There are numerous types of dog food on the market, and you might be confused as to which will be the best to give your dog. The following tips should help you choose the right food for your pet.
Complete and balanced
The key to proper dog nutrition is to choose a food that is labelled "complete" or "balanced". These foods will contain all the nutrients that your dog needs for a healthy life. If the food is labelled "complementary", this means that it does not contain all the necessary nutrients and must be supplemented with a complete food. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with such foods, but you should only use them in addition to a complete food.
Wet or dry food
Foods may also be wet or dry. Wet foods are usually identifiable as meat, either as chunks or a loaf, whereas dry foods will take the form of biscuits or grains. However, the important difference is whether or not they are complete - otherwise, there is no particular benefit either way. However, your pet may prefer a particular type of food. If your dog is not enthusiastic about its dinner, it may be worth changing the type you are feeding it.
Although it is often thought that dogs are carnivores, they are in fact omnivores and will happily eat grains and vegetables as well as meat, and they can obtain most of their nutritional needs from a vegetarian diet. However, they need vitamin B12, which they can only get from meat. So if you want to put your dog on a vegetarian or vegan diet, you must make sure that the food has this vitamin added to it in order to avoid any health problems with your dog.
Dogs have different needs according to their age. A young and energetic puppy may need more calories and different nutrients than a senior and less active dog would need. In general, you should give a dog specially formulated puppy food until it is six to twelve months old, when you can switch to normal dog food. You should then consider switching to senior dog food when your dog is about seven or eight. This will ensure that it receives the right nutrition throughout its life.
The right food is the key to a healthy and happy dog. If you have any questions about pet food, just ask your veterinarian for advice.