Factors to consider when choosing a doog food
When selecting an appropriate food for your dog, you should consider:
•Dog’s characteristics: Age, stage of life, level of activity and his health status (allergies, chronic diseases, etc);
•Food characteristics (if it is adequate for your dog’s nutritional requirements) ;
•Ingredients, energy density, palatability (taste) and acceptability.
There are different categories of foods according to their processing method and moisture content: the dry foods and the canned foods.
Most dry adult dog foods contain 18% or more protein, 5% or more fat, and less than 12% moisture. These diets deliver between 3 100 and 4 400 kilocalories (kcal) per kilogram of product. The most common type of food available today is extruded.
Total food consumption is high because of the low caloric content and its high humidity content. These diets offer a higher palatability and a higher cost per serving when compared to the dry products. In addition, canned products are less convenient to serve than other product types. Once a can is opened, unused food should be stored in the refrigerator.
How much to feed?
The best determinant of the amount of food to feed is the dog himself. Food intake in all animals is mainly governed by energy requirements. When you give your dog a quality, balanced and complete food, and base the portions on the feeding guidelines, your animal should receive all the essential elements (protein, fat, vitamins and minerals) that he needs. That is why owners should select a quantity of food based primarily on the pet's weight and body condition.
•Dogs gaining too much weight (energy surplus): the amount should be decreased.
•Dogs loosing weight: the amount of food should be increased.
•Commercial pet foods that are sold for particular life stages or lifestyles are formulated to contain the proper amount of essential nutrients according to the dog's energy requirements, when a certain quantity is fed.
Balancing energy density with nutrient content ensures that when a dog's caloric needs are met, its needs for all other essential nutrients will be met by the same quantity of food. Therefore, the best way to determine how much to feed a particular dog is first to estimate the animal's energy needs, then calculate the amount of an appropriate food that must be fed to meet that need, or refer to the feeding guidelines on the bag of food, based on the ideal weight of your pet.? Commercial complete and balanced foods are made to meet all of your pet’s requirements. Table scraps, extra treats, and vitamins and minerals supplements are not necessary and they could even do some harm.
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