Published at Thursday, May 23rd 2019. by Bell Vignal in Dog Food.
So, why is a high quality meat based diet so important? For dogs, meat is the appropriate source of protein and fat is the appropriate source of energy. High quality meat contains all the proteins, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients needed for dogs to live a long and healthy life. Yet, carbohydrates have become the dominant nutrient found in most dog foods. Why is this? Because they are abundant, have a long shelf life, and are cheaper than protein and fat. What does this mean? Less expensive dog foods generally include less meat and more animal by-products and grain fillers. Is this good? Keep reading to find out.
How to find out whether your dog's food may be giving him allergies. If you suspect your dog's food may be giving him allergies, you can try feeding him a special diet to determine what is giving him trouble. The diet is composed of food that is scientifically created with very low-molecular-weight proteins. Proteins below a certain molecular weight are thought to be incapable of causing food allergies. You can find this food, in wet and dry formulas, online and at many veterinarians' offices. If after six weeks of feeding this special diet, you find that your dog's allergy symptoms are alleviated, it's safe to assume that his food is the cause of these symptoms. To determine which ingredient is the culprit (usually by-products from meat and poultry sources), reinforce each one into the diet to see if your dog's symptoms recur. Check the ingredients list on your regular dog food label, and add each item-chicken, turkey, corn, bulgur wheat, potato or rice, for example into the special diet one at a time, every three weeks. At each meal, add ten percent of the test food to the bowl, and reduce the special diet by ten percent. Obviously, you won't be testing the chemicals but you can eliminate quite a few ingredients once you have determined which ones caused the allergy. If your dog has no reaction to the added ingredients, the culprit is likely a chemical or by-product- which you will want to eliminate along with corn, wheat, sugar and salt from your dog's diet, indefinitely. Don't be surprised, however, if you find several ingredients cause a reaction. Once you have discovered the allergens, search out high-quality dog foods that do not contain these ingredients. Your dog may find an allergy-free or vet-recommended diet to be bland but a bland diet is better than a miserable dog! As long as he is drinking plenty of water, don't be alarmed of he doesn't take to it right away. When he gets hungry enough, he will venture into the new food for a nibble. Eventually, he will adjust to his new diet especially if you compensate with some yummy, allergy-free treats!
Good health begins with proper nutrition. Proper dog nutrition consists of at least 30 percent meat based protein and at least 18 percent meat based fat. The first ingredient on a label should always identify the meat source like beef, venison, lamb, or chicken. The best digestible food source for a dog is meat. High quality meat contains all the proteins, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients needed for dogs to live a long and healthy life. Preservatives should be from a natural source such as Vitamin C and/or Vitamin E.
If your dog is already suffering from kidney failure, a prescription dog food that is designed with low protein content, will at least give your dog some comfort for the rest of their life. These dog foods are designed specifically to help replace missing nutritional content which is caused from the damaged kidneys. By lowering the protein content, you lower the amount of urea produced which allows for the amino acids to repair tissue cells. The food is not only low in protein content but includes calcium, vitamin D3 and increased availability of these same nutrients. They also cut out high amounts of carbohydrates which only increase waste production in the urine. These special dog foods also show their quality by leaving out preservatives, chemicals and fillers, unlike the commercial dog foods.
Some standard meat allergies that dogs have are chicken and beef, which are two of the main meats in most dog foods. There are solutions available though. Lamb, duck, venison and turkey are other relatively safe alternatives. Lamb used to be the hypoallergenic cure-all, but dogs of late have been showing up with allergies towards this meat product as well. Bringing in these new ingredients might be what your dog needs and chances are that if the newer food has venison or lamb in it, your dog will be just fine with it.
The multinational pet food companies have increased bulk-purchasing power; those that make human food products have a captive market in which to capitalize on their waste products, and pet food divisions have a more reliable capital base and, in many cases, a convenient source of ingredients. The ingredients listed on the label are very much less as to what is actually present in the food – they are tiny; and the items themselves are usually scraps and rejects from processors of human foods-certainly not the whole, fresh ingredients they want you to picture. The labeling of dog food is a confusing discussion to say the least and very much a tell half-truth scenario. Many label rules exist such as; the ”Flavour” Rule that states that a food may be labelled as ”Beef Flavoured Dog Food” even if it does not contain any beef, as long as the flavour is ”sufficiently detectable. When a label reads ”With Real Turkey,” a consumer may assume that he is purchasing quality turkey dog food for his pet. If the label reads ”Beef and Liver for Dogs,” the food must contain a combined amount of beef and liver to total 95%, and again there must be more beef since it is listed first. However, as I outlined above the amounts in there are based on tiny morsels and weight – weight is inclusive of water content too.
So which food is best for your dog? Finding that out takes time and research. The truth is, the best dog food is the one that meets your dog's nutritional requirements, which vary based upon the dog's age, breed, body weight, genetics, and amount of activity… and one that fits within your budget. It is definitely worth consulting a veterinarian to get the best advice and nutrition plan for your dog. But for those of you that want to take matters in your own hands, you will find detailed below the most important things you will need to know.
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