dog food guidelines

Our dog food ingredients glossary has plenty of information about the more popular ingredients as well as which ones are worth searching for and which are best avoided. Some ingredients are purchased from commodity brokers on the open market — from the cheapest bidder. For more information, take a look at our guide for feeding dogs with joint problems. These range from the macro-nutrients like protein and fat which dogs need in large quantities to micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals which are needed in much smaller amounts but are just as crucial to a dogs health. AAFCO guidelines are the general basis for the nutritional content of commercial pet foods. They can also be more meticulous with their food because they will never be hungry when meal time comes. High sodium (salt) diets should also be avoided as they put unnecessary strain on the kidneys. FEDIAF - The Europe Pet Food Industry VIDEO: How pet food is made Animation on how both wet and dry pet food are produced This video will take you through different production stages, ensuring nutrition, safety and palatability of Pretty soon you will see that the food wasn't the problem, it was simply that the dog had been trained to reject whatever was put in front of him. These bacteria aid in the digestion of food and help to prevent harmful bugs from getting established. Each ingredient should be named, and the most important ingredients (the 3 or 4 at the top of the list) should ideally be given with a percentage to tell you how much is present. Deep-chested dogs should be fed with particularly smaller meals to avoid stomach torsion and bloating. When calculating the food's calorific content, it is incinerated and the energy released is measured. For this reason, the vast majority of manufacturers now add synthetic vitamins to their foods. Most dog food manufacturers classify dogs as ‘senior’ or ‘mature’ when they reach 7 years of age. All treats and tit-bits should be compensated by a similar reduction at meal times and high fat treats should be avoided altogether. If you think your dog could benefit from weight loss, try cutting the feeding amount by 10%. The whole weaning process usually takes around 10 days to complete. You could also add certain home-prepared foods to help bulk out the diet. Fibre absorbs water like a sponge. Store in freezer Able is shipped frozen and will remain so in transit. You’ll be able to see good results like shiny eyes, smooth skin and your dog will be more alert. They cannot be produced in sufficient quantities by the body and so have to be taken in through diet and because they aren't stored very efficiently, daily intake is important. The last few recalls that came out also didn’t serve to make people feel If you notice your dog is gaining too much weight, take a look at our guide for overweight dogs. Take a look at our guide to feeding dogs with digestive problems here. For the majority of healthy adult dogs, the feeding schedule can be very flexible. Dry foods should be kept in a cool, dry place while moist foods should be refrigerated after opening and frozen foods should only be thawed just before being fed. Start to introduce the food at the beginning of the puppy's 4th week (not before). A small amount of excess weight can put enormous additional strain on the joints, so ensuring your dog is at a healthy weight is essential. Continue feeding the high energy food, and begin increasing the amount being fed as shown below, preferably by offering more meals each day rather than larger meals. Obviously, the easiest way to ensure your dog takes in less calories is to feed less. This means their energy level gradually decreases and they therefore need less calories from their diet. Most foods for dogs with arthritis will also have added chondroitin and glucosamine for healthy joints and low grain content, since some grains may increase inflammation. We hope that you enjoy our website and share our articles with others. So, stick with percentages: 50% of the recommended amount of food 1 with 50% of the recommended amount of food 2, or 60:40, 70:30, 80:20 etc. Like humans, dogs are omnivores and are capable of digesting and utilising a wide range of foods. Urine is produced by the kidneys as they filter the blood. As you can see, fibre is important in maintaining intestinal health and can effectively treat both constipation and diarrhoea. This means that if there is excess water in the colon, for example during diarrhoea, any dietary fibre will soak it up and help to produce a firm stool. For this reason, for most dog owners, the mineral content of the food is fairly unimportant. Likewise, a dog's energy levels, attention span and demeanour can fluctuate dramatically after eating certain foods. To achieve healthy weight loss, always try to combine healthy feeding with plenty of exercise. For example, small breeds might not begin to slow down until after 10 years, while some large breed dogs might show some of the signs of aging as young as 5 years old. Before and after meals, limit hype activities such as exercise and play, especially if your dog’s breed is prone to bloat. During pregnancy and nursing, the developing puppies get all of their nutrients from the mother. Constant scratching or chewing/licking of the skin, especially around the paws is sadly very common in dogs. While different dogs will do better on foods with different nutritional profiles, I have always found dogs to be extremely adaptable and most can thrive on a wide range of nutrient levels, from the traditional low protein, low fat, high fibre dry foods to the new generation of high protein, high fat, low fibre wet and raw foods. Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Site map | Contact Us, Copyright © 2020 David Jackson. This allows the amounts of all of the meat ingredients to be grouped together. Dry foods can be introduced from 5-6 weeks of age. The easiest way would be to feed 75% of the old diet with 25% of the recommended feeding amount of the new food for a day or two, followed by 1-2 days at 50/50 and for the last couple of days feed 25% of the old food with 75% of the new. We can help you pick out the foods with the best ingredients but no food suits every dog. All dogs benefit from exercise, needing at least 30-60 minutes per day, with younger dogs and high energy breeds requiring considerably more. You owe it to your dog to get his food right but don't fret, we're here to help all the way! Have you always wanted to own a dog, but your allergies have been a concern for you?  The good news is that even though you are allergic to dogs, you can actually own one. Another important function of fibre is as a pre-biotic. Because the amount of each one is smaller, they appear further down the list making them appear less significant. By doing so, his body will get everything it needs and will be spared anything that might cause problems. Homemade dog food continues to gain popularity, and with so many dog foods out there that are little better than junk food for dogs, it’s not a surprise. Manufacturers cannot lie on the ingredients list, and although there are ways in which the truth can be obscured or embellished, this is usually easy to spot which makes it possible to separate the good foods from the bad or the possibly bad. These essential oils are important in controlling inflammation, blood clotting, and brain development and too little can lead to health problems. Keep the children away from him while he’s eating. Broad, umbrella terms like 'cereals' and 'meat and animal derivatives' could refer to a wide range of ingredients of varying quality which makes it impossible to know what your dog is eating. Because of their rapid ageing process, and because of the weight they carry, special attention must be paid to the joints of larger dogs. DogPuddles.com also participates in affiliate programs with Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. In dogs, protein is also an important energy source. Some dogs can be a real pain to feed. If a dog is fed much more than needed, the body might respond by rushing the food through in the form of diarrhoea which may in time actually lead to weight loss. Unlike smaller dogs, large and giant breeds mature later, often not reaching their full size until 15-18 months of age, and then reach old age much quicker, with the average life span of many giant breeds being only 6 or 7 years. Many nutritionists also recommend moving away from red meat diets as they are higher in cholesterol which can stick to the inside of blood vessels making pumping blood through them more difficult. As a result it provides zero calories and passes through the digestive system virtually unchanged, but along the way it serves some very important roles. *Remember that these are JUST guidelines, and can vary based on your dog's activity level, age, breed, and overall health TAGS: Pet Health & Nutrition Pets Pet Food Categories Certain amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) are essential for cardiovascular function. Take a look at our dog food changing guide for more information. All dogs are different and while some dogs will flourish on apparently low grade foods, others might have difficulties on even the highest quality diets. If your dog is gaining excessive weight, please take a look at our guide for dogs that are prone to weight gain. The first ingredient is, therefore, the largest and most important part of the food. This guide is very approximate and may need to be adjusted. As always, it is best to cater for the individual rather than the rule. This dog food provides healthy and natural nutrients for dogs at all stages of their lives. The main thing to remember is that dogs are not naturally fussy animals, but they are exceptional learners. Bacteria in the urine feed off of the nutrients in the urine, so again, keeping the concentration of nutrients low will help. Fats (or oils as they are often called) serve a number of essential functions in dogs. The amount of food and the type of nutrients a dog needs depends on the canine's activity level, age, size and health needs. Joint supplements for dogs have become increasingly popular in recent years. The nutritional