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Dog Food

Dog food is the basis of your dog's nutrition, so feeding him the right food and in the right quantities is critical. Quite simply, healthier food means a healthier dog. Dog food comes in three main forms: dry food, canned food, or semi-moist food. The type you select for your dog depends on his breed, age, activity level and general health.

Dogs are omnivores, meaning in the wild they eat both meat and plant matter. As long as at least ten percent of his calories come from protein, it doesn't matter whether your dog's protein comes from animals or vegetables. Diets that are higher in protein, up to around 25%, are even better for your dog's health.

Dry food can be the easiest to store and feed your dog, and is often the least expensive type of dog food. Some dogs prefer canned food, which is easier to chew and can be easier to digest than dry food. Many canned foods have a very high concentration of water, so be aware that your dog may not receive all the nutrients he needs from canned food alone. Most dogs benefit from a mix of either canned or semi-moist food along with some dry food, since dry foods are important for your dog's dental health. Chewing dry kibble helps reduce plaque buildup on your dog's teeth and gums.

Adult dogs can be fed once or twice a day. Puppies should eat smaller, more frequent meals, and usually need to be fed two to four times a day. The younger the puppy, the more frequently she should eat. If your breed of dog is susceptible to bloat, continue to feed your adult dog two smaller meals each day. Otherwise, you can choose to feed either a single meal or two meals, whichever works better for you and your pet.

Premium dog foods are generally more expensive than other types. However, these brands often contain higher quality ingredients and a higher content of actual meat. Inexpensive brands may contain a lot of fillers and meat byproducts. These are not only less healthy for your dog than real meat is, but they are often less filling as well. Feeding your dog a high-quality food often means giving him more nutrition through less food. This can not only even out the price difference, it but can be priceless in the positive effect it has on your dog's health.

Dogs generally do well on a consistent daily diet. Some dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and changes in diet can cause problems. When you make changes to your dog's diet do so gradually, over several days or even weeks. If you have concerns about your dog's health, check with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.

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