Food! Glorious Food!
So, you’re in your local pet shop and have wandered down the dog food aisle. You are faced with shelf upon shelf and row after row of dog food; dry, wet, raw, small dog, senior, active dog, sensitive food, hypoallergenic, grain free, calorie control …… and the list goes on!!
Where do you even start to look to choose the best food for your beloved four-legged friend?? Well, here are some hints and tips to help you:
- Budget: decide what you can afford to spend on dog food each month, this will narrow your choice down
- Practicality: consider how you can store the dog food at home; raw food would require freezer space, dry food can come in very large bags
- Dogs Preference: some dogs prefer different food; we can have dogs that are quite fussy and picky and others that will scoff anything you put in front of them
What’s in the food??
Tops tips when scanning the ingredients:
- Check the protein content: ideally we would want a high protein content of good quality. The protein/ meat should be listed first as a percentage – 20% and above would be considered a good food
- Try to avoid foods that contain animal derivatives
- Avoid food with lots of carbohydrates and vegetables; these act as fillers and bulk the food out. They have no calorific value but aim to keep the dog fuller for longer
- If looking at dry food, ensure the kibble are all the same colour and not a multitude of rainbow colours
- If you are looking at wet food, remember to take into account the moisture content – this will account for a lot of the percentage breakdown
- If looking at a raw diet– do some research and ensure you either buy a complete premade food or provide a complete diet if you decide to make it yourself
A good source of information to help you further with your choices is; www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk
This website lists the massive range of food available, ranks them and has a full break down of their ingredients and what that means. You can even filter results for your dog’s age, weight and your budget.
Dog food can be a minefield when you start looking at all the different options, but just remember everyone’s needs and preferences will differ, so try not to worry! Find a food that suits your budget and your dog and go with it.