How to choose dog food?
1. Decide what kind of food you need – basic (everyday) or therapeutic.
If your dog does not have health problems, a regular complete feed is suitable. Clinical nutrition must be acquired in case of diseases, for example, for animals with arthritis, with digestive problems and a tendency to allergies.
When choosing a food, many factors are important – nutritional value, taste, shape and texture of croquet, cost, etc. What suits your friend’s dog will not necessarily suit your pet. If the dog does not like the food purchased, do not force him to eat. Get small packages of different feeds so that the pet chooses what he likes. High-quality feeds contain all the necessary vegetables that the dog will not eat fresh, but they are useful for her body.
2. The age of the pet.
At different stages of life, the dog requires a different type of feeding. Among the feeds of premium and super-premium class stand out entire series for all ages. From two weeks from birth, Starter feeds are offered, from 2 to 10 months – Junior, from 1 year to 8 years – Adult, from 6-8 years and more – Senior. It is this division that allows satisfying all the needs of the animal at different stages of its life.
3. The size of the dog.
For owners of medium-sized dogs, this criterion is not fundamental, but for miniature and large animals it is better to purchase food specially created taking into account their characteristics.
If you choose food with large granules, it may be too tough for a small dog. A dog, for example, needs more calcium than a cocker spaniel of the same age, which is why these foods for dogs of different sizes are the best choice for caring owners.
4. A way of life.
When choosing food you can not ignore the lifestyle of your pet. If the animal is official or constantly walks, plays, he needs food for active dogs. Typically, such a product is labeled “Active” or “Energy” on the package. The food will provide additional energy, support the body, weakened after illness, stress and help the bitches recover after feeding.
If the pet sleeps most of the time on the bed or in the sunbed, with a sleepy gaze escorting you to work, gets out for short walks, you can safely purchase dog food with a normal level of activity. Usually they have the signature “Normal” or “Standart”. For dogs that have lost their former shape and are prone to obesity, “Light” food is suitable.
5. Feed class.
Dry feeds are divided into classes. The most popular and advertised are feed of economy class. However, it is better to pay attention to the premium and super-premium class. They differ not only in price, but also in the quality of the ingredients that make up the composition. Premium and super-premium feeds contain high-quality protein and a minimum of grain (some feeds do not have them at all), as well as preservatives that do not harm. As a rule, economy-class feed is made from the remains of other feed or offal, low-quality grain, and soy.
That is why it is better to immediately feed your pet with high-quality food in order to avoid future health problems. By the way, good feeds have a higher nutritional value, and therefore even a small portion will completely satisfy the daily need for nutrients.
How to give a dog dry food according to the regimen
An important point when feeding dogs is compliance with the regime. Giving food to an adult dog is recommended twice a day, at the same time. The dosage of dry food that you determined from the table should be divided into two equal portions. Each of them must be poured into a bowl at the appointed time. For example, at 7.00 and 19.00 or at 8.00 and 20.00. The schedule of meals may be different, the main thing is that it does not conflict with your work schedule and is observed daily.
Between meals, do not leave dry food in the public domain (the exception is the lactation period, as we wrote above). If the dog has not mastered all the food offered or completely ignored it, hide the bowl until the next feeding. Then continue feeding according to the usual schedule and in the usual volume. This approach prevents overfeeding and promotes discipline.
Feed after a walk, not before
This rule is intuitively fulfilled by most owners, but it will not be superfluous to recall it again.
Since childhood, we are accustomed to eating appetite first, and then you can eat. In the case of dogs, there is another good reason for this sequence of actions: physical activity immediately after eating increases the risk of stomach upset in dogs prone to it. This is a dangerous condition, which is accompanied by a rapid increase in the volume of the abdomen and a sharp deterioration in the well-being of the animal.
Without surgery, stomach twisting leads to the death of the dog within a few hours. Representatives of large and giant breeds are especially prone to this misfortune. Therefore, you need to give food strictly after a walk, and not before.
Dog food types
1. Dry food
Dry food is dog food containing less than 10% of water . It is characterized by a long shelf life after opening and excellent cost performance . Most are heat-foamed and solid. It is a crisp type that is commonly used.
It also has the advantage that plaque is less likely to adhere to teeth, and comes in various forms such as granules and flakes. Because the water content is low, it is good to add water, such as raising or sprinkling with water .
2. Soft dry food
Dog food with a moisture content of 25% to 35% . It is inflated in the same way as dry food, and is characterized by being moist . We use a wet conditioner to keep you moist .
Although it has been heated and foamed, it must be carefully stored to prevent mold growth because it contains a lot of water .
3. Semi-moist food
A dog food with a water content of about 25% to 35%, comparable to soft dry food. Unlike dry and soft dry foods, they do not inflate and have a soft texture.
Moisture is maintained by the moisture conditioner, but if left unattended, the water will fly and become harder, so care must be taken when storing.
4. Wet food
Very soft dog food with a water content of around 75%. Packed in cans, retort pouches and aluminum trays . There are oatmeal types that use meat and fish as raw materials, and ration types that add vegetables and vitamins to them .
Dog food that can be stored for a long time if not opened . However, although it has been sterilized for quality preservation, it is easily damaged after opening, so please use it as soon as possible .