Finding the right dog food for your dog can be a difficult thing. But, our friends at DogFood.co are here to help you find the perfect dog food!
Dogs come in all shapes & sizes. Well, generally they’re the same shape, unless they’ve got some crazy genetic defect like an extra leg or third ear. But you get the idea: all dogs are different.
Starting small, you’ve got teacup breeds. As the name suggests, these dogs might very well fit into a teacup (without the tea).
Small dog breeds are slightly larger than a teacup breed, but still small enough to step on if you’re not paying attention. Good examples of small breeds are Pugs, Poms & Papillons.
Average to large sized dogs, such as Boxers & Weimaraners come next. Some of these breeds are absolutely crazy, (fun crazy, not bad crazy).
Then there are the giant sized breeds like Great Danes & Mastiffs. It might be intimidating to encounter your first giant breed, but they’re actually quite soft at heart.
There are many dogs that don’t fit into the standard small, medium, & large category, but the point is this: You’re not going to feed your teacup Yorkie a big bowl of food meant for a Mastiff & vice versa.
When it comes down to it, your dog needs two things: protein & fat.
They need a lot of other things too, but these are the most important (other than water, of course). It’s recommended that whatever you’re feeding Fido, it should be at least 18% protein & 9-15% fat.
Remember: We’re looking at average adult dogs, not exclusively sedentary dogs & not high performance racing dogs.
A dog’s ancestry is tied to carnivorous species, but today’s domestic dogs are considered omnivorous. Dogs are omnivorous primarily because we made them that way. They became used to being opportunistic & consuming any scraps humans threw their way.
Let’s start with the ankle biters.
For all dogs, no matter the breed or size, their food must contain animal-based protein & fat.
Surprisingly, small dogs need more protein & fat that large breeds (proportional to their size).
Little dogs have small hearts that are always excitedly pumping, ready to pounce & become YouTube stars. Their metabolism demands higher protein & higher fat content in their food.
Special Considerations When Finding the Best Dog Food for Small Breeds
Your tiny dog has a tiny little mouth.
While you may not appreciate the barking that comes out of it, the size of the food that enters it matters. Larger kibble is hard for your small dog to chew & swallow, whereas small kibble bits are easier to munch & are less of a choking hazard.
Average to Large Sized Breeds
Average to large sized breeds tend to be very active. Think Border Collies & German Shepherds. One was bred to herd sheep all day while the other is used by police to take down bad guys.
Similar to the small breeds, they require a good energy source. It’s important that they receive high-quality, meat-based protein.
Just by looking at these massive dogs, you might be able to guess that the daily nutrition they receive is extremely important.
As they grow from puppies to adults, they become susceptible to bone & joint issues. This is mostly due to the amount of growth they experience over such a short amount of time.
A giant breed puppy can reach 50% of its adult weight after only 5 months of existence. Imagine yourself growing to the size of a twelve-year-old human at only 5 months of age!
Fast-paced growth makes larger breeds more susceptible to skeletal problems. Most people control it by limiting the calcium & fat their dogs consume. This gives dog’s bones more time to develop properly.
Some giant breed-specific dog foods already contain this quality, so this is one case where it’s extremely important to buy size (and age) appropriate dog food.
Special Considerations When Finding the Best Dog Food for Giant Breeds
The sheer size of these dogs puts them at risk for a number of diseases, including hip & elbow dysplasia, cardio myopathy, Wobblers Syndrome (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like), arthritis, hyperthyroidism, bloat & many more.
Look for foods with the fatty acids EPA & DHA, as well as foods that have glucosamine & chondroitin to help with joint health.
How Much Dog Food Should I be Feeding My Dog?
Feeding your dog too much or too little can lead to a number of health problems. You’ll need to find the “Goldilocks” amount of food for your specific dog.
Here’s a rough estimate of how much you should be feeding your dog(s):
Finding the right dog food for your friend can feel like a monumental task. But breaking down your dog’s needs into bite-sized pieces (pun intended) can make your life a whole lot easier.
Please, feed the right dog food for your dog’s size.
About the Author: Rhett is just a fella with a family…also a dog guy, a Colorado Rockies fan, a craft beer supporter, and a Johnny Cash junkie. He & the DogFood.co squad help you find the best dog food for your best friend.