We’ve all heard this so many times…You are what you eat. This is also so true for our dog and we have to try to stick to this through his or her entire life. Although it’s always so tempting to feed your dog from the table just keep in mind that your food may be harmful to your beloved dog and you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of having your dog sitting there begging at every meal. Not an attractive habit to get your dog into.
So let’s just explore some of the nutrients to look for when shopping for the food that he or she should be eating. Of course you’ll need to change your puppy’s food as they mature into adulthood. One of the first conversations you’ll want to have with your vet is about food, how much, how often and some suggestions regarding brands. Your local pet store will be able to offer further suggestions once you’ve spoken with your vet.
There are extremely important building blocks to your dogs life. Of course one of the key items is fresh water. It helps their body to stay hydrated, regulates body temperature, aids in digestion, lubricates muscle tissue, helps to flush away bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, helps stool elimination and transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. The quality of the water you give your dog is as important as it is for us. Try to only give them filtered or bottled.
One key nutrient for your dog is protein. Proteins will help your dog maintain muscle, organs, bone strength, body tissue, hair, nails and their immune system. The best sources of these proteins are beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, grains and soy. So obviously this has to be one of the very top ingredients in any food that you will be feeding your dog. Look for it on the label.
Fats are another key nutrient for your dog. Fats are the main source of dietary energy in your dog’s diet. Some healthy fats come from chicken fat, lamb fat, sunflower and herring oil.
Carbs along with proteins and fats should be a main nutrient in your dog’s food and is a major source of energy. Keep in mind that dogs are not able to digest uncooked grains as easily as meats. If you’re going the route of making your dog’s food then cook the grains and add add chicken or beef broth for flavor.
Should you decide to make your own dog food just remember to speak with your vet and do your research to make certain that the key ingredients needed for healthy growth and continued good health are included in your recipe.
When you’re looking for a manufactured dog food look for a statement on the packaging the says the dog food was formulated to meet the nutritional values established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This organization sets the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods.
Recommended store: Shop at PETsMART.com