What dog food fits me and my dog best
Part 1 - Those characteristics of the dog are decisive for the choice of dog food
Anyone who has to choose a dog food is spoiled for choice. Because the dog food market is booming and offers a wide variety of different varieties and types. In addition to classic wet and dry food, there is virtually everything your heart desires - whether vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, organic, or based on insect proteins. When it comes to dog food, it's not always just about the dog's preferences; the owners are also heavily involved because they ultimately decide what their darling gets under the snout. That's why the trend, as in human nutrition, is toward less meat and a sustainable, ecologically correct diet. Of course, other factors also play a role that should not be underestimated. Some dog foods require more space, are more time-consuming, or smell more extreme than others, and the manufacturers are primarily trying to satisfy masters and mistresses. However, it is just as important that the four-legged friends like it and that they tolerate the food well. You know one - You know them all? Not with our dearest fur noses. Because dogs are not only breed-specific but also very different in character. We at William Walker explain to you today which characteristics of the dog influence the choice of food and how you can recognize whether your dog tolerates the food.
Pay attention to these characteristics of your dog when choosing food
Be sure to choose a dog food that is adapted to the characteristics of your dog. Here counts first of all age, breed, activity, and health of your dog. Young and very active quadrupeds, for example, need enough protein and especially enough fat, which they can convert into energy, in their food. In contrast, seniors and especially sweet tooths, who tend to be overweight, definitely need lighter, less fatty food. For example, a main ingredient such as chicken or even venison is suitable for this. The breed often provides information about how active a dog is and which diseases, for example, can be prevented by a good diet. Through centuries of breeding, our faithful companions are very far from their ancestors, the wolves. They have become less strong-stomached and resistant to allergies and diseases and, like us humans, have intolerances. So it can happen that after a long trial and error you end up with dog food with camel or kangaroo meat. It is therefore elementary to pay attention to very special characteristics of your dog, by which you can determine an intolerance of the food.
This will help you identify your dog's intolerances and/or allergies to dog food ingredients:
1. The condition of your dog's coat says a lot about its nutrition
The dog has a very natural protective layer of various fats on its coat, which protects it from dirt and moisture - this is completely normal and desirable. If you pet your dog and afterward you have a thick film of grease on your fingers that form into little black crumbs when rubbed, then something is wrong. Greasy fur does not indicate too greasy food but is often a sign of hyperacidity. This over-acidification is accompanied by stomach problems and is then increasingly expressed by unpleasant odor of the dog and the hair coat. If this smell becomes a stench, the dog food should be changed. However, if this smell is in the normal range, some things can be corrected by dietary supplements. A shot of linseed oil, e.g. William Walker Premium Linseed Oil Lucky Love, provides a good fat balance and supports the dog's skin.
Attention: Strong itching or even open spots, so-called hot spots, as well as weeping scratches on the dog's armpits indicate an allergy. This is often triggered by the wrong dog food, but the symptoms can also be caused by an allergic reaction, for example to detergent or pollen. In this case, the vet should be consulted to get to the bottom of the problem.
2. The functions of the digestive system are significantly influenced by dog food
Especially flatulence or frequent defecation indicate an intolerance. But also unpleasant odor from the mouth are signs of hyperacidity of the dog's stomach, which can be triggered by intolerances. It can come to reflux, the vomiting of stomach acid, or also so-called licking attacks. In this case, the dog licks the floor or furniture like crazy or starts to eat grass and other bushes intensively. This reaction is similar to the urge to drink milk when we humans experience heartburn. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, it is recommended to change the food, compensate with supplements, or even visit the vet to rule out other diseases.
Attention: Diarrhea and vomiting can be severe reactions to the wrong dog food. This is often due to an allergy, intolerance, or even that the new dog food was not introduced correctly. Especially with dry food, the acclimatization can take some time. If diarrhea and vomiting continue for several days, the dog should stop eating and be given mashed potatoes or a light diet. Then it can be decided with a veterinarian how to proceed.
The exclusion diet - what to do when the dog has many intolerances and allergies
If the dog has several of the above-mentioned symptoms, or even a food allergy has been detected, the exclusion diet is usually the only way to success. Here the compatibility of individual foods is tested. One begins for example with the feeding of potatoes over 1-2 weeks. If the dog shows no intolerance here, another food is added, for example game meat. The exclusion diet often lasts several months, so it is very time-consuming. Nevertheless, it is worth the effort, because a qualitative and suitable dog diet is the key to a long and healthy dog life. Stomach ulcers, arthrosis, or even cancer can be consequences of years of hyperacidity.
In our second part about dog food, we will explicitly deal with the different types of feeding, such as barf, dry and wet food, as well as other alternatives. And don't forget - besides all that there is to consider, of course, the fun and enjoyment of eating must not be lost :)
Written by Louisa Knoll
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