Dog Food Buying Guide for First-Time Pet Parents

What Are the Healthiest Pet Foods for Dogs? 

Dogs give humans emotional support and unconditional love that most pet owners are thankful for, especially during stressful times. Giving your dogs a nutritious diet is an excellent way of showing that you love and care for them, apart from giving them other pet care essentials like bed and toys. So if you have just adopted a dog, aim to buy the best dry dog food that will give him distinct health advantages and lead to better digestion and absorption.

But how will you know if the dog food you are buying is best for him? While all commercial pet food on store shelves have nutritious and safe ingredients, it is highly recommended that you learn the important facts before selecting a brand and giving it to your four-legged family member.

Buy dog food based on age

Dogs require specific nutrients based on their age.

  • Puppy dog food – This supports balanced growth and development for muscles, bones, and cartilage. It has a high calcium content.
  • Adult dog food – This helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight. As your dog stops growing, food for adult dogs aims to fulfil the daily dietary calorie needs of your canine based on his lifestyle.
  • Senior dog food – This type of dog food has extra vitamins and minerals to help maintain a healthy coat and fight joint pain. It also prevents significant weight gain caused by decreased activity levels.

Important Notes:

  • Keeping your dog on puppy food for too long may lead to musculoskeletal issues and uneven growth.
  • Just because the puppy appears all grown up does not mean he has stopped growing. Most dog breeds reach maturity by 12 months, but giant breeds might not fully mature until 24 months.

Know how to identify a high-quality dog food

The best way to recognise the dog food’s quality is to read the label correctly. This means understanding the list of ingredients and the analytical components of the dog food.

Generally, the ingredients are listed from highest to lowest weight. The first ingredient on the label represents the one with the highest percentage in the mix. But in some cases, the other ingredients can add up, outweighing the main ingredient.

The main ingredient you pick for your dog, whether it’s lamb, beef, chicken or something else, does not make a huge difference. The most important thing is that he can consume it without problems.

Another thing to look for in the label is the additives. A high-quality dog food uses natural preservatives like tocopherols and ascorbic acid. Make sure to calculate how long the food will last based on your canine’s daily consumption because dog food with natural preservatives tends to have a shorter shelf life.

How the dog food is cooked is an important consideration. It is recommended to opt for a dog food that is cold-pressed or cooked at a low temperature. These cooking techniques help preserve the nutritional value of all the ingredients and prevent the protein from excessively breaking down.

Most importantly, look for a nutritional guarantee as this implies that the product offers balanced and complete nutrition and has met the nutritional adequacy standards.

Don’t rule out grains or by-products

Some commercial dog foods contain grains and cornmeal – and that is okay. The same is true with meat and chicken by-products, which refer to ground parts of animal carcass like organs and bones. These ingredients are nutritious, too.

If you think your canine is allergic to any of these ingredients, don’t make a diagnosis on your own. Instead, ask a vet to determine exactly what ingredients to avoid.

Check the expiration or “best by” date

Whether you choose to use a Dubai pet food delivery service or buy from a brick-and-mortar store, make sure to read the product’s expiration date.

If you can, buy the freshest dry dog food available. If you’re buying in bulk, the products must be within six months of their “best by” date. Also, give them to your pet before they expire.

Anything past their expiry date must be discarded properly because these products have lost significant nutritional value already. Also, they are at risk of insect contamination and mould growth.

So to avoid wasting money and dog food and ensure that your canine is eating something safe and healthy, buy products with expiration dates that are still far off.

Buy within your budget

High-quality dog food may cost more than low-quality alternatives since they have healthier, better, and more natural ingredients. But this does not imply that you should buy the most expensive products on the market.

With proper research, you can find nutritious and safe dog food that is within your budget. Plus, you can buy one that your pet will love.

Don’t forget to look for a pet store offering discounts for bulk purchases or price reductions, so you can save more money. But take note that deliveries may take longer than usual during times of sales and large discounts.

If you are buying dog food for the first time, whether from a physical or online store, make sure to follow these tips to ensure that you get the best product for your dog, and excellent value for your money. And when you’re ready to feed your new family member, avoid leaving food out all day for him. Instead, read the product’s label for suggested serving sizes or visit a vet to figure out how much you must feed him.




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