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Best Dog Food: Choosing What’s Right For Your Dog

food bowl header


In an ideal world, all kibble would be created equal. Instead, dog owners are presented with an overwhelming array of options, all claiming to be the best dog food on the market. Wading through these choices to find a dog food brand that is healthy, affordable, and appealing to your pet is often frustrating. Luckily, we have some advice to help you narrow down your options.

What Makes A Dog Food Good?  

puppy eating


Most people feed their dogs processed kibble or wet food. These processed foods might not be appealing to us, but they contain all of the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy. Most quality commercial foods are highly regulated and have undergone rigorous testing by veterinary specialists. So what exactly is in these foods?

Dogs, unlike cats, are not strict carnivores. While meat makes up the majority of their diet, domestic dogs also derive nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. These non-meat foods are not simply fillers. They are a valuable source of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A good dog food will contain meat, vegetables, grains, and fruits. The best dog foods contain high-quality versions of these ingredients that are appropriate for your dog’s digestive system.

 

Dog Nutrition

The best dog food for your canine companion should meet his nutritional needs. While most commercial dog food brands are specially formulated with at least the minimum nutritional requirements for dogs, it is important to remember that not every dog has the same nutritional needs.

Dogs require a wide range of nutrients in different quantities over the course of their lives. The nutritional needs of a puppy are different from an adult dog, which is why it is a good idea to feed a puppy formula or an “all life stages” food to your young dog. If you are unsure about the differences in nutritional requirements between puppies and adults, the Merck Veterinary Manual lists the recommended nutrients for dogs, along with the recommended amount by weight and age.

More about dog nutrition and feeding

 

Dog Food Myths and Misinformation  

dog in sun


There is a wealth of misinformation about dog food and dog nutrition on the Internet. You can sort through it by following one simple rule: check your sources. Many well-meaning individuals make claims about dog nutrition without backing them up with scientific evidence. As you do your research, always check to see if the information is supported by a credible source, like a veterinarian, nutritionist, or scientific study. It never hurts to be skeptical, either. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Many people have concerns about their dogs eating grains or animal byproducts. If your dog has a grain allergy, you should certainly choose a grain-free diet, however, whole grains are actually a source of wholesome nutrients. Quality animal byproducts are also nutritious. These include organs and entrails, which often contain more nutrients than the muscle meat consumed by humans. Regulated byproducts do not include hooves, hair, floor sweepings, intestinal contents, or manure. As with any pet-related inquiry, feel free to discuss your concerns about your dog’s food with your veterinarian.

 

How To Read A Dog Food Label

One way to determine a good dog food from a bad is to read the label. This is easier said than done, as labels are not only hard to read, due to the small print and awkwardness of handling bags of food in the store, but also because labels can be misleading, as the Merck Veterinary Manual explains. Labels are required to tell you eight pieces of information:

  1. Product name
  2. Net weight of the product
  3. Name and address of the manufacturer
  4. Guaranteed analysis
  5. List of ingredients
  6. Intended animal species (i.e. dog or cat)
  7. Statement of nutritional adequacy
  8. Feeding guidelines


Product Name
 

The product name tells you a lot about the product. The term “beef” means that beef must make up at least 70 percent of the entire product. The terms “beef dinner,” “beef entrée,” or “beef platter,” on the other hand, only require that beef makes up at least 10 percent of the entire product. “With beef” only requires that 3 percent of the total product be beef, and “beef flavor” simply implies that there is enough beef in the product to flavor it (less than 3 percent).


Ingredients
 

The ingredient list on the label will not tell you the quality of the ingredients or where they came from, and some manufacturers split up the ingredients to make the distribution more equal. For instance, different types of corn, such as flaked corn, ground corn, or kibbled corn, can be listed separately. This bumps corn down on the list of ingredients, even though the actual content of corn in the food is high. Meat is another tricky ingredient. Whole meats contain a large percentage of water weight, which means that the overall percentage of meat after processing is lower than it appears. Meat meal, on the other hand, sounds less appealing to us but actually contains more meat than “whole meats,” as there is no water weight to throw off the calculation.

While the ingredient list might not tell you the quality of the ingredients, it does tell you what is in the food. This is especially important for dogs with special dietary needs or allergies and is also useful for owners who wish to feed their dogs specific sources of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates.


“Complete And Balanced” Dog Foods
 

One of the first things you should look for on a label is the statement “complete and balanced.” This is more than just advertising – the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has strict requirements to make sure that a product is in fact complete and balanced. Complete and balanced diets must contain the minimum amount of all of the nutrients necessary for dogs, which is also indicated in the “guaranteed analysis.” This analysis gives the minimum amount of crude protein and fat, along with the maximum amounts of water and crude fiber. The analysis does not, however, give the exact amount of these components, which means there is room for considerable variation. The manufacturer’s average nutrient profile is often a better tool for evaluating a product.

You can always contact the dog food company directly to get more information about its product. A reputable company that has your pet’s interest at heart should be happy to answer your questions and in many cases will give you more information than what is available on the website or product label. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has a helpful sheet with questions you can ask a company representative.
 

