Dog owners often face a natural question: how to choose dog food? Reviews of veterinarians are quite contradictory: everyone advises brands with which clinics cooperate. But even so subjective can help you choose the right diet.
Veterinarians are repelled by the individual characteristics of the dog's body. Some need a high protein diet, others need a diet that contains herbs and fruits. It is worth understanding what the categories of food are in general and what are their characteristic features.
Feed classes that exist in our time
There are four food classes: economy, premium, super premium and holistic. They differ from each other primarily in quality.
► Economy feed is made from cheap grain and waste from slaughterhouses, and not always of a meat nature. They contain a minimum of natural ingredients that are useful for dogs. But grains, artificial flavors and dyes are enough in them. Because of these features, economy class is undesirable.
► Premium foods have an acceptable reputation. They consist of meat components, as well as vegetables. Among them there are not only those that are useful for dogs, but also those that simply increase the caloric content of the diet. Nevertheless, the premium class is digested by about 75%.
► Super-premium is not much different from the previous category, but is absorbed 5% more successfully. They also do not contain dyes, preservatives and flavorings.
► Holistic dog food consists of at least a third of meat in its purest form. The production is carried out by well-known brands with European certificates. Due to the fact that factories are built outside of USA, our prices for holistic are high: they include not only the cost of European technologies and materials, but also customs duties.
How to choose the right food for your dog?
There are numerous gradations of nutrition: by age, by weight, by health, and even by breed. It is quite easy to get confused in them, because not everything that is written on the packaging is worthy of faith. Let's try to understand what you need to pay attention to when choosing a diet and which dry dog food is better according to veterinarians.
Parameters to consider when choosing food
In USA, more than a hundred different dog foods are registered, taking into account breed, age, and health status. Yes, such a variety makes you get lost if the owner chooses food for the first time or to replace the old one. However, you can’t get lost in their list, you need to take into account a number of important parameters:
- The taste of food should be pleasant to the pet. You can evaluate his attitude to the proposed food by observing the reaction to a fresh bowl, salivation volumes and general joy before feeding. If the dog refuses to eat, it is better to choose a different diet and brand.
- The dog should not have problems with the gastrointestinal tract. The fact is that many feeds have a rather sharp composition, it can harm an irritated intestine or stomach with disturbed microflora. So, if there are digestive problems, when choosing food, rely only on the opinion of a veterinarian.
- What food to choose for a dog with allergies? There is no universal rule here, but a dog's allergies should definitely be considered when choosing a diet. Usually, hypoallergenic feeds contain a low concentration of grain components, meat by-products and artificial colors and preservatives.
- It is important to analyze in time how much you plan to spend on dog food. Ideally, you should buy holistic or super premium food, but they are really expensive. If you don't have the money for expensive food, but want to provide a healthy diet for your pet, consult your veterinarian or breeder.
- Before you buy a large supply of food, you need to wait a few weeks. During this time, it is necessary to monitor the quality of the skin and coat. If unpleasant changes are observed, it is better to abandon the food innovation.
What should be included in a good diet?
The rules described earlier are not enough to select the right nutrition. You can choose a good dry dog food by correctly analyzing the chemical composition of the diet and, of course, the concentration of all useful and harmful substances. It is usually measured as a percentage. The most desirable ingredients are:
- Fillet of turkey, chicken, sea fish, pure beef or rabbit;
- Bone flour;
- Brown or brown rice;
- Turnips or beets;
- An Apple;
- Forest herbs in small concentration;
- Algae of marine origin.
Supplements You Shouldn't Have
It’s hard to choose food for dogs that are not dangerous for the health of the animal additives. But you can see the list of the most controversial components of feed. If you see at least a couple from the list presented, it is better to refrain from the purchase:
- Sodium hexametaphosphate affects the chemical composition of water, in production this substance is used to regulate acidity. Hexametaphosphate provokes skin irritation, slows down the growth of the pet and does not affect the functioning of the kidneys, the excretory system as a whole.
- Taurin is familiar to all of energy drinks like Red Bull or Dizzzy. He helps people maintain vivacity and energy, but Taurin can significantly harm dogs. The substance either provokes the increased nervous excitability of the dog, or will introduce it into apathy. Whatever the reaction, Taurin will worsen the health of the pet.
