Basic Dog Food

Canine nutrition is a complicated but widely studied subject, and every dog owner has access to the experts.

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Dog eatingBrought to you by The Original Dog Bible

If you are like most dog owners, you probably buy bags of kibble at the grocery store or the pet supply store, scoop the proper amount according to package directions into your dogs bowl once or twice a day, keep the water dish full, and consider that to be that. For some dogs, this nutritional strategy works. For others, it does not.

Not all dog food is the same. Are you sure the kibble or the canned or the semimoist food you chose is providing your dog with the nutrition he needs to function at his best? Is your dog food of choice complete and balanced? Does it meet your dogs special needs?

Maybe you also supplement your dogs food with table scraps. Does this improve or compromise your dogs health? You've probably heard from some sources that a good quality commercial kibble is all your dog ever needs. Other sources say that a healthy homemade diet is best. With so much conflicting information, it can be hard to decide what type of food is reasonable, affordable, and best for your dogs health.

Dog owners typically spend more money on dog food than on any other pet-related expense. Knowing the basics of canine nutrition, how to read a dog food label, and what your dog really needsand doesn't needfor good health will help you make sure that your investment in canine nutrition is wise, contributing to rather than compromising your dogs healthy life.

Fortunately, you don't have to do all the work on your own. Canine nutrition is a complicated subject, but it is also widely studied and every dog owner has access to the experts. The reputable breeder, animal shelter, or rescue group from which you adopted your dog can give you a lot of information about what your dog has been eating and how to continue feeding him. Your veterinarian knows about canine nutrition and can recommend a food that matches your dogs needs. Some pet supply store employees also have been well trained in the merits of different brands of dog food and may have additional information, often in the form of take-home brochures from various product lines. A holistic pet store may have more information on natural foods, small stores may stick with the brand they have found to be superior, and larger chains may have a wide array of choices. Even the Internet has a lot of information about canine nutrition, although reputable Web sites from established authorities are likely to be the most reliable. (When in doubt, check with your veterinarian.)

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Janet   Bethlehem, PA

5/28/2012 5:01:42 AM

good article, thanks

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Katie   Fitchburg, MA

3/14/2007 10:05:31 AM

Owners should do a lot of research before deciding on a brand of dog food. So many dog foods out there have by-products and chemicals that are harmful to our pets. All natural food without by-products is the way to go. A great brand is Natural Balance, my dog was on Iams and became VERY ILL with a pancreatitis, I did some research and learned that Iams on a scale of 1 to 10 is only about a 5 on nutrition and has by products. Since she's switched to Natural Balance she's a healthier happier dog. For those who think that the pricier food isn't worth it... compared to the several hundred dollar vet bill from her pancreatitis a few extra bucks for a bag of Natural Balance is well worth it. Feeding your dogs junk/cheap food is like all your kids meals coming from a fast food restaurant.. it's not healthy!

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Tab   Glendale, AZ

3/7/2007 8:45:54 PM

My pup grew up on Science Diet puppy then changed to Beniful at 8 months of age....she just refused to eat the puppy food. She has a great coat and lots of energy...I wouldn't change a thing.

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Lynn   Linthicum, MD

2/26/2007 1:22:14 PM

The article is very informative. I do feel there are too many brands of food on the market. I wish the FDA or AFCO would enforce stricter standards on dog food.I think that less foods on the market replaced with premium quality all Natural foods with no corn, by-products etc.is the ultimate goal.

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