Last updated: August 18, 2021

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For those of us who have pets, it is important to pamper and care for them. Although it is not easy, it is possible to ensure that your furry friends have an optimal quality of life, so you should pay attention to factors such as good rest, sufficient play time, cleanliness and, of course, an excellent diet.

As we know, the first food that these little animals are confronted with is their mother's milk, which provides them with the necessary nutrients for their healthy development. However, after a few weeks, they will have to start trying other types of food, because finding the one that best suits their needs will be necessary.

When feeding your four-legged friend, you will need to consider their age, size, breed and state of health. When he is still a puppy, he should be fed 2 to 6 times a day, depending on his age, however, when he reaches an older age, the consistency of feeding may change, as the amount of energy to be burned will not be the same.




The most important thing

  • Dog food is a mixture of proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, among other elements, that will provide your pet with what it needs for healthy development, as well as enough energy to play and feel good.
  • Nowadays, the most common types of food are commercial food and BARF food, which, although both nourish dogs, have different processes. Commercial food is processed, while BARF is natural.
  • To choose the most suitable food for your four-legged friend, you need to consider his age, health conditions, the number of times he will need to be fed per day, as well as the ingredients he will need at the stage he is at.

The Best Dog Food: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about dog food

Within the wide variety of dog foods, you will find countless brands, presentations, quantities and ingredients. For these and other reasons, we have decided to develop sections containing relevant information that will surely help you choose the best option for your dog.

Provide your furry friend with the best quality food to help him grow strong and stay healthy. (Photo: Katarzyna Białasiewicz/ 123rf.com)

What is dog food and what are its advantages?

Basically, dog food is a mixture of proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and other compounds, which will provide your pet with what it needs for healthy development. Each pet is unique and therefore will have specific needs that will determine what their diet will be like.

At each stage in the life of these animals, particular factors must be considered, i.e. the food a dog eats as a puppy should not be the same as when it reaches a mature age.

In addition, the diet also depends on the size, pace of life and particular conditions of each dog, such as allergies or obesity, so monitoring their weight and state of health will be essential to ensure that their nutrition is being appropriate.

Although food provides a basic need for our four-legged friends and is usually for their benefit, it can also include some disadvantages if not chosen properly. Here is a table of facts you may be interested to know.

Advantages
  • It will provide your dog with the necessary elements for good development
  • There are different presentations
  • There are specific amounts of food for each breed, weight and age
  • The prices can be adapted to everyone's pocket
  • There is a huge variety of brands.
Disadvantages
  • It may contain ingredients that are not ideal for your dog
  • The dog may not adapt to the food
  • They may be allergic to certain ingredients
  • There may not be a relationship between quality and price
  • Often, the best quality brands are the most expensive.

Commercial food + BARF food - what to look out for?

Lately, there has been a controversy about dog food. On the one hand, there are the commercial foods, translated as kibble or canned food, which really nourish dogs, however, another alternative, BARF food, has also emerged.

Both types of food are good for the development of our furry friends, however, within the discussions, some of their advantages and disadvantages have emerged and will be discussed below.

Commercial food. These are processed foods, which, although they nourish dogs, were previously exposed to chemical processes that are sometimes not the most appropriate. However, these foods are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, and their taste is often palatable to dogs.

BARF food. BARF food, unlike commercial food, is not processed. It is made up of everyday, wholesome, raw foods such as meat and fish, fruits and vegetables that have not been exposed to chemicals or artificial elements. However, this alternative can sometimes be dangerous.

Commercial food BARF food
Preparation Processed Natural
Presentation Kibble, meat, treats, canned foods, etc. Fresh, raw foods such as meat and vegetables
Value Accessible Costly
Chemicals and artificial elements Yes No

Risks of both types of food

In comparing the above dog food alternatives, we are not trying to say that one is better than the other, as both have their plus points. On the other hand, there are disadvantages to be considered.

On the one hand, commercial food provides some convenience by avoiding food preparation, as well as ensuring that it nourishes your pet correctly, while BARF food, being natural, gives you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what your furry friend is being fed.

Risks exist for both. The risk of commercial food is that it is not providing exactly those nutrients your dog needs, while the risk of BARF food is focused on the hygiene and quality of the food, which if left unchecked, can cause serious illness.

