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Letting Your Dog Choose His Own Food
Spend time at any pet store and the choice of dog foods to feed your dog is in abundance. How do you know which to choose and which is good for your dog? The answer to that is simply, you do not, let your dog choose. Although there are some basics that are recommended. If you have purchased your dog from a breeder, ask the breeder what they recommend to feed your new pet. A good breeder should be able to tell you what has worked best for their dogs. This is a good place to start.
However, if you have adopted your new dog, then it will be up to you to figure out what is good for your dog and what is not. The dog will certainly help you in determining the right food for him. Always read the labels on a dog food package. What you want to look at is the first ingredient. You do not want to see meat meal, this can be anything within the food including road kill.
Chicken Meal or Lamb Meal is a good start. You also always want to see the word meal; whole meat without the Meal is mostly water. Most nutritionists prefer chicken based dog foods as they are easier to digest. You may see corn or a type of corn product in the dog food. Corn is a protein source the dog food makers use to keep the price reasonable. Some dogs like corn and others do not. If you see your dog start itching, licking his feet, scooting his butt, or getting frequent ear infections, this could indicate a lack of tolerance for corn. Beware of wheat in a food. Wheat tends to be more of an irritant in dogs than corn is. You need to inspect the label for the sentence "AAFCO feeding trials confirm that (dog food brand) is complete and balanced for adult dogs or all life stages".
This sentence alone will tell you that the dog food was fed to any number of dogs and was determined to meet the nutritional needs for all life stages of a dog. When it comes to feeding your dog there are certain guidelines that should be followed depending on the age of your dog. For instance, puppies should be fed more regularly than adult dogs. Puppies should be fed as often as four times per day and with a quality dog food geared towards puppies specifically. Adult dogs should be fed twice a day. In general, feed puppies and adult dogs separately so you can be sure the amount they are eating each time and to prevent fighting. Set a feeding schedule for your dog, but not one to where they become anxious if you happen to be late. It is a good idea to teach your dog to sit before placing the dog food in the bowl; this will prevent them from jumping to get the food. Nutritionists suggest only allowing your dog 15 to 20 minutes to eat then removing and disposing of the remainder.
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