An Introductory Guide to Choosing the Right Food for Your Dog

Guide to dog food

Selecting a good dog food for your furry friend can be overwhelming with all the different brands, nutritional requirements, flavours, purposes, and food allergies to consider. So what do you need to know about a well-balanced diet for your dog’s long, happy, and healthy life?

Why Is It Important for Dogs to Have a Well-Balanced Diet?

Diet plays a major and complex role in the health and well-being of your dog: it’s what fuels his or her day-to-day life. And fortunately, when you choose a well-rounded kibble you will cover nearly all of those nutritional requirements for a healthy diet.

What Are the Nutritional Requirements for Dogs?

Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals constitute the six major categories of nutrients that your dog requires. All of these essential nutrients play a crucial role on basic body functions of dogs. However, proteins and fats are the primary sources of energy for dogs.

1) Proteins 

Proteins are the building blocks for skin cells, fur, muscles and vital organs. Dogs need both essential and non-essential amino acids from protein to help them make hormones, enzymes, antibodies, and body tissue. As dogs cannot produce the required level of essential amino acids themselves, it is important they receive enough from their diet. Protein can be obtained from sources like beef, chicken, fish, lamb, turkey and more.

2) Fats

Fats supply the most concentrated form of energy for dogs. Fats have their own essential acids, Omega-3 and Omega-6 being the more common ones. The proper amount of fat in a dog’s diet helps to regulate body temperature, protect internal organs and help the absorption of certain vitamins.

3) Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are generally not considered a major nutritional dietary requirement for dogs. As discussed above dogs receive most of their energy from proteins and fats, so carbohydrates are not as critical for providing energy. However, carbohydrates can still be easily broken down by dogs into glucose to provide a highly digestible, readily available energy source.

4) Water

Water is essential to dogs as it roughly makes up 60-70% of their body. Water helps to dissolve and transport nutrients, regulate body temperature, and flushes any waste from your dog’s body. It is important dogs always have access to clean water, as water deficiencies can lead to serious illness or death.

5) Vitamins

Vitamins are essential for a dog’s diet as they play may roles in ensuring they stay healthy. Regulating calcium and phosphorus levels, boosting the immune system and maintaining metabolic function are all roles that vitamins assist with.

6) Minerals

Minerals are also quite critical in diet as they play many roles in the body.  Minerals help carry oxygen throughout the body, regulate fluid balance and consist the structure of bones and teeth.

What Should You Consider When Selecting Dog Food?

Knowing what nutrients and ingredients you should be looking for will help narrow down what kinds of food you should be buying for your dog. The most important factor to consider when buying food is quality. It is important to ensure that high quality ingredients are being used in your pet’s food so that the right nutrients are being provided in your dog’s diet.

High quality dog foods will usually contain meat or meat meal, minimal grains, and Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids. These are the ingredients that correlate with the six essential nutrients. Staying away from wheat and soy may be a good idea as they are common allergies and sensitivities. Furthermore, it is recommended to stay away from dog foods that contain by-products, chemical preservatives, artificial colours or flavours, and low crude protein percentages.

When deciding which food to purchase for your pet it is important to do research to assess all possible alternatives. A consultation with your veterinarian is also recommended to assure your dog’s unique diet needs are met.

Other factors to consider when buying food are:

  • Age of Dog – nutritional needs vary as dogs age
  • Size of Dog – kibble size varies which can impact palatability for smaller or larger dogs
  • Activity Level – working or active dogs may require food with higher protein levels
  • Specific Nutritional Requirements – some dogs may have allergies or sensitivities

What Food Do We Recommend for Your Dog?

It is important to us at Sturgeon County Kennels that all of our customers and their furry friends have a nutritious and healthy food option. Petcurean’s GO! Solutions are a great option for your dog’s dietary needs. The Canadian owned company uses a range of quality ingredients from trusted providers to ensure healthy food. GO! Solutions products do not contain any by-products or unnamed meat meals. Additionally, the variety of different recipes will meet every dog’s nutritional requirements no matter their size, age, or background. For more information about pet nutrition and how GO! Solutions may benefit your dog visit the Petcurean Centre for Health and Nutrition site. (Warning – this site has a TON of great nutritional information and if you’re interested in companion animal nutrition, you could spend a lot of time here).

What GO! Solutions Line Should Your Dog Try?

GO! Solutions recipes are for all life stages and come in three different lines: GO! Skin & Coat, GO! Carnivore, and GO! Sensitivities. This variety ensures that no matter your dog’s lifestyle their nutritional needs can always be met.

GO! Skin & Coat

The Skin & Coat recipes were created to ensure your dog receives all their nutrients while maintaining a healthy coat. These recipes are a good staple in most dog’s lives and grain-free options are available. Omega oils contained in the food are great solution for dogs with dull coats or skin issues. The essential amino acids help dogs form strong muscles and flaxseed provides protein and fibre.

GO! Carnivore

The Carnivore recipes were created for working and active dogs. These recipes are ideal for dogs who may be needing extra protein in their diet to help fulfill their energy requirements, while keeping dogs healthy and fit. These recipes come in grain-free options and contain probiotic and prebiotic fibre to help with good digestion and healthy guy bacteria. The addition of fruits and veggies within recipes helps to support immune system functions for dogs.

GO! Sensitivities

The Sensitives recipes were created for dogs who have specific dietary needs. These recipes are ideal for dogs who are picky eaters, have allergies, or may be sensitive to certain ingredients. Grain, gluten, and potato free recipes with prebiotic fibre help support sensitive tummies. Additionally, omega oils help promote healthy skin and coat.

To learn more able GO! Solutions and available recipes visit our online store or visit us for all your dog food questions!

Whichever dog food option you decide to choose for your pet make sure you do your research to ensure your furry friend has a well-balanced nutritious diet. After all, a well-fed dog is a happy dog!


We always have free samples available for pick-up so please ask us for one of our variety bags!


Disclaimer: The information in this article is for general information purposes only. Readers should not rely upon the information in this article as a basis for making nutrition decisions regarding their dogs. Readers should consult with their veterinarian for specific questions about their pet’s health.

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