When you adopt or buy a dog, you can expect to be told that you will need to have a lot of patience, persistence, and you will need to work hard to train your dog. No one ever tells you that finding a good dog food will likely be more difficult than the house training. Unfortunately, choosing a dog food is not nearly as easy as choosing your own dinner. Here are some guidelines to help you navigate through the confusing options.
1. Know what your breed needs.
Different dogs have different nutritional requirements. Pit bulls, for instance, tend to have strong food allergies tied to certain proteins and certain grains. Grain free and single protein source dog food can help you rule out allergens. Some dogs, like Pugs and Labradors are prone to obesity, so you may want to select special diet food. Speaking to your vet and doing a lot of research on your breed of dog can help you to determine what kind of ingredients you want to see in the ingredients list.
Depending on the breed and its needs, you will also have to make a decision about using dry food, wet food, a combination of the two, or raw food. Dry food is generally the most affordable, but raw food can sometimes be the best tolerated and healthiest for a dog. Raw dog food you can find frozen, freeze dried, or refrigerated, and is almost universally expensive.
2. Select a dog food.
This is by far the most difficult part. If you look online at dog food reviews you are quickly going to find that there is rarely ever a consensus on what makes a good dog food, and which brands can be trusted. Choosing a dog food will be easiest if you use some combination of reviews, recommendations, personal research, and gut instinct.
3. Find dog food coupons.
Dog food, especially the good kind, can get very pricey. For my household, one large bag of dog food costs almost as much as one week of grocery shopping for the humans. When searching for dog food coupons you can find them in circulars for your local grocery store, online from your manufacturer, and also from online sites which specialize in aggregating coupons. If you shop for your dog food at a pet supply store, they may also have dog food coupons that you can use.
When you do finally select a dog food and start to use it, keep a close eye on your dog to determine if they are accepting the food well. Abnormal bowel movements, vomiting, listlessness, or even too much energy can indicate that the dog food is not a good fit with your dog. Remember to always try to transition slowly from one dog food to the next if you need to experiment, and keep your vet apprised of your progress.