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Thursday, April 14, 2011

What Makes A Healthy Dog Food?

Buying new toys, treats, collars, and beds for your dog can be an easy, if not fun task for any dog owner, but shopping for dog food can often prove difficult or even overwhelming. There are numerous dog food brands available, and each promises to provide your pet with balanced nutrition-but this isn’t always the case. Although what "makes a healthy dog food" is open to debate (and debated it is!), the basic premise is that dogs have different nutritional needs than humans, and there is scientific study that goes into developing a balanced diet for dogs. Unfortunately, many dog foods are full of fillers or artificial ingredients, including artificial colors and dyes, that won’t complete a dog’s nutritional needs and just add empty calories, at best. 

Healthy dog foods that offer complete nutrition have:

High Protein and High Fiber
Dog food should always have a higher ratio of protein and fiber. These nutritional facts are required to be listed on dog food bags, so dog owners should try to purchase foods with higher levels of protein and fiber. Foods without adequate protein and fiber could lead to developmental and digestive problems in your pet.

Less Fillers
Both wet and dry dog foods are prone to containing high levels of fillers. Dog owners should always  read the labels of the dog foods they are interested in purchasing to make sure that the first ingredients are never fillers, such as corn meal.  A healthy dog food will always have the first ingredient listed as meat, whether it is chicken, beef or other animal protein (buffalo, venison and lamb are also popular choices), and are required to list the ingredients in descending order of amount per total weight. 

Fresh Ingredients
Fresh dog foods are becoming more and more popular among pet owners. These foods are often kept in a refrigerator, and contain fresh meat and vegetables.  Although fresh dog foods can provide pets with excellent nutrition, they also can be more expensive than the more traditional dog foods. Another popular trend is to prepare fresh, daily meals for your pet, right in your own kitchen. In theory, this can be a good idea, but the burden is then on each pet owner to research the nutritional needs of their particular pets and provide all nutrients daily, and in a balanced ratio.

The most expensive dog food on the rack may not necessarily be the highest quality dog food either.  Always remember to check labels before purchasing any dog food to ensure that you know what's in the food you feed your pet, that your pets' nutritional needs will be met, and that you will receive the best bang for your buck.

Note: Consideration was given for reviewing, editing, and posting this article, contributed by Pedigree.


Kayane Kouzoujian said...

This is very helpful, especially considering that my boyfriend and I just got a new Basset Hound puppy today and we're doing a ton of research to make sure we raise a healthy, happy dog. =) Thanks for sharing this!

FANCY the Red Standard Poodle said...

Hi Y'all,

Labels are essential reading if you have a pet with food allergies or other health issues.

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Asta said...

Thank you fow always making suwe we have the good infowmations to keep us healthy and happy
smoochie kisses

TwoSpecialWires said...

What an important (and, admitedly, controversial) subject. There are soooo many different opinions. We tend to stay away from the subject ... all the while hoping Moma is making the very best decisions possible for us. It's 'cause of good friends like you that she has the resources to learn and decide. Thank you. As always. From us, and from all the others who read your VeryInformativeBlog and benefit from your wise sharings.

Much love. Happy tail wags.
Jake and Fergi

Dewey Dewster said...

Hey Bocci.....

Yep buyin' dog food presents a real problem fer Gram and other fur Moms too. Gram doesn't believe in buyin' all the most expensive dog foods cause she always adds stuff ta our food ta boost the protein content. We do get dried dog food but we sometimes have venison, rice and green beans mixed in with it. Sometimes it's cooked ground turkey and rice and other goodies.

Of course we always want ta share Gram 'n Paps food too cause ya never know if someone might have tampered with it and we need ta check it first. Gram had a dog growin' up that lived ta be 15 and he was raised on table scraps.....go figure.....

Dewey Dewster here.....

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