Shopping for dog food can be like choosing a new show on Netflix – the choices are endless, but some are better than others. But when choosing dog food, you have to know what you’re looking for in order to create a balanced diet that keeps your pet healthy as he grows. Certain dog foods do not contain critical nutrients and can cause nutritional deficiencies. Establishing healthy dog nutrition habits can improve your pet’s digestion, strengthen his immune system and give him a shinier, healthier coat.
Choosing Dog Food That Meets Your Pet's Needs
Good dog nutrition starts with good dog food. When choosing dog food, look for recognizable ingredients so you can be sure you’re giving your pup food to help his growth. Check the food bag for a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that lists the food as “complete and balanced.” You will also want to look for food containing less than 350 calories per cup if you’re concerned about your pup’s weight. High calorie food is not as filling, and your dog may need more of it to feel satisfied.
How Much Should I Feed A Dog?
According to Tails.co, you can calculate the number of calories for proper dog nutrition by assuming dogs need an average of about 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. This can vary based on the dog's weight, as smaller dogs may need less calories and larger dogs may need more, but it's a good general rule of thumb:
30 x Weight (in pounds) = daily calories
If your pet needs a special weight-loss diet or is a more active breed, he may need a different number of calories. It is best to consult your veterinarian when choosing dog food to discuss a reasonable meal schedule for your precious pooch.
As a puppy, your dog uses more energy and –may benefit from smaller feedings four to six times a day. Some puppy foods are optimized to support your dog’s needs with extra calcium for bone development. You don’t want to overfeed your puppy to help him grow. Instead, large and giant breed puppies projected to weigh more than 50 pounds should be given special “large breed” dog nutrition formulas that regulate rapid growth and decrease the risk of certain developmental disorders like hip and elbow dysplasia.
Although treats are a tasty snack and an excellent tool for training, beware of their addition to your pup’s caloric intake. Treats should account for 5 percent or less of your pet’s daily diet. Use smaller pieces of these tasty rewards during training or those snacks will start to add up. Consider giving your dog healthy, natural treats like apple slices, carrot chips or chunks of banana (be sure to avoid grapes, which are highly toxic to dogs).
Choosing dog food specialized for different breeds and traits can positively impact dog nutrition. Switch it up by incorporating fresh food into your fur family’s diet. If you're also looking for a fun way to give your pup a tasty treat, shop our premium CBD Dog Chews.