Choosing the Best Food for Your Dog

While we all want the best for our dogs, it can be tough to make sure he’s getting the right food. There are so many choices that the options can be overwhelming for some of us. The makers of Chef’s Best Pet Food want to make your decision easier, so here are some general guidelines to follow when choosing the food that will best meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

 

What Needs to Be in Your Dog’s Food?

Although you might think the only thing your dog would ever want to eat is meat, that’s actually not the case. They definitely prefer it, but that’s not all they want. Dogs also benefit a great deal from a variety of other nutrients, including vegetables and even certain types of fruit.1

Whatever type of food you choose, whether it’s Chef’s Best Pet Food or anything else, you need to make sure it has enough nutrients for your specific dog. Just like not all people are made the same, different dogs have different needs. And these needs often change throughout the different stages of a dog’s life. For example, puppies need certain nutrients, while adult and older dogs need others.

 

What’s Real and What’s Not Real?

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so it’s extremely important that you make sure the sources you use to make your decision regarding your dog’s food are legitimate. Look to make sure that any health-related claims are backed by scientific evidence, or from a source such as a veterinarian.

For example, if you look for a food that contains animal byproducts, some of them are good and some are not.2 Some byproducts, such as organs and intestines, are actually more nutritious than the meat taken from an animal’s muscles. On the other hand, many byproducts can be bad, such as hair, hooves and the contents of intestines. Unfortunately, these are sometimes found in dog food.

 

Reading the Label

When it comes down to making the best choice for your dog, the most important source of information you’ll find is the ingredients label. All brands of dog food must include certain information on the label, such as a list of ingredients, feeding guidelines and others. The name of the product itself can give you a clue as to what’s inside. For example, if the word “beef” is used, that means the product has to be comprised of at least 70 percent beef. But if other terms are used, such as “beef platter” or “beef entrée,” the beef content only has to be 10 percent or more.3

While the ingredients list won’t assure you of the quality of the product, it will let you know what’s in it. This will be a big help if your dog is allergic or has specific dietary needs. The order of ingredients is also significant, because it will give you a general idea of how much of an ingredient is in the food you’re considering. If, for example, turkey is listed first, that means the food contains a greater percentage of turkey than any other ingredient.

 

Talk to Your Vet

If you are thinking of switching your dog to Chef’s Best Pet Food or another brand, it will be very important that you first talk to your veterinarian. This will be critically important if your dog has any sort of food allergy or has a sensitive stomach. Your vet will be happy to help you narrow your options to the brands that will best fit his needs.

You’ll also want to ask your vet about how much food you should give your dog. It can be hard to tell just by looking whether or not your dog is at a healthy weight, so get a professional opinion whenever you can. Many pet owners unintentionally feed their gods too much, and that can lead to serious problems such as obesity.

The bottom line is that it will be your choice regarding which food you feel is best for your dog. If you do your research and talk to your vet, the chances are very good that whatever decision you ultimately make will be the right one for your beloved companion.

 

Sources:

1http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/best-dog-food-choosing-whats-right-for-your-dog/

2http://www.cliniciansbrief.com/sites/default/files/attachments/Pet%20Food%20Myth%20Busters.pdf

3http://www.merckvetmanual.com/management-and-nutrition/nutrition-small-animals/dog-and-cat-foods