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DOG / nutrition

What Should I Feed My Dog?

Three basic questions to help you choose quality food


There are so many kinds of dog food on the market that choosing the right one can seem confusing. To narrow down your choices, ask these three questions:

1. How old is my dog?

Puppies (under a year), adults (one to eight years old) and seniors (eight years and older) have different nutritional needs. Active, growing dogs need more calories, while older dogs may benefit from ingredients meant to support their aging joints.

2. What breed is my dog?

For very large or very small dogs, consider food made specifically for their size. Size-specific food is customized for the energy needs of big or little dogs and often has pieces designed to fit better in a dog’s large (or tiny) mouth. Look on the package for designations such as “large breed,” “small breed” or “toy breed.”

3. Does my dog have health issues?

A special diet may be best for dogs with health needs like food sensitivities or weight problems. There are also foods made to address dental problems as well as other conditions.

Choose quality ingredients

Now that you’ve got a general idea of what to feed your pet, look for brands that offer high-quality ingredients. Although premium brands can cost more than bargain brands, the payoff is that these foods deliver more of the nutrients your pet needs. (Another upside: Better absorption may mean your dogs’ stools will be smaller and firmer.)

Premium dog food will include meat for protein, vitamin-packed vegetables and fruit, and omega fatty acids for a shiny coat. It’s also likely to have fewer fillers such as corn, wheat and soy.

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