There are so many different kinds of dog food on the market today, and this is what you should know when looking for a good quality dog food.
Do you ever feel like your vet has a direct line into your wallet? Are you spending too much money on your dog’s digestive problems or anxiety?
If you’re tired of high veterinarian bills, you’re not alone. The yearly cost of pet ownership hovers around $1,000 but unexpected illnesses could easily triple that amount.
The good news is that if you can incorporate good quality dog food into your pet’s daily routine, you may be able to drastically improve their overall health.
In this article, we’ll give you the inside scoop on finding healthy dog food for any breed.
How Big Is Your Pooch?
If you’re looking online for dog food recommendations, make sure you search for your dog’s breed. Small breeds and puppies have extremely high metabolisms, making them prone to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
Some signs of canine hypoglycemia include:
*refusal to eat
If you think that your dog has low blood sugar, take them to a vet right away. They may be able to recommend a dog food is geared toward toy breeds.
Vets can also run blood tests that look for calcium and phosphorus, two of the most essential minerals in any dog’s diet. Your larger dog, however, needs more of these minerals to keep their bones healthy.
Larger breeds may also need a special diet, especially breeds that are prone to muscle and joint problems. Dogs weighing over 50 pounds should be eating food that is lower in calories and fat than small breed chow.
Do Dogs Eat Vegetables?
Surprisingly, a good quality dog food will contain grains and vegetables. If your pooch needs to be on a grain-free diet, your vet will let you know. Most dogs, however, can eat a variety of whole grains and vegetables.
Some favorite doggie grains and veggies are:
If you’re wondering what to look for in dog food, the answer is grains and vegetables with no artificial additives or meat byproducts. Ideally, your dog food should be meat-based, non-GMO, full of veggies, and free of additives.
This dog food is homemade and includes cancer-fighting ingredients like coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and turmeric.
When you’re cooking up extra veggies for your dog, make sure you skip the butter and salt. Your dog could have a seizure if they ingest too much salt.
Steam the vegetables on the stove or cook them on a non-stick tray in your oven. A full tray of sweet potatoes, for example, would only take 45 minutes to cook at 375 degrees.
Keep the vegetables in the fridge and dish them out to your dog as treats! A piece or two of broccoli every day should clear any digestive problems your dog may have.
What’s the Best Type of Protein for Dogs?
In addition to grains and vegetables, any vet-recommended dog food will have healthy protein. What many dog parents don’t realize is that commercial dog foods regularly use meat byproducts.
While healthy dog food can contain organ meat, commercial dog food often contains skin, feathers, hooves, or even fur. Doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it?
Properly-cooked organ meat like lungs, liver, and kidneys can keep your dog feeling peppy. Look for dog foods that include:
Lamb is also acceptable and is an alternative protein for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies. If you want to enhance your dog’s food, you can cook up a lamb lung and feed your dog small pieces every day.
Another way to enhance your dog’s diet is to cook a piece of liver every week. You can keep the liver raw, but it’ll only last a day or two in your refrigerator.
If you want to feed raw liver, cut it up into little pieces and keep them in your freezer. Just make sure that there’s no seasoning on any of the meat that you dispense.
Can Treats Ruin a Dog’s Appetite?
The best thing about investing in good quality dog food is that every meal will feel like a treat. In addition to feeding a meat-based diet, you can supplement your dog’s diet with occasional treats.
Hard treats are good for any breed, but make sure to buy the right size. Small dogs and puppies don’t have the strength to break apart large treats. Once you find the right size, however, you can give out hard treats once or twice per day.
Soft treats are great for your dog’s morale. They are delicious and help motivate them to learn new tricks. If you’re training your puppy, use soft treats for instant gratification.
You should definitely skip the hooves, however. They can cause your dog’s teeth to break and even harm their intestines. If your dog has a hoof treat, go ahead and get rid of it immediately.
That being said, some hard treats are okay to feed. Dehydrated ears are fine, but watch your dog and see how fast they eat chew them up. If they’re destroying the ears in under half an hour, switch to an ear or long-lasting “dental chew.”
Finally, never give your dog chocolate, onions, grapes, or raisins. They could be fatal in breeds of any size.
How to Introduce Good Quality Dog Food
If your dog is used to commercial dog food, they may take a few weeks to get used to their new, high-quality food. To introduce your dog to their new food, feed them a small amount at each meal.
At first, mix about three-quarters of a dish old food with one-quarter new food. Keep that pattern going for one week, then change the mix to half and half. After another week, offer more new food than old food in the bowl.
This should make for an easy transition and help your pet deal with the change in routine.
Now that you know all about good quality dog food, check out the rest of our blogs! We’ve got everything you need to know about pets, travel, and finding great deals!