How much does dog food cost?

The price of dog food will depend on the quantities, ingredients, quality and, of course, the brand. You can find very complete and adequate food for the nutrition of your pet in croquettes of 2 to 4 kg from 200 MXN to 700 MXN.

You can also buy 6 to 8 kg sacks of kibble from MXN 500 to approximately MXN 1,000. And the sacks containing more food, between 15 and 25 kg are usually more expensive, these can be worth even more than 1,500 MXN.

You will also have to consider that dog food is often aimed at different breeds, life stages and other specific conditions, so prices can vary constantly.

Also, if you opt for food other than kibble, prices are likely to be very different for canned food, treats, bones and meat. In the event that you opt for the BARF method, the value of the food will be subject to those of each shop where you buy it.

Buying criteria

To choose the best dog food you need to know the most important characteristics that encompass this type of product, such as portions or quantities, ingredients, the ideal food depending on the age of your four-legged friend, among others.

To save you headaches, we are going to explain briefly each of the criteria you should pay attention to, so that you can finally identify exactly what type of food is right for you and your furry best friend.

Amounts according to the age of the dog

The amount of food that should be fed to dogs is partly related to their age. Therefore, a puppy's food will not be as constant or the same as that of an older dog.

Puppies should be fed 3 to 6 times a day, as their digestive system is very fast and will burn calories quickly.

Adult dog. feeding consistency will be reduced to 1 or 2 times a day, depending on the dog's metabolism.

Dogs in old age. it is recommended that they should not be fed more than twice a day, because as their body deteriorates, the digestive system becomes more strained, but they should not stop receiving essential nutrients.

The frequency of pet food intake should be determined by your veterinarian to ensure full and healthy nutrition.

Amounts according to breed of dog

The amounts of food that should be given to dogs will be related to their size and breed. A miniature dog, such as a Chihuahua, will eat 60 to 115 grams of kibble per day, while a small dog will eat around 200 grams.

A medium-sized dog will eat about 400 grams a day, and finally, large or extra-large pets, such as Great Danes, can eat up to 800 grams of dry food.

Ingredients

Dog food usually comes with a gigantic variety of ingredients, however, among the most common are:

Meat and animal products. these can be chicken, beef, lamb or fish, which provide great sources of protein, essential fatty acids, iron and some B vitamins, which are also easy for dogs to digest.

Vegetables. These are important in the diet as they are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and energy.

Vitamins. body functions such as the immune system, eyesight, muscles, joints and bones depend on them.

Minerals and amino acids. categorised as "nutritional additives", they balance body fluids, support metabolic processes and allow dogs to have strong bones and teeth.

Cereals. These represent a strong source of carbohydrates. They are present in corn, rice, wheat and barley. They also provide protein and other essential nutrients.

Fats. These are an important source of energy, as well as providing a better taste and allowing good digestion. They also influence the shine of your pet's coat.

Type of food

Dog food can come in different presentations, which are divided into wet and semi-moist or dry food:

  • Wet/semi-moist (such as canned and raw meats/vegetables): these are usually more natural. Dogs like them for their different consistencies, plus they benefit from participating in their hydration.
  • Dry (such as kibble, treats, bones and meat): the most common type and most commonly consumed due to their ease of storage and preservation, plus there is a wide variety of brands that produce these foods.

It is therefore necessary to find out from your pet's vet which ones are best for your little furry friend.

Dog's age

When pets are still puppies, after drinking their mother's milk, they switch to soft kibble with specific properties, as their metabolism tends to be faster. These foods often contain extra protein, more fat and carbohydrates, which will give them more energy.

When they become adult dogs, approximately 1 to 6 years of age, their diet should include less fat, but more protein, as well as certain vitamins and minerals, which will provide them with enough energy to be active, healthy and happy animals.

When they reach the stage of old age, from 7 years onwards, their metabolism tends to slow down, so they will have to start eating "light" food. You should look for a food with balanced amounts of glucosamine, calcium, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, among other essential ingredients to take care of them.

Guarantees

Like many other items on the market, some brands of dog food come with a guarantee, not only of quality, but also of taste. Some suppliers are so confident that your furry friend will like the food that, if they don't, they will refund your money, so knowing this may be helpful.

(Featured image source: Damedeeso/ 123rf.com)

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