Like everything else alive, a healthy diet is vital for your pet dog’s wellbeing. Many different brands of dog foods are being promoted online, and many of these brand’s boast having healthy ingredients good for your dog’s health. But what exactly does it mean for an ingredient to be healthy for a dog? This article will explore some healthy ingredients that you should look out for in dog food.
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Dogs are carnivores, and meat is always good for them. Optimally, the ingredient list should not only mention ‘meat’ or ‘poultry’ as their ingredient. Instead, it should clearly state what type of meat is in the food.
Ideally, meat should be the primary ingredient in the dog food of your choice since your canine friends require plenty of meat protein in their diet to keep them healthy.
Having meat as the primary and secondary ingredient in your list will indicate that you are choosing a medium- to high-protein food.
At first glance, we might think that preservatives of any form are not suitable for dogs. However, it is also undeniable that preservatives can keep your dog food fresh, ensuring that your pet dog’s nutrients are still good.
Natural preservatives like ascorbic acid and tocopherols can be suitable for your dog. However, if you see BHA and BHT in the ingredient list, it’s best not to feed it to your dog.
These two preservatives have been banned in food, even for humans in many countries, due to the cancer risks they pose.
Yes, dogs need to have some vegetables too. Even though it is not a hard must-have in your dog food list, some vegetable content in your dog’s food would also provide them with vitamins and minerals to help maintain or even improve your dog’s immune system.
One of the most popular vegetables that you can feed your dog is sweet potatoes. They are rich in fibre and made up of complex carbohydrates, which your pet dog can absorb slowly throughout the day and is also readily available in the market.
Did you think that we were going to exclude fruits? Pumpkins (Yes, pumpkins are categorized as fruits.) are fibrous fruits with plenty of vitamins and nutrients which are good for digestive health.
Dogs can ingest raw and canned pumpkins but take care to choose canned pumpkins without sugar or seeds.
Other fruits that can be good for dogs include apples, blueberries, cranberries and bananas. These fruits contain plenty of natural sugar, though, so be sure to feed in moderation and avoid these fruits if your dog has diabetes.
You can feed grains such as brown rice and millet to your dog directly. Brown rice is a carbohydrate-rich ingredient that is also a great source of iron, omega-3 oils and magnesium. Brown rice is healthier than regular rice grains.
Millets‘ nutritional properties are pretty close to that of brown rice, but with a twist. It is a gluten-free option, so it is the perfect grain option if your dog has some allergy issues.
Like many other ingredients that we have included in this list, fats can be good for your dog if fed in moderation.
Fats are, in fact, crucial for proper cell functions and digestion. Without fats, your dog may not digest and absorb specific vitamins that are good for them.
Even so, that is not to say that you should feed your dog fried chicken skin or anything like that. High-quality fats such as those found in omega-3, omega-6, fish oils, chicken fat and olive oil are good options for your dog.
These fats are the very element that keeps your dog’s fur looking shiny and healthy.
Vitamins & Minerals
Some ingredient lists may include vitamins and minerals from the meat or vegetables they ingest, which is good too.
Vitamin B may present itself with different names, such as biotin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and thiamine.
Vitamin A & E may also be on the list. Together, these vitamins improve your dog’s metabolic, digestive and immune system. They also help to add some shine to your dog’s coat.
As for minerals, spotting some zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, and manganese is always a good sign.
Two other minerals that are exceptionally good for your dog are L-Carnitine and DL-Methionine. They both improve cellular function and are essential amino acids dogs need.