05/05/2015 12:15 EDT | Updated 05/05/2016 05:59 EDT

Top Tips For Feeding Your Dog the Healthiest Foods

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Recently, I was lucky enough to speak with Pete Brace, Vice President of communications and pet parent relations for Merrick Pet Care.

Pete shared with me some of the top tips for feeding your dog the healthiest foods so they can enjoy a long healthy life.

How to you choose the best food for your dog?

We understand that pet parents actively seek out the very best for their pets. Look for all-natural recipes made with real whole foods -- natural ingredients like meat as the first ingredient and fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only do real foods deliver the high quality nutrition dogs need, they will enjoy eating their food, too.

What are the key ingredients to look for in dog food?

Dogs thrive on high quality protein and healthy fats, with real deboned meat as the first ingredient. Then, fresh fruits and vegetables for additional vitamins, minerals and fiber. For pet parents, a high quality, all-natural diet provides them the peace of mind that they're giving their pets all they need to thrive.

How much should you feed your dog?

Every dog is a little different and optimal feeding amounts may vary with age, size and activity level. To help pet parents determine how much to feed their dog, we provide a feeding chart on every recipe with feeding suggestions based on goal weight and recommended calories per day. Most dog food will have some type of chart with feed guidelines.

We suggest using the chart to determine the total amount of food per day, then divide the total cups of dry food (or cans) by the number of times you feed your dog to determine the portion size for each meal.

Are there best times of the day to feed your dog?

Most pet parents feed their pets twice a day -- first time in the morning and then at "dinnertime" -- which is perfect for most dogs as well as convenient for many pet parents' schedules.

How long does dog food last?

All dog food has a best buy date printed on the bag, and the shelf life unopened is about a year from purchase. We recommend storing dry dog food in a cool, dry environment and keeping it tightly sealed in the original bag instead of pouring it into a canister or other container.

This prevents the risk of cross contamination, and a tight seal like the Easy-Lock closure helps to lock in freshness and keep out moisture.

I will be using these wonderful ideas for our family dog Psyche as she continues to eat healthy pet foods.


Psyche Our Family Dog

Please share your comments below. Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to enjoy life to the fullest!

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