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Understanding Types of Dog Food

There are plenty of dog foods and supplements available on the market, the question is, what food is best for your dog? We break down the different food types depending on your dog’s size, age and dietary requirements to help you choose the right meal for your pooch.


Complete Food vs Complementary Food:

If a food is complete, this means that they contain all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your dog requires. No need to feed them anything else unless they have certain dietary requirements. Complementary foods (such as mixers) are designed to be used in addition to other foods if your dog has special dietary needs or to ensure your pet is getting a balanced diet. Mixers are generally not sufficient by themselves as they will lack certain nutrients.


Small Breed:

Small breed dog food is of a higher calorie density than that of large and medium dogs. Small dogs tend to have smaller stomachs and a higher metabolic rate then their larger friends. To keep them healthy, small dog food is typically dense in calories and should be fed to them three or four times a day.

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Large Breed:

Large breed dog food is of lower calorie density than other types of dog food. This helps younger dogs grow at a slower rate thus relieving them of growing pains that typically result in weakened joints and arthritis later on in life. Large dog foods also contain glucosamine chondroitin to promote healthy joints.

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Grain Free:

Grain free diets typically include more proteins and animal fats and fewer carbohydrates than grain based foods. This can benefit your dog by keeping them fuller longer, providing them with more energy and reducing bad breath and flatulence.

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Fish is commonly used in dog food as it provides a vast array of nutritional benefit of Omega-3 and 6, fatty acids which help bolster your dog’s immune system and help maintain healthy skin. Fish based foods also typically contain a variety of vitamins and minerals such as copper and zinc, which are essential to maintaining a healthy coat of fur.

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Working Dog Food:

Working dog food is typically high calorie to help alleviate the amount they burn throughout the day. Working dog food is typically lower in fat and higher in protein.

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Hypoallergenic food is great for dogs with food allergies or intolerances. They typically do not contain common allergic contents such as yeast, soy and wheat. Unfortunately, there is no catch all with Hypoallergenic foods. There might be ingredients in a particular brand that your dog is allergic to, therefore it is best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the exact allergy so you can buy the right food for your furry buddy!

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Mixers are designed to be mixed in with wet dog food to help provide sensitive dogs with additional nutrients they might need. There are a variety of mixers available, some help with coat maintenance while others help alleviate bad breath. Mixers are not necessary for all dogs so it’s best to consult with your veterinarian prior to adding a mixer to your dog’s diet.

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Noah Farr

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