For many, owning a dog is one of life’s true pleasures and if you want what is best for your pet you need to focus on the food you are feeding to it. The two things to focus on are: quality of food and portion sizes. It is very important to carefully check the ingredients on the bag when looking for the best dog food on the market. Price sometimes dictates what we look at first, but ingredients are just as important to consider.

Buying the right dog food should mean that your dog’s health with improve along with energy levels, teeth, eyes and coat.

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The importance of ingredients in dog food

A good way of choosing the right dog food is by taking the time to read the ingredients list which should be shown on the packaging. As dogs are carnivorous it is widely accepted that their diet should contain good quality meats so it stands to reason that the first ingredient in an adequate bag of dog food should be a form of meat. This meat needs to be lamb, beef, chicken or liver. Stay away from foods that are made of meat by products.

These foods substitute items such as feathers, skin, and beaks for real meat.

Soya is becoming widely recognised in human food, but for dogs it is another no-go product as many are intolerant to it. Many pet owners look to their dog’s food to enhance a particular characteristic of the canine. The variety of specialist dog food is growing and there are foods which can for example help to clean your dog’s teeth whilst she chews, or food ideal for dogs with sensitive skin.

Oils are effective at adding shine to a dog’s coat so look for dog foods with Omega 6 and Omega 3 for achieving healthier skin. They are also good ingredients to bolster an ageing dog’s diet for joint support. If you do own an older dog, while we’re on the subject of joints and dog food – make sure your dog’s eating position is elevated with something like a raised dog bowl, this is because your dog will have to put less stress on their neck when tilting their head and neck to eat, and it will help in older age (arthritis).

Carbohydrates and protein are essential for dogs, but more so for dogs who are very active as they help to preserve energy levels between feeds. A less active dog should be provided with fewer calories and this becomes even more important as the dog gets older.

When buying canned food for your dog, be careful about avoiding foods that list water as a main ingredient. You will find that many of the cheaper dog food products sold in a can contain water as the main ingredient and this is due to cutting costs.A diet based on canned, wet food should be supplemented with a daily dry snack which your dog can chew on, such as a bone or chewy stick.

Giving your pet a high quality food with maximum nutritional value is an excellent way to add energy in your dog’s life and enhance the appearance of his coat, eyes, teeth, and physique.The ticket price of premium dog foods is generally higher but portion sizes are usually smaller, so the cost per bowl will often work out the same as a cheap supermarket type feed.