What Are The Consequences Of Offering A Low-Quality Food?
Unfortunately, nearly half of all dogs in America are seriously overweight. While this is, in part, due to inactivity, much of it can also be attributed to a poor diet. Cancer and heart disease, along with other grave illnesses, are befalling more dogs at an alarming rate. Just like with humans, a poor diet begets poor health.
How Do You Know You're choosing The Best Dog Food?
With so many brands, flavors and kinds of dog food, it's an overwhelming choice; however, if you've factored in quality, nutrition and all ingredients, along with your dog's age, weight, activity level and health, you've likely made the best decision.
If you're still not sure, ask your vet what they think of your choice. Whenever you change your dog's food, though, give him about a month before evaluating the potential changes in coat, skin, eyes, energy and so forth, as it takes about that long for the full nutritional power of a dietary change to go into effect.
The Ingredients You Want In Your Dog's Food:
Read the labels on all of the products you buy for your dog, including treats and chewies. Ideally, you want to read a statement to the effect: "This dog food is balanced and/or complete" for the age of your pooch. The ingredients should be easily digestible and include good, quality sources of protein. Fish, meat and eggs are excellent starters; they should be well-preserved with natural elements, such as Vitamin E.
The Ingredients To Avoid:
As with the food you purchase for yourself, you should avoid anything artificial, including flavorings, coloring, fillers and preservatives. Also, be wary of dog food that contains so-called "corn", as this is most often a cheap, indigestible filler.
While grains are usually an important ingredient (for the carbs they provide), many dogs are allergic to this common ingredient. Thus, if your dog is exhibiting symptoms of an allergy, such as itchy, flaky skin and a dull coat, eliminating grains may solve the problem.
What Else Should You Be Doing For Your Dog's Health And Longevity?
A happy and healthy dog is one who gets plenty of exercise throughout the day, lots of affection from the family, a high-quality, well-balanced diet and consistency with his routine. Make sure everyone the dog comes in contact with maintains the same expectations in terms of behavior and habits, otherwise, your dog can become confused and disobedient.
Regular check-ups are also an important part of your dog's well-being, particularly as he gets older. If you're concerned your dog may be overweight, be proactive about it, rather than procrastinate; dogs are very similar to humans genetically and can suffer the same consequences with death and disease when leading a lazy, junk food-led lifestyle.
Feeding your dog well may require a little research on your part, but in the long run, it's one of the best things you can do for him. He'll be around for a lot longer, with loads more energy than if you skimp on this issue. No matter what you have to go through to find the best food, it's well worth it.