There is a bewildering amount of dog food on the market. Here's an introductory guide on what to look out for when choosing your dog's food.
Additives such as colourings
As a general guide, try and choose a diet with no or minimal additives and artificial colourings.
Dogs don't care what colour or shape their food is as long as it's edible. All those colours and shapes are only there for your benefit!
Research has shown that some additives and colourings can contribute to behavioural problems. Your dog really doesn’t mind whether the kibbles are red, green, pink or brown, nor what shape they are!
Dogs need fat in their food. But fat quickly goes rancid if left unpreserved. It's thus necessary to use some sort of preservative to prevent this happening. Some companies use natural vitamins to do this, some use synthetic vitamins and some use various other preservatives.
Again, research has shown that some preservatives contribute to behavioural problems in your dog, including aggressive behaviour, short attention span and an inability to learn. As a guide, choose a food with lower levels of preservatives.
But it's not only additives, colourings and preservatives that can affect your dog's behaviour. The quality and quantity of the protein source can also have a significant impact on how your dog behaves.
In terms of protein quality, choose a food that has a good meat or fish protein source and less added cereal.
In terms of protein quantity, here you need to take into account the needs of your own dog. Too much protein can also lead to behavioural problems. Are you owner of a working breed? If so, there is still no need to feed your dog a diet that is specially designed for working breeds unless your dog is actually working (such as herding sheep).
Should you notice any change in behaviour of your dog, speak to your vet and also, let them know what diet your dog is eating. A change in diet might be the solution.
So which food should i choose?
Come and speak to us in the shop. We have a qualified nutritionist who can help you. They will explain the differences between the various foods we offer and will only recommend the food we believe right for your own particular dog.