Choosing the right food for your dog
All pet foods are required to have a statement from the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that indicates whether it meets the standards for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, lactation or all life stages. The statement is usually in small print near the ingredients list.
There are two ways the statement is written:
- Animal feeding trials have been performed on the food; or
- The food meets the requirements based on biochemical analysis.
If the food has had animal feeding trials, it has actually been fed to animals, and their bloodwork has been measured to make sure they have not developed dietary deficiencies. The other method means that on paper the food looks good, but it has not been fed to animals to see if the nutrients are being digested and absorbed appropriately to ensure there are no deficiencies.
Whenever you purchase dog food, always look for this statement on the bag to make sure animal feeding trials have been performed.
The ingredients on the back of the bag of food are listed in descending order based on the amount that is in the food. In other words, the first ingredient comprises the majority of the food.
Be very ware when it comes to choosing the right ingredients cause you must be sure your dog is not allergic to any of that.
How the food is labeled also indicates how much of the ingredient it contains. For example, a label that says “Chicken for Dogs” might contain 70 percent chicken; “Chicken Dinner for Dogs,” 25 percent; “Dog food with Chicken,” 3 percent; and “Dog Food with Chicken Flavor,” less than 3 percent.
In addition to your pet’s diet, a vitamin or nutritional supplement may also be recommended. Most high-quality diets are well balanced and have all of the nutrients a pet needs. However, some pets have special conditions that require supplementation. In addition, when dry food is processed, it may lose some of the vitamins and minerals because of the heat processing. Be very careful on what vitamins you choose because your dog may be allergic to specific ones. You can read this interesting article on how you can manage your dog allergies more thoroughly.
House made dog food nutrition facts
Check this very interesting infograph if you are into making your own food for your dog or puppy.