You’ve heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” At Animal Clinic of Woodruff, we believe the same is true for man’s best friend. However, choosing the right dog food can seem like an overwhelming task. With so many flavors, nutrients, and ingredients to choose from, it’s hard to know what’s best for your pet pal. We’re here to help by offering a few simple ways of thinking about your dog’s nutrition.
First of all, you want to look for high-quality nutrition. How do you know what constitutes a complete and balanced diet for your dog? Check the label on the back of the dog food to make sure the product’s ingredients meet the standards of the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). This is the group that cross-checks all dog and cat food products sold in the US to make sure that the product has the minimum amount of protein, fat, water, nutrients and fiber to ensure a healthy, balanced diet.
Size, Age and Breed Considerations
Next, consider your dog’s age, size and breed. Puppies have very different nutritional needs than a large-breed senior dog. For instance, a puppy might need a smaller kibble size so he/she doesn’t choke when gobbling down breakfast.
Additionally, pet foods are formulated to meet the specific needs of your dog’s breed. For instance, certain large-breed dogs may be more prone to musculoskeletal issues. Choosing a complimentary formulation for your dog’s breed can help give him the musculoskeletal nutritional boost he needs. It’s a good idea to research your dog’s breed to identify what specific nutrition requirements to consider in the pet food aisle.
Specific Health Benefits
Dogs can have food sensitivities just like humans do. Some dogs may have sensitive stomachs while others can have allergies. If you suspect your dog may have a food sensitivity, it’s important to chat with our veterinary team at Animal Clinic of Woodruff. We’ll help you identify any specific accommodations you might need to make for your dog’s health.
Dry vs Wet?
Dry dog food is most readily available and does not require refrigeration. It is made up of approximately 90% dry matter (a combination of cooked meat and grains), and 10% water. Additionally, dry dog food is less expensive than wet dog food.
However, some dogs can be a bit picky, or just may prefer wet (or canned) dog food. While this can be more expensive, it can be more palatable for dogs, especially older ones. Wet dog food contains many of the same ingredients as dry, but it does have slightly higher amounts of meat, poultry, or fish. Once opened, wet dog food must be refrigerated to ensure safety.
We hope you can keep these categories and considerations in mind the next time you walk through the dog food aisle. Choosing the right dog food formulation that suits your pet’s age, breed (and yes…preferences) is so important for their overall well being.
Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our veterinary team at Animal Clinic of Woodruff! We’re here to guide you and your pet pal through a happy, healthy life every step of the way.