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How to Choose the Right Dog Food

Most pet care issues are relatively issue to get a hand on; there are books for most basic issues, and a trip to the vet can take care of the advanced issues. Interestingly, one of the topics that doesn’t receive a lot of coverage in most pet care books. Which is a shame as it can be very interesting.

A lot of choices are going to come down to what specific issues that the owner is trying to deal with regarding the specific dog. The biggest thing to keep in mind when shopping for the right dog food is to avoid the hype; items such as fresh breath, shiny coats, and hair styling need to be looked on great aesthetic issues, but usually have no bearing on the dog’s health. Also, the advice that human dieters must heed regarding not forcing your diet on others must be followed; humans can enjoy a vegetarian diet, but a dog’s digestive track was made for a carnivorous diet, and that needs to be allowed for. That is, it’s possible to put a dog on a vegetarian diet, but not advisable because of a large number of other factors that need to be taken into account.

Also, keep in mind that the age of a dog will also make a difference in what food should be given the dog. Younger dogs need more calories than older dogs, as well as greater number of certain vitamins. Conversely, older dogs need more vitamins such as calcium, and that needs to be catered to. When you are looking for the right dog food, keep that in mind when you’re at the pet store.

That said, the biggest debate will be dry versus wet food. This is not the issue that most owners think it is; the wet food is great for digestion in general, as it tends to have more oils and other essentials lacking in dry food, such as actual meat protein, in a form that the dog appreciates. Dry food is great for teeth, and not just for guard dogs; the dry food requires ore chewing, and that chewing does have a beneficial effect besides just making the teeth sharper and jaws stronger; it also wears down the constantly-growing teeth.

Also, snacks must be considered, and for the same reasons that they are important to a human diet; they provide a not only needed boost between meals, but also provide a much needed psychological boost as well. It may seem sort of silly, but the quest for the right dog food must consider the complete diet of the dog, and that includes snacks.

The important thing to keep in mind when looking for the right dog food is that the dog has psychological as well as physiological needs. Too many dog owners consider mere aesthetic needs above those needs, and so the dog ends up looking great, but having some basic health issues. This isn’t to say that those aren’t valid concerns, but a dog should gain those attributes due to a healthy diet, not simply because of added effort on the part of the owner. Keep that mind, and you should have dog that’s not only healthy, but a joy to own.

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