Expert Tips - Selecting the Best Dog Food for Your Furry Friend

Expert Tips for Selecting the Best Dog Food for Your Furry Friend

Expert Tips for Selecting the Best Dog Food for Your Furry Friend

As pet owners, we all want to provide the best possible care for our furry friends. One of the most important aspects of that care is ensuring that our dogs are receiving proper nutrition. Good nutrition is essential for maintaining their health and welfare, as well as preventing obesity or underweight. Feeding your dog high-quality food is crucial to support their digestive health and maintain a healthy body weight.

In this guide, I will provide expert tips and include some key features to look out for when selecting the best dog food for your furry friend. Lets jump right in!

Key Takeaways 

  • Selecting the correct dog food is vital to maintain your dogs physical and mental health.
  • There are various brands and types of feed, all varying in composition and nutritional content.
  • Selecting the right feed for your dog can be a challenge for owners.
  • Owners should choose a feed that is not only palatable for their dog, but also one which meets their nutritional needs.
  • Choosing between dry and wet type feeds is an important choice for new owners.

Best Dog Foods at a Glance

When it comes to selecting new dog food for your pet, it’s crucial not to make hasty decisions and purchase the first one you encounter. Each type and brand of dog food comes with distinct features that may be more suitable for specific pets and their owners, so it’s important to take the time to compare different options. If you’re unsure about what to look for, there’s no need to worry – I have made helpful table to simplify the decision-making process.

Best For Puppies
Harringtons Complete Puppy Dry Dog Food Turkey & Rice 10kg - Made with All Natural Ingredients
Best For Adults
Harringtons Complete Dry Adult Dog Food Turkey & Veg 18kg - Made with All Natural Ingredients
Best For Seniors
Wagg Senior Complete Dry Dog Food Chicken & Rice 15kg - 28% Meaty Ingredients
Best Renal/ Kidney
PRO PLAN VETERINARY DIETS NF Renal Function Dry Dog Food 3kg
Best For Large Breeds
PURINA BETA Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food with Turkey 14kg
Best For Small Breeds
Nature's Protection Superior Care White Dogs Dry Food Grain Free White Fish Adult Small and Mini Breeds No Tear Stain Suitable For Bichon Frise, Maltese And Others with White Fur, 1.5 kg
Harringtons Complete Puppy Dry Dog Food Turkey & Rice 10kg - Made with All Natural Ingredients
Harringtons Complete Dry Adult Dog Food Turkey & Veg 18kg - Made with All Natural Ingredients
Wagg Senior Complete Dry Dog Food Chicken & Rice 15kg - 28% Meaty Ingredients
PRO PLAN VETERINARY DIETS NF Renal Function Dry Dog Food 3kg
PURINA BETA Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food with Turkey 14kg
Nature's Protection Superior Care White Dogs Dry Food Grain Free White Fish Adult Small and Mini Breeds No Tear Stain Suitable For Bichon Frise, Maltese And Others with White Fur, 1.5 kg
£22.79
£41.54
£23.00
£32.59
£31.99
£20.95
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-
-
-
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Best For Puppies
Harringtons Complete Puppy Dry Dog Food Turkey & Rice 10kg - Made with All Natural Ingredients
Harringtons Complete Puppy Dry Dog Food Turkey & Rice 10kg - Made with All Natural Ingredients
£22.79
-
Best For Adults
Harringtons Complete Dry Adult Dog Food Turkey & Veg 18kg - Made with All Natural Ingredients
Harringtons Complete Dry Adult Dog Food Turkey & Veg 18kg - Made with All Natural Ingredients
£41.54
-
Best For Seniors
Wagg Senior Complete Dry Dog Food Chicken & Rice 15kg - 28% Meaty Ingredients
Wagg Senior Complete Dry Dog Food Chicken & Rice 15kg - 28% Meaty Ingredients
£23.00
-
Best Renal/ Kidney
PRO PLAN VETERINARY DIETS NF Renal Function Dry Dog Food 3kg
PRO PLAN VETERINARY DIETS NF Renal Function Dry Dog Food 3kg
£32.59
-
Best For Large Breeds
PURINA BETA Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food with Turkey 14kg
PURINA BETA Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food with Turkey 14kg
£31.99
-
Best For Small Breeds
Nature's Protection Superior Care White Dogs Dry Food Grain Free White Fish Adult Small and Mini Breeds No Tear Stain Suitable For Bichon Frise, Maltese And Others with White Fur, 1.5 kg
Nature's Protection Superior Care White Dogs Dry Food Grain Free White Fish Adult Small and Mini Breeds No Tear Stain Suitable For Bichon Frise, Maltese And Others with White Fur, 1.5 kg
£20.95

