Best dog food for picky eaters
Dog food plays a very important role in keeping your dog healthy inside and out. Dogs with healthy diet live longer and have less health problems. Many owners ask themselves "What is the best dog food?" There are so many different dog food brands on the market today. Dog food comes in three different types: dry dog food, wet dog food (sometimes also referred to as moist dog food) and semi moist dog food. Dog food is also available for different dog age groups: puppy food, active adult dog food, sedentary adult dog food and food for senior dogs. Your pet's nutritional needs change as the dog ages. Some dogs suffer from allergies and finding the best dog food that is safe for allergies can help to alleviate the allergy symptoms. Best dog food for picky eaters is also available and can be helpful especially when owners that feed their dogs human food are trying to switch to a healthier dog food diet for their pet. Finding a best tasting dog food can make switching to dog food much easier.
How to choose the right dog food video
Best dog food for picky eaters
So, your dog thinks that kibble just isn't good enough unless it's soaked in meat juice and studded with tender chunks of all-white-meat chicken? Have you been feeding your dog too many table scraps? Sometimes, table scraps can result in a picky eater who won't eat without a little extra something special in the bowl. If this is the case, gradually reduce the amount of table food, then try adding a small spoonful of canned dog each day. A good way to stimulate your dog's appetite for dry dog food is by adding some hot water to the dog food for a couple of minutes. After two minutes remove the kibble from the hot water. This is a good way to warm up the dry dog food and make it slightly less crunchy so that the dog will more likely eat the food. Warm food also smells better to the dog and he may find his kibble prepared this way more appealing. If your dog gets hungry enough, he will eat it. If your dog refuses to eat for 24 hours, give your vet a call. Call sooner than that if your dog shows any signs of discomfort like pacing, panting, abdominal tenderness, or swelling. Refusing to eat could signal a medical problem such as an intestinal obstruction or an episode of bloat, and these require immediate medical attention.
Wet vs dry dog food
Many dog owners aren't sure which dog food is best for their dog. Compare wet dog food to dry dog food:
Dry dog food is a great option for pet owners who are looking for a convenient and easy way to feed their pet. In comparison to wet dog food, dry kibble is easier on the dog's teeth. Wet dog food may be easier to chew for dogs with dental issues or for senior dogs, dry dog food is a great option for younger dogs that still have good teeth. Dry kibble does not stick to a dog's teeth as much as wet dog food. In comparison to wet dog food, dry dog food has the teeth cleaning benefits that result from hard surfaces. Wet dog food tends to stick to a dog's teeth, which may cause dental issues down the road. For dogs with serious dental problems, wet dog food may be easier to eat. Some dog owners like to mix dry kibble with wet dog food to make the dog food easier to chew. Another good way to soften a very hard kibble is to add some warm water to the kibble. Adding some water to dry dog food helps to make it easier to chew for the dog.
Dry dog food is easier to store than wet dog food because once the canned dog food is opened, it needs to be used within a few days and has to be stored in the fridge. Dry dog food has a longer shelf life and does not need to be stored in a fridge.
Despite some of the described advantages, many dogs prefer the wet dog food to dry dog food because it tastes better. To make the dry dog food more palatable, some dog owners like to add some wet dog food to the dry kibble to encourage the dog to eat it.
Best dry dog food for picky eaters
Dry dog food or dry kibble is the most common type of dog food. While you can still buy inexpensive kibble with low-quality ingredients, this is akin to feeding your children a diet of junk food. Sure, they might survive on it, but they will probably begin to suffer health problems. Many dogs fed a poor diet gain too much weight, have loose, smelly stools, and suffer from itchy skin, a dull coat, and low energy. If you choose to feed your dog dry kibble, you will probably find that the cost of premium food is well worth it. Using high quality ingredients designed for maximum health, these foods result in better health, and because they are more nutritionally dense, dogs don't need to eat as much of them. You will find it much more pleasant picking up after your dog in the yard on walks if they are eating premium diet.
Premium dry kibble typically contains meat and/or meat meal as the first ingredient. Common choices include chicken, beef, and lamb, but you can also find formulas made with fish, venison, and bison. Ingredients on the label are listed in order according to how much the food contains, a food listing meat first means the food has more meat than any other ingredient. Because most dogs need high-quality meat protein in their diets, foods listing meat first are good choices.
When choosing a dog food, consider that most canine nutritionists prefer a chicken-based diet, as dogs tend to digest chicken better than they digest lamb or beef.
Look for a label that has no chemical preservatives, such as ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT, or propyl gallate listed on it. Instead, look for food that is preserved with mixed tocopherols (which is vitamin E). Be aware that dog food companies are not legally required to list any preservative that they themselves did not add.
Premium dry kibble also contains grains like rice, oats, barley, wheat, soybeans, and corn. Some dogs have trouble digesting corn, soy and wheat and may have allergic reactions to these ingredients. Look for food that contains ingredients that you recognize, or with explanations of ingredients you don't recognize.
