It often happens that we love our dog so much that we actually pamper him as if he were our little baby.
In addition to the gifts we buy and the dresses, there is an infinite number of sweets that we can buy.
We know that the cakes we eat, are bad for the health of the dogs, not to mention the chocolate that is really dangerous, so if you really want to spoil them, we can buy in specialized shops or supermarkets tidbits sweets created especially for our little friends.
Types of dry dog food
You will find products that are externally made for skin, which therefore promote digestibility and strengthen the teeth, but which contain meat inside, which makes them a real treat for your little four-legged friend.
Then there are real sweets, such as Christmas panettoncini, Easter eggs, small plum-cakes and snacks, chocolates (special) and candies.
They are a way to pamper dogs and let them eat with us. However, it is important to know when to be able to give these treats to your dog, since it is a matter of between meals and should be given to a moderate extent.
You can follow the instructions that are indicated on the packages themselves or consult your veterinarian.
What are the best croquettes on the market?
If we decide to buy industrial croquettes, how should we orient ourselves in the choice?
Just go to a supermarket to realize the variety of brands and products we have available. Products that promise vitamins, minerals, shiny coats and more.
And then? Is there an objective and universal method to say which ones are best suited to the dog and which are not? In reality, there is no one product suitable for all dogs, as the choice depends on various factors.
First of all, we must consider our dog, its size, health conditions, the more or less intense physical activity it performs.
Then there are some breeds that are the result of specific crosses, which require particular attention because they are subject to certain pathologies.
Even asking the veterinarian you will have an answer that is perhaps linked to more well-known and commercial brands since it is almost impossible to know all the varieties of products available.
In general, we can say that only you can really know what the dog needs also based on the aforementioned elements. Also because your choice will be exclusively oriented towards the love for your dog and the will to lead him to a peaceful old age.
For this reason, always try to carefully evaluate the choice of croquettes and do not limit yourself to the cheapest ones you find.
There are, for example, breeders whose goal is profit; they do not care so much about the quality of the food as they are about the fact that the dog grows quickly and has a shiny coat, aesthetic aspects that can lead to one breeding rather than another.
Still different is the case of a person who has their dog participate in beauty contests, who will be more concerned with the outward appearance than with health (although this is not always so obviously).
Before choosing the croquettes, it is, therefore, advisable to have clear some basic elements, as well as to know the ingredients of the product itself, aware that for every dog there is an ideal croquette.
You have to read carefully what appears on the ingredient label. First, we have to ask ourselves a series of questions about the content of the best dry dog food; there are some clues that make us understand if what we are choosing is a good product.
For example, all those feeds must be discarded when: as the first ingredient they have a vegetable (in fact, the meat, or the protein part, must always be indicated first); the total sum of vegetables exceeds 50% of the total ingredients; all proteins, i.e. meat, fish and eggs together are less than 30% of all ingredients; protein and vegetable derivatives are present; the type of meat or cereals present is not indicated.
When there are at least one of these elements, we would do well to leave the packaging on the shelf.
We also mentioned the percentages, i.e. the quantities of proteins, cereals and vegetables that must be present. Unfortunately, the amount of carbohydrates is not present by law among the ingredients, so it must be obtained by difference.
Ingredients of the croquettes
As for the ingredients, the correct dosage of them should provide a 25% protein for adult dogs (which must be slightly higher in the case of puppies and lower in the case of elderly dogs); 14% fat (the same goes for puppies and senior dogs as before); 2% fibre; 6% of ash; calcium and phosphorus about 1%, slightly higher for puppies and lower for the elderly.
As for the intake of vitamins, not always many vitamins mean good quality dry dog food. In fact, some are used to hiding the poor quality of the food, as they improve the performance of the dog; in this sense, you will see a strong dog and therefore you will think that that food is good but not so.
As for the choice of the type of carbohydrates (meat, eggs, fish), there are some types that have allergens, this means that they can cause an allergic reaction in the dog, sometimes even serious.
This happens because unfortunately many farms use hormones to grow animals in order to earn more and so that our animals (but also us) pay for it; in this regard, know that pigs, cattle and chicken are the ones most subject to hormonal injections. However, if your dog has no symptoms, then you can safely administer them.
If, on the other hand, the dog has digestive problems or needs a light diet, we recommend white meats such as chicken, turkey and rabbit or fish.
It is not said that food that costs a lot is qualitatively better; in fact, many manufacturers make the consumer pay for advertising their products, which perhaps turn out to be very bad from the point of view of the ingredients.
But in buying the best dry dog food, there may also be ethical choices to make; so you can opt for those foods that do not involve the mistreatment of animals (it would be truly paradoxical that the concern you may rightly have for the health of your dog spills over the health of poorly treated chickens and pigs, closed in tight spaces, forced only to eat to gain weight).
Know what kind of food the animals in turn do; to know what the working conditions are in which the workers of these factories find themselves (which too often are relocated to low-cost countries without legislation on workers’ rights).
In short, there are many factors to take into consideration when choosing the most suitable dry dog food for your furry friend.
Prepare the morsels at home: DIY
For those, on the other hand, who have more time available and for dogs with digestive problems or food allergies, it is possible to prepare these treats at home.
We always remember that some ingredients are to be excluded because they are harmful, such as chocolate, onions, cabbage.
You can also balance these best dry dog foods according to your dog’s needs, without preservatives and sweeteners, which are instead present in packaged products. We offer you some easy-to-prepare recipes.
You can make tasty cereal bars with flour (white or wholemeal), rolled cereals (more digestible), butter, vanilla essence, a knob of butter, grated lemon and chopped nuts (if the dog is not allergic).
Mix all these ingredients and give it your favourite shape. Place them on a baking sheet at 180-200⁰ for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool down.
Alternatively, you could use the leftover meat from the preparation of some dish (without bones and entrails), combining it with flour, egg, salt and hot water.
Again, you can use wholemeal or white flour. Mix all the ingredients until a mass like that of a pizza forms.
At this point, roll it out, forming discs that you will bake in a preheated oven (180⁰) for about 15-20 minutes. Always check the cooking and let them cool.
If, on the other hand, you don’t have much time but don’t want to give up the pleasure of preparing something delicious for your dog, use the leftovers of the meat by combining them with mixed flour and egg. Again, make shapes to put in the microwave, covered, at maximum power for five minutes.
Finally, if your dog is a chicken lover, we present you with a nice recipe that you could prepare for him.
Add the cooked chicken, one egg, portions of cereal, flour and oil into small pieces. Also in this case a soft dough will be formed which you will roll out, cut and bake at 180⁰ for about 15 minutes.
They are nice ideas to try, to share with your dog even at the moment of the meal.