When deciding to take a dog into his house, the future owner should take care not only of a comfortable bedding, interesting toys, comfortable and practical ammunition.
An important point will be the choice of a complete diet that will meet the daily need for energy and essential nutrients.
There is a wide selection of quality feeds on the domestic market. Therefore, the selection process should be deliberate and balanced. Indeed, the activity and health of the four-legged pet directly depends on the purchased food.
Types of dry dog food
Even an experienced owner is not always able to immediately figure out which brand should be preferred. Therefore, veterinarians recommend a step-by-step solution to the problem. To do this, show your pet to a specialist.
Based on the results of the examination of the animal, the veterinarian will give recommendations on which diet to choose:
- Basic feed. It is suitable for daily feeding and is intended for pets with no chronic or acute health problems. In other words, it is a balanced diet for a healthy dog every day.
- Medical food. Will be appointed if the dog has any health abnormalities. It can be obesity, an allergic reaction, diseases of the musculoskeletal system, or diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. As well as other pathologies requiring changes in the basic diet.
It is important: You should not neglect the recommendations of a specialist. If the veterinarian recommends giving preference to a therapeutic diet, then you must strictly follow his instructions. This will shorten the rehabilitation period and ease the course of the disease.
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Dry food selection criteria
If the veterinarian does not prescribe a therapeutic diet for the dog, then it is necessary to seriously approach the choice of a daily ready-made diet. Cynologists advise you to focus on several basic criteria that will allow you to find the optimal dry food for your four-legged pet.
Serious pet food manufacturers take into account the changing needs of the dog’s body when developing their products.
Therefore, among the products of well-known brands, the owner can easily choose food intended for dogs:
- Younger age, starting from 14 days. Suitable for toddlers and bears a name Starter;
- Older age (adolescents). It is chosen by owners of puppies whose age ranges from 2 to 8 (10) months. Belong to the category Junior;
- The average age is from 1 to 6 (8) years depending on the breed. This group is called Adult;
- Aging individuals. There will be a special marking on the package Senior, which helps the buyer to navigate in the age category of animals and indicates that this food is designed for dogs over 6-8 years old.
It is important: The division of feed by age is due to the changing needs of the animal’s body. Therefore, veterinarians recommend strictly adhering to the age category of the diet. This will provide the animal with all the necessary trace elements and vitamins, protein and carbohydrates in optimal quantities.
Manufacturers offer several types of dry dog food:
- Small breeds. They are presented in small granules that a pet can easily chew even with a miniature chewing apparatus;
- Medium breeds. They contain a granule of a larger size, which have sufficient hardness. In the process of eating, they create an additional load on the chewing apparatus and help to train the muscles of the jaws;
- Large and giant breeds. In some cases, this category can be divided into two full-fledged groups, depending on the manufacturer’s decision. The granules are large. And the product contains additives in the form of chondroitin and glucosamine. They help to preserve the cartilage tissue of the joints and prevent its premature thinning.
It is important: In the absence of the usual food, inexperienced pet dog owners make the standard mistake and acquire an unsuitable diet for their pet.
However, it should be understood that a miniature dog is unlikely to be able to gnaw through the hard granules intended for the Great Dane. And the dog may remain hungry, but the owner will still have to find the right type of product.
Physical activity level
A careful study of the packaging of the product will allow you to choose the ideal option for your pet, depending on its physical activity:
- Active or Energy… Designed for animals that are constantly on the move, take part in competitions, accompany their owner on long walks (for example, huntsmen’s dogs). And also for animals that have recently suffered a serious illness or are weakened after surgery, injury or hypothermia. An increased amount of protein is included to meet the daily energy requirement.
- Normal or Standart designed for animals that spend most of their time in a city apartment and only go for a short walk a couple of times a day. Their activity level can be characterized as average, therefore it is very important to strictly follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the amount of feed per day. Otherwise, you can get a pet with overweight, as well as problems of the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal system.
- Light… Ideal for sedentary dogs and pets prone to obesity. This food contains a reduced amount of fat and protein, which allows the dog to lose weight.
It is important: If the owner cannot independently determine the type of activity of his pet and whether he is overweight, then consulting a veterinarian will easily solve this problem.
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Not every breeder can clearly classify the dog food on the market. Cynologists recommend studying the main types of rations and choosing the best one for your pet.
All dry menus that can be purchased at pet stores, hypermarkets or veterinary pharmacies are conditionally divided into several classes:
Economy class feed
Inexpensive diets that contain cheap meat by-products instead of meat. These granules contain a large amount of grain and soy. Flavors and additives that can hardly be called a useful component provide a palatable appeal for a pet.
Energy value is also provided by cheap ingredients such as fat and meat and bone meal. Specialists include Pedigri, Chappi, Meal, etc. in the economy class category. The cost of production is minimal and therefore it is very popular among owners of mongrel dogs or animals of enclosure keeping.
They include offal and meat, and the amount of soybeans is minimal in comparison with the economy class. The main focus is on carbohydrates. The percentage of flavors and flavorings is low.
The price of the product is higher, but it is also in demand among consumers. The main category of breeders is people who specialize in breeding dogs and owners who take care of their four-legged pets. Royal Canin, Purina, Dog Chau, etc.
Super premium food
Even more expensive feed. In their composition, the manufacturer includes only high-quality meat products and a minimum amount of grain crops.
A characteristic feature is the absence of preservatives and flavorings. Such products include Eukanuba, Optima Nova, etc.
Holistic class feed
The most expensive and high quality feed. In their composition, the consumer will not find flavors, preservatives or flavorings. The meat products used are subject to strict quality control. The presence of by-products in the manufacturing process is unacceptable.
The source of vitamins and microelements is not chemical compounds, but natural berries, fruits and herbs. The content of cereals in the ration of the Holistic class is minimal.
The cost of such feed will be the highest and hardly affordable for the middle class consumer. Akana, Origen, Grandorf, etc.
It is important: Choosing between premium and super-premium rations, the consumer notices that the qualitative difference indicated by the manufacturer is not as significant as the price range of this product.
Therefore, in the absence of an allergic reaction or intolerance to any feed components, you can opt for the classic premium class.
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It is difficult to overestimate the number of counterfeit goods on the domestic market. And dog food is no exception. After all, it is so convenient to make a low-grade analogue and pack it in an attractive and so familiar package. And the breeder purchases “expensive premium food” for his pet.
To avoid the development of chronic diseases from feeding low-grade foods, veterinarians recommend purchasing dry food only from trusted distributors. These are veterinary pharmacies, hypermarkets, large pet stores, etc. That is, those places where it will simply not be possible to deliver poor-quality goods.
An attempt to buy a quality product “off hand” or a small tray for a more attractive amount is fraught with complications in the health of your pet.