The Best Dog Food for Small and Large Breeds  

large and small dog


Small dogs and big dogs have different nutritional needs. Large breed dogs are more prone to musculoskeletal problems than smaller breeds, and so they often require food with higher balances of certain nutrients to promote musculoskeletal health, especially as puppies. Small breed dogs, on the other hand, can choke on the large kibbles in large dog breed food and have their own nutritional requirements. Research your dog's breed to find out if there are any additional nutritional requirements you need to be aware of.

More about the best dog food for small breeds.

More about the best dog food for large breeds.

 

The Best Dog Food For Puppies  

puppy in bowl


The nutritional needs of dogs vary throughout their life. Puppies have different nutritional needs than active adult dogs, and senior dogs have their own nutritional considerations. Most dog food companies carry specially formulated foods for each stage of life, making it easier to narrow down your choices. If you are concerned about which is the best dog food for your dog’s life stage, consult your veterinarian to see what stage is appropriate for your dog.

Your puppy requires a different nutrient balance than an adult dog. This is especially true for large breed puppies, as their growth needs to be monitored carefully to prevent bone and joint disease. Other puppies do well on both “puppy food” and food labeled “for all life stages.” The best food for your puppy depends on your puppy’s size and breed.

More information about feeding puppies

More information about feeding large and small breed puppies

 

The Best Dog Food For Dogs With Special Dietary Needs

Allergies, sensitive stomachs, and dietary restrictions affect dogs, as well as people. Feeding dogs with special dietary needs can be tricky. Your best course of action is to consult your veterinarian for advice about the dog food that best helps with their condition.

More about why people warm their dog’s food.

 

Best Dry Dog Food

The most widely available and affordable dog food is dry dog food. Dry dog food does not require refrigeration, which is its main advantage over wet dog food, as it contains approximately 90 percent dry matter and 10 percent water. This makes it easy to store. Dry dog food is made by combining and cooking ingredients like meat and grains. This process converts the starches in the food into an easily digested form, while also destroying toxins and flash sterilizing the ingredients. There are many different varieties of dry dog food on the shelves. The best dry food for your dog depends on your dog's dietary needs. In general, a higher quality dry dog food that contains the appropriate ingredients for your dog's life stage and breed is the best choice, but talk to your vet or veterinary nutritionist about the healthiest choice for your pet.

 

Best Wet Dog Food

Wet dog food, or canned dog food, is a perfectly viable alternative to dry dog food. While generally slightly more expensive, wet dog food is more palatable than dry food and can help stimulate the appetite of picky eaters. Wet dog food contains many of the same ingredients as dry dog food, but not in the same quantities. Wet food contains higher amounts of fresh meat, poultry, fish, and animal byproducts, along with more textured proteins derived from grains. Canned dog food has a long shelf life, however it must be refrigerated once opened. The best wet food for your dog, just as with dry dog food, depends on your dog's life stage, breed, and any special dietary needs or allergies. Talk to your vet about the wet dog food that he recommends for your pet.

 

 

بهترین سگ غذا: انتخاب آنچه برای سگ شما مناسب است
آنا برک | 15 ژوئیه 2016

هدر غذای کاسه


در یک جهان ایده آل، تمام کببل ها برابر با یکدیگر خواهند بود. در عوض، صاحبان سگ ها با مجموعه ای از گزینه های گوناگون ارائه می شوند که ادعا می شود بهترین غذای سگ در بازار است. از طریق این انتخاب ها برای پیدا کردن یک نام تجاری غذای سگ که سالم، مقرون به صرفه و جذاب به حیوان خانگی شما است، اغلب ناامید کننده است. خوشبختانه، ما برخی از توصیه ها برای کمک به گزینه های شما را محدود کرده ایم.
چه چیزی خوب غذای سگ را می سازد؟

غذای توله سگ


اکثر مردم غذاهای سگ خود را تغذیه می کنند. این غذاهای فرآوری شده ممکن است برای ما جذاب نباشد، اما آنها حاوی تمام مواد مغذی هستند که سگ ها باید سالم بمانند. اکثر غذاهای تجاری با کیفیت بسیار تنظیم می شوند و توسط متخصصان دامپزشکی تحت آزمایش دقیق قرار گرفته اند. پس دقیقا چه چیزی در این غذاها است؟

سگ ها، بر خلاف گربه ها، گوشتخوار نیستند. در حالی که گوشت اکثریت رژیم غذایی خود را تشکیل می دهد، سگ های خانگی نیز مواد مغذی را از غلات، میوه ها و سبزیجات دریافت می کنند. این غذاهای غیر گوشتی صرفا پرکننده نیستند. آنها منبع ارزشمند ویتامین ها، مواد معدنی و فیبر هستند. غذای سگ خوب حاوی گوشت، سبزیجات، غلات و میوه ها است. بهترین غذاهای سگ شامل نسخه های با کیفیت بالا از این مواد تشکیل دهنده مناسب برای سیستم گوارش سگ شما است.
 

