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How to Evaluate Which Food Is Best for Your Dog
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How to Evaluate Which Food Is Best for Your Dog

Good nutrition is as important to your dog’s health as it is to your own. But with thousands of different pet foods available, how do you pick the right one for your dog?
 

Learn how to choose a dog food that provides the proper, balanced nutrition your dog needs to thrive with these six tips.

 

1. Know Your Dog’s Basic Nutritional Needs

In general, while a human diet should be high in fiber and low in fat, a dog needs more fat for energy and a healthy skin and coat, and less fiber for good intestinal health.
 

Preferably, a dog’s food should include meat, too. Even if you prefer a vegetarian diet, designing a high-quality dog diet without animal protein is difficult. IAMS™ Company research supports that meatless meals might not provide optimal nutrition for dogs. Dogs are best fed as carnivores because they have simple stomachs and short intestines that are ideal for digesting animal protein and animal fat. Dogs also need carbohydrates for energy.

 

2. Consider Your Dog's Life Stage and Lifestyle

Start by identifying your dog’s life stage and lifestyle. Puppies, nursing mothers and mature pets each represent different life stages, and each one has different nutritional requirements. By law, all dog foods must state the life stage for which they are recommended.
 

Nutritional needs also vary depending on lifestyle. A dog whose primary activity is guarding the couch doesn’t need as much energy as one who guards a flock of sheep. Another factor to consider is breed size: small, medium or large.
 

Finally, consider medical conditions your dog has, such as food allergies, that might require your veterinarian to recommend a special diet.

 

3. Choose Dry Dog Food or Wet

Once you’ve determined your dog’s life stage and lifestyle needs, decide whether to feed him dry or canned food. Most dogs do well eating only dry food. Dry foods promote oral hygiene for healthy teeth and gums through abrasive chewing action. Some dogs, especially finicky eaters, enjoy wet food because of its smooth, wet texture.
 

Remember that while dry food can be left in a bowl all day, wet food should be thrown away after 30 minutes if not consumed. Dry food is the best choice for busy people who are not normally home during the day.
 

After you determine your pet’s nutritional needs and preference, you are ready to go shopping.

 

4. Compare Dog-food Labels

Ingredients on dog-food labels are listed in descending order according to weight. Because dogs thrive on animal-based diets, it’s best to pick a food that features an animal-based protein source, such as chicken, lamb, fish or egg, as the first ingredient. Unlike a single-vegetable-based protein source, such as soybean meal or corn-gluten meal, animal-based protein sources contain adequate amounts of essential amino acids.
 

Scientific studies show that a combination of carbohydrates in the diet, such as corn meal or barley and grain sorghum, offers optimal carbohydrate digestibility and helps maintain energy levels. In addition, scientific studies show that beet pulp — the material remaining after sugar is extracted from sugar beets — is an excellent fiber source and promotes a healthy digestive tract. Finally, for a glossy coat and healthy skin, your pet needs fat in the diet. Good fat sources include chicken fat and fish oil.

 

5. Learn How to Recognize Dog-food Quality

Dog-food labels provide limited information about the nutritional value of the food because labeling regulations do not allow manufacturers to describe the quality of ingredients on the package.
 

A reputable pet-food manufacturer will be able to explain their specific methods for evaluating and assuring the quality of ingredients used in its products.

 

6. Compare Dog-food Prices

When choosing food, the price on the bag, while important, is usually not the best consideration. A low price might indicate inexpensive ingredients, or ingredients that change as market prices fluctuate.
 

Also, many lower-priced products have higher daily portions to provide the same amount of nutrition found in a high-quality diet. To get a better representation of value, it is the cost per feeding, not the total cost, that counts.
 

To figure cost per feeding, divide the total cost by the number of days the product lasts. For example, a 20-pound bag of food costs $18.99 and lasts 30 days. The cost to feed is $0.63 per day. A 20-pound bag of food that costs $15.99 and lasts 20 days costs $0.80 per day. So, when costs are analyzed properly, high-quality pet foods compare quite favorably to other brands while offering outstanding nutrition.

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  • German Shepherd Dog Care
    German Shepherd Dog Care

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    How to Take Care of a German Shepherd Dog

    German Shepherd Dogs are one of the most loved breeds in the world! They're incredibly smart, versatile and learn new behaviors quickly. If that wasn't enough, they're also faithful companions that are very protective of their families.

    But before you take the leap and adopt a German Shepherd, there are a few things you must know about looking after one. As is the case with raising a dog of any breed, caring for a German Shepherd needs commitment, patience and understanding.


    Here's what it takes to care for a German Shepherd:


    a. Exercising German Shepherds
    German Shepherds are fantastic creatures in every sense, and it is easy to see why. GSDs are naturally energetic and need dedicated time daily to burn it off. They need at least 60minutes of daily physical exercise such as running and playing fetch in a park. A fit dog is a happy dog and one that is exercised regularly will not be happy, but healthy too.

    b. Grooming German Shepherds
    Be prepared to keep your vacuum cleaner handy. GSDs have thick coats, making them prone to shedding. Grooming your GSD takes time as well. You will need to give your pet a comb down at least 3 times a week. But you won’t need to bathe your dog too often (unless advised to do so by your vet).

    c. Dog Food for German Shepherds
    To stay healthy and active, German Shepherds require complete and balanced meals that are tailor-made to meet their unique needs. You could try a premium recipe like IAMS™ Proactive Health™ for Adult German Shepherds, which is specially formulated food for German Shepherds. This recipe is a blend of beet pulp and prebiotics (FOS) that supports healthy digestion, calcium, magnesium and other minerals and vitamins to support a healthy heart, and Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids to support skin and coat health. We recommend dividing their daily intake into two meals.

     

    SIZE OF GERMAN SHEPHERD

    RECOMMENDED DAILY FEEDING (g)

    20-30 kg 245-330
    30-40 kg 330-410
    40-50 kg 410-485
    50-60 kg 485-555

     

    d. Diseases German Shepherds are Susceptible to
    Like most dog breeds, German Shepherds are prone to diseases as well. But here are a few common diseases they are known to suffer from. Hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, degenerative myelopathy, inherited eye diseases, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, skin and heart disease, and thyroid disease. If you remain dedicated to providing your dog with the right kind of nutrition along with proper exercise, you should be able to keep illness at bay.


    Some Facts About German Shepherd Care

    German Shepherds are a special breed. They have high energy, are strong and have oodles of stamina. But they also need a lot of attention and activity. If you are away from home frequently or dont have the time to spend exercising or grooming them, then a German Shepherd isn't the right choice for you. So are you ready to start caring for a German Shepherd? Ask yourself these questions before making a decision:

    Do I have the time and energy to train my German Shepherd?
    Do I have enough space in my home for such a large dog to flourish?
    Am I financially stable to care for my GSD if any health issues arise?

    If you answer yes to these questions, then you are ready to enjoy an action-packed life with
    your furry new friend!

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