Article: How to Choose Healthy
Have you ever scanned the ingredients
in a commercial dog food and thought, "How can this be healthy?" Well,
unfortunately most pet foods available in stores today
are so highly processed and full of preservatives,
they aren't any better for our dogs than potato chips
are for humans. So before your dog takes another bite,
read these tips on how to find the healthiest food
for your pooch.
Understand a typical dog's diet consists of 40% protein,
30% fiber and 30% starch. Choose pet food with this
ingredient ratio. Read the guaranteed analysis to be
Ensure the first ingredient listed on the label is a
form of protein such as chicken or pork (not meat by-products).
Cornmeal is used as a filler and is a low-quality source
of protein. Avoid animal digest and animal fat which
is highly indigestible.
A well-planned vegetarian diet works
well for dogs. In fact, there are several commercial
foods available on the market. Dogs need
PROTEIN, but not necessarily *animal* protein. Would
a dog naturally be vegetarian? No. He also wouldn't naturally
eat dog cookies or live in your home with you or do tricks
either. Be aware that while preservatives may be necessary
to keep the food edible, preservatives do not have to
artificial chemicals that might be cancer-causing agents.
Vitamin E & vitamin C are great preservatives that
are much better for your dog. Choose Super Premium Brand
dog foods or Premium
Brand dog foods instead of Economy Brand dog foods.
The cheapest ingredients are rarely the healthiest
ones. Go holistic. Holistic foods such as the Wellness
brand or Canidae brand are 100% natural and 100% nutritious.
They contain human-grade ingredients. Consider this rule
of thumb: If you wouldn't eat it, your dog probably shouldn't
eat it either. (Think animal
fat and added salt or sugar.) Also, beware of the first
ingredients being items like "chicken by-product" or
If you really want to know what's in your dog's food,
try making your own dog food. There are plenty of recipes
and meal plans available online. Consult with your
veterinarian to make sure the diet is well-balanced.
Every dog, like every human, has different nutritional
requirements. It is very important you check with your
veterinarian to determine what foods best meet your pet's
needs. A good way to see if your dog's diet is suitable
is to check how it comes out the other end. No, you
to get too close to it, but as you pick it up in your
poop scoop or baggie, check it for consistency and general
appearance. A healthy dog's output should be firm and
without any traces of blood or mucus.
When changing your dog’s food it is important to
switch gradually, as it is easier on the dogs digestive
system, and reactions to the new food will generally
be less severe. It is recommended that you gradually
increase the amount of new food in the following sequence:
1/7, 1/3, 1/1, 3/1, 7/1, and 1; this being the portion
of new food to old food (first change: a total of 8 cups
of food [that would be one big dog!] with one cup of
new food with 7 cups of old food). Each change should
be gradual with several days (5 days to a week is best)
between changes. All in all it should take a month or
Don't assume that your dog should eat what humans eat. "People
food" such as chocolate, grapes, raisins and onions
can be difficult for your dog to digest and toxic to