Did You Know?Dogs should never be fed on leftovers. Focus should be on high protein, meat based diet and less on vegetables as dogs lack enzymes to digest plant-based food.
Choosing the right dog food plays an important role in keeping your dog healthy and fit. Feeding the best quality dog food promotes health and increases the lifespan of your dog. It has been found that dogs fed on high quality foods, are energetic and have a shiny coat.
Dog Food Analysis
Proteins: Proteins form an indispensable part of a healthy dog diet. Proteins promote muscle growth as well as help to repair damaged muscle tissue. Canine diet lacking in proteins can lead to poor fur coat and a weakened immune system, thereby putting your pet at an increased risk of falling sick frequently. However, digestive disorders are likely to occur in dogs, if proteins are coming from plant-based sources. Proteins obtained from animal sources are considered to be the best for dog health. High quality protein is found in chicken, lamb, beef, fish, eggs and meat meals.
Although meat is an excellent source of protein, giving it in raw form is not advised as it may cause food poisoning in dogs. Raw eggs and even raw milk contain Salmonella (harmful bacteria) that could harm your dog. Hence, uncooked meat, especially eggs should not be given to dogs.
Vegetables and Fruits: Dogs find it difficult to digest raw vegetables and fruits as they have a small digestive tract and moreover their body produces very little enzymes necessary to digest plant-based foods. So, feeding steam cooked vegetables is often recommended to prevent digestion problems. However, certain vegetables and fruits must be avoided as they can trigger a wide range of health problems including diarrhea and stomach upset. They are mentioned below:
Foodstuffs Detrimental to Dog Health
There are certain factors that need to be considered before choosing a dog food. For instance, underweight or overweight dogs have different nutritional needs. Dogs with a higher activity level need more nutrition-dense foods. Dog food available in the market are classified into 3 main types. They are 'grocery store' foods, premium foods, and healthy foods.
Grocery store foods is the cheapest option to feed your dog. Although these foods may be pocket friendly, they contain ingredients which are not easily digestible. They are blended with additives and chemicals that are responsible for causing diseases like cancer. These foods fail to provide the nutrition required for the proper growth of your dog. Quality control standards are very low in these foods. As a result, in some cases, poisonous substances such as plastic, have been detected in the analysis.
On the other hand, premium foods provide high quality ingredients, but still contain certain elements such as chemical preservatives, artificial flavors and colors that can be harmful to your dog's health. Premium foods are much more costly than 'grocery store' foods, as they contain a higher grade of ingredients that are not difficult to digest and are beneficial for your dog. Premium foods are generally found in veterinary clinics and pet stores.
Healthy dog foods are often recommended by veterinarians as they contain the most nutritious ingredients. Available in any pet food market, these foods are made from the highest quality, nutrition rich foods that provide optimum health benefits for your dog. These foods are prepared using meat, fresh vegetables and grains like barley and brown rice that are rich in carbohydrates. They contain additional minerals and vitamins that provide a beautiful coat and a healthy skin to your dog. As these foods are fortified with high quality ingredients, they are expensive than other types of dog food. In short, you will have to spend more to get a healthier and a better quality dog food.
Tips for Choosing High-Quality Dog Food
- Commercial dog food manufacturers need to follow the standards issued by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These standards help to assess the nutrition of dog food. So, check for AAFCO stamp of approval on the label, that assures, food delivers healthy balanced nutrition. Some of the popular dog food brands that satisfy AAFCO standards of quality dog food are given below:
- Newman's Own Organics Organic Beef and Liver
- Orijen Adult Formula
- Canidae Chicken Lamb and Fish
- Dog food should be high in meat-based protein with a reasonable amount of carbohydrates. In other words, proteins derived from high-quality animal sources should be the foundation of any canine diet. This type of diet is best recommended to add years to your dog's health.
- If you are buying a premium dog food, make sure that natural antioxidants such as rosemary and tocopherols are used as preservatives.
- The protein requirement for every dog is different and depends upon his lifestyle and age. For instance, sled or hunting dogs are required to do tasks that are more physically demanding and so their protein needs exceed than other dog breeds. Also, certain dog food brands contain very high amount of proteins, which is not recommended for all dogs. So, consult an animal nutritionist or veterinarian to know the exact protein needs suitable for your dog.
- Dog food ingredients are listed on the package labels. When buying healthy food for your pet, check the ingredients list and see if eggs, fish or meat are the first ingredients. In case, they are on the top of the ingredients list, then the food is a rich source of protein and is easily digestible.
On the basis of dog food analysis, it has been observed that homemade dog food is considered to be the safest for your pet. A healthy homemade dog food will give your beloved pet the much-needed nutrition, free from additives. The biggest advantage of making dog food at home is that you can check what ingredients are being fed to your dog. Dog meals made at home may include meaty stews, vegetables and healthy soups.
So if you really care for your dog, start collecting dog food recipes and keep your dog away from store-bought food. Remember, only the best quality dog food provides optimum nutrition, which is essential to keep your dog's health hale and hearty for years down the line.