Adding water to dry kibble can make it easier for small puppies to chew and digest. Warm water can make dry kibble more palatable for some dogs. Senior dogs with dental issues may have trouble chewing the hard dry dog food. To make dry dog food easier to chew, add some very warm water to the dry dog food, leave the dry kibble in the water for a couple of minutes (keeping the dry dog food in the water longer may result in dog food absorbing too much water and the consistency will not be ideal) and then remove the water and serve to the dog immediately, while the food is still warm. Your senior dog will appreciate the softer kibble that is easy on the dog's teeth and as the food got warmed up in the water, it smells and tastes better to your dog. Dogs that start losing interest in dry dog food may develop a better appetite once you try serving the dry dog food after warming it up in warm water.
Dry kibble comes in bags and stays fresh for about a month. Keep dry kibble in plastic container with a tight-fitted lid to avoid mold any stray critters in the dog food. Pros and cons of dry dog food.
Advantages of dry dog food (Kibble)
Dry dog food is convenient
Dry dog food has a long-lasting shelf life
Many dry dog food options are nutritionally complete
Dry dog food is available in a wide variety of formulas
Hard surface of dry dog food may help clean teeth
Disadvantages of dry dog food (Kibble)
Kibble contains low water content means dogs must also drink plenty of water
Dry dog food is processed
Dry dog foods contain the greatest amount of preservatives among dog foods
Some dogs dislike the taste of dry dog food
Best canned dog food for picky eaters
Canned dog food is preferred by many dogs because of the taste and a more enticing smell. Wet food is mixed, cooked, and canned without the moisture being removed. Canned dog food is more expensive and is not as nutritionally dense as dry dog food. Many dogs enjoy a big spoonful of wet food mixed into their dry kibble. Pros and cons of canned dog food.
Advantages of canned dog food
Dogs often prefer the taste of canned dog food to dried dog food
High water content in wet dog food helps to hydrate dogs
Many canned dog foods are nutritionally complete
Wet dog food is available in a wide variety of formulas
When added to dry food, wet dog food can make the diet more palatable
Disadvantages of canned dog food
Once opened, wet dog food has a short shelf life
Wet dog food is more expensive
Canned dog food is not as nutritionally dense as dry food, so large dogs need to eat large amounts of wet dog food to get enough nutrition
Wet dog food has lower fiber can result in loose stools
Some dogs don't like the taste of wet dog food, especially if they are used to dry dog food
Canned dog food promotes tooth decay. The soft food does not provide your dog with any teeth-cleaning benefits
Semi moist dog food
Soft dry dog food looks like kibble, but are softer. Semi moist dog food is the least healthy for your dog because soft dry dog foods contain highly processed ingredients, artificial colors and more sugar than dogs should eat. Many dogs like the taste of the semi moist dog food but that doesn't mean they should eat it on a regular basis.
Homemade dog food
Homemade food for dogs is often the healthiest variety as long as it is made with all nutrients that a dog needs to stay healthy. Homemade dog food can make a night-and-day difference in the overall health of your dog because you are exposing your dog to few if any preservatives or chemicals. Homemade dog food is usually made by combining meat (chicken, turkey, beef or fish) and chopped vegetables with rice, oatmeal, or barley. This might sound like a complicated nutritional balancing act, but if a dog's diet consists of a wide variety of healthy meats, cooked grains, and chopped vegetables, plus other healthy additions like plain yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, and chopped fruits, the nutrition will take care of itself. Avoid unsafe foods for dogs such as onions, chocolate, excessive sugar, and processed food. Include raw crunchy vegetables for good dental health, such as baby carrots and broccoli florets. Talk to your breeder or veterinarian to be sure you are giving your dog everything he needs. You can also ask your veterinary for healthy homemade dog food recipes to be sure that you are providing your pet with all the nutrients he needs to thrive. Pros and cons of homemade dog food include the following.
Advantages of homemade dog food
Dogs often like the taste of homemade dog food
Homemade dog food diet is less processed than dry or wet dog food
Some people enjoy cooking homemade dog food for their pets
Closer to the wild canine's natural diet than processed kibble or canned dog food
Dogs get to enjoy a wide variety of foods
Homemade dog food could cost less depending on what you cook
Some vets think that homemade dog food is the ideal and healthiest diet for dogs
Disadvantages of homemade dog food
Cooking home made dog food for your dog can be inconvenient and time consuming
If your dog can't eat what you eat, you have to cook twice
It is easy to cause nutritional deficiencies in dogs if some key nutrients are missing in the homemade dog food
While feeding your dog home made food, remember to only feed the dog during his feeding time and not at the dinner table. Dog sitting by the dinner table will encourage him to beg for food anytime the family is having dinner. Don't give the dog any handouts. Not even one. Otherwise, he'll expect tidbits all the time. Keep in mind that chocolate, onions, and raisins can be toxic for dogs. If you've already fed your dog from the table, refrain from doing it again. Eventually, your dog will get the message that nothing is coming his way, and he'll give up hanging around the table while you're eating.
