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Every dog is different. There are small dogs, big dogs, active dogs, dogs with sensitive stomachs, and dogs with dietary sensitivities.

And that’s why deciding on a food for your dog is a very personal choice. But in general, the best food for your dog should meet his nutritional needs. Learn about some of the factors you may want to consider when picking the right food for your dog:

Your Dog’s Breed

What kind of dog do you have? A Bulldog? Or maybe a Border Collie? Your dog’s breed is one factor you might want to consider when choosing a dog food. A very active breed, like the Border Collie, will use more energy than a less active breed, like the Bulldog. Therefore, the Border Collie will require more calories, and a dog’s nutritional needs will be specific to his active lifestyle.

Your Dog’s Size

Along with breed, size might affect what kind of food you choose for your dog. Large breed dogs and small breed dogs have different nutritional needs. Small breeds, for example, may actually require more calories per pound than larger dogs, due to their higher metabolic rates. Large dogs, on the other hand, often require special diets to avoid certain health risks.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

One very important step to take when choosing a dog food is to see how a particular food affects your dog. If your dog’s energy level is right for his breed and age, if his skin and coat are healthy, if his stools are firm and brown, and if he seems to be in overall good health, his food is probably doing its job.

If, however, your dog has diarrhea, skin issues, or an itchy coat, these might be signs of a food sensitivity. If you think your dog has a food sensitivity, the best thing to do is discuss the problem with your veterinarian. He or she will be able to help you create a feeding plan that agrees with your dog.

A more serious food problem is allergies. If your dog has a true food allergy, he may experience a more immediate immunological response, similar to anaphylactic shock. In this case, you should bring your dog to your veterinarian or emergency care center immediately. A less severe allergic reaction is seen with the development of hives, facial swelling, or itchiness. In cases of true food allergies, it is paramount to talk to your vet to identify the issue and find a food that is safe for your dog.

You and Your Dog’s Personal Preferences

Remember, choosing a dog food is ultimately a personal decision that depends on your preferences and what is best for your dog. Different dog owners prefer certain types of dog food, such as dry over wet food. If you have a senior dog with teeth problems, for example, a wet food might be easier for him to eat than dry kibble.

Ultimately, the right food for your dog is one that meets his nutritional needs and keeps him happy and healthy.
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