Tips for choosing the right dog food

Choosing the right dog food for your puppy is a significant part of his development. Here are a few tips to help you.

There are hundreds of different dog food brands to choose from, and each brand has multiple formulas or flavors.  While many of these foods come in flashy bags and claim to be tasty or good for your dog, not all foods are made equally.

Below is a comparison between three lower-end and three higher-end foods.  Note the ingredients and other nutritional information in each.   The first five ingredients are the most important; try to avoid corn if possible, as dogs cannot digest this very well.  Also, keep in mind that higher-end foods tend to cost a bit more.  If you are unsure about which brand of food to select for your dog, consult your veterinarian.   Your vet’s office should be able to provide you with additional health and nutritional information as well.

When comparing these two, look at the size of the ingredient lists.  The lower-end food has about 3 times as many ingredients. Also, the lower-end food contains corn (as the first ingredient), which dogs cannot easily digest. It’s always best to stick with a food with an ingredient list that is shorter and contains ingredients that you are familiar with.

These two foods both have long ingredient lists.  The lower end has corn as the first ingredient; however, the higher-end food also contains corn.  Note that the lower-end food contains multiple food dyes and fewer vitamins.  The guaranteed analysis for both foods is fairly similar.  The lower-end food contains more moisture, which has no nutritional value.

The lower-end food contains corn as the first ingredient.  It also contains “animal fat,” multiple food dyes, and gives no additional nutritional information or guaranteed analysis.  The higher-end food has a shortlist of ingredients, including actual meats, vegetables, and vitamins.

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