Canine Nutrition Tips

Canine Nutrition Tips

Choosing what to feed your dog can be an overwhelming and confusing decision.
Yet, the food your dog eats can be crucial to their overall well-being and appearance. Canine nutrition has evolved quite a bit, and as a result, dogs are living longer, healthier lives. Feeding a premium diet will result in noticeable benefits for your dog. Healthy foods produce superior body & coat condition, better stamina, and increased longevity and quality of life. Here are some general guidelines to help you select the best food for your dog.
A 7 week old Golden Retriever puppy licking it's lip while staring at a bowl of kibble dog food against a white background

Choose dog foods with:

  • High meat content. Ideally, the first ingredient should be a specified meat (like chicken, beef, bison, lamb, etc). Another one or two meats or meat meal listed in the top 5 ingredients is a bonus, but not necessary. It is fine if the meat is listed as meal, as in “chicken meal”. This just means the moisture was removed prior to the production of the food.
  • Grain free or healthy grains only. Barley, oatmeal and rice (especially brown rice) are considered appropriate in a dog’s diet. They should be listed after the primary meat ingredient. Other grains, like corn, wheat and soy provide inferior nutrition for a dog, and are used as inexpensive filler only. Also, many dogs are allergic to corn or wheat.
  • Added healthy, holistic ingredients are a plus. These include glucosamine, chondroitin, probiotics, prebiotics, flax seed oil and sunflower oil.

Other feeding guidelines

  • A varied diet is best. Rotate between different protein sources (e.g. chicken, beef, bison, etc.). Some experts even suggest rotating or supplementing with different forms (kibble, canned, frozen, etc.). Gradually cutover between foods to avoid digestive upset.
  • Dogs have varied taste preferences, just like people do. Try out a number of different foods to find the ones that your dog most enjoys.
  • Store and handle the food properly. For example, kibble that is exposed to air will stale quickly. It should be kept in its original bag, sealed between uses and used well before the expiration date. Keeping it in an airtight container is a good practice. But, drop the bag into the container. Pouring the kibble into a container introduces a lot of air and hastens spoilage.