamins A, D, E, B-complex, Niacin, Biotin, Folic Acid, Choline, and Pantothenic Acid; Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Iodine, and Selenium.
It’s generally agreed that dogs do higher on a protein source that is primarily meat slightly than soybeans and grains. Check the label. All US food labels must list ingredients so as of their quantity. If meat by-products are listed, they need to come after the actual meat, not before it. Meat by products are an inferior source of protein, and are principally what stays after the great quality meat has been removed. “Crude protein” is usually a similarly poor source, since it could include parts of the animal that may’t even be digested or absorbed by the typical dog (hair, beaks, etc.).
Omega fatty acids are a hot topic in human nutrition nowadays, and have been found to be just as necessary within the canine food regimen. Each must be present, and in the proper ratio. Most premium pet food firms have done the research on this and adjusted the ratios, but as usual, ask your vet in case your uncertain.
===========Wet vs. Dry============
You’ll be able to buy premium pet food in nearly any form, but which one is best? Again, most experts appear to agree. Dry food is less more likely to allow plaque to build up on the teeth, less more likely to harbor bacteria if not noted too long, and ends in firmer, more compact stools. Semi-moist foods are convenient but for some reason (I’m undecided what) don’t offer the identical dietary advantages as premium kibble or canned foods.
That said, I even have also heard arguments suggesting that a food regimen of exclusively dry food is usually a strain on a dog’s kidneys. So, to be on the secure side, check along with your vet.
Puppies need more calories and essential nutrients than adult dogs. They need as much as twice as many calories per ounce of body weight and may get 25% to 30% of their energy from protein depending on the breed.
Most premium pet food brands take this into consideration of their puppy formulas, however it doesn’t hurt to ascertain the label. By six to eight weeks of age a puppy must be fully weaned and eating his dry food consistently. After that, different breeds reach their mature weight at different rates, by anywhere from 9 months to 24 months old. So it’s hard to provide an age or weight by which it is best to take your pet off puppy food. Again, your vet might help out here.
Also, remember to not attempt to “rush” the growing process by overfeeding. If she grows too fast, a dog can develop bone growth diseases. A puppy should get three to 4 meals a day because he’s growing fast but still has a small tummy, but don’t overdo it with portions size.
Adult dogs must eat in keeping with their size and energy requirements and must be fed two meals a day. That is often referred to by the premium pet food firms as a “maintenance food regimen”.
Unlike cats, dogs will not be strictly meat eaters. In reality, a dog is more like an omnivore and can eat absolutely anything, whether it’s good for him or not! A specific amount of vegetable matter is an element of a dog’s natural food regimen. Dogs love vegetables corresponding to broccoli, carrots, zucchini, peas, and beans, and fruits corresponding to bananas, apples, and melon. These make great low-calorie treats, too!
One thing it is best to never feed your dog is chocolate–it incorporates a chemical called theobromine which is toxic to dogs.
Senior dogs need a premium pet food that can help head off and manage the consequences of aging. Since different breeds vary a lot, it’s hard to provide an age by which it is best to switch to a senior food regimen. The ASPCA recommends using weight as a tenet, and offers the next:
Small breeds or dogs weighing lower than 20 kilos:7 years of age
Medium breeds or dogs weighing 21 to 50 kilos:7 years of age
Large breeds or dogs weighing 51 to 90 kilos:6 years of age
Giant breeds or dogs weighing 91 kilos or more:5 years of age
The ASPCA recommends that you simply begin coping with the symptoms of old age before they’re obvious. Similar to us, dogs will begin to build up more body fat as they age whilst they devour fewer calories. (A minimum of we’re not alone!). Muscle mass will are likely to decrease, but this doesn’t suggest it is best to lower your older dog’s protein intake. If anything, protein is more necessary than ever to assist maintain muscle mass, so avoid senior pet food formulas with reduced protein.
One thing you’ll want to feed him less of is calories. Obesity is an actual problem with adult dogs, and many homeowners don’t even realize their dog is obese. Other than portion size and calorie content, one solution to avoid an obese dog is to withstand giving him table scraps. Most human food is not good to your dog.
===========How Much to Feed============
How’s your dog’s weight? It’s best to have the option to feel your dog’s backbone and ribs with light finger pressure, but not actually see them. If you will have to “dig” to seek out them, your dog is obese and if you happen to can actually see her ribs, she’s underweight.
In case you’re undecided how much to feed, you will love the interactive Dog Food Calculator on PetsMart’s home page! It’s the results of considerable research that has been published in scientific journals and accepted by industry experts. You’ll be able to determine the proper amount of food to feed your dog and learn how long that 40-lb bag will last!
In case you’re all ready feeding a nutritionally complete premium pet food, do you continue to need supplements? That is one other hotly debated topic. As a rule, evidently most dogs do exactly effective without supplements. For certain dogs and certain conditions supplements could make a differenced. For instance, a dog who is not thriving and there isn’t any other medical explanation for it would improve with supplements. Or, dogs with certain skin conditions have been known to enhance on supplements. Since there is a danger of doing more harm than good, it is best to definitely discuss supplements along with your vet.
In case you do resolve to make use of one, pick one which’s comprised of natural sources and is designed as a multivitamin formulated specifically for dogs. That way she’ll get every little thing in the proper amounts and ratios. Add it to the food regimen twice weekly so you will not overwhelm or suppress your dog’s own internal regulating mechanisms.
There are lots of the reason why a dog is likely to be placed on a special food regimen. Some dogs are very sensitive to certain ingredients in industrial dog foods. Even if you happen to’re feeding her one of the best of premium pet food, in case your dog is not thriving, it’s possible her food regimen is an issue for her. Owners have resorted to alternative diets — holistic, raw foods, even kosher — to optimize their pet’s health. Some select these diets just because they imagine they’re higher, not because their dog is having any issues.
We’ll discuss special diets in a future article. For now, I hope you’ve got gained some useful insights concerning the advantages of premium pet food over and above economy brands.