Published at Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Dog Food. By Odelette Delarue.
Although dogs enjoy meat, it is not a balanced diet. Raw meats may contain parasites, and cooked meat can be high in fat and do not contain a proper balance of nutrients. Some raw fish can cause a deficiency of the vitamin thiamine. Symptoms of a thiamine deficiency include anorexia (complete loss of appetite), abnormal posture, weakness, seizures, and even death. Raw salmon will also transit deadly parasites. Raw liver, fed daily in large quantities, can cause a vitamin A toxicity in dogs. This is particularly true if it is fed along with a complete and balanced diet already containing ample vitamin A.
High protein on a dog food label means absolutely nothing. You have to read the list of ingredients to see if the source of protein is digestible. Dogs are not able to digest plant-based proteins or grains as efficiently as meat and do not derive as much nutrition from them as they need. Meat, on the other hand, is not only high in protein but it is relatively easy for dogs to digest. Therefore, dog food with higher meat protein content is usually better. If the first ingredient on the label is not a meat protein, you should seriously consider switching to a brand with higher meat content. Grains are not as digestible as meats. Protein content should be at least 30 percent from a high quality meat source. For example; beef, venison, lamb, or chicken. Avoid any product with non-specific descriptions like animal, meat, or poultry; and avoid any rendered by-products or meal.
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.
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