Nothing is better than feeding dogs with food as nature intended: a balanced mixture of proteins, carbohydrates and fats from healthy sources.
Proteins in natural dog foods
Dogs need protein to build strong muscles and bones. Proteins are also important neurotransmitters that send messages to the brain and nerves throughout the body. Proteins can come from meat and from plants, but for dogs it’s easiest to absorb proteins from meat. Proteins are one of the most expensive components of dog food and some companies avoid the expense by using inferior meats or by using proteins derived from cooking animal parts that are too unappetizing to feed to humans. Avoid feeding your pet inferior proteins by using proteins such as beef meal and lamb meal rather than animal meal or animal protein.
Carbohydrates in natural dog foods
Carbohydrates provide energy. Carbs can be simple and easily absorbed, such as sugar. Feeding simple carbohydrates has been linked to the development of cancer. This is because cancer cells crave energy and when it is readily available, they grow swiftly. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are slowly absorbed. Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates and are used in diets to block cancer growth.
Carbohydrates easily turn to fat if they are fed in excess. We often feed in excess if dog food does not have a high concentration of vitamins and minerals so that pets eat several cups of food to obtain the vitamins and minerals they need for the day. While the pet uses all the vitamins and minerals, it has absorbed carbs it doesn’t need and these are converted to fat. About ¼ of our pets are overweight.
Fats or oils in natural dog foods
Fats or oils are essential nutrients, just as proteins and carbohydrates are. Fats and oils are like men and women: in many ways they are similar and in many ways they are dissimilar. For example, both fats and oils have long carbon backbones with many hydrogen atoms attached. Fats, though, have so many hydrogen atoms they are said to be saturated with them. This makes the fat molecule stiff so that lard or fat from the edge of a steak holds its shape. Oils have fewer hydrogen atoms and are flexible so they pour. Oils are healthier for pets.
Among the best oils are those from fish. Fish (and flax seed) provide a molecule called an Omega 3 fatty acid. Omega 3 fatty acids build healthy brain cells and nerves so that pets receiving Omega 3 fatty acids learn more quickly and have better moods than pets fed animal fats. Omega 3 fatty acids are also used in diets to help pets with arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, and allergies.
The healthiest natural dog foods contain meat meal to provide proteins, whole grains to provide carbohydrates, and vegetable oils and fish to provide oils and Omega 3 fatty acids. Taste Of The Wild contains chicken meal, salmon meal, and Omega 3 fatty acids. In addition to human-grade meats, Taste Of The Wild contains kelp, alfalfa, brown rice, and flaxseed. Taste Of The Wild has no salt, sugar, by-products, or chemical preservatives.
No natural dog food is cheap, but not all natural foods are good. If you need help selecting a dog food, we recommend reading The Whole Dog Journal. Each year The Whole Dog Journal publishes a list of approved dog foods to help dog lovers compare and choose the best food for their loved one.
The articles here were answered by a variety of pharmacists and veterinarians
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The best dog foods contain natural, human-grade proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.
The information about medications is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.
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