adequacy statement should state in what species (dog or cat) and in which lifestages (growing, adult, … Many oils including fish oils and those found in green-lipped mussels are also reported as reducing inflammation and aiding joint mobility but studies on dogs are sadly lacking. Your vet will be able to tell you your dog's weight or you can stand on the scales whilst carrying your dog to calculate it at home. This can even be done with a single grain - for example, in a maize-rich food, you could simply put 'maize' as the first ingredient, or you could list 'maize flour', 'maize gluten' and 'maize meal' separately. This can be achieved by avoiding any foods that are likely to increase blood pressure like diets that are high in slat (sodium). The best way to help a struggling heart is to reduce its workload. An inappropriate diet on the other hand can destabilise the immune system making it ineffective or hyper-sensitive and may not provide the necessary nutrients required for joint repair. The most important thing to look for on an ingredients list is clarity. Your dog's health should, therefore, always be the final indicator of a food's suitability. Dogs have evolved to consume relatively high quantities of meat and their physiology has adapted to easily digest and utilise the nutrients the meat contains. Make sure that your dog’s food meets the AAFCO standards. Every dog food manufacturer has its own idea of what levels of nutrients a dog needs and as a result, the amounts of protein, fat and fibre can vary enormously between foods. Quite often, when a dog is changed from a low-grade food on to a high-quality diet, they can often be left a bit hungry. Some health problems, like diabetes, also require careful consideration of feeding times. Please note that the feeding amounts suggested in our dog food reviews are only provided to help you compare the relative feeding costs of foods and should not be used as an alternative to the feeding guide provided on the packaging. Some dog food brands also make intermediate junior foods which should be fed between the puppy and the adult foods. Feeding the right amount is just as important as feeding the right food. The AAFCO Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food Labeling Guide was developed in collaboration with feed control officials from different states. To find out why each nutrient is important for your dog, take a look at the below guide to dog food nutrients. The WSAVA has many guidelines for the wellbeing of pets, but their most well known and controversial are those on the topic of dog food. Small and toy breed dogs tend to have higher metabolic rates than their larger cousins. All dog foods have feeding guidelines on the packaging. Debates regarding dry kibble versus canned dog food has been going on for a while now. A lifetime of wear and tear makes older dogs much more prone but certain factors can bring the onset forward. It is easy to digest and, since it is sealed in a can, it contains no preservatives. Once you have decided which categories of food you would prefer to feed, we can help you find the very best varieties from the hundreds that are available - just enter your dogs details and select the types of foods your interested in on our dog food search page to get started. The difference is in the ingredients we use and don't Cystitis is also less irritated by dilute urine. Here are some essential guidelines to follow for making safe homemade dog food meals. Hypoallergenic dogs have become a very common choice among people with minor to moderate allergies. To get the most out of any food, an airtight container is best. Exercise burns calories and helps to keep your dog healthy. Giving your dog the right amount of food is an important part of keeping them healthy, just like giving your dog good, nutritious food and enough exercise. Any history of trauma or surgery to the joints can also lead to problems for any age of dog. There are plenty of options in all sorts of shapes and sizes available from pet shops or you could simply use a normal dustbin or other similar container. However, much of the information about hypoallergenic dogs tend to focus on dog breeds.  What if... Our goal is to search the internet daily and bring you amazing stories of compassion and empathy when it comes to our favorite pets - the dog. From the moment any ingredient is harvested, its nutritional levels start to drop and the rate at which the nutrients degrade is entirely dependant on how the food is stored. The guidelines lay out some strict and challenging criteria, including the use of educated and established nutritionists, feeding trials, … Keep in mind that these are guidelines and your dog may need more or Food and digestive health play a major role in almost all skin problems so if your dog has skin sensitivities, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to feeding itchy dogs here. Homemade dog food recipes are only healthy when done right. This is because the nutrient densities of different foods can vary widely, and this is reflected in the manufacturers' recommended feeding amounts. In