Dogs come in a range of sizes and breeds, and as a result, often have very different nutritional needs. To accommodate this need, there are many different types of dog food on the market. Gauging a dog’s nutritional needs can be a challenge for pet owners. Knowing the options and how they can affect your dog’s health can help you take care of your pet.
Dog Food Formulated for Dog Type
Many dog food companies will make dog foods that are formulated for different types of dogs. This helps guarantee that your dog will get the nutrition necessary for their body type.
Feeding your dog the wrong type of food or dog food from the wrong category can cause a range of health problems including obesity and nutrition deficiency.
Young dogs typically need more protein, more calories and a higher concentration of minerals than older dogs. In addition, young dogs have smaller stomachs than older dogs, so they can eat less food in one sitting than an older dog. As a result, puppies typically require small quantities of protein-rich, nutrition-rich food. Older dogs can eat more, but require less protein, nutrients and calories.
Expected size makes a big difference in the way a dog grows and what kind of nutrition he or she needs. Large dog breeds are at risk for a variety of orthopedic and joint problems in older age, especially if they grow too quickly. Fortunately, dog owners with larger breed puppies can help control growth rate by feeding their puppy a formula for large breed dogs. These foods typically contain less fat and calcium than dog foods for smaller breeds.
Small dog breeds need more have their own nutritional requirements, and also have smaller mouths. Their dog food comes in smaller kibbles to prevent dogs from choking.
Canned vs. Dry
Dog foods typically come in two forms: canned (wet) dog food and dry dog food. Dry dog food comes in small, hard bits called “kibble,” and is usually sold in large bags. Canned dog food can come in large or small portions, with each can usually containing a single serving. Canned dog food usually contains real meat, gravy, brown rice and bits of sweet potato that dogs find especially pleasurable.
There is a big difference in taste, texture and nutritional quality between canned and dry dog food.
- Palatability. Canned dog food is often tastier and more pleasurable to eat than dry dog food.
- Expense. Dry dog food is often far more economical than canned foods.
- Nutrition. Canned dog food tends to have a lot more protein, calories and fat than dry dog food.
Picking the right type of food for your dog can be a challenge for many people. Some experts recommend feeding dogs a kibble diet with a small scoop of wet food with each meal. Consulting with the veterinarian can help ensure that the right type of food will be chosen for your pet.
Work With Your Pet’s Veterinarian
Different pets have different nutritional needs. Your pet’s veterinarian can help you pick the right type of dog food based on your pet’s health history, size, age and other factors. To find out more, contact your pet’s veterinarian today.