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Food for thought: Why buying dog food isn't all that simple

How often have you seen a commercial that tells you exactly what type of dog food to buy or what is the best for man's best friend?
The truth is when it comes to dog food, mixed messages abound, and unless you make the food yourself, it's hard to trust exactly what you're being told by a variety of so called experts who, quite frankly, might not be able to be trusted given that they're only interested in making money on their product.
While that mentality shouldn't be frowned upon per say, you, the consumer, have to be well versed in what's best for your dog, and be the decision maker. Relying on what you hear, see or are being told just isn't going to cut it.
Dogs being fed just any, old dog food or even food from the table used to be the norm. That really isn't safe for your dog, since most foods are tailor made for you pup, and last night's spaghetti really wasn't.
So how do you choose a dog food that works?

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Obviously, ingredients are the building blocks of what you should be looking for when buying a particular food. The food should have whole meats, vegetables and fruits and grains that are natural and, to some degree, organic in how they're made but also how they're listed on the bag.
Much like how you should look at your own nutritional labels, you have to stay clear of anything that you can't pronounce or something that just isn't an ingredient that you'd consider natural (such as ingredients that just say chicken or beef; the goal is to keep it simple).
Keeping in mind your dogs age and body type and size also plays in to your decision making and so does where you get the food as well. You have to remember that most grocery stores sell the more commercial brands of dog foods and ones that you might not consider the best you can give your dog.
Often ordering online is the difference maker with a more diverse selection and dog foods that, while pricey, fit the bill of exactly what you're looking for from a taste, selection and ingredient wise.
Going cheap with dog food only is going to hurt you pup for the foreseeable future. In this case, price isn't just a means of labeling a dog food as better than others but no real difference is present. The higher priced foods tend to be the ones you'll gravitate toward and rightfully so.

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