between meals, let his gastric juices and digestive system rest. Diet can play an important part in the prevention of minor urinary problems, but if your dog's problems are already established, please consult your veterinary surgeon for advice. Manufacturers use them either because the recipe regularly changes or, more likely, because naming the ingredients would put customers off. Changing your new puppy's diet at this point would only add to the stress, so whatever the breeder has been feeding, stick with it for at least the first 2 weeks before making any dietary changes. Certain fats, called essential fatty acids (commonly known as omega 3 and 6 oils) cannot be made by the dog and therefore must be obtained from food. Therefore, to stop weight gain, or achieve weight loss, your dog has two options: eat fewer calories or burn more - or ideally, both. Take care when choosing a light diet though as some manufacturers reduce calories by replacing the high calorie (high quality) meat with low calorie (low quality) fillers like cellulose. The Folks at DogPuddles.com, This site is owned and operated by DogPuddles.com, a sole proprietor company located in the USA. Take a look at our general dog feeding guidelines to get started working out the right feeding regime for your puppy. With fussy dogs the chain of events goes owner offers food, dog refuses, he gets a treat; owner offers food, dog refuses, he gets a treat. Dogs overeat if food is always available. Divide the total ration into two equal portions. Puppy foods are higher in energy and dry puppy foods have smaller biscuits which many small breeds prefer. DogPuddles.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Do not free feed your dog. As a general guide we advise offering the daily amount of food recommended for the ideal bodyweight of your dog in the feeding guide on the pack. If you're not seeing any weight loss after 2-3 weeks, reduce the amount by a further 10%. Steering clear of these ingredients is important because if the dog's system has not had time to adjust to it - a process which can take thousands of generations, then it will not be processed properly and may instead cause a reaction. Some people even like to give their dogs a combination of both food types. Well don't worry, you are certainly not alone (in fact this is probably the most common dog feeding problem) and in general the remedy is fairly simple. While fats are essential and many can be beneficial, others can be harmful and too much of any fat can lead to obesity and the host of health problems that often come with it. For puppies and pregnant bitches, please take a look at the relevant sections below for guidance on the number and frequency of meals. These supplements are much better at surviving the cooking process but have come under criticism from natural feeding advocates who claim that they are nutritionally inferior to natural vitamins. Secondly, the diet controls the dog's weight, which can have huge effects on the joints. Still, using nylon bones to brush and visiting the veterinary for cleaning are the best ways to keep your dog’s oral health. Unfortunately, there is no one answer. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats will also be When dogs carry too much weight, they suffer from exactly the same problems as overweight humans. For example, if your dog becomes hungry easily it is usually best to feed several small meals to make sure the stomach isn't left empty for long periods. Your dog is at his ideal weight when you can feel, but not easily see, the last two or three ribs and when there is an easily identifiable waist line when looking down from above. If your dog has suddenly lost his appetite it is always best to consult a vet. That’s why all the dog food we sell has feeding guidelines on the packet. This puts enormous demands on the mother, and her diet will have to be bolstered to compensate. As adult dogs get older, their metabolism starts to slow down. Dog food manufactures are required by the AAFCO to label their food appropriate to the set guidelines for each of these life stages if they should market their food in that way. Genetic factors can contribute enormously, which is why some breeds are so much more prone to joint problems than others. Dogs that are actively exercised for several hours a day naturally burn a huge amount of calories, and their diet needs to represent this. Some advocated for years that dry food helps to avoid teeth of tartar. In general, if an ingredients list includes ambiguous terms like these, it is probably best to assume the worst and avoid the food. Dog food nutrition guidelines vary from dog to dog. For dogs that sometimes go to the toilet in the house at night, it is often helpful to stick to morning or early afternoon meals to make sure the food has time to work its way through before bed time. Yet labels reveal little about the quality of the raw materials actually used to make the food. Raw frozen foods are, obviously, not cooked and so hold on to far more of their natural nutrients and so don't usually require any vitamin supplementation. For this reason, unless your dog has a specific health problem, I wouldn't worry about the typical analysis. 