Over the past few years, there has been a lot of awareness and controversy surrounding dog food. Pet owners are paying greater attention now, more than ever, to the ingredients in their dog’s food which has led to a huge market of premium pet foods and products. The good news is that pet food is highly regulated by the FDA and has undergone rigorous testing by veterinary specialists.
Here are a few key points to hit on when discussing which dog foods are better and healthier:
- Dogs are not strict carnivores. Although meat does make up the majority of a dog’s diet, dogs can derive nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. Even if an owner is a vegan or a vegetarian their pets will not be. Dogs were raised to eat the insides of the animals that they catch/hunt. When a deer is brought down the wolf will eat the stomach contents as well as the meat on the haunches and such.
- The best dog foods will contain a combination of meat, vegetables, grains, and fruits that are high-quality. There may be grain free diets out that are readily available but I, personally, cannot feed that without the recommendation of my vet stating that grains may be harming them and their health.
- Knowing how to read and interpret dog food labels is key. Products labeled as “dinners” typically contain about 25% of the actual meat content while products labeled as having “flavorings” contain just trace amounts of the actual meat content. I and my pets are still looking for the “perfect” dry food but I still add to their food. I add greek yogurt (as my dogs have horrible gas) LOL, I add fresh and cooked veggies leftover from the making of dinner or lunch. If anyone has a great suggestion for dry food to feed my pets, I will take a look at all of them. I even went so far as to feed a raw diet to my dogs, but alas, that got to be too expensive with 5 or 6 dogs and then the cats sneaking in for a bite or tow.
- Overall, dogs need a healthy, balanced diet just like humans – unless they are suffering from an allergy. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if your dog is subject to any allergies and to have them recommend the best food to fit your dog’s individual digestive needs.