Top 4 Things To Look For When Buying Dog Food

There's no doubt your pup is a full-fledged member of your family. As a result, you're going to want to keep him or her as healthy as possible. The best way to do this is to make sure you're feeding your furry friend nutritional meals on a daily basis. Dr. Mercola points out that dogs have biology-driven nutritional requirements that you need to meet. The first thing they recommend doing is checking the product label for a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). After that, you'll want to check for the following: 

A Named Animal Protein Source

Check the ingredients list to ensure it contains a healthy source of protein. That protein should also be named and should ideally be either chicken, turkey, lamb, or beef. You can also go with fish, although this is more commonly an ingredient in cat food. If the brand of dog food you are considering simply says meat, don't put it in your cart. 

Artificial Ingredients

Just like humans, dogs don't need artificial sweeteners and ingredients. These offer no nutritional benefit and can even be harmful to your pet. The Dog Food Project reports that pups should stay away from such additives as glyceryl monostearate, propylene gyco and phosphoric acid. When it comes to coloring agents, the organization says to stay away from blue #2, red #40, yellow #5 and #6, and titanium dioxide.

Fillers and Grains

Take a look at the ingredient list to make sure the brand isn't using unnecessary fillers. Then Consumer Research says you'll want to check which grains are used, as whole grains are much better than processed grains or grains that may contain gluten (dogs can have a gluten-intolerance just like people). Opt for dog foods made with rice or barley and avoid brands that list corn or wheat as their included grain.

Feeding Instructions

Finally, you'll want to go over the feeding instructions on the bag. The product should list whether it is made for puppies, adult dogs, or senior dogs. If the dog food fits the description of your pet, you can move on to the chart that shows how much your pet should be consuming each day. Typically, the chart goes by weight. This is an excellent guideline to follow, however, you'll need to review it with your veterinarian. This is because the figure does not take in to account how active your dog is and what the overall temperature is in your area. It also doesn't address dogs who may already be under or overweight. 

If you're on the hunt for the best food for your dog, check out retailers like Woof n Purr Pet Boutique.