You want your dog to have the best life possible and that starts with their diet. So, what is the best food for dogs? Our Seattle vets will go over what you need to know when selecting the best food for dogs.
What Does Your Dog Need in Their Diet
While each dog has their health requirements in general a dog is not a pure carnivore. Dogs can benefit from some non-meat ingredients for the extra minerals and vitamins, but the bulk of their diet should be meat.
There are vegan options available but if this is something you are interested in consult your veterinarian about it. This dietary plan may not be suitable for your breed of dog.
Some diets involve not using commercially produced dog food but feeding them raw meat and vegetables that are human food grade. This takes more work and you should consult your veterinarian if this is an option you wish to explore.
The more common diets involve commercially produced wet or dry dog food. If you are trying to pick a dog food the best thing you can do is to look at the label. Check the label for information on what is in the product. Meat should be the main ingredient.
Another way to tell if it's a good option is to look for AAFCO approval. "(Name of product) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles," it will say. The AAFCO will not tell you that it is the best food, but it will guarantee that it meets the bare minimum for the majority of dogs.
How Old is Your Dog?
The age of your dog affects the nutritional requirements of the dog.
A puppy should be given food that is puppy-friendly. Some puppies will be fine with a food label ‘for all a stage of life,’ but it is best to consult your veterinarian about your specific puppy.
Senior dogs are normally dogs that are 7+ years old. Often less active, their weight needs to be monitored more so does their diet.
How Big is Your Dog?
If your dog is a big breed variety it will need a diet that is rich in nutrients that will help support its large skeleton and muscles.
If your dog is a smaller breed then the choice of food is more often to do with avoiding choking hazards. Small hungry dogs can choke on kibbles made for larger dogs.
It is best to pick a food made for the size of your dog.
Dry Dog Food vs. Wet Dog Food
Dog owners want to know which is best for their dog, dry or wet. Sadly it is not that simple. Each food can be good or bad depending on the specific food.
The best way to choose is to ask yourself, "Which one will my dog eat?" Some dogs are picky eaters, whereas others will eat whatever is placed in front of them. The second question concerns their way of life. Wet food must be refrigerated after it has been opened. Do you have the means to keep the food refrigerated, and will it spoil before your dog eats it?