Beyond the label: How to choose food for your dog

It’s not just about the label when it comes to choosing and/or changing your dog’s food. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind.

• When changing your dog’s food, do so gradually, and mix the old with the new, increasing the amount of new, over the course of 1-2 weeks.

• The feeding guidelines on the side of the bag are just that – guidelines. You may need to adjust depending on the food, your dog’s energy level, and even the climate. Your dog may need more or less food in the summer or winter.

• If you have a puppy, it is important to feed her puppy specific food. Puppies have different nutritional requirements.

• It is not as important to get size specific food, but the smaller size kibble could be helpful for smaller breeds.

• Supplements for dogs are not regulated, and aren’t usually necessary if you are feeding your dog a complete diet. If you decide to use supplements, such as Glucosamine (one of the few supplements that has been proven to be helpful for older/arthritic dogs), check the label and make sure it is pharmacology grade.

With any treat or food, the real test is if your dog will eat it. No matter how high quality we think something is, if Fluffy won’t eat it, try something else!