Nutrition is the single most important thing you can do to influence your pet’s health and wellness. So, how can you ensure the dog food you buy promotes health and wellness?
Meat meal as a main ingredient in healthy dog food
The main ingredient should be muscle meat that has had the water taken out. When water is removed from meat, it’s called meal. The meat should be human-grade, not the diseased, dead, dying, disabled meat that is processed to make an ingredient called “animal protein” commonly added to dog food. Healthy, human-grade meat meal is the minimum needed for good dog food. The meat should come from animals raised on grass, called free-range animals. Animals raised in confinement and fed grains rather than grasses do not contain the Omega 3 fatty acids that our pets need. No chemicals should be fed to fatten the animals or artificially stimulate their growth. To keep your pet healthy, the meat should be raised without hormones, antibiotics, and steroids. Make sure the pet food you buy makes these claims.
Whole grains in healthy dog food
Whole grains are used to promote wellness. Grains are actually seeds that contain an embryo or germ. The germ, containing oils and proteins, is surrounded by nourishing materials that allow the seed to grow until it has established roots. Whole grains contain everything needed to promote growth, but when the grain is split into flour, gluten meal, or bran, it has lost its wholesomeness. Look for whole grains in your pet’s food.
Proteinated minerals in healthy dog food
Minerals are always added to pet foods, but just because minerals are in the bag doesn’t mean your pet can absorb them. If breakfast cereal companies put railroad ties in boxes of cereal, they could claim iron was in the food, but you wouldn’t be able to absorb iron from the railroad tie. The same happens to minerals in pet food: just putting a mineral in the food doesn’t mean it’s absorbable. For minerals to be absorbable, they must be linked to proteins. These are called proteinated or chelated minerals. Look for proteinated minerals if you want a pet food that promotes wellness.
What to avoid in healthy dog food
While it’s ok to give your pet an occasional treat containing salt, sugar, yeast, preservatives, or dyes, these ingredients will make your pet ill if they are fed daily. Look for a dog food that clearly states: No salt, sugar, yeast, preservatives, or artificial colors. Then, ask yourself if you trust the dog food company to make the claim honestly. For example, one of the major dog food companies grandly states “No preservatives added” on their dog food, but this company buys their lamb with chemical preservatives already added to the meat. While they can make the claim that they added no preservatives, when your pet eats this food, your pet receives preservatives in their food. These preservatives are believed to promote cell aging, disease and cancer. Be sure to buy dog food from a company you trust.
Packaging of healthy dog food
Barrier packaging protects vitamins and antioxidants from being leeched from your dog’s food from the time it is manufactured until your pet eats it. Even great ingredients age when stored, especially if the package allows in light or oxygen. Buy a dog food sealed in material that blocks the passage of air and sunlight. Buy from companies that move their products quickly so that the food doesn’t sit on the shelf a long time.
Nothing makes a pet happier than eating, and by buying the right dog food, you can ensure that what your pet eats promotes their health.
An example of an excellent healthy dog food is Taste Of The Wild. It contains chicken meat and chicken meal, as well as brown rice, and is a natural source of Omega 3 fatty acids and glucosamine. The Taste Of The Wild dog food is formulated to provide your dog with nutrition and also meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrition standards. Taste Of The Wild is an ideal dog food because it promotes wellness for dogs of all ages and breeds.
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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