Health Dog Food
How To Recognize a
Health Dog Food When You See One
When it comes to health dog food most dog owners are at least moderately concerned about the food their dog eats. However, the problem most people have is the fact that they don't know what to look for when it comes to buying dog food. A higher price doesn't always mean that the food is healthier for your dog, although it can be an indication about which brands have the potential to offer a healthier meal for your pet.
What Makes One Dog Food Healthier than Another? You've probably heard all about the governmental guidelines for what constitutes a healthy meal for humans, but would it surprise you that veterinarians have developed similar guidelines for dogs?
In general, this is the ration you should strive for in your dog's food:
50 percent meat
50 percent vegetables
No wheat, grains, corn, or other filler materials.
In addition to this ratio, there are certain other elements of health dog food. For example, a raw diet is much better for your dog than dry or canned food, although some dog owners may not be able to handle that type of diet because the food doesn't keep for very long. Dehydrated food may be a good alternative because it retains the food's nutrients while extending the shelf life.
Also look for holistic foods that are made from human-grade ingredients. Now here is some food for thought: should your dog eat something you wouldn't eat? Probably not..
How to Recognize Quality Health Dog Food
Of course the only way you can know what's in a particular food is to read the label, but many manufacturers have made these labels impossible for the average dog owner to understand. There are a few clues you can look for in order to know that you're getting a high quality dog food. The first ingredient on the list should be some form of protein, preferably chicken, beef, salmon, or lamb. Venison is a good source of protein as well, although it should preferably be the second or third ingredient.
Your best option will have protein sources as the first three ingredients, although this is not always possible to find in some areas where dog food options are limited. Always avoid foods with grain in them because grain is a filler. Lower quality dog foods are filled with grain because it creates a lot of food, but the result is a meal with little nutritional value. Watch out for food that has a meat as the first ingredient and then meat byproducts as the next two ingredients. Byproducts are also fillers, and they may be even worse for your dog than grains.
Health Dog Food & Specialized Diets
You should always follow the feeding guidelines set forth by your veterinarian. Some dogs require special diets in order to stay healthy because of food allergies or health problems. Follow the vet's advice when it comes to these tricky situations.