When you first get a dog, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is what food to provide. Nutrition is an essential element of your dog’s care, and it’s crucial to get it correct if you want your dog to keep growing and staying healthy and strong. Furthermore, your dog’s nutrition will influence several aspects of its happiness and health. Animals, like people, require a specific balance of lipids, vitamins, proteins, carbs, and minerals to function daily. Additionally, depending on your pet’s current life cycle and condition, they may require additional nutrition. For example, lactating dogs need more calories than dogs that aren’t nursing. As such, one of the essential purposes of raw dog food is to support:
- Good body condition and healthy muscle tone.
- Shiny fur and healthy skin.
- Digestion and fully functional excretory systems.
- Strong Immune system.
However, deciding what to feed your pet dog can be difficult, and to add to the confusion, there are more manufacturers of raw dog food and variations of dog food than ever before. Besides, the marketing information and labelling on food packs and cans can be unclear, making determining quality and nutritional value seem like a labyrinth. So, how can you be certain your dog is eating the best food available?
Dog Food Qualities That Must Be Included
You may get to the heart of the topic by cutting through the bright colours and enticing phrases. Regarding feeding your pet, the quality of the food is the most crucial factor to consider, and there are three key features to look for:
- Whole Food
Whole foods are defined as foods that have been minimally processed or refined and are free of additives or other synthetic components. Unsurprisingly, they are far better for your dog than alternatives. Therefore, search for a product with a high percentage of whole foods on the list of ingredients when shopping for pet food. Meanwhile, because ingredients are given by weight, whole foods should ideally be placed first. Salmon, kidneys, cow liver, apples, and carrots are all great whole foods in your dog’s diet.
- Ingredients High in Nutrients
Have you read the term “empty calories”? These are calorie-dense foods or beverages with little nutritional content, such as a glass of red wine or a bag of chips. So, when choosing the best food for your dog, you should look for the opposite, which is the highest amount of nutrition per calorie. Nutritious diets provide your pet with the essential fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids required to stay healthy. As such, proteins, fruits, and vegetables are among the best sources of nourishment.
Although dogs are omnivores, their ancestors had a predominantly carnivorous diet. Hence, a largely protein-based meal is still deemed significant for most dogs, and their contemporary diet should match their heritage. So, look for items that mention entire proteins like beef, chicken, or pork as the first component. Meanwhile, many types of meat are labelled as “meals,” and while they do contain some protein, they are mostly used to supplement entire proteins. Also, avoid items that claim wheat or soy as ingredients because these are inexpensive, bulky fillers with little nutritious benefit for your pet.
If you aren’t sure what to feed your pet, your veterinarian is the ideal person to ask. Feel free to call them to talk about your dog’s specific needs and have them recommend the proper nourishment for your dog.