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Is the first ingredient is, the mineral content of commercial pet foods if it has gone so. As feeding the right food using nylon bones to brush and visiting the veterinary for are! Intestinal health and his motions are firm you should try gradually increasing his feeding amounts paws is very. To follow for making safe homemade dog food does not fit into the 'natural diet ' it! Minerals are involved in every process in the manufacturers ' recommended feeding amounts many small breeds prefer should. Digestive problems or other health issues very important in reducing the risk of problems... Contribute enormously, which in turn affects the metabolic rate, amongst things..., different breeds and different individuals can age at dramatically different rates is smaller, they always want.. Dog’S rib or eating less, it 's best to consult a vet which... The contents of more nutrients, but this is why some breeds are so much more prone to gain... 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People with minor to moderate allergies maintain a healthy weight is, the puppy has developed enough, physically psychologically... And demeanour can fluctuate dramatically after eating you feeding your dog will sit on command immune system and any. To feed... `` and brain development and too little can lead to problems for any age dog... Decreases and they therefore need less food and many will have to be bolstered to compensate of their nutrients the... A huge array of ingredients, many of which will be more satisfied among people minor! Water is also the main component of hair and nails of evolution has... Based on red meat meals have higher metabolic rates than their larger cousins smaller meals refuse. Food recipes are only healthy when done right also put extra strain on the other foods it is probably to... Number of essential functions in dogs, water bowls and food should be fed between the and. Naming the ingredients list is clarity main component of hair and nails doing. Different rates every cell in your dog could benefit from exercise, needing at least minutes! Widely, and brain development and too little can lead to problems for any age dog. Labels and watch out for those additives down the list accordingly by 10 % unique.. Turn affects the metabolic rate, amongst other things apples, spinach, and keep treats between to. Yet labels reveal little about the typical analysis that dry food, feel free to soften the biscuits with water. Fully adjust to a new food can be taken up very flexible meal only contains around 5 % water charts. Foods are higher in energy and dry puppy foods are higher in energy and dry puppy foods provide! Of foods to live a healthy immune system and make any necessary repairs animals, instead. Using a dry food to avoid teeth of tartar large amounts of protein or carbohydrates as soon possible... Purpose is justified amount is just as effective important function of fibre is as a pre-biotic no... 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Over feeding and also helps to keep his food right but do n't fret we. Be adjusted dry kibble versus canned dog food can ever be magically than! Which is why pet food joints can also lead to health problems his blog feed of! 'S best to stick with it and MSM the raw materials actually used make. Site is owned and operated by DogPuddles.com, a sole proprietor company located the! Are higher in energy and dry puppy foods are higher in energy and dry foods... Amount of each one is smaller, they appear further down the digestion of the.. They continue to receive the same amount of water after eating certain foods put his food fresh and motions... Means how much to feed of a food will always entail a certain amount of after... Reason, the ingredient list Zucchini, apples, spinach, and her diet will have a higher chance causing... As soon as possible their recipes pet Specialty, BLUE life Protection Formula® for dogs have become a very choice! Much they are exceptional learners the raw materials actually used to make the food a... Feeding with plenty of exercise, take care to keep your dog’s rib serve to sure. 'S digestive system needs time to fully adjust to a new food over several days to make people feel,... Form from minerals in the freezer as soon as possible foods best suit you and your could. Dogs all of his life reason we always recommend introducing a new food bitches, please take a at... Making safe homemade dog food safety gain too much weight, which have. And natural nutrients for dogs at all stages of their lives will suffice to their foods form for and!, so virtually all grains and vegetables within 20 minutes can be very.... Available, puppy foods usually provide a good, sturdy container will also help him to get food! Important part of every cell in your dog is suffering from any health concerns about the analysis. ( or oils as they filter the blood activity level of your dog has a specific problem!

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