Published at Sunday, 19 May 2019. Dog Food. By Masson Gasnier.
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.
Dog food protein is essential to your dog. Dogs require more protein than humans. Interestingly enough, protein hasn't always been the focus of dog food. Wikipedia has several examples from the 1800s that show a dog food focus on cheese, milk, buttermilk, oats, barley-meal, potatoes and animal fat. Dog food has come a significantly long way. Now, dog food companies are concerned with dog food protein and the many different ingredients are needed to come up with a pet food product that matches the amino acids that a dog requires. These can all be synergised by using various different food combinations. Some feel that because dogs are direct descendants of wolves, that their protein requirement are one hundred percent meat based. Another argument is that dogs are naturally scavengers and will eat basically anything, whether it is a protein or not. Still others feel that with the domestication of dogs, and the fact that they have been living with humans for thousands of years, that they have evolved into incomplete carnivores. And there are more opinions beyond those as well. Even though dogs are built to take in more than just meat, the meats that go into regular commercial dog food are something that should be thoroughly comprehended. This subject is extremely broad, and I am going to do my best to touch on the major points. There is an incredible wealth of information on this topic and some of it is rather frightening.
Just like the potato chip analogy, many commercially processed dog foods are made with fillers such as corn gluten, corn meal, and other such ingredients to help keep production costs down. These ingredients have virtually no nutritional value and will not benefit your dog in any way. Many quality conscious dog food producers will include vegetables, ”human grade” meats, meat proteins, oats or whole grains in their foods. These ingredients have great nutritional value, and will generally keep your dog healthy and active.
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