What Does A Great Dog Food Diet Look Like?
Providing the best possible dog food diet for your pet can be an overwhelming process, especially with the countless options available today, each claiming to be the most nutritious or healthiest choice. Along with commercial brands of kibble and canned dog foods, some pet owners are also opting to feed their dogs a homemade diet or one consisting of only raw foods.
While we humans have undoubtedly done an excellent job of domesticating canines, the fact remains that they are direct descendants of wolves, who as we know, are notorious carnivores. Because of this, the absolute best dog food diet will consist of meat as its primary staple. However, dogs in the wild were far more active than the house pets we've come to know and love today, so too much protein can definitely be harmful and lead to weight gain as well as diseases, like cancer or diabetes.
Essential Dietary Needs
The best meats for dogs in terms of nutritional value consist of lean cuts of beef, chicken, duck, lamb, and turkey. Fattier meats such as chuck steaks, pork, and regular beef are also good for protein, provided the dog doesn't need to lose any weight.
Commercial dog food will usually have a plant source as its first ingredient, especially the less expensive brands as plants and grains are far cheaper than quality meats. Ideal sources of carbohydrates for dogs include long grain brown or white rice, oats, millet, barley, tapioca, and sweet or white potatoes.
Check the list of ingredients for things like omega 3 or omega 6 fatty acids, and specific sources of meat as well as fruits and vegetables. Dog foods that are preserved with natural preservatives like citrus acid and vitamins C and E, sometimes listed as "mixed tocopherols," are the best choice as opposed to potentially harmful preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.
Homemade Dog Food
If you aren't able to find a brand of dog food that meets your pet's needs, or your approval, you may want to opt for making your own. The decision to feed your dog an all homemade dog food diet as opposed to one of the many commercial varieties available is one that calls for careful consideration.
Although it's definitely a personal choice as to the type of food you give your pets, it's imperative to ensure you are giving them the right balance of nutrients necessary to thrive. Your veterinarian will be able to make recommendations based on factors such as your pet's age, weight, breed, and whether or not they have any existing health conditions.
Some sources of protein for dogs you may want to choose when feeding a homemade diet include lean meats, whole eggs, salmon, cottage cheese, and tofu. Broccoli, corn, green beans, peas, and winter squash all provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but any starchy vegetables should be cooked first to make them easier for your dog to digest. Raw vegetables safe for dogs include fresh beets, carrots, lettuce or similar salad greens, and zucchini.
Final CommentsNever give your dog scraps from the dinner table as there's simply no way to monitor their fat, protein, carbohydrate, and caloric intake. Also, many human dishes are prepared with ingredients that are highly toxic to dogs such as onions or grapes.
The absolute best dog food diet for your pet is one that meets their individual nutritional needs by providing the right balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals based on their age, weight, breed, and overall health.
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