Puppies require more protein and calories than adults or seniors, and what your puppy eats can also affect their immune function and overall wellbeing. They also require water, protein, fatty acids, and other minerals for proper health and wellbeing. Deficiencies in these areas can cause growth impairment and dehydration. Therefore, you'll need puppy food that includes all of these nutrients.
For adult dogs, their nutritional intake will decrease as they'll need fewer proteins and calories to function properly. Their foods should still contain the necessary nutrients they'll need to stay healthy and fit, including a multitude of vitamins, calcium, and fatty acids.
You'll also need to consider your dog's weight to determine how much you should be feeding them. Based on their size, lifestyle, and caloric need, you should be able to estimate how much food your dog will need every day.
Feeding your pet over this daily need can cause serious health issues, including diabetes or heart disease.
If you have a senior dog, you'll want a food that is low in calories but high in fiber, protein, and fatty acids. These three nutrients, especially fiber, are important for your senior dog's overall health, including their kidneys and bowel health.
Wet Dog Food VS Dry Dog Food
Another important consideration to take into account when picking a dog food is whether you'll feed your pet wet or dry food.
In part, this decision will be made based on which type of food your pet finds more enjoyable. Or, your veterinarian might weigh in and help you decide which type of food to go with.
Otherwise, when considering wet dog food or dry dog food, one of the most important things to keep in mind is hydration. Wet food is a great source of hydration for pets, and can help dogs who don't drink enough water during the day.
Wet food also contains fewer calories than dry food does, which is great if your pet needs to lose weight. Plus, wet food has a strong smell, which makes it great for building a dog's appetite prior to a meal.
If your dog has disfigured or missing teeth, wet food will be much easier for them to eat than dry food. That being said, wet food can also cause tooth decay and bad breath.
Unfortunately, wet food loses a significant amount of its nutrients when it's left out for too long, so if you know your dog won't eat immediately after their food is put out, it might not be the best option.
Wet food has also, in recent years, been found to contain high levels of BPA, which, in humans, can cause hormonal-related diseases.
On the other hand, dry food is more convenient (and clean) than wet food and can be kept out for hours without the worry of bacterial accumulation or spoilage. And the rough texture of Dry food can help clean your dog's teeth while he's eating.
Plus, dry foods often contain higher nutrient contents than wet foods!
Read The Label
The most important thing you'll want to do when purchasing a new dog food is to read the label, paying particular attention to the product name and the ingredients.
While it might seem unimportant to consider the product name, dog foods with ingredient-specific names in their title generally have fewer ingredients in higher quantities, which usually indicates they're healthier for your pet.
However, products like "Chicken Formula Dog Food" don't follow this idea, and actually contain more ingredients in lesser quantities.
As far as the ingredients list is concerned, the food's contents will be listed by weight. That being said, some dog food company's will hide their product's undesirable contents at the bottom of the label where they can't be seen as easily.
In general, if the food you're looking at has an AAFCO stamp of approval, it's probably a product that will keep your dog healthy for many years to come.
Best Dry Dog Foods
Now that you know a little about what to look for when purchasing a new dog food, we can look at some of the top-rated dog foods, both dry and wet, that are available for purchase.
Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food
This dog food is great, especially if your dog is a fan of chicken. In fact, the first five ingredients are great for your pet's health: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, and peas!
This product is considered "One of the best grain-inclusive kibbles on the market", and features a ratio of 52% carbs, 27% protein, and 13% carbs! This, in turn, creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%, which is very positive.
As far as price is concerned, this product is about in the middle of what you can expect to pay for a quality dry dog food.
Instinct Original Grain-Free Dry
This dog food is beef and chicken-based and, unlike the above product, grain-free. And, once again, this dog food is around the median for what you can expect a quality dog food to cost.
The first five ingredients of this product are beef, chicken meal, white fish meal, peas, and chicken fat. And, since this product features multiple flavor options other than beef, it's great if your dog is a picky eater and prefers a different meat flavor.
This product's recipe contains about 40% protein, 29% carbs, and 23% fat, creating a fat-to-protein ratio of nearly 57%!
Canidae Grain-Free Pure Dry Dog Food
This grain-free option is a bit pricier than the other options on this list, but it's a very high-quality food that will make many dogs, and their owners, happy.
More specifically, this salmon-derived product has a fat-to-protein ratio of 56% and contains 36% protein, 36% carbs, and about 20% fat. Its first five ingredients include salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, and peas.
All that said, this is a pricier options, and probably isn't the best option for more budget-conscious pet owners.
Best Wet Dog Foods
If you're looking for wet dog food for your pet, here are some great options!
Taste Of The Wild Wet Dog Food
This dog food product is considered an "all life stages recipe" meaning it's fit for your dog whether they're a puppy, adult, or even a senior. With around 44% protein, 25% carbs, and 22% estimated fat, this product yields a 50% fat-to-protein ratio.
Furthermore, this dog food's first five ingredients are: beef, lamb broth, vegetable broth, lamb liver, and dried egg product.
And, according to one reviewer, this food is great for dogs with IBS.
Halo Wet Dog Food
This product comes in eight canned recipes, but their most popular is their lamb-based wet dog food. This particular product's first five ingredients are lamb, chicken broth, beef liver, barley, and carrots.
This is grain-inclusive dog food and is best suited for adults. With a 56% fat-to-protein ratio, and a recipe containing 50% protein, 28% fat, and 14% carbs, this is exceptional dog food.
Nature's Recipe Dog Food Trays
Nature's Recipe Dog Food Trays are very convenient because, as the name implies, they come in small, single-serving trays.
Although this is a grain-inclusive product, it features about 65% protein, 16% carbs, and 12% fat, giving it an outstanding fat-to-protein ratio of 18%. And with the first five ingredients being chicken, chicken broth, pumpkin, salmon, and brown rice, rest assured that this product is a very healthy option for your pet. v
There are many options when it comes to choosing food for your pet dog. That being said, as long as you keep the above considerations in mind, as well as your dog's personal preference, you should be able to find great food that will keep your dog happy, and healthy, for the rest of their long lives!
This article has not been paid for by any advertiser. Living.Guide does not endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. This content is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice or analysis.