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Factors to Consider when Choosing Dog Food

Factors to Consider when Choosing Dog Food

As a pet owner, choosing a new dog food can be a daunting task as there are several factors to consider. As a Veterinary professional, below I have included some key features you should consider when choosing your next dog food:

Food Type

When it comes to choosing dog food, one factor to consider is the type of food, which can either be dry or wet. Dry food has several advantages, such as promoting chewing, which helps clean teeth and prevent plaque and tartar accumulation. Additionally, dry food can be stored for longer periods and is generally less costly. However, dry food may not be suitable for pets with oral pain or existing dental disease, as it can be difficult to chew.

Wet food, on the other hand, is more palatable and easier to chew, making it a good option for dogs with dental issues. Wet food also has a higher moisture content, which can help keep dogs hydrated. However, wet food can spoil faster and is generally more expensive than dry food.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Dog Food - Food Type

Brand Reputation

Brand reputation is an important factor to consider when choosing dog food. It’s crucial to select a reputable brand that has a history of producing high-quality dog food. However, it’s important to distinguish between brands that market themselves as luxury or premium brands and those that actually produce good quality food.

When selecting a brand, look for those that develop feed in conjunction with vets and nutritionalists. These brands ensure that all of your dog’s nutritional needs are met and that the food is of high quality. Brands that work with experts in the field are more likely to produce food that is nutritionally balanced and safe for your pet.

It’s also important to do your research and read reviews from other pet owners to get an idea of the brand’s reputation. Look for brands that have a history of producing high-quality food and have a strong track record of customer satisfaction. Some brands I highly recommended include Harringtons, Lily’s Kitchen and also Pedigree.

Breed and Size 

Breed and size are important factors to consider when choosing dog food, as different breeds and sizes have different energy requirements. For example, very active working dogs will require a higher energy density feed than less active dogs to meet their energy needs. Adjusting the energy density of the feed based on dog size will ensure that they meet their calorie needs without exceeding them, which can lead to obesity.

As mentioned above, if you do have a dog which is highly active (working dog) perhaps look for a working dog feed such as Skinner’s Field & Trial Complete Dry Working. This working feed will have a higher energy density (more calories), very important for very active dogs.

Conversely, if your dog is less active perhaps a lower calorie food such as Eukanuba Overweight and Sterilised Low Fat Complete Dry Dog Food may be a better choice to prevent excessive weight gain and obesity.

Age + Health Conditions

Age is an important factor to consider when choosing dog food, as different ages have different nutritional requirements. Many brands offer specific food for specific ages, such as puppy food, adult food, and senior food.

Puppy food is designed to support growth and development and has a higher energy content than adult food. It also contains higher levels of protein and fat, which are essential for building muscle and supporting brain development.

Adult food is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs in their prime years. It typically has a balanced nutrient profile and is designed to maintain a healthy weight and support overall health.

Senior food is less calorie-dense than adult food and is designed to meet the changing nutritional needs of older dogs. It typically has lower levels of protein and fat and higher levels of fiber, which can help support digestive health.

If your dog has a concurrent health condition, it’s crucial to select a food that supports their condition. For example, if your dog has kidney or liver disease, selecting a specific food that is formulated to support their condition is essential to not only support your dog but also to prevent their condition from worsening.

Many brands offer specific food for dogs with health conditions, such as kidney disease, liver disease, and diabetes. These foods are formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of dogs with these conditions and can help manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. If your dog does have a specific health condition, please consult your Vet, to further determine the best food for your dogs health condition.

Nutritional Content 

Factors to Consider when Choosing Dog Food - Nutritional Content

The nutritional content of dog food is an important factor to consider when choosing a food for your furry friend. The main macronutrients to look for in dog food are protein, carbohydrates, and fats. It’s important to select a food with a good balance of these macronutrients to ensure that your dog is receiving the proper nutrition to support their health and wellbeing.

