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  • Writer's pictureellis co. animal hospital

What should I feed my dog?

Ah, the age old question…and a tricky one at that. Navigating the endless dog food isles looking at what feels like 6 million brands that range from breed specific to age. Instantly you’re in a panic over what food is best for your dog. Do you guess? Do you ask for help? Do they even know what they’re talking about?! Take a deep breath and panic no further because we’re here to help.


1. The STAGE of dog you are feeding:

  • Puppy/Pregnant dog

  • Adult

  • Senior

Note: Not all stages are the same. Puppy food has much higher fat and calorie content for a GROWING dog. Feeding puppy food to your adult dog could make them overweight FAST!

2. The SIZE of dog you’re feeding:

  • Small/Toy breed

  • Average

  • Large breed

Note: Most high quality food brand companies have specialized formulas for large breeds with added joint supplements. The same can be said for the small/toy breeds because the food pieces are much smaller than your average small bite food formula.

dog food bag statement
AAFCO food statement

3. Check the AAFCO Statement. (You can find this on the side of the bag under the nutrition facts)

  • Adult maintenance- AGE 1-6yr.(feeding for adult dogs)

  • Growth- AGE 0-1yr. (feeding puppies)

  • Gestation (feeding lactating and pregnant dogs)

  • For all stages of life AGE 0+yr. (feeding of puppies AND adult dogs) –RED FLAG WARNING! This means you could be feeding your ADULT dog puppy food!

Note: This statement has to tell you what stage of life the food is formulated for. This is the most over looked part of buying your dog the correct food!

Now I know there are many of you that are asking yourself where is the step where we look at the ingredients?! The ingredient section of the bag can be a blessing and a curse. You see all the commercials about reading the label and how you should only want whole chicken, locally sourced grains and eggs from free ranged chickens. Those ingredients are great, BUT good food companies have dedicated their time to finding the most effective food source for your pet.

Captain & Rocky (A.K.A. cute clinic blood donors)

If you look for a food using these steps, you’ll be sure not to be tricked by another food company again and, at last, you will find the perfect food for your dog. Have nutrition questions? Call us at (580)938-2962.


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