The Best Food For My Dog
Published on: November 23, 2022 | Author: Starwood Pet Travel
Most of us are much more health-conscious than earlier generations. We’re living longer and taking better care of ourselves to make the most of those extra years. As pet parents, we want our four-legged family members to “eat healthy,” too, but there are so many dog food choices out there. And conflicting opinions as to what is “best” for your dog. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Dry? Wet? Raw?
It’s all about the ingredients. Pointless fillers offer empty calories, and they can gunk up your pooch’s innards. Feed your pup great food, though, and they'll be healthier and happier. More energetic, with a soft, shiny coat, stronger bones, and teeth. Best of all, they are more likely to live longer. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Opinions vary regarding whether dry, wet or raw food is best. Regardless of your preference, the best food will be meat-based. Just as with human foods, ingredients are listed on the label in descending order by volume. (Look at the GUARANTEED ANALYSIS.) Insist on the meat first! Which meat is best? That depends on your dog's taste more than anything, although there are slight nutritional differences.
Whatever food you buy, we know you also give your dog goodies on the side. Bear in mind that some “people” foods are toxic to dogs. Consequences can range from diarrhea to death. Also, while many fruits and veggies make excellent healthy snacks for dogs, some (carrots and apples, for example) contain natural sugars. Feed them sparingly. And if you use dog treats for training, remember these tiny morsels have calories that can add up, too.
You don’t have to go to the store to read the labels
In our digital world, where you can find online reviews and recommendations for virtually anything, it should be no surprise that there is a website created just for those of us who are confused about the best food for our dog. DogFoodAdvisor.com says they are “saving good dogs from bad dog food.” They’ve compiled the data you’re looking for, all in one place.
You can check reviews of dog food by brand name, or compare reviews in the category you prefer – dry, wet, or raw. We aren’t talking about a few random reviews here – these folks have reviewed more than 3,000 products. And the write-ups are detailed.
As an example, here are 10 dry dog food lines that rate 5 paws-up on DogFoodAdvisor (in alphabetical order):
On the DogFoodAdvisor website, you can also calculate how much to feed your dog, get suggestions on where to buy their favorite food, and learn about recalls.
Talk to your vet
You trust this person with your beloved pet’s medical care, and diet is fundamental to good health and well-being. Your vet knows your pet’s personal history and any dietary limitations or special needs they might have. Your vet will also be able to determine how much food your pet should be consuming.
Your dog is priceless to you, but still . . .
Cheap dog food is just that - not something you want to feed your pup if you love them and want the best for them. On the other hand, quality comes at a price. Many of today’s best dog food options are also the most expensive. In the examples we listed above, the cost of a bag ranges from $45 to over $100. A 12-lb bag of Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food costs around $45.
If your wallet isn’t expansive enough to meet the very highest prices, rest assured you can still find healthy, nutritious dog food at a more moderate cost.
It’s also important to remember that just because your vet recommends a particular brand of food sold by his/her practice doesn’t mean you have to buy it there. Reputable online sources such as Chewy.com offer a wide range of dog foods, medications, etc., often at lower prices. And always with the added convenience of to-your-door delivery. If your pet’s food or meds require a prescription, that’s not a barrier to online shopping.
A final, encouraging note: Pet food manufacturers know you’re watching. They’re reportedly spending more than $100 million a year on research and development, to ensure their products are as healthful as possible for your pup.
Starwood Animal Transport has rebranded to Starwood Pet Travel. We are still the same great company with the best team, just now with a slightly different name.
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