Seeing that cutie face run up to you filled with complete joy and love as you step in the door after a long day’s work is enough to melt the stress of any deadlines and projects away. The unconditional love that this dog breed, and all other breeds in general, offer is by far one of the best feelings in the world and that alone is enough to want to give them the best life possible.
As responsible dog owners, we have to give them a safe and comfortable resting place, enough exercise to keep them fit and healthy, and most importantly the correct nutrition to feed their growing bodies.
Too often we simply grab the generic dog food brand off the shelves at the local supermarket whilst completing our weekly grocery run and assume that it is good enough when in fact we don’t have that much of an idea.
Do we ever take a moment to read the ingredients on the packaging labels? To see what the manufacturers are putting into the foods and if they are healthy and nutritious, in most cases the answer is ‘not really.’ We put our faith in these large corporations claiming to be the best dog food producers but at the end of the day their main objective is to increase sales and revenue, and quality tends to take a back seat.
We need to be more active in our research and label reading when it comes to purchasing better food products for our pets, we do the same for ourselves do we not to maintain a reasonably healthy lifestyle, and they deserve the same.
Food labels are filled with unpronounceable words, print that seems to get smaller and smaller with each new year making it almost impossible to see these 10-letter long ingredients, and it can feel daunting not knowing what you are serving.
You can learn more about the canine industry jargon here https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/pet-food-labels-general and this way you better equip yourself when making your next purchases, the more information you arm yourself with the better the life your pet will enjoy.
There are a few factors we can look out for as a beginner pet owner and with these, in hand, you will be off on the right foot from the get-go. Shopping doesn’t have to be daunting, understanding what to be aware of will set your mind at ease and take the pressure off.
- As the old saying goes these can be deceiving. Don’t think that a bigger box for less money is necessarily better quality, rather look at the cost versus the weight of the ingredient you want (like the main protein of the food such as beef or chicken) and calculate per pound. Often the percentage of meat is far less than the packaging size due to water and other additives.
- These are listed in order of weight and are a quick indication of how much of the food product you are receiving. If the name of the protein is in 4th or 5th place do you want to fill your pet with the additives, or worse, plain water? Your best option would be to look elsewhere.
- Feeding directions. No matter what it says on the label be sure of your dog’s weight, size, and height and give the required amount of food for your particular breed of dog.
And even more so if it is a pedigree or show dog that has preferential food needs and likes, for help with this take a moment to check out dog guides, they always have handy tips and advice on all sorts of furry family members and types of canines, especially about the Brussels Griffon dog breed. There is something for everyone.
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What to look for in dog food.
When it comes to dog food is it merely a case of ‘one-size-fits-all’ or should we be looking more closely at what we feed our dogs? If you have a house filled with kids then helping them understand which foods and ingredients are good for dogs and those which could be dangerous is essential, it will also make them feel responsible and included. Win-win.
So when we shop for food your best bet would be to shop wholesome and organic. This way you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals or pesticides from vegetables that have been included in the meals, and as much as they filter and extract these toxins the mere traces of them could have severe negative long-term effects on your pet.
You may even be walking through the fields as you always do and your dog could curiously chew on something from the farmlands over the path, this is a quick way to get a taste of dangerous chemicals. If you suspect something like this has happened, click this link to read about the signs and symptoms and what to do if any of them look familiar. In most cases, you should rush your pup to the vet emergency clinic to be safe and sure.
Look for packaging or tins that give you the percentage of protein, fats, fiber, and other minerals and vitamins, you want the complete spectrum for your growing furball. Get a variety of foods to keep them not only interested in mealtimes and prevent not wanting to eat at all, and mix dry and wet for flavor and texture diversity.
Meal times are a great way to introduce new ingredients, and instill a routine as they grow in the family.
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