Like other living things, adog too You need to eat the best food to stay healthy and fit. If you have a dog, you must provide a dog food that contains complete nutrition and is age-appropriate.
Just like humans, dogs also need proper nutrition. Every dog needs different nutrition based on their age, weight, health condition, and how active they are on a daily basis.
Not only paying attention to the type of nutrition in the food, you also need to give dog food in the right portions, so that your beloved dog is not only full, but also always healthy.
Guide to Choosing the Right Dog Food
Dog food (dog food) that are sold in the market are available in several forms, such as dry food or wet food, with different nutritional and calorie content.
In order not to go wrong when buying, here are some ways to choose dog food based on his age:
Puppies are generally still suckling from their mother until they are about 7–8 weeks old. However, you can start introducing dog food when your puppy is around 3-4 weeks old.
When feeding puppies, choose dog food that has been specially formulated. Usually these foods contain lots of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
The amount of protein and fat in food for puppies can even be 2 times more than adult dog food. These extra nutrients aim to support the formation of bones, teeth and muscles, as well as provide the energy they need to play.
The frequency of feeding the dog should also be considered. For puppies that have been weaned up to 4–6 months of age, feed them 3–6 times a day. This is so that the blood sugar levels in the puppy’s body remain normal.
For puppies under 8 months of age, you may need to moisten dry food first until it becomes chewy in texture to make it easier to eat.
Adult dog food can be given when your favorite dog is 1 year old. Adult dog food should ideally contain protein, fat, carbohydrates, water, as well as various types of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
The serving portion also needs to be adjusted to the dog’s weight and how active he is every day. Meanwhile, in dogs who are pregnant or have just given birth, they will need higher calories. This means, the amount of dog food given should be more.
The best frequency for feeding adult dogs is 2 times a day. You can also consult a veterinarian first, to determine the portion and frequency of dog food according to his condition.
Old age dog
In general, a dog is considered senior or old when they are around 6 or 7 years old. Food for senior dogs is different from adult dogs because their activity tends to decrease and the body’s metabolism begins to slow down.
Total calorie consumption in senior dogs will be reduced by as much as 20%. Usually, senior dog food is formulated to be easier to digest and can help with weight control. Therefore, the ingredients and nutritional content are different from adult dog food.
As dogs enter their senior years, the best food is what they think is good. Many senior dogs like wet food or warm food because of its stronger aroma.
So, so that nutrition is maintained, always give special dog food for senior dogs or consult a veterinarian first to determine the right food.
What to Look For Before Buying Dog Food
In addition to the nutritional content and age information on the packaging, there are several things you should also consider before choosing dog food, including:
1. Pay attention to the nutritional guarantee of dog food
Packaged dog food must have a marketing authorization and meet the nutritional guidelines set by local agencies. Some dog food on the market usually follow the nutritional guidelines issued by Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
2. Check the list of ingredients used
The order of food ingredients written on the packaging indicates the amount of these ingredients in dog food.
For example, the list of ingredients listed in dog food in order is corn, ground beef, potatoes, peas, and chicken. Well, this shows that the content of corn is more than chicken.
3. Choose the form of dog food that suits your favorite dog’s condition
All forms of dog food, whether wet or dry, have sufficient nutritional value for your pet dog. Dry food is good for your dog’s teeth and is easy to store. However, you have to make sure that he is drinking enough water if he eats dry food.
Meanwhile, wet food is very good consumed by dogs who have disorders of the urinary tract and tend not to drink a lot of water.
4. Avoid food ingredients that can harm your pet dog
There are foods that are harmful or even toxic to dogs, including:
- Seeds from fruit or vegetables
- animal bones
- Foods that contain yeast
- Macadamia nuts
In addition, foods that contain a lot of salt can also be harmful to dogs, especially small dogs.
5. Understand the meaning of the labels on dog food
Before buying, make sure you understand the meaning of the label written on each dog food.
For example, the label “natural flavor“What is written on dog food does not mean organic. This indicates that the natural flavors in dog food products come from plants or animals.
6. Pay attention to possible allergies in dogs
You also need to pay attention to whether your dog has allergies to certain foods, such as fish, shrimp, eggs, peanuts, or chicken. If he has allergies to certain foods, you should avoid foods that can trigger an allergic reaction in his body.
Usually, dogs will experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, itching, diarrhea, or often scratching their skin when experiencing an allergic reaction.
To find out if the dog food you are giving is right, look at your dog’s physical condition after consuming it. Dog food is said to be appropriate if the dog has good muscles and fur, defecates normally and smoothly, has a good appetite, and is always full of energy.
If you suspect that your pet dog is sick, such as experiencing severe diarrhea and vomiting, after consuming dog food, immediately take it to the nearest veterinarian for further examination. You can also consult or chat directly with the veterinarian in the ALODOKTER application.