Your dog deserves the best, and nutrition is vital for a happy and long life. That’s why pet parents are always advised to pay great attention to the labels on the dog food they purchase from stores. Some feel tempted to start cooking at home for their dogs, but even if you might have the best intentions at heart, you should know that nailing all the needed ingredients for a balanced diet for your pet is not always easy.
From getting a good source of protein for your dog’s daily meals to the inclusion of certain minerals and vitamins that are essential for your pet’s well-being, you must pay attention to all these ingredients. Some dog foods, about which you can read more on drfoxmag.com, are ideal and they don’t require you to invest time and effort in meal preparation.
Protein that comes from meat
Dogs need protein, and they need it in larger quantities than humans, which is why the main ingredient to consider for any dog food label or the food you prepare at home, must be meat. Be careful that some dog foods include protein that comes from other sources, such as eggs. While this protein is not bad, you must still make sure that the food you give your dog has plenty of meat in its formula.
Carbohydrates for energy
Pet parents might believe that feeding their dogs nothing but meat could be a good idea since that’s all they need, right? However, dogs are not exclusive carnivores, and throughout the centuries of living close to humans, their digestive systems adapted for other foods, as well.
To sustain the levels of energy dogs are known for, they also require some carbohydrates in their diet. You might have seen a lot of grain-free dog foods on the market and wondered about them. These are mainly intended for dogs that have allergies, so grains, in themselves, are not bad for a canine.
Dogs as wild creatures, when they used to devour their prey, also ate the content of the respective animals’ stomachs, which could include plants and grains. Therefore, they can and should eat some source of carbohydrates.
Just make sure that the carbs included in the dog food formula are of high quality. For instance, corn, soy, and wheat are considered inferior, but rice, oats, and barley are better. Therefore, if you pick the right source of carbs, you can feed that food to your dog without any issues.
Vitamins and minerals come from vegetables
Typically, dogs wouldn’t eat raw vegetables, mainly because they are not palatable foods for them. However, since their ancestors used to eat animals that fed on plants, they still need the many vitamins and minerals present in these foods.
That is why you shouldn’t shy away from the dog food formulas that include various vegetables in their composition. They are particularly helpful for aging dogs, as they supply their bodies with important sources of antioxidants that are effective against various cancers.
To give you an example, sweet potatoes are great for providing your dog with potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins that are not easy to find and extract from meat or carbohydrates.
Fruits for preventing various diseases
You can’t expect your dog to gobble down an entire bowl of blueberries, but as long as fruits are cleverly hidden in his or her food, there are some essential benefits to talk about. Fruits are an indispensable source of vitamin C which, just like in humans, helps to prevent diseases.
Also, fruits are suitable for a dog’s digestive system since they are an essential source of fiber. Others have particular benefits, like cranberries, that play a crucial role in preventing urinary tract infections, and even eliminating the bacteria that cause them.
Healthy fats are a must
Feeding your dog lean meat is a good idea since you don’t want your companion to turn overweight. However, eliminating all the fat from a dog’s diet is not such a great idea. Healthy fats are beneficial for multiple reasons. For instance, they help the body absorb various vitamins and minerals.
Also, they are useful for providing your pet with a beautiful shiny coat. With an important role in digestion, they are responsible for postponing aging and the diseases that come with it. Therefore, feeding your dog foods based on fish is an excellent idea.
Foods fortified with vitamins and minerals
Since a complete diet for a dog can be quite complicated, it is not always possible to include all the needed vitamins and minerals. That is why you will notice some dog foods on the market that are fortified with various vitamins and minerals. They are great for your dog, as they supplement the regular diet and create the complete nutrition you want to obtain for him or her.