Your dog relies on his food to provide his body with the energy and nutrients it needs to function properly. The quality of your dog’s diet has a direct impact on his health and wellness, so don’t skimp when it comes to choosing a good dog food for your Beagle. Keep reading to learn more about your Beagle’s dietary needs and to receive tips for choosing a quality dog food for your pup.
Understanding Your Beagle’s Nutritional Needs
Dogs are scavenging carnivores, which means that the ideal diet is comprised primarily of animal products, though they do have a limited ability to digest plant products. Dogs require a diet that contains at least 22% protein for puppies and 18% protein for adults, as well as a minimum of 8% fat for puppies and 5% for adults. Protein should come from high-quality, animal-based sources to ensure that it is digestible and biologically valuable for your dog. Fats provide your dog with essential fatty acids as well as a concentrated source of energy.
Beagles are a particularly high-energy breed, so your dog may need a diet that is a little higher in fat than the typical dry food. High protein content is important as well, because it will help your dog to maintain his lean muscle mass even as he burns through calories during daily activity. Dogs can generally digest whole-grain carbohydrates like brown rice or oatmeal, though carb content should be limited and you should avoid products made with corn, wheat, or soy. A dog also requires certain vitamins and minerals, so the dog food you choose should be complete and balanced in terms of nutrition. These dogs can also benefit from probiotics to support their digestion.
Tips for Choosing a High-Quality Dog Food
Not all dog foods are created equal and it may be a little more challenging than you imagine to pick out a healthy dog food for your Beagle. Just remember that all of the information you need is right there on the package – you just have to know how to interpret it. To see whether a product will meet your Beagle’s minimum nutritional requirements, look for a statement of nutritional adequacy from the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Next, look at the guaranteed analysis to see how much protein, fat, and fiber is in the product. Remember, you want to see a high protein content (upwards of 20%) with moderate fat and limited carbohydrate. You should also make sure that the crude fiber content is below 5% because too much fiber in your dog’s diet could lead to digestive upset.
Once you’ve determined that the product is complete and balanced as well as rich in protein and fat, look at the ingredients list. These lists are arranged in descending order by volume, so the ingredients at the beginning are used in the highest quantity. You’ll want to choose a product that lists a high-quality source of animal protein as the first ingredient with a general focus on animal- rather than plant-based ingredients. Avoid dog foods made with cheap fillers like corn, wheat, and soy as well as products that are loaded with plant proteins, too many supplementary sources of fiber, and artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives.
If you want to make sure that your Beagle lives a long life, you need to choose his diet carefully. Dry dog food is the easiest and most convenient solution, but you need to do some legwork to find a product that meets your dog’s nutritional needs through the use of high-quality ingredients.
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