Homemade dog food recipe
4 cups chicken or fish or lean ground meat (about 2 pounds (0.9 kg))
1 cup zucchini or other fresh vegetable, finely chopped
1 cup string beans, cut up
1/2 cup white potato
1/2 cup yam or sweet potato
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker along with 4 cups of water. Place on the lowest setting and let cook all day. Place in the refrigerator to cool. Skim off any fat that accumulates on top. Mix together well and keep refrigerated or freeze in daily serving sizes.
Large breed puppy food
Puppies grow fast and burn a lot of energy, but that doesn't mean they need huge amounts of food. Especially for large dog breeds, the slower the puppy grows, the healthier and denser his bones and joints will be as an adult. Some breeders recommend feeding large breed puppies a premium adult diet from the beginning rather than puppy food. Or, look for a puppy food for large breed dogs specifically designed to slow bone growth. Avoid puppy foods that are high in fat, and avoid any dietary supplements with added calcium.
Puppies have quick metabolism and need to be fed several smaller meals per day instead of one large meal. This keeps them more satisfied, gives them an exciting event and avoids the frantic food gulping associated with deadly bloat (gastric torsion). Feed puppies three times a day at least until six months and after six months you can decrease the number of feedings to twice a day.
How much to feed a puppy. Look on the pet food label and start by feeding an amount on the lower end of the recommended range for your dog's age. For example, if the food says to feed 1 to 2 cups daily, start with 1 cup. If you are feeding several times per day, divide that amount by the number of feedings. Some veterinarians recommend feeding as much as a puppy will eat in 10 minutes and then take the food away.
Senior dog food
The notion that senior dogs need lower protein is not true. Senior dogs need just as much protein as adult dogs, unless they are having kidney problems, in which case a prescription low-protein diet is appropriate. If your senior dog remains active, you may not need to switch to a different food at all. If your dog does begin to slow down, however, and isn't happy with a reduced amount of food, senior food formula may be appropriate.
Sometimes older dogs have dental issues that make it almost impossible for them to eat dry dog food. Dry kibble food could be too hard to chew. To make the dry dog food easier to chew, add some very hot water to the dry dog food, wait a couple of minutes and take the kibble out of the water. This way the dry dog food gets softer and easier on your senior dog's teeth. The dog food warmed this way smells a lot more enticing to your older dog. He is more likely to start enjoying the dry dog food again after you prepare it this way.
If your older dog is suffering from any chronic diseases, you can find foods designed to address allergies, digestive problems, food intolerance, kidney disease and urinary tract problems, liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, and even canine cognitive dysfunction (an Alzheimer's-like condition in dogs). Talk to your vet about these foods, which are primarily available through prescription and could make a real difference in your dog's symptoms.
Best dog food for allergies
Dogs can develop allergies to certain foods. For example, some dogs are sensitive to corn (a major ingredient in many commercial dog foods) or corn oil, or beef in the diet. Food allergies often are noted for their effect on the animal's skin and coat. Food allergies in dogs can cause itchy, reddened skin and hair loss. In more severe cases, hair loss and sore spots can extend to the feet, legs, face and ears. If the dog is scratching the skin excessively for no apparent reason, and his coat does not look its best, ask your veterinarian if a change to hypoallergenic diet would be beneficial.
If your dog has a severe case of food related allergies, you may want to try a limited ingredient dog food and see if the allergies improve. It may take some time before you can figure out which specific ingredient is causing allergic reactions in your dog. Pay attention to allergy symptoms after you start giving the dog a limited ingredient diet. It may take a few weeks before you notice any improvement. If the dog appears healthier, his skin and coat look better and he is no longer scratching for no reason - congratulations! You found the diet that doesn't aggravate your dog's allergies.
If the allergies still persist after a few weeks of feeding the dog the new limited ingredient diet, try another allergy friendly dog food or hypoallergenic dog food and pay close attention to how the new diet affects your pet. It may take some time before you find a dog food that doesn't aggravate his allergies, but the result is well worth it - your pet will feel a lot better with the right diet and will no longer have to suffer the unpleasant symptoms related to food allergies.
Use stainless steel dog food bowls rather than plastic ones. Plastic or hard rubber dog food bowls can cause skin allergies (contact dermatitis) in some dogs. Also, plastic is easier to scratch. Bacteria may accumulate in tiny scratches in the plastic dog food bowls that is more difficult to remove as you are cleaning the bowl. Stainless steel dog food bowls are almost impossible to scratch or damage and are much easier to clean.
Switching dog food
Switching dog food to a different dog food should be a gradual process to avoid any unnecessary digestive problems in the process. To switch over with a minimal amount of agony, use a 10-day plan. During a period of 10 days, begin substituting larger amounts of the new food in with the dog's old food. For example, the first day, give your dog nine parts of old dog food, one part of new food, the second day, eight parts of old food, two parts of new food. Continue mixing each day until finally you are feeding all new food.
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