Veterinary practitioners are regularly asked by dog owners – “Which is the best food to give my dog?”, and indeed it is a very valid question, as pet owners want to be sure that they are giving their four-legged friend the very best. It is well known that a dog’s good health relies upon being fed a nutritious diet, and therefore choosing a food that is especially formulated for optimal health is much more important than any other consideration, be it convenience or price.
It is important to remember that the information contained in this article refers solely to dogs that are in good health and which are not suffering from any abnormal condition such as a thyroid or kidney problem or food allergy and that the ideas expressed here are simply my opinion as there can be no single definitive answer to the question “which is the best dog food?”
There is, however, one major factor which sets a balanced and complete dog food apart from a poor quality one, and that is the use of corn as a base product. If corn appears at the top of the list of ingredients found on the dog food label, it is unlikely to provide as high a level of nutrition for your pet as a dog food that lists a meat or poultry source such as chicken, lamb or beef as its primary ingredient.
It is important to be aware that there is a big difference between a meat-based diet and an all-meat diet. While an all-meat diet should be avoided in the long term for dogs, since meat is very low in calcium and high in phosphorus, a diet that is based on meat is ideal for your furry friend. A food that is based on grain does not make any nutritional sense when fed to a dog or a cat and can cause a host of medical problems such as greasy, flaky or dry skin or a coarse coat.
I therefore think it is vital for dog owners to pay close attention to the information contained on the label of the dog food packaging. The first thing to check is whether meat or poultry is at the top of the ingredients list. You should also check to make sure that there is a protein level of at least 30% and a fat content of at least 18%. You should also look out for a dog food which contains other ingredients like Vitamin E and Omega Fatty Acids as these are even more nutritious, however you should avoid any product which contains food colorings. Choose a product that meets these criteria and you can be confident that you are giving the absolute best diet to your beloved pet.