Protein is important for building and repairing tissues and supporting muscle growth. Carbohydrates provide energy and fibre, which is important for digestive health. Fats provide energy and are essential for maintaining healthy skin and coat.

In addition to macronutrients, it’s important to look for dog food that contains essential micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. For example, vitamin E is an important antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Other important micronutrients include calcium, phosphorus, and iron and omega 3 fatty acids, which has anti-inflammatory functions.

Cost 

Cost is an important factor to consider when choosing dog food. While more expensive foods are often marketed as premium, it’s important to remember that price does not always equate to quality. It’s crucial to look at the actual nutritional content of the food rather than the price tag.

Dry food is generally less expensive than wet food, making it a good option for pet owners on a budget. However, it’s important to ensure that the dry food you choose still meets your dog’s nutritional needs.

Flavours 

Factors to Consider when Choosing Dog Food - Flavours

Flavours are also an important factor to consider when choosing dog food. It’s important to provide your dog with variety to give them choice and ensure that they enjoy their food. Having a variety of flavours also helps ensure palatability, which is important to ensure that your dog keeps eating and receives the proper nutrition.

To cater to different tastes, many brands offer a variety of flavours such as chicken, beef, and lamb. It’s important to try different flavours until you find one that your dog likes and digests well. However, it’s also important to note that intolerances to various proteins can occur. If you notice any gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhoea, after feeding your dog a specific flavour, it’s best to avoid that flavour in the future.

Meat or Vegetarian

Meat vs vegetarian diets is a topic of debate when it comes to feeding dogs. The protein from meat is important for muscle growth and various other processes in the body. While I advise owners to feed a balanced diet that includes meat, I understand that many owners now want their dog to be a vegetarian.

If you decide to feed your dog a vegetarian diet, it’s important to ensure that the food contains a high-quality plant protein source. This will help avoid any deficiencies and ensure that your dog receives the proper nutrition to support their health and wellbeing.

It’s important to note that dogs are omnivores and can survive on a vegetarian diet, but it’s crucial to ensure that the food is nutritionally balanced and meets their nutritional needs. Consult with your Vet to determine the best food and diet for your dog’s individual needs.

Tips and Tricks to Ensure a Smooth Transition to Your Dog’s New Diet

If you decide to change your dog’s food, it’s important to gradually wean them onto their new food and off their old food. This process involves gradually increasing the volume of the new food while slowly reducing the old food. This allows the beneficial bacteria (microflora) in the gut to adapt and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed, avoiding any gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhoea.

If you’re unsure how to do this, using an automatic feeder with dual hoppers can be a great option. These feeders can dispense a mix of feed types based on weight, essentially doing the weaning process for you. One automatic feeder that I highly recommend is the PETKIT Fresh Element Gemini Automatic Pet Feeder, which I have a full in-depth review of.

By gradually weaning your dog onto their new food, you can help prevent any digestive upset and ensure a smooth transition. It’s important to consult with your vet immediately if you do notice any digestion issues when changing to a new food.

I’m thrilled to present my in-depth video guide that debunks 10 common dog feeding myths, which will help you avoid making these mistakes.

FAQs

What is the best type of food to feed my dog?

The best type of food for your dog will depend on several factors, including their age, breed, activity level, and overall health. Consult with your Vet to determine the most appropriate diet for your dog.

Why is chocolate toxic to dogs?

Dark chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which dogs are unable to metabolize effectively and can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, seizures, and even death in severe cases.

What are the main factors to consider when choosing a new dog food?

Key factors to consider include: age, breed, activity levels, concurrent health conditions and type of feed (wet or dry).

What are the main macronutrients to look for in a dog food?

The main macronutrients to consider are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Look for a feed with a good balance of all macronutrients.

Why is Omega 3 important in my dogs diet?

Omega 3 has various anti-inflammatory functions.

Why is Vitamin E important in my dogs diet?

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which binds to free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative damage.

 

Veterinary Author at AblePaws.co.uk | Website | + posts

Being a 5th year Vet student and having a passion for improving the health and welfare of all animals, I am providing AblePaws.co.uk with a veterinary perspective / insight into the real word applications, including strengths and limitations of the products it reviews. This will allow you to make an informed decision as to the suitability of the pet products reviewed on the site to keep your pet mobile, comfortable and full of life!

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