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Choosing The Right Food For Your Dog

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Dog owners are presented with an overwhelming array of options when it comes to food for their precious pooch. Choosing the right food can be time consuming, confusing, and expensive. Is dry food better than wet food? What is the difference between the $200 bag of food at the vet and the $30 bag of food at the local supermarket? Does my dog need to eat a grain free or raw diet? There’s a lot of information about canine nutrition available all over the internet, but it is important to use caution when following advice online. We highly recommend speaking to your veterinarian about the best option for your doggo.

 

All dogs have different nutritional needs, which differ over the course of their lives, so it is important to find a food suitable for your dog. As a general rule, a good food will include a high-quality protein such as chicken, fish or lamb as the first ingredient, as well as grains, vegetables and fruits to provide a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Thanks to modern research, there are various super premium foods on the market that contain everything your dog needs to live a happy and healthy life in one palatable kibble. These premium foods contain no artificial colours or flavours, optimal fibre levels and the correct balance of fatty acids. In comparison, supermarket foods will provide the basic nutritional needs, but are often filled with cheaper ingredients like cereals, offal and soybean which can reduce digestibility and increase odorous stools. Some people also enjoy making their dog home prepared diets. While your dog will certainly enjoy it, it may not be nutritionally complete and may lead to dietary imbalances. So, if you are planning to make their food at home, it is important to ensure it is scientifically calculated to meet their nutritional requirements. 

 

Our top tips:

  • Check your sources: there is plenty of misinformation on the internet and you can easily sort through it with one simple rule - check your sources and always check to see if the information is supported by a credible source such as a veterinarian
  • Check the label: one of the first things you should look for on a dog food label is the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) tick of approval. “Complete and balanced” diets must meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO to ensure it contains the minimum amounts of all the nutrients necessary for dogs
  • Life stage: the nutritional needs of dogs vary throughout their lives, and puppies have very different nutritional requirements than adult or senior dogs. Most super premium foods have specially formulated foods for these life stages such as puppy, adult and mature and it is important that you choose the correct life stage
  • Size: large breed dogs and small breed dogs have different nutritional requirements. Large breed dogs are more prone to musculoskeletal problems, and often require different balances of nutrients to promote musculoskeletal health. Small breed dogs can have difficulty chewing on large sized kibble and have their own nutritional requirements. It is important the food you choose is suitable for the size of your dog.
  • Wet or dry: wet food contains many of the same ingredients as dry food, but not in the same quantities. While dry food is more popular as it does not require refrigeration and is easy to store, wet food is a perfectly viable alternative. The choice is completely up to you, as long as the food contains all the nutrients your dog needs
  • Protein: proteins are the building blocks for tissues, organs, and cells, and are vital for growing and maintaining muscle, hair, and nails. The protein in your chosen food should be listed first and by name e.g., “beef” or “chicken”, rather than “chicken by-product”
  • If in doubt: check with your veterinarian! Your veterinarian is an extremely valuable resource during this process, and we highly recommend consulting with them prior to making your decision

At the end of the day, choosing the best dog food for your furry friend is up to you. Experts don’t always agree on the best type of dog food, and that's partly because there is not just one answer and every dog is different, including yours! At Woonona Petfood, we stock over 40 brands of premium wet and dry dog foods for dogs of all ages, shapes, and sizes, including Hill’s Science Diet, Royal Canin, Advance, Ivory Coat, Royal Canin, Black Hawk and more. We are 100% Australian family owned and operated, and pride ourselves on providing our customers with the best brands of dog food at the best prices. We have been in the industry for over 25 years and are truly passionate about pets. You can head to our website www.woononapetfoods.com.au to find pet food, treats, toys, flea and tick treatments, accessories and more.

 

Written by Keeley Gamble