how to choose the right dog food {Part 4 of 4}

Figuring out what to feed your dog is hard.

Some dogs have allergies, illnesses or dietary intolerances. Choosing the right food routine for you and your dog is important, and we’re here to try and make it a little easier on you!

We've also included a helpful infographic for you to use as a reference!

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When looking for the perfect dog food, first figure out if your pup has any allergies or intolerance to certain foods.

Some of these might come with trial and error, meaning you might give your dog a treat made with duck and figure out that they are allergic the hard way! Try getting samples of food and treats from the pet store, or buy small bags to make sure your pup will eat it before you buy a big bag.

Dog Food and Supplement Recommendations for Symptoms

Dry or Flaky Coat

If your dog has dry or flaky skin (which is unfortunately very common), try switching to a dog food that has salmon in it. Salmon is full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which help contribute to a healthy coat.

If you don’t want to change kibble, you can try using toppers or supplements.

dog itchy skin

Stella & Chewy’s make a salmon & cod meal mixer (topper) that would be perfect for dogs with dry skin. 

You can also use fish or salmon oil capsules - just mix them into the food or hide them in a treat. The omega-3 fatty acids do wonders for dog coats!

Coconut oil is another great supplement for your dog that can help with dry skin.

Coconut oil is filled with omega-6 fatty acids, as well as extra vitamins and antioxidants that will improve your dog's coat. You can add a spoonful to their kibble every couple of days.  

💡 Important Tip: When using coconut oil, make sure you get 100% pure extra virgin certified organic cold-pressed unrefined coconut oil… Did you get all of that?! What a mouthful!

Raw eggs can be a nutritious additive for your dog, as they increase protein intake as well as improve their coats.

Want a handy reference? Check out this infographic:

Healthy Coat Infographic - Dog

Sensitive Stomach

It’s no secret that dogs can have sensitive tummies.

This can happen every once in awhile, or it can unfortunately be an everyday thing. Knowing how to help our poor pups can make the world of a difference.  Some ingredients that dogs with sensitive stomachs should avoid are:

  • Sweeteners like sucralose
  • Food dyes and flavor chemicals
  • Corn
  • Salt
  • Corn syrup

Ingredients that have been known to help with a dog's sensitive stomach are:

  • Rice 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Chicken
  • Cottage cheese
  • Sweet potato

If changing your dog's kibble is not an option, try adding some boiled chicken mixed with rice or sweet potato on top of their kibble. 

Dog food post picture

If changing your dog's kibble is the route you want to take, look for kibble that contains the ingredients listed above to help with a sensitive stomach.

💡 Important Tip:

Please always remember, when switching your dog’s food, it needs to be a gradual change. Slowly start adding a larger portion of new food to old food, so your dog’s stomach can get used to the change.

Obesity

Obesity is an issue that is very widespread among the world. According to an article written by Jan Rasmusen, an author at Dog Naturally Magazine, 40% of dogs are obese. When a dog is obese it can lead to many different issues, such as respiratory compromise, high blood pressure, liver disease, diabetes and even cancer.

fat pug dog on a scale

If your dog is obese, it is important to take steps to getting them healthy again! Choosing low fat dog foods and increasing exercise will help tremendously.  

Cooking your dog’s food so you can manage exactly what is going in it can also be very helpful. Nutrition labels on pet food aren’t expected to be like nutrition labels on human food. This can make it especially hard to see how many carbohydrates, protein, calories, sodium, and fat you’re feeding your dog.

When making your own dog food, opt for a lean meat. It can be chunked, ground or shredded. Good lean meats are chicken, turkey, lean beef, venison, or fish.

Mix the meats with lightly steamed vegges like carrots and broccoli. You can also add pumpkin, apples or small amounts of sweet potato. We know that making food like this can get pretty expensive, especially for big dogs that eat a lot!

Adding some healthy toppers (see previous blog post about kibble toppers!) can help cut the cost, while still using healthy ingredients.

healthy-grain-free-dog-food

If making your dog food is not an option, there are some healthier kibble options to help your dog lose weight. Just remember to check the ingredients, and follow the guidelines we laid out in previous posts.

dog walking photo frenchie

Always remember, you can kick start your dog's weight loss by increasing exercise, not overfeeding them, and giving them fewer treats. There are different guidelines for how much you should feed your dog based on weight, and whether you’re them feeding kibble, raw, or cooked food.

Always consult with your vet before making drastic changes to your pet’s food.

Just like people, dogs can acquire healthy conditions, illnesses and intolerances seemingly out of the blue.

Many times, a dog’s food has a lot to do with these common issues.  Making minor and (sometimes big) changes to your pup’s food can make the world of a difference to their health. Tailor their food routine to what is truly best for them, because something that is good for one dog isn’t always good for another.

So feed them the good stuff and put a smile on their face!

dog smiling grinning

About the Author

Kassi Calton, a Marketing Specialist at GAMMA2, is a lover of all things pets, food, DIY and travel.

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