Making sure your dog is getting the right nutrition from their meals is key to making sure they have a healthy, balanced diet. The best way to do this is to look at the nutrition label and check for ingredients, nutrients, and more. Today in the Happy Go Healthy blog, we’ll tell you what you need to know to properly read the nutrition label.
Food for Life Stages
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you get your dog the right food for their health status and life stage. Often, dog foods are separated by Puppy, Adult, and Senior. Make sure you look at the recommended ages and pick the right one.
They’re also usually separated by size so you can pick the right food for small, medium, and large dogs. Also, sometimes your dog may have a dietary restriction due to a health issue. You should listen to your vet in this case and follow whatever diet they recommend.
Take a look at the ingredients that are listed on the bag or can. Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Keep in mind, meats like chicken, beef, and lamb have a high water content. This means that they’ll be listed before dry ingredients such as grains, meals, vitamins, and so on. Typically, dog food will have two quality sources of protein. You’ll also want to look for the fat sources, usually two, because fatty acids provide your dog with energy.
The guaranteed analysis section of any dog nutrient label indicates minimum or maximum levels of nutrients such as protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. These will be presented in percentages. Usually, carbohydrates aren’t provided, but you can work out the carbs by adding up the other percentages and figuring out what’s left over.
Recommended Feeding Instructions
Your dog food should have recommendations for how much to feed them based on their weight. Make sure you stick to these recommendations unless your vet says otherwise. Overfeeding or underfeeding could result in weight and health problems for your pet.