We want our pets to have the best diet possible because we want them to stay health, enjoy life and live as long as possible. But find the best healthy dog food can be difficult because we no canine nutritionist, we know that the size of our dog can alter the nutritional needs, and let’s face it the dog food brands do a good job of telling us why their food is the best.
But there are certain food ingredients we should ensure our dog food does contain, and certain common ingredients that really we want to eliminate from their diet.
Ingredients in the Best Healthy Dog Food
First things first, should dog food contain carbohydrates and vegetables? After all they are carnivores right? Well actually domestic dogs are omnivores because the meats available to them do not contain all of the vitamins, minerals, and high levels of amino acids they require for a healthy lifestyle. In the wild the wild dogs live of primarily meat because the animals they eat have varied diets and are stronger healthier animals. So a healthy dog food can include up to 50% carbohydrates.
Which carbohydrates are the best for your dog? There are several empty carbohydrates which are added to dog foods to fill a caloric value but without having a nutritional value, these include cellulose and wheat bran. Potatoes are also a filler, also with wheat gluten and corn. But did you know that these three are the three main allergens for dogs? If your dog suffers from digestive issues, skin conditions and overall poor health there’s a good chance it is allergic to or intolerant of wheat, corn, potato, chicken or soy. So avoid these ingredients if you are concerned about that.
Now let’s talk about proteins. Dogs need protein. They can’t live without it because it contains the ten essential amino acids that are the building blocks to their bodies. These amino acids cannot be produced by their own bodies but can only be derived from foods. Meat is the obvious protein choice as it is high in amino acids, vitamins and minerals dogs needs. However, plant based proteins can be substituted. Dogs can tolerate higher protein levels than us humans and anywhere from 10% to 80% of their diet being protein is a healthy level.
However, choosing the right proteins is important. Some meats are high in fats. While fats and their fatty acids are again essential to good health, just like humans, a diet high in lean meat is healthier than one high in fatty meat such as pork. Bear in mind that chicken is an ingredient many dogs are intolerant of so you may want to eliminate this from their diet. But game meats, fish, beef, pork and turkey are all good choices for your dog. Proteins such as meat fill your dog faster but keep them satisfied for longer, so high protein diets such help maintain a healthy weight for your dog so they don’t gain other health issues too.