Today’s commercial dog food brands offer nutritional options tailored to the size, age, activity level, lifestyle, and even breed.
In addition, the type of preparation varies between raw food, cooked food, dehydrated food, dry food, extruded food, and canned food.
The options extend even further if we go into the ingredients and additives.
A decision influenced by emotion
Mealtime is one of the happiest times of the day for our dogs. And for us, who love our dogs, seeing them eat and savor the dish gives us enormous satisfaction. There is no doubt that feeding your pet is a great act of love.
Commercial pet food brands take advantage of this love when it comes to feeding our dogs in their marketing strategies. Knowing that our emotions highly influence the decisions we make when buying these products.
A decision influenced by fashion
For the good health of our dogs (and cats) and to be consistent with our values, making our own decision, we should make an effort to choose the food for our pets based on actual knowledge.
For this, it is convenient to know the most solid scientific bases on animal nutrition, the evidence demonstrated to date,, and expert criteria.
Leaving aside the influence of fashion and opinion biases or “sectarianism” will lead us to choose our best option.
The 3 big points to consider:
- Your dog
- The food
- the supplier
- Puppy: if it is in the growth stage, it will need a higher calorie intake.
- Reproductive status: Sterilized dogs generally consume fewer calories.
- Teenagers or mature adults: Teenagers will need more energy input than grown adults who will take a maintenance diet.
- Senior dog: determining when a dog is elderly must be looked at in a very individualized way. Remember that age is not a disease and that a well-fed senior dog will be a happy old dog.
- Type of activities: The duration, intensity, and frequency of the sports activities that your dog performs must be considered for correct feeding and supplementation if necessary.
- Body condition: If your dog tendsweight or lose weight, this should also be considered tohe best healthy option.
- Seasonal changes: Some dogs are more lethargic during one time of the year. If this is the case for your dog, you can completely change the diet depending on its seasonal activity.
- Effects on different aspects of health In this option, you will find foods for better fur and skin, and others for better cognitive preservation, mobility, or gastrointestinal health. If this claim appears on the label of the food you buy, ask yourself if there is proven evidence that this food improves that aspect or if is it a mere advertising promise.
- Pathologies: In case of acquiring a specific food for a particular pathology, ensure you have your trusted veterinarian’s pre-registration.
- Homemade food – If you choose to make the recipe for your dog, select a fully formulated, tested formula.
- Cooked or raw: If you choose to give your dog raw food, make sure you have proper handling and hygiene of the ingredients. Ask for corroborating scientific evidence if you find commercial claims that advocate a better quality of raw food than cooked food.
- Ingredients: Is there a rational reason to avoid some elements or choose others in particular?
- Quality of ingredients: Is there sufficient evidence about the quality of the elements that the food packaging claims?
- Price: How much are you willing to spend on your dog’s daily food?
- Who is it: is it a multinational or a small manufacturer?
- Where is the factory: Is it essential for you to promote local purchases?
- What are your marketing practices: are you a transparent provider, or trying to sell to your emotions?
Making the decision: What is the best way to feed my dog?
At this point, the answer is clear.
Nourish your dog by choosing a food that provides quality nutrients based on scientific studies, proven evidence, and your criteria.