How to Choose the Right Dog Food

Last update July 9, 2019
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If you are concerned about which is the best food for your dog, we can help you to reach the right diet decision for your pup.  Knowing that different food suit different breeds at specific stages of their life, we give some useful tips below to narrow down your choices.

How to choose right food

Today, there are thousands of dog food options available on the market, so choosing dog food for your Fido can be pretty daunting. It’s not one of those decisions that should be taken lightly and that’s why we are here to help you make the right choice.

Before getting down to the basic recommendations, we’d like to shed light on the nutrition problem and why proper nutrition is a crucial component in pup wellness and behavior.

The proper balance of nutrients is critical when feeding your pup. Just like humans, dogs need to consume a certain combo of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals on a daily basis. Each and every element in the dog’s food has its purpose. In brief, your dog may not be able to build muscles, maintain teeth health, keep bones and joints in good condition without adequate intake of nutrients.

In essence, proteins deliver a source of energy and help muscle growth. Every single cell is made up of protein, so it’s a crucial element to support hair, muscles, organs and any other tissues. Protein helps repair damaged cells and grow new ones. This element is especially important for small, growing, and pregnant pets.

Fats keep good energy levels, help the brain health, and make skin and coat shiny. The optimal balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids can make for hair with a nice sheen. Also, foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids deliver an anti-inflammatory effect, thus reducing itching and other irritations.

Carbohydrates act as a source of energy allowing your dog to stay active. Carbs deliver fiber that aids digestion. And digestibility is the key when it comes to absorbing all the nutrients and elimination of waste products.

Vitamins and minerals are additional supplements essential for muscle contraction and nerve conduction. They also can keep a dog’s immune system and metabolism working properly.

Steps to Follow When Choosing Dog Food

Main steps to follow when choosing dog food

At first, it might seem nearly impossible to find a high-quality dog food that would be fine to put in your dog’s stomach. Good food should not cause upsets in the digestive system but give your pet plenty of energy while keeping his/her coat healthy and shiny. The following steps can help you with the complicated task of food selection.

Step 1: Know Your Dog’s Peculiarities

Know your dog's peculiarities

First and foremost, you should consider your dog’s breed, age, activity level, and reproductive status. Your pup’s individual characteristics are extremely important when choosing the best dog food. For example, small puppies and lactating dogs require more calories per day, while geriatric pets require fewer. Similarly, active breeds need more calories compared to lazy breeds. That is to say, the right amount of food can help your little friend avoid health issues.

Luckily, some dog food manufacturers create nutritional formulas based on specific breeds. The differences mainly lie in kibble size and calories intake.

Also, remember that small and big dogs have different nutritional needs. We mean that large pups are typically more prone to musculoskeletal issues and, accordingly, they require food with higher nutritional value to prevent bone and joint disease. That is especially acute for puppies. Small breed dogs, in their turn, have their own nutritional requirements.

It’s also worth emphasizing that the nutritional needs vary throughout the whole life of dogs. Understanding this, most dog food companies create specially-formulated products for each stage of a dog’s life.

Plus, you can find special food for dogs with sensitive stomachs or those prone to allergies.

Step 2: Pay Attention to the Ingredients

Pay attention to the ingredients

The rule of thumb here is to choose a dog food with meat as the first ingredient. Keep in mind that dogs are omnivores and basically they mustn’t be fed as vegetarians. Only under extreme circumstances like harsh allergies should they supply no meat.

By “meat” manufacturers mean skeletal muscles or some tissue (lungs, kidneys, brain) from animals, among other things. Yet, in compliance with standards, the “meat” should not include hair, horns, teeth, or hooves.

While considering dog food, also make sure that the main ingredient is not a grain, tuber, or vegetables. They have low vitamin and mineral content and don’t pose high nutritional value to keep your pup energetic. Though food rich in the said ingredients is inexpensive.

Instead, opt for food rich in protein. Ideally, the protein should be derived from an easily-digestible source. Otherwise, poor-quality protein may affect metabolism and digestibility processes, resulting in weight loss, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Also, pay attention to the amount of Magnesium. Basically, it’s a go-to nutrient in dog food. But if consumed excessively, it can cause illnesses like weakness, cardiac arrest, paralysis, respiratory depression, coma, and even death.

Calcium and phosphorus are other ingredients that pose potential risks to the dog’s health. If consumed in excess amounts, they may have a negative effect on bones and lead to a progression of kidney disease.

Sodium is a well-known ingredient essential for dogs on all levels — it may help regulate blood pressure, boost transmission of nerve impulses, and maintain the balance between acids and bases. However, too much sodium may negatively impact the heart, kidneys, and nervous system. It can also lead to thirst and dehydration.

