It can get tough figuring out the best dog food for your dog. As a new dog owner, it took me a few months to understand if I was right about the meals I cook for my puppy. By consulting my vet and reading a lot of information online, I realized my mistakes and rectified them to ensure my puppy grows into a healthy dog. Here are a few of those mistakes I have shared below to ensure you do not make the same.
Common Mistakes People Make While Picking Dog Food
#1. Not Considering Your Dog’s Age
Puppies and senior dogs have different nutritional requirements than adult dogs. Puppies have a different diet altogether because of their growing age. It is essential to feed them a well-balanced meal for healthy growth. You should also consider your dog’s age while giving it meals.
A senior dog usually is inactive. Hence, you should reduce the meal portions based on their activity level. Also, the food needs to be easy to digest and not too harsh on the digestive system. On the other hand, adult dogs are very active and hence need more food.
#2. Not Carefully Reading the Label
According to TrendingBreeds, you should never choose dog food without reading the label. You should verify if the food contains any ingredients your dog is allergic to. Some foods contain fillers or by-products your dog could be allergic to. You should ensure that you understand all the ingredients before you buy the dog food. Understanding the first few ingredients mentioned is the most important as it is mainly what the food is made of; hence, it should be a protein and a carbohydrate source.
Some dog foods contain controversial ingredients known to be safe for the dog, but some owners may not be comfortable buying them, anyway. If you are not sure about any ingredients, read online about them or consult your vet to get more information.
#3. Picking the Cheapest Food
An expensive dog food brand doesn’t mean it is actually best for your dog, but getting the cheapest options is also not the best. These inexpensive foods may use low-quality ingredients to cut costs, which could harm your dog’s health.
Feeding your dog any cheap food that lacks proper nutrients means your dog is prone to falling sick, and you end up paying the vet. Instead, get a decent food brand known for its good quality dog food to ensure your dog remains healthy.
#4. Buying a Large Food Bag
A 12 kg bag of dog food will have more discounts than a 3 kg bag, so most of us prefer to buy large bags of dog food without testing it first. You should always get a sample packet to ensure your dog likes it and can digest the food correctly. Start by getting a small bag next to ensure there is no side effect when the dog eats the food for a month. When you are confident it suits the dog, you can opt for bigger bags of dog food.
#5. Not Storing Dog Food Properly
Another mistake people make is not storing the food properly. Dry kibble does not need refrigeration. But this does not mean you do not take care while storing it. Get an airtight storage box for the food to prevent pests from getting into it. Read the storage information on the pack and store it in a dry area, so the food remains fresh for a long time.
#6. Only Sticking to Dry Food
Dry food is the most common dog food fed to the dogs, though they are not the only option. But that does not mean it is the best option. Some dogs may do better with a mixed diet of wet and dry dog food. It is always advisable to consult your vet and plan the best diet for the dog.
#7. Not Considering Your Dog’s Activity Level
Usually, the dog food bags have a chart printed that mentions the quantity you should feed a dog based on its weight. Most of them also specify the amount based on your dog’s activity level. If your dog is highly active, it burns more calories and needs more food, and vice versa. Hence, you must ensure your dog is given the right amount of food, so it does not become obese or feel hungry too soon.
#8. Not Considering Your Dog’s Health
If your dog suffers from any health condition, specially formulated food options are available that are suitable for such dogs. You need to talk to the vet to pick the correct formulation for the dog so that it helps treat the dog faster.
#9. Not Checking for Recall
When you choose dog food, you should always check for recalls. For various reasons, a few dog food brands had to recall their product because of poor quality or contamination. You can check the FDA website for recalls. You can ensure your dog is safe by staying up-to-date on the recalls.
#10. Feeding Your Dog Human Food
When dogs beg for food, we feel it is ok to feed them the food we eat. They obviously enjoy eating human food more than dog food. But constantly providing them only human food means they are not getting the proper nutrition, leading to health issues. Stick to giving your dog only dog food and avoid giving it any table scrapes.
#11. Not Rotating Your Dog’s Meals
Just like humans, feeding the same food to the dog is not healthy, as it may lead to nutritional deficiencies. By rotating the type of dog food, you will ensure that they get all the nutrients that help them stay healthy. You can also consult your vet for supplements that you can add to the food to improve their bones and coat quality.
The Bottom Line:
When you own your first dog, it is unavoidable to make a few mistakes. You should search for information online to ensure you are not making mistakes and ask your vet for suggestions. With time, you will learn to avoid these mistakes and raise a healthy and happy dog.