How Healthy Is Dog Food?
A question we often receive goes something like:-
"I cannot get my dog to eat his food. His taste buds keep on demanding variety. That is why his stomach gets upset, causes sudden mood swift, and fatigue for not sticking to one type of diet."
Often the insufficient vitamins and minerals in his diet is to be blamed for his laziness, bad health and mood.
All the glitters is not gold. That is so true when it comes to ads regarding the food of your "best friend". Almost all ads claim to be the number one food for your dog.
But are they the best? Do they have the right quantity of the right vitamins and minerals required by your dog? What chemicals are used to preserve them in the can or packet?
Google Is Not the Ultimate Source
Usually, Google has a solution to all our problems. However, in the case mentioned above, your research will probably end up at the label provided by the company itself on the back of the can or packet.
That's what places a huge question mark on the authenticity of what is inside the packet or can. You only truly find out whether your dog's diet is healthy or not only when he physically reacts.
Types of Dogs Diet
Commonly, there are four types of Dogs' diets. Which one is right - that varies? Those diets are:
- Canned Diet – wet food in tins or sachets
- Dry food or kibble
- Raw Diet
- Home-cooked Diet
Whether you have entered the pet shop or supermarket to buy your basic requirements or luxurious treats, you think not for a second before emptying your wallet into your furry friend’s bowl. To fill the very same wallet, most of the dogs' "Humans" work day and night.
For such folks, this type of diet is ideal. Open the can and tada. It is affordable, convenient, and readily available. Most have a balanced amount of nutrients. Tins can be stored for a long time and is travel friendly.
However, what is used to preserve the said food in the can? Are those chemicals safe? Is it ok to just use canned food or should they be mixed with something else? Cheap tinned food is padded with fillers and contains very low quality meat. If you are going to use tinned food it is worth checking the ingredients and investing a little more in a known brand.
Often sold in big sacks, manufacturers offer Kibble as a healthy diet which is less messy and smelly than tinned food. Again, questions should be raised about the presence of chemicals and other unsavoury materials?
Grains and other high-starch carbohydrates like high-glycemic, genetically engineered corn, wheat, rice or potato make up the majority of kibble. Even grain-free kibble often contains high-levels of starchy carbs including legumes, peas & lentils.
This creates metabolically stressful insulin, glucagon and cortisol spikes throughout the day. The high carb content also contributes to the growing epidemic of pet obesity.
Another issue is the low moisture content which can put your dog in a constant state of dehydration. Most dry food will include a warning that plenty of fresh water should be available but that Is not always possible especially in the hotter summer months.
Sometimes known as BARF, which means bones and raw food. It is very much similar to the canned diet. The "Human" just has to walk in the store and pick it up. The only difference is, along with raw meat and bones; it also has a small percentage of eggs, yogurt, supplementary fruit, vegetables, and organ meat.
The good news is that it does not usually contain soy, corn, wheat, and other grains, so if your dog is prone to allergy, it can be a good choice. It improves dental health, as chewing on bones and necks is an exercise of teeth and naturally cleans them.
Fewer chemicals are used to raw than to can the food. That is why it is more healthy than the tinned diet.
For some it can be fun to make your dogs' food yourself, but it lets thoroughly check over food quality, allergen elimination, and budget. You can use chicken breast, ground beef, fish (cooked and de-boned salmon), carrots, rice, sweet potato, green beans, and liver or organ meat.
If you have the time and inclination it is the best and healthy food as it has no chemicals compared to canned or raw. It is fresh. The only issue is often your dog fails to meet his daily vitamin and mineral need. To tackle that, you can add a multivitamin tablet or powder in his diet.
A dog typically needs 15% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 55% protein in his diet. As very few tins or raw packets has all of that, the home-food is the best, providing you have the time and budget. Just remember to add a multivitamin.