Some people think that most pet foods available in shops today are so highly processed and full of preservatives, they aren’t any better for our dogs than crisps are for humans. However, unlike crisps, a pet food must prove it can provide all the nutrients needed by your dog or puppy before it is sold. So really the question is how to find the healthiest food for your pet.
The best ratio for a healthy dog’s diet are about 40% meat, 50% vegtables, and only about 10% grain or other carbohydrate. Choose pet food close to this ingredient ratio.
Ensure that meat meal protein sources are high in the ingredient list. The meal is basically the pre-cooked meat, which ensures that it won’t reduce down anymore during the cooking process. You could look for three of the first five ingredients listed on the label as a form of protein such as chicken meal, lamb meal, venison meal. Although by-products can include chicken beaks, feet, bones, etc., reputable manufacturers will select ingredients processed to remove such indigestible material.
Grains can be a long-term source of energy and energy storage for dogs, but they can also be used as a cheap filler in order to boost the food’s protein percentage. Watch out! Any grain you feed your dog should be used in whole form so that it supplies more fibre, vitamins and minerals. The best grains for dogs (when used in the proper percentages) are rolled oats, barley and brown rice.
A well-planned vegetarian diet can work for dogs, although dogs are carnivores by nature. Dogs need animal protein. Would a dog naturally be vegetarian? No. Most veterinarians agree that although a dog can survive on a vegetarian diet, they may not thrive on it.
Be aware that while preservatives may be necessary to keep the dogfood edible, preservatives do not have to be artificial chemicals that might be cancer-causing agents. Avoid pet foods that use chemical preservatives BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin. Vitamin E & vitamin C are great preservatives that are much better for your dog.
Choose Premium Brand dog foods instead of Economy Brand dog foods. The cheapest ingredients are rarely the healthiest ones.
As with a lot of answers to questions about dogs, we strongly advise that you speak with your local Vet as he/she will recommend the most suitable diet for your pet.