Low-cost food might be better for your wallet, but it can be a raw deal for your dog, because he may not get the nutrition he needs. Premium foods, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Original , make sense both nutritionally (because of consistent, high-quality ingredients) and economically because they provide:
- 100% complete, balanced nutrition
- High nutrient and energy density, which might allow smaller feeding portions
High Nutrient and Energy Density
The investment in a premium food might initially cost more per bag, but because these high-quality formulas are high in nutrient density, your dog may need less food, which can offset the higher cost per unit of weight. On a cost-per-feeding basis, look at how much you feed each day as opposed to how much the bag costs, because nutrient and energy density will generally be lower for a low-cost food compared with premium foods.
With budget-priced formulas, the emphasis is on production and ingredient costs. Two bags of the same least-cost formulated food can have different ingredients and/or levels of ingredients. Plus, those ingredients may vary significantly in digestibility. This means, simply, that you may need to feed more just to equal the nutrition offered by a smaller amount of a premium dog food formula.
What Premium Foods Provide
High-quality, complete, and balanced premium dog foods such as the IAMS brands are specifically designed to provide your dog with a food that has:
- High-quality ingredients
- High total-diet digestibility
- Balanced, optimal levels of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, which make costly nutritional supplements unnecessary
- A nutrient-dense formulation appropriate for a particular life stage
- Calibrated fatty-acid ratios to help maintain healthy skin and coat
- Great palatability (taste) based on feeding trials
- Product guarantees
To determine how much food to give your dog, check the daily feeding recommendations set by the pet food manufacturer and read the label. To calculate portion sizes, divide the total daily recommended amount by the number of times (usually two for adult dogs) you plan to feed your dog.
To tell if your dog is at a healthy weight, move your hands along his sides. If you can feel his ribs, he's about right. Or, look down at him when you're directly above him. You should be able to see a waistline.
If he's gaining or losing a lot of weight, slightly decrease or increase his daily intake and weigh him in another week. If you have specific concerns about your dog's weight, talk to your veterinarian. He or she can assess your dog's needs and make a feeding recommendation.
Dry, Moist, and Biscuits
Once you've decided on a premium formula, you have another choice to make: dry or moist. And what about biscuits?
Premium dry dog food gives you the best value and convenience, while fortifying your dog with high-quality nutrition. Premium dry foods come in a number of bag sizes and formulas suited to size, life stage, and activity level. Dry food also helps keep teeth clean, and it stays fresh for a long time if you store it properly.
Wet foods from IAMS provide 100% complete nutrition. IAMS ProActive Health Puppy Biscuits make great treats and rewards and can add taste variety to your new dog's diet.