If you’re looking for dog food that’s as good as the ones you can find in your local supermarket, it might be a good idea to visit a dog food store, said Dan Gold, a food expert at the University of Maryland, who has studied dogs for more than a decade.
Here are some of the most common dog foods to look for.
“Dog food is a very complex food, and you need to be able to tell what’s good for your dog,” Gold said.
Dog food should be well-hydrated and stored in a cool place.
If you have to take your dog out for a walk or run errands, keep it in a dry, dry place that won’t attract dust or moisture.
Dog food should have at least one layer of chewable, non-porous material in the bottom.
You can find dog food manufacturers using this as a sort of sealant or “basket” to prevent dog food from getting lost or spoiled.
Dogs should also be fed a balanced diet.
The ideal dog food contains enough protein to meet the needs of a dog.
If it contains a lot of fat, a higher amount of carbohydrates should be added.
“Dog food that contains high levels of protein should have enough fat to keep a dog healthy,” Gold added.
A high-protein diet can help prevent dog cancers, obesity, arthritis and other diseases.
Dogs with certain genetic abnormalities have lower rates of cancer than other dogs, and those with other genetic disorders have higher rates of arthritis, Gold said, which can cause long-term health problems.
The amount of protein in dog food is also important.
A diet high in protein and fats should help prevent certain cancers, arthritis, obesity and diabetes, Gold explained.
Dogs that are overweight or obese have higher risk of developing heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The right kind of dog food can help your dog thrive, too.
A dog that’s given a balanced and nutritious diet will be happier and healthier, and he or she will also be less likely to develop allergies, Gold added, because dogs are omnivores, and their bodies need protein.
To determine the best pet food for your family, you can choose from the following lists: The American Kennel Club recommends a balanced, well-balanced diet for dogs of any age.
It is based on the recommendation that a dog should eat more than two or three times his or her body weight per day, Gold and other experts have said.
Dogs also should be fed the right type of diet.
Dogs need at least four ounces of protein per pound of body weight, Gold noted.
Dogs have a limited amount of energy.
A low-protein dog diet will help your pet feel full longer and be healthier.
“Protein is good for dogs,” Gold noted, “but it is not good for humans.
People are overloading the body with too much protein.”
Dogs should have access to fresh and nutritious food that is low in salt and fat, and it should be prepared with high-quality ingredients.
Dog foods that contain fish should be kept in a cooler for at least 30 minutes before use, Gold suggested.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends a diet that includes a balanced amount of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, as well as a low-fat, high-sodium diet.
A healthy diet also includes plenty of protein, but it should come from lean meat, fish, eggs, whole grains and legumes, Gold told ABC News.
You can find the best healthful dog food online, too, by searching the USDA’s online database, Dog Food Checklist.
The list also lists the average daily protein requirement for dogs.
Dogs in the 30- to 60-pound range are recommended to have one serving of chicken, beef, pork or lamb a day, according the database.
In the 60- to 80-pound category, the daily protein intake for a dog in the 60 to 75 pound range is three to five grams of protein a day.
The highest daily protein requirements for dogs in the 80- to 90-pound class are five grams a day for dogs that are 90 pounds or more.
The average daily carbohydrate requirements for a human adult dog are about 50 grams of carbohydrates, Gold wrote in the database, which is roughly the amount in chicken or beef stew.
You might also want to check your pet’s body composition, which will help determine how much fat or protein your dog needs.