- Carragan is obtained from processed algae. It is able to cause inflammatory processes in the dog’s intestines. But he does not affect a person so much, which is why Carragan is part of yogurts and other dairy products intended for people.
- The composition should not have many meat offal. Usually they are not called so directly. But if, for example, on the best dog food storage container it is not written “chicken fillet”, but “chicken”, then the manufacturer retains the right to use all parts of the bird up to bones, veins, feathers, beaks and claws. Obviously, such components worsen the quality of nutrition.
- Basin is a rather dangerous dye for animal, having a carcinogenic character. With regular use as part of dry or humid feed, this substance leads to the formation of malignant tumors, so you need to most vigilantly monitor its presence or absence in the composition.
7 best dog feed
The parameters described above are rarely combined in one stern entirely and completely. But there are seven feed, the advantages of which are noticeably higher than their shortcomings. It is worth analyzing the pros and cons of these dog diets, because this is the only way to do the most consciously possible to choose food for the pet.
- Royal Canin has a wide power line for adult dogs of 20 breeds and puppies of at least 16 breeds. Feed is widespread in different stores. Adequate price
- The composition contains offal of unknown origin. There are no specific data on the percentage of meat in the stern. American diets are inferior as European, for example, French
- A variety of best dog food storage containers and a collection of diets for all kinds of dogs of dogs. Food restores microflora, improves metabolic processes. Allergic reactions are not found
- It is distributed exclusively through an official dealer, that is, in the Grandorf pet store not to be purchased. Some varieties contain less than 5% of plant fiber
- A balanced amount of meat, vegetables, herbs and fruits in the composition. Meat components are dehydrated protein, fish and natural meat. Acana hardly provokes allergies
- A high concentration of protein in the composition can provoke constipation and other digestive disorders. The price is quite high
- Medium granules that dogs easily chew. From 25% to 50% of meat or fish. Almost complete hypoallergenicity. A minimum of grain components, that is, is safe for health
- The price is high, moreover, it changes due to instability of the exchange rate. Feed with tomatoes is often provoked by allergies. Due to the high concentration of fat, food is not suitable for inactive dogs
- Completely natural composition – only meat, offal from its production and vitamins. It does not contain grain crops, in addition to rice. The share of meat exceeds 80%
- According to reviews from buyers, Brit banks have become larger than the jelly component. High price. Problems with searching in standard stores, most often found with veterinary pharmacies
- The main meat component is dehydrated meat. More than 12 vitamins in the compositionccessful composition of medicinal herbs and natural chondroprotectors
- The low share of meat in the composition is not more than 30% of the total power. Synthetic antioxidant E321, whose benefits are not proved. Difficulties with deliveries in USA
- Accessibility and adequate cost, standard ratio of minerals and vitamins 6: 3. Natural fresh vegetables in the composition. Convenient packaging packaging
- The composition of the food Purina One is not fully spelled out, so it is impossible to find out who produces meat. It includes allergens: wheat and corn. There are aromatic and taste additives
Reviews of veterinarians
Maxim, Veterinary doctor of the clinic "Emergency"
Unfortunately, not all of my clients are willing to spend money on expensive food. Recently I took care of the stomach of a poodle, which the elderly owner fed for three years with cereals on grain and economy food, while the diet did not change depending on the age of the dog. Of course, if you provide such an animal with timely assistance, everything will be fine. But it's better not to run the pet condition, so I advise you to buy Brit or the less expensive Probalance.
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Alisa, veterinarian at the Animal Service clinic
Not all advertised diets can be given to animals. I prefer the German brand Wolfsblut, but it is expensive. Fortunately, I work in an expensive private clinic, so a significant part of the clients listen to the recommendation, and I am calm for the dogs. But for those who are fed premium or economy, I'm afraid. Already by the age of three, such animals begin to get sick.
George, veterinarian, Chicago
I am totally against cheap food. If you can't buy high-quality dog food, make natural food with at least 30% pure meat. Or don't get a pet. A dog is a responsibility, so you need to either invest in its health, or deny yourself fleeting desires to take care of a four-legged one. I feed my own dog – I have a one-year-old Labrador – Acana. And I advise others.