Your dogs health and happiness are largely predicated on the kind of food that it eats. Nutrients are what keep its coat and skin healthy, its digestive and immune system fully functional, and every other organ in its body functioning at an optimal pace. But how do you choose the right dog food when youre presented with a lot of options? Here are 3 things you really need to look for.
Animal Protein First
Dogs are genetically programmed to subsist on meat. And while you may think that they have already evolved through centuries of domestication, the anatomy of their digestive tract hasnt changed one bit. Dogs are omnivores, yet their stomach is designed like a predator. It is for this reason that animal proteins should be number one in the ingredient list of the dog food you want to buy. Animal-based proteins have been shown to have complete amino acids. And while plant-based proteins also contain amino acids, many lack certain essentials like taurine which may necessitate supplementation. There are loads of useful guides for pets and thir grooming but not enough on pet feeding.
It is still perfectly okay to get a dog food with plant-based proteins, provided these are not the top ingredients.
When it comes to animal-based proteins, choose those with named meals. For instance, pick one that says chicken meal instead of poultry meal. Do you know how many species of animals can be classified as poultry? Choosing it means you dont know exactly what you are giving to your dog. As such, the protein should be named, not some vague classification.
Go Slow on Certain Carbs
We said that dogs are omnivores and they can also benefit especially from the antioxidants of vegetables and fruits. Plus, these can provide dogs with the fiber they need to help ensure better digestion. If there are carbs that you need to be careful giving to your pet dog, then these would be high glycemic carbs and allergenic grains.
High glycemic carbs like potatoes and certain types of rice contain too much carbohydrate per gram that they have the tendency to elevate the blood sugar of your dog. This can lead to diabetes. On the other hand, allergenic grains like wheat, soy, and corn can upset your dogs tummy or even cause hypersensitivity reactions. Besides, dogs are not really fit for digesting these kinds of ingredients.
Go for Healthy Fats
Choose a dog food that contains a good proportion of essential fatty acids, preferably in a 1:1 ratio between omega-6s and omega-3s. While omega-6 fatty acids can provide anti-inflammatory benefits, if it is sufficiently high that its ratio to omega-3s is anywhere between 8:1 and 16:1, you are also courting inflammatory conditions in your dog. The closer the ratio is to 1:1, the better it is.
Essential fatty acids are important in maintaining the health of your dogs skin and coat. These are also important in the promotion of optimum development of the dogs brain and eyes. The immune and cardiovascular systems are also enhanced.
Choosing the right dog food means picking one that has a named animal protein, has fruits and vegetables, and has essential fatty acids.