Every day, millions of people welcome a dog into their lives, and with it, comes one of the most fundamental questions of living with a pet.
‘What do you feed your dog?’
Do you give them homemade food?
Do you follow trends and opt for the raw diet? Which is the best dry dog food?
The first and most logical reaction that people have is to ask their vet.
And in most cases, they receive an unbiased and honest response, along with some recommendations based on the nutritional profile that the dog needs.
In another scenario, pet parents discover after a few years, that the dog food that they were feeding to their pet wasn’t so nutritious after all and are looking for a replacement.
Whatever the case, it goes without saying that a healthy diet is a cornerstone for a wholesome, active and disease-free life for your pet. And with the convenience and the balanced nutritional profile that dry dog food has, it is the unanimous choice for a lot of people.
The question is, how you find the best dry dog food that your dog will happily eat, often for the rest of their lives.
Defining the best dry dog food
To be honest, there is no definition of the best dry dog food. At best, we can lay out the different nutritional parameters that one must consider before buying any type of dog food. These nutritional requirements vary depending on the age and the health of the dog.
Proteins are the building blocks for so many things that include organs, muscles, bones, blood and also ensure that the immune system stays at its optimum. Dry dog food labels will often list their protein sources these days. The best protein sources for dogs are beef followed by poultry, eggs and fish. Protein from dairy products, soy and grains are the least preferred options for dogs. It is estimated that adult dogs need at least 25% proteins in their diet.
Having said that, deceptive labeling continues to plague the pet food industry and there are high protein dog foods with the protein being sourced from animal byproducts like hooves and feathers. Not only are these low quality but are also indigestible for your pet.
Fats will keep your dog active and provide energy for their everyday activities. Other than this, fats are also needed for a healthy coat, eyes, proper functioning of the brain and a shiny coat. The most recommended sources of fat in the best dry dog food are lamb, beef, chicken, sunflower oil and flaxseed oil.
Dogs have the ability to use carbohydrates for energy and it is estimated that most dry dog foods contain at least 50-60% carbohydrates. What is more important is the source of the carbohydrates. Grain based carbohydrates are usually indigestible unless they are processed. Some of the typically used sources of carbs are rice, potatoes and corn.
Vitamins and Minerals
Dogs cannot produce the vitamins and minerals that they need. So any dry food that you choose should have a vitamin and mineral blend that includes Vitamin E, A, C, glucosamine, chondroitin and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Learning to read the label
As we have said before, the pet food industry is largely unregulated and the rule of thumb is that anything that is cheap usually contains cheap ingredients and is not recommended. Always read the label and most importantly, read reviews and recommendations from vets and pet parents who have used the product.