Your dog needs a complete, balanced diet every day, with a careful balance of vitamins and minerals, natural ingredients and no fragrances, colors or flavors. That way, your faithful friend will stay in the best possible health. But how do you choose the right dog food for your dog? That depends on a number of factors.
HOW OLD IS YOUR DOG?
Puppies need more calories for proper growth and development. Ideally, these should come mainly from protein and fat. Dog food for puppies offers these substances in the right proportions. In addition, the food may contain krill and extra vitamins, for optimal growth. Chondroitin and glucosamine stimulate the growth of joints.
When can your puppy gradually switch to food for adult dogs? That age varies depending on the size of the breed. Small breeds reach maturity at 10 months, medium breeds at one year, large breeds at 18 months and very large breeds at 2 years. The size of the breed depends on the height at the withers and the weight of an average adult dog: small (< 30 cm, < 10 kg), medium (30-50 cm, 10-25 kg), large (45-60 cm, 25-45 kg) or very large (> 60 cm, > 45 kg).
The food for dogs between one and seven years of age may include antioxidants and vitamins that increase resistance, and again chondroitin and glucosamine. The latter can also be found in food for dogs older than seven years. That dog food will possibly also contain taurine, for the heart.
Regardless of your dog’s age, dog food is best to contain a lot of animal protein from one protein source, for good digestion and manure consistency, and no gluten, against food allergies and intolerances.
DO YOU GO FOR MILK OR DRY DOG FOOD?
Very young puppies, who are switching from mother’s milk to solid dog food, you can give them a boost. An easily digestible porridge is the ideal intermediate step for puppies.
Dry food is hygienic and healthy. In addition, the food does not spoil quickly, due to the low moisture content (10%). But the biggest advantage of dry food is that it certainly contains all the ingredients a dog needs, in just the right proportions.
DOES YOUR DOG NEED EXTRA CARE?
Food for small or (middle)large dogs with overweight contains more fibers, which give a faster feeling of satiety. Small or medium-sized dogs with digestive problems benefit from a gluten-free diet with added probiotics, to stimulate intestinal function. And small or (medium) sized dogs with a dull coat or dry skin can be fed dog food with extra salmon oil.
WHAT FLAVOR DOES YOUR DOG PREFER?
Dogs have fewer taste buds than a human, but they still have their preferences. Chicken? Salmon? Lamb? Whatever flavor your dog prefers, you’re sure to find dog food your four-legged friend will love.