تغذیه سگ

بهترین غذای سگ برای همراهان سگ شما باید نیازهای تغذیه خود را برآورده کند. در حالی که بیشتر مارک های تجاری تجاری سگ با حداقل حداقل الزامات تغذیه ای برای سگ طراحی شده اند، مهم است که به یاد داشته باشید که هر سگ نیازمند نیازهای تغذیه ای نیست.

سگ ها طیف گسترده ای از مواد مغذی را در مقادیر مختلف در طول زندگی خود نیاز دارند. نیازهای تغذیه توله سگ از سگ بالغ متفاوت است، به همین دلیل توصیه می شود که یک فرم توله سگ یا یک مرحله «تمام مراحل زندگی» را به سگ جوان خود تغذیه کنید. اگر شما در مورد تفاوت نیازهای تغذیه ای بین توله سگ و بزرگسالان مطمئن نیستید، راهنمای Merck Veterinary Guide مواد غذایی توصیه شده برای سگ را همراه با مقدار توصیه شده توسط وزن و سن، لیست می کند.

اطلاعات بیشتر در مورد تغذیه و تغذیه سگ
 

اسطوره های مواد غذایی سگ و اطلاعات غلط



اطلاعات غلط درباره غذای سگ و تغذیه سگ در اینترنت وجود دارد. شما می توانید از طریق آن یک قانون ساده را مرتب کنید: منابع خود را بررسی کنید. بسیاری از افراد به اصطلاح، ادعای تغذیه سگ را بدون حمایت از شواهد علمی ارائه می دهند. همانطور که تحقیق خود را انجام می دهید، همیشه بررسی کنید که آیا اطلاعات توسط یک منبع معتبر مانند دامپزشک، متخصص تغذیه یا مطالعه علمی پشتیبانی می شود. هرگز صدمه ای به آن نمی زند. اگر به نظر می رسد خیلی خوب است که درست باشد، احتمالا این است.

بسیاری از مردم نگران سگهای خوردن دانه و یا محصولات جانبی حیوانی هستند. اگر سگ شما حساسیت به دانه داشته باشد، باید یک رژیم غذایی بدون دانه را انتخاب کنید، با این حال دانه های غلات واقعا منبع مواد مغذی سالم هستند. محصولات جانوری با کیفیت نیز مواد مغذی هستند. این ها شامل اندام ها و غده هایی هستند که اغلب دارای مواد مغذی بیشتری نسبت به گوشت عضلانی مصرف شده توسط انسان ها هستند. محصولات جانبی تنظیم شده شامل کتک ها، مو، جارو برقی، محتویات روده یا کود نیست. همانطور که با هر پرس و جو مربوط به حیوان خانگی، احساس رایگان برای بحث خود را در مورد مواد غذایی سگ خود را با دامپزشک خود.
 

چگونه برای خواندن یک برچسب غذای سگ

یک راه برای تعیین یک غذای خوب سگ از بد، برچسب زدن است. این گفته ساده تر از انجام آن است، زیرا برچسب ها به دلیل چاپ کوچک و ناخوشایند دست زدن به کیسه های مواد غذایی در فروشگاه، برچسب ها را نمی خوانند، بلکه به دلیل اینکه برچسب Merck Veterinary Manual توضیح می دهد، ممکن است برچسب ها نیز گمراه کننده باشند. برچسب ها نیاز به هشت قسمت از اطلاعات دارند:

    
نام محصول
    
وزن خالص محصول
    
نام و آدرس سازنده
    
تجزیه و تحلیل تضمین شده
    
فهرست مواد
    
گونه های حیوانی مورد نظر (به عنوان مثال سگ یا گربه)
    
اعلامیه کفایت تغذیه
    
دستورالعمل تغذیه


نام محصول
 


نام محصول به شما در مورد محصول زیاد می گوید. اصطلاح "گوشت گاو" به این معنی است که گوشت گاو باید حداقل 70 درصد کل محصول را تشکیل دهد. از سوی دیگر، اصطلاح "شام گوشت گاو"، "گوشت گاو" یا "گوشت گاو"، فقط از گوشت گاو می گویند که حداقل 10 درصد از کل محصول را تشکیل می دهد. "با گوشت گاو" فقط نیاز به این دارد که 3 درصد از کل محصول به صورت گوشت گاو و "طعم گوشت گاو" به سادگی نشان می دهد که گوشت گاو به اندازه کافی برای آن طعم دارد (کمتر از 3 درصد).

عناصر
 


لیست مواد موجود بر روی برچسب به شما نمی گوید که کیفیت مواد و یا از کجا آمده است، و برخی از تولید کنندگان مواد تشکیل دهنده را برای توزیع بیشتر مساوی تقسیم می کنند. به عنوان مثال، انواع مختلف ذرت، مانند ذرت ذوب شده، ذرت زمین، یا ذرت کبیده، می تواند به طور جداگانه ذکر شود. این لکه ها بر لیست ترکیبات ذرت قرار می گیرند، حتی اگر مقدار واقعی ذرت در غذا بالا باشد. گوشت یکی دیگر از مواد مخدر است. گوشت کامل حاوی درصد زیادی از وزن آب است که به این معنی است که درصد کل

 

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