How to buy dog food
A dog food buying guide
Your pet is an important part of your family. When you buy food for your family, you consider many things, including nutritional value and taste. Likewise, when you think about how to buy dog food, you should consider several factors before you shop. Determine which dog food is right for your dog with help from this dog food buying guide.
>> What is your dog's age and general health?
A primary consideration is the age of your dog. Younger dogs usually are usually more active, and may require more calories and fat than older dogs. Because they are less active, older dogs may need a dog food type that is low in calories and fat. Older dogs have a harder time digesting anything but bland dog food. Regardless of the dog's age, if you have been using one type or brand for some time, think carefully before changing it. If you do decide to buy dog food that is different from what your dog is used to, introduce the new brand slowly, mixing it in with the old brand as the dog transitions to the new food.
When determining how to buy dog food, also consider your dog's health. Many dogs need special food or a special type of food to stay healthy. Many dogs, young and old, may have problems with their mouths, stomachs or other body parts. These dogs do well with specific dog food types. If you have questions, ask your dog's veterinarian.
>> What kind of food does your dog like to eat?
As you think about how to buy dog food, an important consideration is whether or not your dog will eat the dog food you buy. Most dogs are not picky and eat almost anything you give them. For those who are a little more discerning, many dog foods have a strong, meaty taste that dogs like. Be careful when changing brands or types when shopping for dog food for an older dog; a younger dog may not care as much as an older dog does. Be sure you monitor what your dog is eating. If you think your dog should be eating more or less dog food, then you may want to consider a different type of dog food the next time you think about how to buy dog food.
>> What are the different types of dog food?
Many dog owners think of dry dog food when considering how to buy dog food, primarily due to convenience. Dry dog food is available in different quantities, is easy to serve and is easy to store. Dog owners often add a bit of water or broth to dry dog food to make it taste better and to make it easier to digest. If there are leftovers in the dog bowl, dry dog food can remain fresh for some time.
Wet dog food is another popular option. Wet dog food often contains more protein and fat than other types of dog food. Excess moisture may develop into chunks that look like meat, and many dogs like that taste and appearance. Wet dog food is relatively easy to store and serve. Canned dog food may be a particularly good choice for smaller dogs who do not eat very much, or for dogs that have problems chewing, swallowing or with other digestive actions. Because ingredients vary so much in wet dog food, be sure you read the label to determine what kind of dog food is the best dog food to buy for your dog.
For owners who want or need a different option than traditional wet or dry dog food, there are a number of alternative dog foods to consider, including nutrition dog foods. Some dog owners prefer vegetarian dog food, due to health or ethical reasons. Vegetarian dog foods offer protein from non-meat sources such as peas and potatoes. Dehydrated dog food is basically wet dog food without water, made this way in an effort to reduce bacteria growth. The dog owner adds the water right before serving the dog food. Dehydrated dog food gives dog owners more control over what their dogs eat. Frozen or freeze-dried dog food may not be as heavily processed as other dog food types and thus may be more nutritious.
>> What are some dog food accessories?
Dog supplies you may want include bowls and automatic food dispensers. The bowl should be the appropriate size for your dog. Very busy owners may want to consider an automatic food dispenser, which means that you fill the dispenser only once or twice a week as opposed to filling a bowl once or twice a day. Many dog owners keep a supply of dog treats on hand to reward their dogs and encourage good behavior.
As you determine which is the best dog food to buy, consider this dog food comparison chart.
| What your dog needs || |
- Consider your dog's age
- Consider your dog's health
- Consider your dog's habits and preferences
| Types of dog food || |
Choosing the right dog food is an important way to help keep your dog healthy and happy for many years.