Finding a good quality healthy dog food for your pet can be a challenge, so what are the best natural dog food options available on the market? Many brands make claims about being good for your dog but what exactly do you need to look out for? Are there certain ingredients you should avoid? What is the correct mix of carbohydrates, fats and proteins? And which is better, dry food, canned foods or semi-moist?
Ingredients in the Best Natural Dog Food
Healthy dog foods will be more reliant on a healthy proportion of meat protein compared to carbohydrate. Dog foods which contain over 50% carbs should be avoided as they are being used to add calories without nutritional value. Meat protein should exceed 10% and preferably higher toward the 30%+ mark. Fats shouldn’t exceed 5%.
In terms of carbs its important that certain carbs are avoided, such as potatoes, corn and wheat starch as they are allergens for dogs, with many dogs either allergic to them or with a high intolerance. Carbs often have empty calories, filling up your dog’s appetite temporarily but no providing the energy and essential fats, acids, minerals and vitamins to help with physiological development. Your dog’s appetite will soon be aroused again and will want another meal sooner than if it had eaten a lower carb meal.
Protein is an essential part of your dog’s diet, providing essential amino acids, ten in total that cannot be produced by a dog itself, so without enough protein a dog’s health will suffer. Protein provides the build blocks for a healthy energetic body including strong bones and muscles. High quality meats are a good measure of the quality of the dog food. Canned dog foods tend to have a much higher percentage of animal meats than dry and semi-moist foods and therefore are usually preferable for most dogs. Meat also contains fat which is another essential element of a dog’s diet, requiring fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 which facilitate important functions within the body. However too much fat leads to obesity and health problems.
Ingredients to Avoid
As already mentioned, some food ingredients are highly allergenic for dogs such as corn, wheat and potato, but also chicken and soy. Other additives such as preservatives and artificial colors and flavors can also negatively affect a dog’s health so should be avoided where possible.
Allergies and intolerances are often noticeable in your dog when you consider their skin and their digestion. Dogs with allergies often have dry skin patches and perhaps lesions. Their digestive system will be disrupted and unhealthy with flatulence, bloating, bad breath, vomiting and diarrhea often symptoms of grain based allergies.
By switching your dog to a high quality hypoallergenic dog food you should find that their health greatly improves and these symptoms clear up. Hypoallergenic dog foods often are configured to have the right proportion of carbs, fats and protein, and contain the acids, minerals, vitamins and other elements required for a healthy dog.