We all know for us and for our pets that if we eat healthy food then we will benefit. But as with human food, healthy dog food can vary greatly in its ingredients and marketing points, so what exactly do you need to look out for when selecting healthy food for your dog?
Finding The Best Healthy Dog Food
With endless selections of brands, formulas, and mixtures available in the dog food market, it can be difficult to decide what is best for your dog. Are some marketing terms just gimmicks? What are the main factors in a healthier dog food? And what ingredients should be in, and should be missing from a healthy dog food?
The first factor to consider is that many dogs have intolerances and allergies to foods such as corn, wheat gluten, chicken, potato and soy. If you buy food which eliminates these main products then you will likely see a big improvement in your dog’s health. There are many meat alternatives to chicken and some of the healthiest meats are red meats and game meats which provide a high quality protein for your dog.
The second factor is the mix of carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables in the dog food. Cheaper dog foods tend to be higher in carbohydrates such as potato and grains as they are cheaper to produce, and lack much protein as these are more expensive to buy and process to include in dog food. But dogs benefit from a high protein, low carbohydrate diet as wild dogs do. Their digestive systems struggle breaking down carbohydrates resulting in digestive issues. Also carbohydrates encourage dogs to eat more food more often, leading to weight gain.
Knowing If Your Dog Has Benefitted from a Change in Dog Food
How will you actually know if the decision you’ve made to switch to another dog food has benefitted your dog? They can’t give you a review of each food they try and dogs are quite intolerant of any change in their diet. The key is that you need to make a note of the current health issues your dog is experiencing such as skin conditions, high shedding, dull coat, dry nose, flatulence, digestive issues, bad breath, overweight, lack of energy, lack of appetite etc. Then introduce the new food slowly, mixing it with their familiar old food over a matter of weeks in a slightly higher percentage every day. If you swap to the new food immediately your dog will either reject it or throw it up after eating.
Then after a few notes compare the health of your dog compared to before the switch. If your dog is now healthier, many of their health conditions are alleviated, they look forward to eating, and they have more energy, then you’ve found a healthier food suitable for your dog. You might also find you can more readily swap between mixtures and flavors from that brand then to give your dog a bit more variety without issues.