Posted on December 29 2020
Dog nutrition needs are very different from humans, and it is important that you give them food that fulfills them perfectly. Though dogs are carnivores, they can attain nutrition from both animal and plant sources. This is very different from cats, who are obligate carnivores. Obligate carnivores are those animals whose bodies cannot digest plant material and cannot derive nutrition from it. Dogs, on the other hand, have evolved a digestive tract and teeth structure that allows them to eat non-animal-based food as well.
What Is A Healthy Diet For A Dog?
To be considered a balanced diet, your dog’s diet should consist of:
The protein is the most important part of the diet and needs to be the majority of the diet. Carbs are the fillers, that make your dog feel full and also support intestine function. Fats are an essential part of the diet because it helps prevent dry skin, gives energy to your dog, and also helps give your dog a shiny coat. Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients that are essential for a wide range of body functions. These include calcium and phosphorus that are essential for strong, healthy bones. Finally, water is essential for your dog to keep the digestive tract moving and preventing issues in excretion.
Is Homemade Food Okay?
Many pet owners make dog food at home, and that is perfectly fine to do. There has been the opinion that homemade food is better than store-bought food, however these claims do not have any scientific basis. If you are making food at home for your dog, there are some mistakes you should avoid making.
When making food at home, it is best to avoid recipes from dubious online sources whose credentials you cannot verify. The best way to verify the diet is through your vet, who you know is qualified to tell you what to add, and what to take out. Random diets can have many deficiencies in macro and micronutrients that a layman may not be able to figure out. So even if you are using more than one recipe, they could share deficiencies and not address the problem. If you aren't sure how to follow the process of making your own dog food at home, you can always buy it in-store. You can read about the best dry dog food UK here.
Diets that come from unreliable sources can also recommend unsafe ingredients that are bad for dogs. As a pet owner, you should have a conversation with your vet discussing human foods that you keep at home that are potentially harmful to your dogs. Common ingredients like onions, garlic, and chocolate are poisonous for dogs and should be kept in places the dog cannot reach. If you don’t feel confident enough to make homemade food, store-bought food is a great option. You also have the option to introduce really fresh dog food to your pet, but make sure that they don’t have artificial colors and flavors and that no fillers and chemicals are added.
What Should I Look For In Store-Bought Food?
Not every dog food is made the same. They differ in quality and the focus of the diet. Your best indicator of the quality of the dog food is that it meets the standards of the Dog Food Profiles by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. This label means that they are guaranteed to meet the minimum nutrient needs of your dogs, like an FDA for your canine companions!
Make sure that animal protein makes up the bulk of the ingredient label, and that fillers like rice and corn feature less than other things. Good dry pet food should have a healthy mix of meat and vegetables in the ingredient list and have supplements for calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, E, and D. High-quality dry dog food like Natural Balance Synergy dog food will have ingredients that you can recognize easily, reassuring you that natural ingredients are used in making it. Chewy also offers some fantastic dog food options online, such as the Life Protection Adult formula by Blue Buffalo which contains protein-rich deboned chicken, supporting healthy muscle development.
You should also choose a dog food that corresponds to the stage of life your dog is in. Puppies should have puppy food, adults should have adult food, and senior dogs should have specialized senior dog food. The advantage of packaged food is that many varieties cater to a wide variety of diets as well. Thus, there are specialized ones for bone and joint issues, to boost immunity, for urinary issues, to lose weight, and much more! If you have a working dog, then you should choose a high-performance dog food that gives her the energy she needs to perform her tasks effectively. If your dog has allergies, you should also research the brand and check if the packaging facilities that package known allergens as well.
You should keep these points in mind when choosing treats for your dog as well. You might choose a great dog food, and then overfeed high-calorie treats that can potentially lead your dog to gain weight.
Speaking of treats, you probably had no clue that there are completely safe pet beverages available in the market. So, next time you open a bottle of champagne to celebrate, you may consider a dog beer from the good folks at Petwinery.com.