Dogs are very active. In order to ensure they stay that way while living healthy, happy lives it is important for them to eat wholesome foods that provide them with their daily nutritional requirements.
The challenge with this is that there is an overwhelming number of brands who all claim that they have your dog’s health in mind. This is the farthest from the truth and many contain ingredients that are not good for your dog.
In this quick guide, we are going to tell you exactly what to know in order to find the best food for your pup.
What Nutrients Does Your Pup Need
There are 6 nutrients that your dog needs in its diet. They are as follows:
- Water – essential for all living things. In terms of dog food, water is noted as ‘Moisture’. Dry food has less moisture than wet food but in addition to their food, you should provide them with a fresh bowl of water.
- Protein – provides your pup with energy and the building blocks for everything in its body from muscles to skin and organs. Your dog’s food should be rich in protein. If your female who is nursing or a puppy, it will need twice as much protein than the average adult of its breed.
- Fat – macronutrients that are used by the body to protect body parts. It is also important in absorbing certain vitamins. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are very important to your dog’s diet because they also help you to regulate its temperature.
- Vitamins – organic compounds that make your dog’s body function properly. They are either fat or water soluble. Some vitamins that need to be a part of your dog’s diet are vitamins A, D, E, K, B, and C.
- Minerals – not to be confused with vitamins, these are inorganic compounds that their body needs. Some minerals that are important in your dog’s diet are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, chloride, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and iodine. They are not needed in large amounts but should not be overlooked.
- Carbohydrates – provide your pup with energy. They are not a requirement because it gets energy from protein as well but in small amounts, carbohydrates are not bad. Healthy carbohydrates also provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that might be missed if they were to be excluded from their diet.
Ingredients That Should Be In Your Pup’s Food
When looking for ingredients in food for your pup, always be sure to look at the nutritional information printed on the back of the package. A good rule of thumb to go by is that if you cannot pronounce it, it should not be eaten. Look for wholesome, natural ingredients that are clearly named. For instance, meats should be clearly stated like chicken, turkey, lamb, etc. Do not be fooled by meals and by-products, they are not the same. Do the same for other ingredients. If there is a vitamin that has a scientific name, the label will say both like vitamin E may have ‘Tocopherol’ in brackets next to it or vice versa.
Ingredients That Shouldn’t Be In Your Pup’s Food
Unfortunately, there are many things in dog food that should not be put in them like fillers, preservatives, dyes and more. Some contaminants can also be in the food as it is measured at a lower standard than human consumed foods.
Though the list is long, some common ingredients to look for are corn, wheat gluten, meat meals and by-products, grain meals and by-products, BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), Ethoxyquin, food dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE, etc.), PG (Propylene Glycol), and rendered fat.
Types of Dog Diets
Your dog’s food can come in a variety of forms. They can be wet, dry or raw.
Wet foods usually come in cans and contain the most water.
Dry foods are hard and dehydrated. This food is not a good source of water but when made right can be a good source of nutrients.
Raw foods are made with raw ingredients. Usually, they are refrigerated so that they will not go bad.
We hope that this information has helped you to be able to make better choices when choosing your dog’s food. If you are looking for the best dog food for your pup, click here for more information.