HOW TO CHOOSE DOG FOOD?
1.Feed selection by dog age
By age, dog food is divided into 4 main groups:
- Starter puppy food – designed for the smallest puppies who have stopped feeding on their mother’s milk.
- Food for puppies of the first year of life – “Junior”
- Dog food from 1 to 8 years old (adults) – “Adult”
- Dog food for older dogs (aging, for those over 8 years old) – Senior
Such a separation by the age of the animal is necessary due to the fact that the digestive system (with different intensities) develops differently at each age. That is why it is important to comply with age criteria when choosing food.
Each age group has a different food composition, for example, for puppies, fats and glucose should prevail in the composition (which makes the composition similar to breast milk). But older pets should receive food with a high content of protein, fiber and carbohydrates.
2.Dog lifestyle choices
- All dog foods are divided into three main categories depending on the activity of your pet.
- “Active” or “Energy” – suitable for active dogs – hunting, sports, business, which are energetic throughout the day, they need additional sources of nutrients and energy.
- “Normal” or “Standart” – for pets who lead a moderately active lifestyle. Suitable for dogs often walking, active, young. This food contains the best combination and amount of nutrients.
- “Senior” – is mainly purchased for aging dogs, as well as for those dogs that lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Always focus on the activity of your pet, each dog has its own needs for proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
3.Feed selection by type
There are three types of food, depending on the specific needs of the animal:
- Medical food – produced specifically for dogs with certain health deviations. The food is prescribed by the veterinarian, it must be consumed strictly according to the instructions. Medical food for dogs can only be purchased from premium manufacturers.
- Specialized food – created to prevent and eliminate pet health problems (obesity, digestive and urinary system disorders, as well as for sterilized animals)
- Daily food – for healthy dogs, this food is great for a daily diet.
Important! Closely monitor the daily feed rate, do not overfeed your pet, its health and longevity depend on it.
How to feed a dog dry food
Heavy drink 24/7
Providing your pet with round-the-clock access to fresh clean water is the first and most important rule when using ready-made dry rations. While wet feed and natural meat are 60–80% water, then in dry granules it is practically absent. Lack of fluid in the diet negatively affects the work of all body systems, can lead to dehydration and the development of chronic diseases.
To avoid problems, regularly check the animal for water. Many dogs refuse muddy drinking, which previously got saliva. And they do the right thing: after all, in such an environment, pathogenic microbes multiply rapidly, provoking diseases and poisoning. Therefore, if you care about the health of the dog, do not be lazy to update the contents of the drinking bowl more often.
It is recommended that working owners who spend the whole day outside the house pay attention to automatic drinking bowls – special devices designed to water the dog without human intervention. They are of two main types:
- with the flow of water from a previously prepared tank;
- with connection directly to the water supply system.
Often, these gadgets are equipped with filters for water purification, the ability to adjust the pressure and other additional functions.
What ’s the difference between age-specific foods?
Dogs and cats become almost adult dogs and cats in their first year of life. From birth to one year of age, puppies and kittens require more nutrients than adult dogs and cats because they require more nutrients for growth. Pet age-specific foods are displayed in three levels according to the following situations (Exhibition: Partially reorganized the Pet Food Association website).
1.Pregnancy / lactation food
It is a so-called milk substitute that is given until about 4 weeks of age. There are powdered milk and liquid milk based on the components of dog and cat breast milk. There are also high-nutrition foods designed to meet the nutritional standards that mother dogs and cats need for breastfeeding.
2.Food for pregnancy / lactation / food for puppies / kittens / growth
Until around 8 weeks of age, we give so-called baby food. If the mother and the weaning child live together, they may imitate the mother and start eating dry food, but if not, instead of suddenly giving granular dry food, It is a good idea to increase the size of the grains, paste the flake or powdered food, or make it into a wet type.
From about 8 weeks of age to 1 year old (up to 1 and a half years for large dogs, up to about 10 months for ultra-small dogs), give food indicated for puppies and kittens, growing or growth . Vitamins, minerals and amino acids required for bone and body growth are fortified, making it a comprehensive nutritional diet designed to provide sufficient protein and lipids.
After 1 year old, it is displayed as adult dog / cat or maintenance period, maintenance, etc., and there are various types of food.
In addition, from the age of 6 to 8 years old, attention has been drawn to the increase in dogs and cats who live longer, such as “food for elderly dogs and cats”, “food for elderly dogs and cats”, and “food for long-lived dogs and cats”. There is also a “food” (how to divide the age and how to write it depends on the product and manufacturer). This food is adjusted to low fat and low calorie according to the decrease of the amount of exercise and metabolism, and the component is adjusted in consideration of the decrease of each function of the body and the supplement of nutrition.