The last but not the least tricky ingredient is Vitamin D. Whereas it basically brings numerous health benefits, abnormally high levels of vitamin D might result in increased calcium levels.

Step 3: Decide if Grain-free Food Is Right for Your Dog

Grain-free dog food

Nowadays, almost every manufacturer highlights whether its dog food is grain-free or not. Choosing grain-free food is vitally important for Fidos that have a food allergy. However, generally, grains are not bad for most dogs to say the least.

Many vets today even recommend grain-based food for dogs, since it typically contains more carbohydrates compared to grain-free counterparts. And dog food rich in carbohydrates is better digestible and it helps keep dogs fuller for longer. 

If you’re not sure if your pup has some food allergy or intolerance, it’s better to consult your vet. The main signs of allergies include scratching, excessive licking of the paws, vomiting, diarrhea, frequent ear infections, and excessive flatulence.

Step 4: Consider How Much Food Your Pup Needs

How much food your dog needs

The amount of food your dog needs solely depends on its size, breed, age and physical activity. The key to ensure that you don’t overfeed/underfeed your dog is to consult your vet from time to time.

Personalized food brands such as Puppo will take into consideration all those points for you to tell you exactly how much to feed. Finally, you can find different online apps or calculators that can give you a general sense of how much food you should put into your automatic dog feeder, but they don't always take into consideration all lifestyle and wellness factors.

Kibble size also matters. Smaller dogs need a smaller-sized kibble and vice versa. Smaller pets may even choke on large pieces if they’re in too much of a hurry, while larger pups may eventually clog their own throats with too-small kibble. And naturally, the feeding time will be much more enjoyable for your dogs if you select food that fits well in their mouth.

Step 5: Don’t Forget About the Nutritional Adequacy Statement

Nutritional adequacy statement

Although some pet food producers may try to trap you with the statements "provides balanced nutrition for adult dogs", "for all life stages", or "created specifically for puppies", always look for the approved AAFCO standards on the back. The nutrient profiles set forth by AAFCO include general recommendations on protein, fat, vitamins (both fat soluble and water soluble), as well as the mineral content of foods. There are two main nutrient profiles for dogs - for growth and for adult maintenance.

The Perfect Dog Food

The Perfect Food

However, if the aforementioned recommendations seem a bit too complicated for you, there are some pet food suppliers that can take all the guesswork out of canine nutrition and provide your dog with the perfect personalized diet. Puppo is one of them. It’s a good dog food company founded by a professional team of veterinarians and scientists that have extensive experience in creating nutritional food that supports pet health and wellness. The company makes nutrition a way more personalized and customizable by offering high-quality food that meets your dog’s specific needs.

Benefits of Puppo Food

Benefits of Puppo
  • Meat is always the main ingredient.
  • The food contains only whole grains for healthy digestion.
  • For pups with sensitivities, the brand releases grain-free formulas.
  • Each food contains an optimal combo of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Puppo food contains no by-product meal, fillers, corn, wheat, soy protein, artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.

So, stuck on the best dog food containers that would be durable enough to endure heavy use. Your dog may ask for more because Puppo food is very delicious.

How It Works

Secret formula of Puppo food

Puppo works in a few simple steps:

  • At first, you should register your pet and pick a cute photo. You should primarily enter your pup’s name and breed. If you’re a multiple pet owner, you can add as many dogs as you want.
  • Then, you answer some questions concerning their age, weight, sensitivities, appetite, lifestyle, and more. You also set preferable wellness goals you would like to achieve.
  • That’s all. Dog food magic happens. The service builds the perfect blend of ingredients, vitamins, and minerals for your very pup.

Take note that you get access to your personal account. And you can change info about your pet any time and the nutritional formula will be changed too. The service saves the previous and current data about your small friend, making it easier to track improvements.

Smart Delivery

Smart delivery

The company boasts a smart delivery system. Hence, you won’t have to worry about pet food running low or you’re getting overstocked. Puppo offers a very convenient delivery system that really knows what your dog needs and when.

Excellent Support

Support system

The company really takes care of your pup's health and can answer some of the most important questions. You can always have an online chat with the Puppo professional team of pet nutritionists and feel confident about your Fido’s diet. In case anything changes with your pet’s health, lifestyle, or taste, Puppo experts will deliver you the best nutritional support and correct the diet of your dog. 

With excellent customer support, high-quality ingredients, and adaptable diets, this is a fantastic all-around service that really cares for your time and your pup’s wellness.