Classification and selection criteria for dog food
Pets, regardless of breed, need full, healthy and tasty food. Today, there are dozens of brands of dog food to choose from. Ready-made mixtures greatly simplify the life of dog breeders and differ in price, nutritional value, a set of components and usefulness..
Before their appearance, the diet of pets consisted of meat products, cereals, vegetables, and each owner himself determined how and what to feed his ward. Not only did the “dog cooking” take a lot of time and the dishes did not last long. With a natural diet, it is extremely difficult to calculate the calorie content of food and its nutritional value..
Today’s dog breeders have at their disposal:
- dry food for dogs with different tastes and compositions;
- canned food, which can leave a full-fledged diet or serve as an addition to dry mixes or natural food “off the table”;
- dry and wet treats to encourage your pet;
- vitamin and microelement supplements that help to compensate for the lack of nutrients in natural nutrition.
A properly composed diet is the key to a long life, energy and health. Ready-made food for a dog takes into account the needs of the animal, its physiology, age and breed characteristics.
If the food is selected correctly, eating only it, the pet receives not only enough energy, but also essential vitamins, macro- and microelements, bioactive substances responsible for the immune defense, growth and development of the dog.
Classification of dry dog food
The choice of dry pet food is huge today. Ready-made rations contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, designed to satisfy hunger. The best dog foods not only meet nutritional needs, they:
- replenish the body’s needs for vitamins, amino acids, mineral salts;
- strengthen immunity and health;
- support digestive processes;
- take care of the condition of hair and teeth.
For dog owners, dry food manufacturers offer a range of ready-to-eat diets designed for animals of different ages, weights, sizes, lifestyles and health conditions. An attentive dog breeder, paying attention to the composition and knowing the needs of his pet, will surely find the most delicious, healthy and safe food.
By price and composition, dry dog food is divided into several classes:
- the most affordable economical feed;
- premium food;
- dry mixes of super-premium class;
- non-cereal or holistic feeds;
- veterinary or medicated dog foods included in diets for certain health problems.
In each category, food is divided into those intended for adult animals and puppies, for large and small breeds. These feeds differ from each other in composition, shape and size of croquettes..
What food to feed the dog so that the pet is always cheerful, cheerful, does not experience health problems?
Dry food for dogs of economy class
The most affordable dry dog food can be found in almost every store. On the packaging of such mixtures, manufacturers always promise that the pet will like the taste of food, its aroma, and the energy of a serving of croquet is enough to keep the animal active throughout the day..
If you look closely at the composition of such dog food, it turns out that together with the promised meat, croquettes contain meat and bone meal, animal fat, soy and cereals, cellulose, aromatic and flavoring additives, dyes and preservatives..
Although economical dog food is in the first places in the ratings and is incredibly popular due to its low cost, it is unlikely that they will be useful for a pet. They have no vitamins.
Economy food attracts animals, but not because of its benefits and real taste, but due to the abundance of synthetic flavors. The mineral composition of such mixtures is poor and their nutritional value is low..
Dogs on a thrifty diet have to eat a lot to keep them awake. Pets often suffer from eating disorders and allergies. Puppies are lagging behind their peers who eat premium and natural dog food. By opting for economical formulations, the breeder risks the health and longevity of his pet..
The dog’s body wears out quickly, a lack of vitamins, amino acids and minerals leads to a decrease in immunity. A gap in it becomes the cause of the development of chronic diseases..
Premium dry dog food
All food croquettes are very similar to each other, but their composition can be very different. What is the best dog food? The one that has the most balanced, useful composition does not cause digestive upsets, allergies or other troubles in the pet, and at the same time the pet likes it. Premium mixes are richer and healthier in composition than economical feed.
It uses offal, inexpensive white fish and mechanically deboned poultry as meat components. The composition contains more animal proteins; to improve digestion, vegetables, useful vegetable oils and individual vitamins are included in the feed. However, croquettes are based on cereals such as corn, wheat, oats or rice..
To make the animal feel good, be healthy and vigorous, its diet is supplemented with vitamins, bioactive substances that improve digestion and care for the coat.
If your pet is prone to food allergies, it is more correct to choose a hypoallergenic dog food with a low grain content, turkey or duck, the meat of which rarely causes unwanted reactions..
Super premium dog food
Foods with the most natural and useful composition are combined into a super premium class. The recipe takes into account all the needs of the animal, so the food leaves a full diet and does not require the inclusion of any additives and essential vitamins in the menu..
There are a couple of dozen brands in the rating of super premium dog food, and this list is constantly expanding. You can distinguish truly healthy and high-quality food by paying attention to its composition, which includes:
- meat components such as beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck;
- a small amount of cereals used as a source of protein and fiber;
- vegetables and fruit;
- vegetable oils;
- extracts of useful plants;
- mineral components;
- probiotics to stimulate digestion;
- vitamin complex.
The composition, energy and nutritional value of croquet varies depending on who it is intended for. In addition to low-cereal diets, there are completely grain-free or holistic foods..
Which dog food is better: the nuances of choice
Today, the owner can choose a diet, focusing on the breed, size, age, health and even the nature of his pet..
Small dogs are more likely than large breeds to be excitable, nervous, and also suffer from dental problems and all kinds of injuries. To keep the animal healthy and only happy for the owner, many manufacturers offer specialized food for small breed dogs. Croquettes of such diets are small and adapted for the jaw apparatus and the digestion of small animals..
For large dog breeds, food should not be too high in calories, especially when keeping animals in a city apartment. Excessive calories lead to obesity, and too small croquettes cause tartar formation, gum disease and even tooth loss. Dog food for large dogs not only stands out for its croquet size, but also for its composition. The protein content is increased here, and the fat content is reduced. Additionally, the mixture contains components that protect the heart and musculoskeletal system of the dog.
Puppies that are fast growing and spending a lot of energy on play need a nutritious, vitamin-rich diet. Specialized feeds for this category are most often made on the basis of chicken meat, enriched with calcium useful for bones and components that stimulate digestion. Similar composition for feeds intended for pregnant and lactating bitches.
Animals that live as pets are sterilized. This procedure affects not only the reproductive functions of the dog, but also other physiological characteristics. Food for spayed dogs is low in calories to prevent the animal from gaining excess weight. In addition, the diet includes substances that support digestion and the health of the urinary organs..
It is good when the dog is healthy, but a sick animal needs special care. Part of it is a properly formulated diet of dry or wet medicated dog food. The veterinary lines of such feeds are very extensive and include products for the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases, including:
- dysfunction of the liver and pancreas;
- pathology of the kidneys and bladder;
- heart diseases;
- problems with the musculoskeletal system;
The modern range of dog food is incredibly large. Which feed to choose? It depends on the funds available, and on the health status, breed and age of the pet. When buying a feed package, remember that economy class food is not the best choice. They will not benefit the animal, and sometimes they can harm its health..
Premium dog food, laps and super premium mixes are more expensive, but many times more useful. There is a great choice of them, and the prices are not always too high. Focusing on the physiological needs of a pet, you can always choose food that will ensure its excellent well-being and a long, happy life..