A balanced diet will help your dog live a happy life.
In recent years, there has been controversy regarding the composition and nutritional value of commercial dog food. Choosing the best dog food for your pet requires a basic understanding of the nutritional needs of dogs. With the right diet, dogs can perform their best and maintain optimal health.
Animal protein and fat
Essentially, dogs are carnivores, and it is best to eat a meat diet rich in animal protein, amino acids and animal fat. Protein contains 10 amino acids that dogs need for optimal health and can only be obtained from the food they eat. When reading pet food labels, remember the difference between animal protein and animal by-products. If the label indicates that chicken is an ingredient, healthy muscle and fat are used in the diet. If the label lists chicken by-products, then body parts that are not suitable for human consumption, such as the head and bones, will be digested in the food. Animal by-products do not have the nutritional value of pure muscle and fat required in the diet.
Plant protein and carbohydrates
Today, more plant protein is used in dog food than in earlier years, when meat was the main source of protein. Although dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet without vitamins and minerals, studies have shown that dogs fed meat have fewer health problems and live longer. The carbohydrates found in plants provide a source of energy, but whole plants are not enough to replace meat. High-grain and cereal pet foods should be avoided. Usually the cheapest brands contain a lot of these herbal ingredients.
Pet food supplements include vitamins, minerals, and chemicals used to improve the color, texture, or taste of food. Although vitamins and minerals require supplements to balance the pellets, other chemicals designed to make dog food have no positive effect on the health of the animals that eat them. Organic and high-quality dog food contains less of these chemical additives than the most common brands in grocery stores.
Preservatives are needed to prevent spoilage of dog food. On average, a bag of dog food will be stored for up to 12 months from production to consumption. Therefore, food safety requires natural and artificial preservatives. Canned dog food is preserved through the canning process itself, which means it requires less chemical preservatives than dry pellets.