Picking the right dog food for your pet is an important choice. First of all finding the best quality dog food can be difficult among the plethora of dog foods available on the market. Secondly we all know dogs are picky, you can’t just put a new food in front of them one day and expect them to eat it, they physiologically respond badly to new foods, and often need a long period of progressive exposure to a new dog food recipe before they will accept it.
Ingredients in the Best Quality Dog Food
What do you need to look out for then in a good quality dog food? Let’s start with things to avoid.
The first think to look out for is dog foods that are packed with empty carbohydrates to add caloric volume but not provide the nutritional values required. For humans think in terms of chips, pizza, macaroni cheese. We can eat it easily, tastes good, fills us up for a few hours, but are we receiving form it the energy and nutrients we need to fuel a healthy body, not really! Dogs only need about 30% of their meal to be carbohydrates but as the cheapest food macro ingredient manufacturers will try to pack in as much as they can, and even pick cheap carbs as well to do this.
This brings us to the fact that many dogs are actually intolerant toward, or even allergic to some of the main carbs. Of the five most allergenic ingredients to dogs, three are the carbohydrates many manufacturers use, wheat, corn and potato. Dogs who have an intolerance to these and who are feed them will often have skin complaints such as dry skin and lesions. They will also often show in the digestive system that their body isn’t happy with their diet, many dogs suffering from flatulence, diarrhea, bloating, vomiting and bad breath.
Hypoallergenic dog foods emit these common allergens as well as chicken, soy, artificial colors, preservatives and artificial flavors to ensure your dog has the least chance of suffering from these allergy side effects.
On the other hand protein is your dog’s best friend, and they should enjoy at least 20% of their food as a protein component in a healthy dog food. Protein provides the ten essential amino acids that dog’s need, acids that can’t be produced naturally by the body but only acquired through food digestion. Add to this the dog’s need for healthy, fat, typically 5% of their diet which provides essential fatty acids, which again can only be delivered via diet.
So a healthy dog food should be high in good quality meat, not chicken, and low in carbs, avoiding wheat, corn and potatoes. It should also include legumes, vegetables and perhaps oils to make up the remainder of a dog’s necessary vitamins and minerals.
A healthy dog will be evident with lots of energy, very few health issues, a healthy appetite and maintaining a healthy weight.
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