Low-cost food might be better for your wallet, but it can be a raw deal for your dog, because he may not get the nutrition he needs. Premium foods, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Original , make sense both nutritionally (because of consistent, high-quality ingredients) and economically because they provide:
The investment in a premium food might initially cost more per bag, but because these high-quality formulas are high in nutrient density, your dog may need less food, which can offset the higher cost per unit of weight. On a cost-per-feeding basis, look at how much you feed each day as opposed to how much the bag costs, because nutrient and energy density will generally be lower for a low-cost food compared with premium foods.
With budget-priced formulas, the emphasis is on production and ingredient costs. Two bags of the same least-cost formulated food can have different ingredients and/or levels of ingredients. Plus, those ingredients may vary significantly in digestibility. This means, simply, that you may need to feed more just to equal the nutrition offered by a smaller amount of a premium dog food formula.
High-quality, complete, and balanced premium dog foods such as the IAMS brands are specifically designed to provide your dog with a food that has:
To determine how much food to give your dog, check the daily feeding recommendations set by the pet food manufacturer and read the label. To calculate portion sizes, divide the total daily recommended amount by the number of times (usually two for adult dogs) you plan to feed your dog.
To tell if your dog is at a healthy weight, move your hands along his sides. If you can feel his ribs, he's about right. Or, look down at him when you're directly above him. You should be able to see a waistline.
If he's gaining or losing a lot of weight, slightly decrease or increase his daily intake and weigh him in another week. If you have specific concerns about your dog's weight, talk to your veterinarian. He or she can assess your dog's needs and make a feeding recommendation.
Once you've decided on a premium formula, you have another choice to make: dry or moist. And what about biscuits?
Premium dry dog food gives you the best value and convenience, while fortifying your dog with high-quality nutrition. Premium dry foods come in a number of bag sizes and formulas suited to size, life stage, and activity level. Dry food also helps keep teeth clean, and it stays fresh for a long time if you store it properly.
Wet foods from IAMS provide 100% complete nutrition. IAMS ProActive Health Puppy Biscuits make great treats and rewards and can add taste variety to your new dog's diet.
Does your mature dog sniff at his bowl and walk away instead of digging in? You may think he’s just being picky, but it’s important to keep an eye on how much he’s eating — especially if he’s a senior. While age-related diminishment of the senses of smell and taste may account for some of his disinterest in food, appetite loss can also indicate a serious medical problem.
“It’s important to give your dog enough calories because weight loss can be debilitating to senior pets,” says Wendy Brooks, D.V.M., who warns that a loss in appetite should be mentioned to your vet. A good rule of thumb: If your pet hasn’t eaten in a day, make a visit to the vet. Here are six ways to entice your canine friend with a nourishing meal.
Many animals find canned food more palatable because they like the taste and texture, Brooks says. You can top their favorite dry food with room-temperature wet food.
Dogs like a warm or room-temperature (not hot or cold) meal. Avoid serving him day-old wet food from the refrigerator, and keep his food away from heat. Another reason he might not be eating: It's too hot outside.
Dogs prefer consistency when it comes to their food. Don't change every day, but try a new flavor, such as lamb or chicken, and see if he responds (it may trigger his sense of smell). To avoid an upset stomach, introduce a new food by mixing it with his old food in equal increments each day.
Common mature-dog health issues, such as arthritis or joint pain, can make it difficult for him to access his bowls. Keep food and water where he spends most of his time. Put a water bowl on all floors of the house, too.
Older pets are at a higher risk of dehydration. Provide a clean bowl with fresh water at all times. It will help prevent disease, such as a kidney condition, and aid in digestion.
Dogs are people pleasers. If you see him eating, give him a little verbal reward. He'll know it makes you happy and will repeat the behavior.