There are so many breeds of dog, plus countless brands/types of dog food on the shelves. It can be overwhelming to select the "right" food for your furry friend. A proper diet will help keep your best friend healthy, happy, and live a long life. When picking a food brand, consider the dog's age, his energy level, any health issues he may have, and his size.

Dog food contains proteins, carbs, vitamins/minerals, fats, and- sometimes- artificial flavors and fillers. Some brands have excessive amounts of these, some do not include enough in the food. These are some areas you should focus on when picking the best pet food for your dog:

Calories

Active dogs need more calories than those who prefer the lounge all day. Also, dogs who are outside in cold weather will also need more calories, as they will burn calories keeping warm. If you can see a visible waist and feel his ribs, he is probably getting the right amount of food.

Scoop/Portion Amount

Check the guidelines on the packaging, consider your dog's age/lifestyle, and watch the feeding behavior at mealtime. Does your dog eat it all quickly, does he leave some behind, does he skip a meal?

Age of the dog

Puppies need more calories and protein, while older dogs need fewer to stay at a healthy weight

Feeding Your Puppies

Puppies need to eat three times a day and please use a puppy meal. They need the higher amount of protein as they are growing so quickly. By a year they can go to two meals a day or even one for some dogs. As for the type of food, I've always said if it has pretty colors it's probably not the greatest food. I like holistic. Some people feel feeding raw is very good as well. This is an expensive method, however. And honestly whether dry or wet food is better seems to change every few years. Studies keep switching back and forth.

Don't let your puppy become a grazer. They tend to never eat well then. If they do not eat all their food within 15 minutes, pick the bowl up. And as for water; I know you want to minimize the pee-pee accidents but, please keep the water bowl full about a 1/4 inch. The pup will learn to regulate it's drinking. Otherwise you will end up with a dog that will drink all of the water straight down anytime you fill the bowl. And this is not healthy especially after eating dinner. It can cause bloat in the dog which can be deadly.

Food that are poisonous to dogs:

Chocolate

Cocoa Powder

Coffee

Tea

Caffeine

Citrus Oil Extracts

Bones from fish

Poultry, or other meat sources

Grapes and Raisins

Macadamia nuts

Mushrooms

Onions

Persimmons

Potatoes

Rhubarb