Read the Label

photoIn a restaurant, before ordering something off the menu, it’s automatic that you read the description and the ingredients of the dish, right? Furthermore, we’ve always been advised as to how important it is to read the labels before purchasing anything from a supermarket shelf. This should also be the case when buying food for your pet.

Here are five reasons why you should read the label before buying food for your pet:

Your dog may have food preferences. Feeds usually include dry and fresh food. But did you know that pet animals like dogs may prefer food that has more moisture? Well this is mainly because moist food is easier to chew and swallow. The freshly prepared dog food generally consists of ingredients like freshly cut chicken pieces in addition to cranberry juices, blue-green algae, etc. A dog is likely to eat this kind of preparation over kibble.

Consider moisture content versus the price. Most canned dog foods contain as much as 80% moisture.  Meanwhile, dry foods contain as little as 6%. Remember that food is priced by the pound. When you buy canned foods with 80% moisture, it means 80% of what you’re buying is just water. This also means that you’re paying the full price and your pet will only be eating 20% food and 80% water.

Dogs need vitamins and minerals, too. You heard it right. Even dogs have daily vitamin and mineral requirements. Most premium types of dog food preparations contain essential fatty acids, carbohydrates with adequate fiber contents, and vitamins like A, D, E, and B complex vitamins. Moreover, dogs also need their dose of zinc and calcium. They need zinc for healthy skin, and calcium for bone growth and muscle tone. Taurine, an amino acid, is essential for healthy eyes and heart. Thiamine or vitamin B1, found in plants, fruit, vegetables, milk, and meat, maintains the normal function of the nervous system and is necessary for normal growth and development.

Feed your dog based on his/her diet. Some dogs are vegetarians. Some aren’t. If your canine is vegetarian, you may want to feed your pet beet pulp, pasta, wheat middling, and food with soy bean oil.  It is also recommended to give your pet food rich in calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, copper sulfate, iron sulfate, zinc oxide, and choline chloride. For the non-vegetarians, raw egg, chicken, beef, mutton, fish, and quail are recommended.

Dogs with food allergies require a special diet. You wouldn’t want to see your dog suffering from food allergies, right?  So it’s important to understand the ingredients of your dog’s food items especially if the dog is allergic to certain types of foods. Vets usually recommend substituting a protein source that your dog doesn’t normally eat.  The most common offenders are beef and chicken. For such cases, vets recommend lamb as dog food since it’s not a common food ingredient.

So if you really love your dog, next time you buy something from the store, take time to read the label!

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