The Dog Stop: Choosing the Right Dog Food

Do you feel at a loss when choosing the right food or brand to feed your dog? Do ingredient panels leave you as clueless as the final question on Jeopardy? If you answered, “yes,” you’re not alone. The truth is, learning about appropriate nutrition for your dog is deceptively difficult. The Dog Stop® is here to help.

Look for the Top Five

We’ve all heard it a million times on commercials: “Real chicken is the first ingredient!” Marketing ads train us to confirm an animal protein is the first ingredient, and that’s when the panel scanning stops. But did you know ingredients are listed according to their pre-processed weights? And did you know that kibble is cooked three times before it’s packaged? For water heavy ingredients, like meat, that means almost ¾ of their mass evaporates during processing. Why does that matter? It means that just because chicken may be listed first, it’s not necessarily the key player in the formula. If you really want to dive into what’s behind a pet food label, here’s an excellent guide provided by PetMD.

To get a more realistic read on the nutrition in a bag of dog food, The Dog Stop® encourages everyone to look at the first five ingredients. The more animal-based ingredients you see in those top five, the higher quality the dog food. But what if you see commercial grains, vegetables, or even worse, sugar? To quote Nancy Reagan – “Just say no.”

New Food – Who Dis?

You went to your favorite TDS location. You snagged a bag of meat-heavy, nutrient dense food. You immediately swapped out your dog’s diet, and now you’re running your pup outside every hour on the hour. What happened? Over time, high filler diets build up in your dog’s system. Switching immediately to a high quality, low filler food is much like putting your pup on a cleanse – things are going to come out. To avoid this, The Dog Stop® always recommends slowly transitioning your dog’s diet over the course of 10-14 days. Want a little extra insurance? Adding a few tablespoons of pumpkin (the good stuff, not the pie mix) can help control bowel movements and make it a far more enjoyable transition for you and your dog.

Ask Us!

Still have questions? Head into your local The Dog Stop® and ask away about choosing the right dog food for your pup! Or you can fill out a contact form on our website or read some of our other blogs on dog nutrition to get a better understanding. Our staff loves nothing more than nerding out over dog food – yeah, we’re cool like that.