Dog food - What You Really Need to Know
When searching for nutrition dog food, you need to make sure that all the essential nutrients (excluding water, which you'll provide separately) are covered. Vitamins, minerals, proteins, fat, and healthy carbohydrates combine to create a solid foundation for a good diet.
Best dog food guides
Ingredients you need to look for include:
The real meat is probably the most ingredient you should look out for, as it's the most reliable source of protein for your pet.
Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries show that the food will probably be high in antioxidants.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from salmon and flaxseed oil are great for your dog's fur.
Carbohydrates in the form of rice, oats, barley, and peas. These are less likely to cause any adverse reactions in more sensitive dogs.
B-vitamins should be mentioned in the form of biotin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, and beta-carotene.
Vitamin A is an absolute must as it is important for maintaining your dog's skin and coat.
Vitamin E is essential for your dog's immune system.
Keep a lookout for several important minerals including zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, and manganese.
L Carnitine is a nutrient that helps to transport for fatty acids and assists in producing energy at a cellular level.
DL-Methionine is one of the top 10 essential amino acids that are required to keep dogs healthy and happy.
Ingredients you need to avoid include:
Food dyes (especially Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellow 5 and 6) are known to cause allergic reactions and behavioral problems. Caramel color contains 4-methylimidazole which is known to cause cancer in animals.
Chemical preservatives like Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), and Ethoxyquin are known to be animal carcinogens and reproductive toxicants and should be avoided.
Propylene Glycol is a moistening agent that is chemically derived from antifreeze.
Rendered animal fat is used to enhance the flavor of dry dog food. Unfortunately, it is also a source of harmful microorganisms and toxins. In a moist environment, rendered animal fat is responsible for the growth of mold and dangerous bacteria.
Corn and wheat gluten are not compatible with a dog's digestive tract and can cause reactions in dogs who are particularly sensitive.
Corn syrup is used in many cheaper dog foods to entice your pet into eating more. It causes spikes in blood sugar and can cause weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.
Soy is difficult for pets to digest and it can cause bloating and gas.
Vegetable oil is primarily composed of cheap soybean and corn oils and can contribute to inflammation. Over time, too high a fat content can cause arthritis, as well as hip and joint problems.
5 Best Dog Food Brands to Consider
There are a few fantastic dog food brands to consider looking into if you want to keep your pup feeling happy, healthy, and well-fed.
Taste of the Wild® High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This brand of dog food is made with real lean meats (mostly venison) and a mix of healthy, dog-friendly fruits and vegetables. This dog food recipe features a "K9 strain" probiotic blend to aid in promoting digestive health.
Castor & Pollux® Organix Grain-Free Free Range Recipe with Raw Bites Dry Dog Food
This dog food features natural chicken as the main ingredient and contains pieces of freeze-dried raw fish to deliver additional nutritional benefits. It also includes dog-friendly fruits and vegetables for an added boost of vitamins and antioxidants.
Wellness CORE® Grain-Free Wild Game Duck, Turkey, Boar & Rabbit Recipe Dry Dog Food
This kibble contains a mix of duck, rabbit, and wild boar; all of which are extremely high in lean protein. The recipe also includes healthy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and kale for that added vitamin and mineral boost.
Wysong® Adult Dry Dog Food
Formulated for dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds, Wysong features a recipe that is high in real meat and organs. There are also added prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, and omega-3s for a well-rounded meal.
Heritage Meats Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This dog food brand includes a minimum of 60% pork, lamb, and beef as well as tripe and liver for palatability.
The rest of the food is made up of healthy fruits, vegetables, and botanicals as well as zinc proteinate for a health and immunity boost.