When deciding to take a dog to the house, the future owner should take care not only of a comfortable bedding, interesting toys, comfortable and practical ammunition.
An important moment will be the choice of a complete diet that will provide a daily requirement for energy and essential nutrients.
The market offers a wide selection of quality food. Therefore, the selection process should be deliberate and balanced. After all, the activity and health of the four-legged friend directly depends on the purchased feed.
Types of Dry Dog Food
Even an experienced owner cannot always 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.
According to the results of the examination of the animal, the veterinarian will give recommendations on which diet should be chosen:
- Basic feed. It is suitable for daily feeding and is intended for pets without chronic or acute health problems. In other words, it is a balanced diet for a healthy dog for every day.
- Therapeutic feed. It will be prescribed if the dog has any deviations in health status. This may be obesity, an allergic reaction, diseases of the musculoskeletal system or gastrointestinal tract diseases. As well as other pathologies requiring changes in the basic diet.
Dry food selection criteria
If the veterinarian does not prescribe a therapeutic diet for the dog, then you need to seriously approach the choice of a daily prepared diet. Dog owners are advised to focus on several basic criteria that will allow you to find the best dry food for your dog.
Most animal feed manufacturers in developing their products take into account the changing needs of the dog’s body.
Therefore, among the goods of well-known brands, the owner can easily choose the food intended for dogs:
- Younger age starting at 14 days. Suitable for babies and is called Starter;
- Older age (adolescents). It is chosen by the owners of puppies, whose age ranges from 2 to 8 (10) months. Belong to the category of Junior;
- Middle-aged from 1 to 6 (8) years, depending on the breed. This group is called Adult;
- Aging individuals. On the packaging there will be a special labelling ‘ Senior ‘, which helps the buyer to navigate in the age category of animals and indicates that this food is designed for dogs older than 6-8 years.
Manufacturers offer several types of dry food intended for dogs:
- Small breeds. They are represented by small granules that the pet can easily crack even with a miniature chewing apparatus;
- Middle breeds. They include a granule of a larger size, which have sufficient hardness. In the process of eating, they create an additional burden on the chewing apparatus and contribute to the training of jaw muscles;
- Large and giant breeds. In some cases, this category can be divided into two full-fledged groups depending on the decision of the manufacturer. The granules are large. And the composition of the product includes additives in the form of chondroitin and glucosamine. They help preserve the cartilage of the joints and prevent its premature thinning.
Level of physical activity
A careful study of the product packaging will allow you to choose the ideal option for the pet, depending on its physical activity:
- Active or Energetic. Designed for animals that are constantly on the move, perform at competitions, accompany their owner on long walks (for example, rangers). And also, for animals that have recently suffered a serious illness or are weakened after surgery, trauma or hypothermia. The composition includes an increased amount of protein to cover daily energy requirements.
- Normal or Standard are intended for animals that spend most of their time in a city apartment and go out for a short walk only a couple of times a day. Their activity level can be characterized as average, so it is very important to strictly follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the amount of feed per day. Otherwise, you can get a pet with excess body weight, as well as problems of the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal system.
Light The ideal solution for dogs that lead a sedentary lifestyle, as well as those pets that are prone to obesity. This food contains a reduced amount of fat and protein, which allows the dog to lose weight.
Not every breeder can clearly classify the dog food on the market. Dog owners recommend studying the main types of diets and choosing the best one for your pet.
All dry menus, which can be purchased at pet stores, hypermarkets or veterinary pharmacies are conditionally divided into several classes:
Food economy class
Inexpensive rations, which instead of meat include cheap meat offal. In such granules a large amount of grain and soy. Flavouring attractiveness for a pet is provided by fragrances and additives, which can hardly be called a useful component.
Energy value is also provided through cheap ingredients such as fat and meat and bone meal. Specialists include Pedigree, Meal, etc. in the economy class category. The cost of production is minimal and therefore it is very popular among owners of outbred dogs or enclosed animals.
They include offal and meat, and the amount of soy is minimal in comparison with the economy class. The main emphasis is on carbohydrates. The percentage of flavours is low.
The price of products is higher, but it is also in demand among consumers. The main category of breeders are people specializing in dog breeding, and owners taking care of their four-legged pets. Royal Canin, Purina, Dog Chow, etc.
Super Premium Food
Even more expensive feed. In their composition, the manufacturer includes only high-quality meat products and a minimum number of crops.
A characteristic feature is the lack of preservatives and flavors. Such products include Eucanuba, Optima Nova, etc.
Holistic class food
The most expensive and high-quality feed. In their composition, the consumer will not find flavours, preservatives or flavourings. Used meat products undergo strict quality control. The presence of offal in the manufacturing process is unacceptable.
The source of vitamins and minerals is not chemical compounds, but natural berries, fruits and herbs. The cereal content in the diet 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.
Attention: fake food!
It is difficult to overestimate the number of fake goods in the domestic market. And dog food was no exception. It is so convenient to make a low-grade analogue and pack it in an attractive and so familiar package. And the breeder gets for his pet “expensive premium food.”
To avoid the development of chronic diseases from feeding low-grade foods, veterinarians recommend purchasing dry feed only from trusted distributors. These are veterinary pharmacies, hypermarkets, large pet stores, etc. That is, those places where it is simply not possible to deliver poor-quality goods.
An attempt to buy a high-quality product “from the hands” or a small tray for a more attractive amount is fraught with complications in the health of your pet.