As a dog owner, one thing that you should not take lightly is what you feed your dog. In addition to mental health and exercise, diet plays a key role in your dog’s well-being. Therefore, ensuring that you are feeding your dog the right food is extremely important.
Statistics show that there is a problem with dog food. For example, in the United States, over 56% of dogs are either obese or overweight. If you would like to keep your dog healthy, it is important that you know what this problem is and how it can be solved. In this article, you will get to learn what the biggest problem with dog food is and how you can fix this problem.
- 1 The Biggest Problem with Dog Food
- 2 How to Improve Your Dog’s Diet
- 3 Before Buying Dog Food, Ensure It Is Healthy
The Biggest Problem with Dog Food
For food to be helpful to your dog, it should be made up of all the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy. In addition to water, the other top 5 nutrients that dog food should have are:
The majority of the dog foods in the market do not have the above nutrients. This is the biggest problem with dog food. So, how do you fix this problem?
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How to Improve Your Dog’s Diet
1. Pay Attention to the Label – Don’t Get Carried Away by the Marketing Hype
Every dog food manufacturer wants to sell his or her product. The manufacturer will pay someone to create a nice ad for his/her food. The goal of the ad is to make you buy the food. For this simple reason, dog food ads are usually misleading. Don’t forget, the people who create the ads are not the same people who formulate the dog food.
Before purchasing dog food, it is essential that you check the food label. The product label should have all the ingredients in the food. If you are not confident whether a certain ingredient is good or bad for your dog, you can always do some research online. Searching for “is [ingredient name] good for my dog” followed by “is [ingredient name] bad for my dog” will help you know whether you should purchase the dog food or not.
2. Consider Your Dog’s Weight and Activity Level
Sometimes, it is necessary for you to purchase dog food that meets some specific needs. To give you an example, if your dog is overweight, his/her food should contain fewer calories. Fewer calories do not mean that you are supposed to reduce the dog’s food portion.
With calorie-reduced food, your dog will consume fewer calories from the same food portion that he/she is used to. If you have an active and high-energy dog, you may need to look for dog food whose carbohydrate and fat content is a little bit high.
3. Make Sure Your Dog Consumes Healthy Fats Only
According to the author Carlotta Cooper, the minimum fat content in a dog’s diet should range between 5 and 8%. Some fats are more beneficial to your dog’s health than others. It might be impossible to ensure that all the fat content in your dog’s diet is made up of the healthy fats. However, it is essential that you ensure the largest percentage of the fat-content is made up of healthy fats.
A good example of healthy fat is the omega-3. When purchasing food, you can check the ingredient label to determine the omega-3 content in the food. Ingredients which contain omega-3 include flax oil, canola oil, and salmon oil. When purchasing food for your dog, look for foods whose omega-6 to omega-3 content ranges between 5:1 to 10:1.
If possible, you can use raw coconut oil as the source of fat. Raw coconut oil is very unique. It is a healthy saturated fat made up of medium-chain fatty acids. These are not stored in your dog’s body. After entering the dog’s body, raw coconut oil is converted into energy immediately. This energy can lead to more exercise. Obviously, more exercise will keep your dog lean and healthy.
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4. Make Fresh Whole Foods Part of Your Dogs Diet
By giving your dog fresh whole foods, you will introduce live enzymes into the dog’s system. This will improve your dog’s health. Whole foods usually have higher fiber content. This aids with both digestion and bowel movements.
In most cases, the cooking process does not improve the quality of food. Instead, the process destroys important nutrients. Most shelf-stable foods are cooked before being packaged. To replace the destroyed nutrients, manufacturers usually add synthetic nutrients into the food.
A big difference exists between the synthetic nutrients and the nutrients present in whole foods. For example, unlike the majority of the synthetic nutrients, nutrients present in whole foods have nutritional co-factors which help the dog’s body absorb and use the nutrients. Always remember, your dog is not what he/she eats, your dog is what he/she can absorb. This is why whole foods are extremely important.
- Avoid Gluten
The majority of dry dog foods have gluten meal in them. Gluten is a dried residue obtained from corn. It is usually added to the dog food to keep the unstable and inferior fats from becoming rancid. Gluten aids in the retention of waste products in your dog’s body. These waste products can strain your dog’s kidneys and liver. Even in very small quantities, corn gluten is capable of harming your dog’s organs. This is why you have to avoid dog food that contains gluten at all costs.
Before Buying Dog Food, Ensure It Is Healthy
Food contributes to your dog’s well-being. Good food will keep your dog healthy, happy, and energetic. If you are not careful when choosing what to feed your dog, you may end up spending a lot of cash in the vet’s office.
When buying food, avoid trusting the ads. Instead, check the food label to see the ingredients present in the food. As we have already mentioned in the article, ads do not always talk the truth. It is important to incorporate fresh whole foods into your dog’s diet. The whole foods have additional benefits which aren’t available in the shelf-stable foods.