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What is A Good Dog Food My Pupper Can Eat?

by Vetic Editorial
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Nutrition is the most crucial part of your dog’s health and well-being. Without proper dog food, your dog will lack the groundwork necessary for a strong immune system, proper muscle development and overall good health. 

There have been long-standing debates about different brands of dry dog food, wet food and home-cooked dog food. Ideally, all packaged and home-prepared dog foods should have been “good dog food.” Sadly, that’s not the case. 

Good dog food provides your dog with optimum nutrition

What Is Good Dog Food?

Any food that provides optimal nutrition to your dog according to their breed, age and size is good dog food. It is much easier to pick a dry food or wet food brand for dogs as compared to preparing home-cooked meals. 

Did you know? Dogs are not strictly carnivorous. Their digestive capabilities are quite similar to omnivores. That means your dog can gain nutrition from grains and vegetables in addition to meat. Vegetables and grains are important sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre for your pupper. Ideally, you should pick dog food with all these components in the highest possible quality. 

The main challenge for home-cooked meals is the lack of the proper nutritional values assigned to each ingredient. For example – you know your dog can have rice, chicken, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. However, do you know how much veggie and chicken or egg your dog needs everyday? Do you know the nutrient content of each vegetable you are including in their meal? Most importantly, are you aware of their breed-specific and age or size-specific nutritional requirements?

Speak to a veterinarian and canine nutritionist for a proper doggy diet chart. Find out exactly what type of rice, meats and vegetables your dog should eat and in what quantities. 

Is My Puppy Receiving Enough Nutrition From Packaged Food?

Have you spoken to your veterinarian or a nutritionist before choosing the dog food brand and type? A food that’s ideal for adult dogs is unsuitable for puppies or seniors. Never feed adult dog food to your puppy. They do not have enough nutrients to fuel your puppy, and they can be a choking hazard due to the larger kibble sizes. 

Puppies have much higher caloric needs as compared to adult dogs. Our vets recommend feeding puppies puppy formula or puppy food for a few months. You may continue giving puppy food until your puppy reaches their full size, but right before they begin gaining excess weight. 

Good dog food options can be kibbles or wet food

The type of food will depend upon the breed and size of your puppy. You do not want your puppy to become too emaciated or obese. Therefore, you cannot feed a German Shepherd pup the same dog food a Pug puppy eats, and vice versa. 

While choosing a dog food for your adult dog, choose one that caters to their breed, unique lifestyle, and activity level. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or excessive allergies consider choosing prescription dog food. Similarly, if they have joint problems or obesity, pick prescription dog foods that address these specific concerns. 

If you are unsure about the brand and type of dog food your pup should have, speak to one of our vets. We can help you find the right puppy food that meets the nutritional needs of your new puppy or long-time companion. 

What Are The Different Types Of Packaged Dog Food? 

There is significant ongoing research and debate on a grain-free diet, all-organic diet, and holistic diets for dogs. There is no easy way of determining which diet is best since that depends upon the nutritional needs and health condition(s) of your dog. 

overfeeding always leads to weight issues in dogs

Currently, all the packaged dry food in the market can be classified into –

  • Generic or economy dog food
  • Veterinary prescription diets
  • Premium dog food
  • Super premium dog food

Veterinary (prescription) dog food caters to pooches with chronic conditions or health problems. However, premium and super-premium dog foods cater to pet parents who want high-quality nutritious diets for their dogs and puppies. They offer the best nutrition for pups and dogs that money can buy. 

The Indian premium and super premium dog food brands state each ingredient in grams and percentages with high accuracy. They are highly palatable as compared to the generic and economical brands of dog food. Most of them also mention the relevant research on the ingredients that go into manufacturing these dog foods. 

What Does The Food Label On The Dog Food Package Say?

So, you are feeding packaged food to your dog. Now, it is time to figure out if you have made the right choice. One way to do that is by asking the brand representative. An easier way to do that is by learning to read the product label on the dog food packaging. 

Almost every bag of dog food available in India has the following information –

  • Name of the product
  • Target animal (dog or cat)
  • Target age, size of the dog, and/or breed
  • Whether it caters to a special need (gastric, joint, obesity, struvite and kidney)
  • Guaranteed analysis
  • List of ingredients 
  • Feeding guidelines (weight of food according to the weight of the dog)

Packaged Dog Food Has Fat, Is Fat Bad For My Dog?

Every animal needs fats since they have fatty acids. Dogs require omega-3 and omega-6 among other good fatty acids to prime their growth, skin, coat and immunity. 

Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids should be there in dog food

You just need to be careful about the amount of fat and the sources. For example – do not feed your dog butter or ghee. Useful fats can come from chicken entrails and vegetables as well. 

When given in moderation, some fats are not only good for your dog but absolutely necessary for their proper growth and good health. 

Since estimating the quantity and quality of fat is quite impossible in home-cooked meals, you may want to switch to packaged dog food. Both dry dog food and wet food have the necessary levels of essential fatty acids (provided you are feeding your dog the prescribed quantity). 

Have I Chosen The Correct Food for My Dog?

The only way to tell if your dog is on an adequate diet is by consulting a veterinarian and canine nutritionist. Each dog has different dietary needs. Apart from their age, breed and size factors such as their activity level, nutrient deficiencies, health issues and medical history. For example, if your dog has recently given birth, they will require a higher quality, high calorie dog food. Or, if they have undergone surgery they will need convalescence food. 

You should be open to changing the type and quality of dog food depending on the varying healthcare needs of your pooch. It is only common for dogs to require different types of dry food or wet food throughout their life. 

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