Adopting a new dog is an exciting milestone for your family, but it can also create a brief adjustment period as your pup acclimates to his or her new life. During this time, you’ll need to do some work to train your pooch, establish good habits, and find the right pet food and supplies.
Finding the right pet food can take some trial-and-error, as you determine the flavors, textures, and brands that your dog enjoys. However, there are some broad guidelines that you can follow to make the best choices at your local pet supply store.
In this post, we’ll offer some guidance on what to look for in pet food brands and ways to find suitable food for your pup.
Consider your dog’s age and size
The dog food market has become quite saturated in recent years, with many brands selling specially formulated products for different ages, sizes, and breeds. For example, puppies have different dietary needs than senior dogs, and the right food can help each age group stay healthy and strong.
At the same time, small and large dogs might also need different nutrients within their pet food. For instance, exceptionally large dog breeds (like Akitas or Great Danes) won’t have the same nutritional needs as small breeds (like Chihuahuas or Yorkshire Terriers).
Understand pet food terminology
There’s a lot of flashy marketing in the pet industry, which can lead to confusion among dog owners about what’s really in their pup’s food. Many companies claim that their food is “all-natural,” “organic,” or “complete and balanced,” but you should verify their assertions if you’re concerned.
If you aren’t sure about the quality of ingredients in a particular food, conduct your own online research before buying and see if any veterinarians or animal associations have backed up the brand. You can also check the label to find out if the food meets the standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), an organization that helps regulate the pet food industry.
Start small until you know what your dog likes
While this isn’t exactly a tip on what kind of pet food to buy for your pup, it’s a suggestion that might help you save some money and avoid waste.
As we mentioned, you might have to experiment for a while before you settle on a food that your dog enjoys. If you can afford it, it’s best to buy smaller packages of food and treats so you don’t splurge on a large bag of food that your dog will reject. You might even see if your local pet supply store will allow you to try a sample of the food before you buy it.
As your dog adjusts to life with your family, you may experience growing pains in terms of finding the right pet food. But by following these tips and having a bit of patience, you can hopefully make the adjustment period a bit easier on everyone.
For more pet ownership tips and resources, check out the PetPonder blog.