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The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Dog Food For Your Bud!

Le guide ultime pour trouver la bonne nourriture à votre pitou!

Being the responsible pet parent you are, the health of your furry bundle of joy is your top priority. Keeping them healthy and fit has a lot to do with choosing the right food.

The right food, the high-quality food, will keep your dog's coat shiny and smooth, strengthen their immune system, and keep their digestive system in good condition. But when it comes to choosing the food, the options seem almost endless. Here's what you should look out for when buying dog food.

What Is Dog Food Made Of?

The exact composition of dog food varies among different types and brands, but generally - it should be full of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

The goal is to satisfy the nutritional requirements of your dog, and to do so, food manufacturers blend meats, meat byproducts, fish, vegetables, oils, grains, and cereals to create that gourmet dish for your furry best friend. Quality dog food should offer all the nutrients your bud needs for optimal health and condition.

What's The Difference Between Dry And Wet Food?

Ingredients between dry and wet food are pretty similar. The main difference between the two is in, you guessed it, moisture. Another difference is the amount of carbohydrates.

Wet food has fewer carbs, which some veterinarians say is healthier for your pup. Fewer carbs mean less weight gain and fewer digestive issues. Wet food is also a bit easier to consume, so if your dog has dental issues, this could be a better choice.

On the other hand, some dogs might get along better with dry food. When it comes to digestive issues, dry food might actually help more than the wet one, in some cases. This is because dry food often has more fibre, which helps with gastrointestinal diseases and diabetes.

However, choosing between wet and dry food is something each pet parent will do on their own - after consulting with their pet of course! Also, you can always double-check with your vet and discuss the options.

The choice you end up making might also be affected by the dog's breed and medical history! Plus, your dog's diet might change over time, so what works today might not work as great in a year!


What Food Is Good For Dogs?

Feeding your dog fresh or lightly processed foods will positively affect them since that is the food with minimal alterations made and minimal nutrients lost.

Both wet and dry commercial food has additives and chemicals for enhancing flavours but might end up being harmful in the long run. Again, a lot of it depends on your pet's preferences, breed and habits, and not everything works for everyone. When it comes to the specifics, use food with a lot of proteins and healthy fats!

For example, salmon has a lot of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which not only helps maintain that beautiful fur coat, but also helps reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease risk factors for diseases.

Keep in mind that pet food is not as regulated in Canada as it is in the States, so pay close attention to labels and ingredients. Do your research and look out for red flags - check reviews, browse the web and see if the brand you have in mind has ever been recalled. Consult with your vet and other dog owners, then make your decision.

As mentioned, your dog's breed might affect the food choice. Small-breed dogs and large-breed dogs have different nutritional needs. Large breed dogs are more prone to musculoskeletal problems than smaller breeds, so they often need food with different amounts of certain nutrients, especially as puppies.

On the other hand, small-breed dogs are prone to obesity and diabetes, so they have their own nutritional needs that can be met with food for small-breed dogs.

That's why you should do the research on your dog's breed and find out if there are any additional dietary requirements that you should follow.

What Food Is Bad For Dogs?

Human food is generally safe for doggies, but there are exceptions.

We're sure you've already heard about the dangers of chocolate, but this delicious snack is not the only one you should avoid giving to your pup.

Macadamia nuts can literally be toxic to dogs, and almonds should be avoided too. While they're not as toxic as macadamia nuts, they can block your dog's esophagus if not chewed properly and seriously harm your fuzzy little friend.

Cashews could work but in limited amounts. While they're a great source of healthy fatty acids, magnesium, calcium and proteins, too many of them could cause weight gain. Avoid giving your dog salted nuts, since that increases water retention and could cause kidney problems and heart failure.

You should also avoid feeding your dog avocados, grapes, raisins and cinnamon. These foods cause vomiting and nausea in dogs. Some of you might have also heard how cat food can be toxic to dogs. This is not true, dogs can eat cat food, but it might lead to weight gain, gastrointestinal issues and pancreatitis.

The same goes for puppy food - it's okay if adult dogs eat it, but since puppy food is high in calories, your doggo might want to hit the gym.

How Do I Choose The Right Food For My Pet?

Some people also follow the 80/20 rule when choosing food for their dogs. These numbers are related to the percentage of specific ingredients: 80% comes from animals, while the remaining 20% comes from fruit and veggies. This type of food, however, usually doesn't contain any grain - which could be good for dogs with allergies, but in general, you shouldn't avoid grains since they're a great source of fibres. Not only that, but they contain necessary carbohydrates and proteins. Grains are also used to add texture to dry food, so when picking out that type of food, look for brands that use whole grains instead of refined ones.

When choosing your dog's food, you should also pay close attention to the ingredients and read the labels. The higher the ingredient is on the list, the bigger the percentage of it in the food, so meat should always be first on the list. However, look for primitive, misguiding expressions such as "animal proteins" or "animal products" - those can mean literally anything. In most cases, that just means the manufacturer is using the last, unwanted and unusable meat waste of variable quality.

If you want to give your dog useful proteins with a rich amino acid profile, look for cleaner flours or meat, precisely declared according to the type of animal used. If you have a large breed, pay more attention to the balance and ratio of calcium and phosphorus in the food. This is especially important when they're still puppies.

Also, pay attention to colours. The more appealing the food looks, the more unnecessary additives it contains. Additives will always be present in food since they're used to improve the quality and taste of it, while also keeping it fresh. However, you might want to avoid a huge amount of filler ingredients.

The Takeaway

Choosing the best food for your dog can sometimes be challenging, but as long as you do your research and talk about it with the vet, you should be good.

Again, pet food is not really regulated in Canada, so you're mostly on your own when it comes to trusting a specific brand. That's why reading reviews, following the news and chatting with other dog parents can come in handy when choosing the goodies.

Also, you can always count on La Niche Et Moi for getting the right food for your doggie. We've been in the industry for more than 40 years and became Gatineau's favourite pet store for a reason. Check out our selection of dog food here!

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