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There is a strange, little known fact about pet nutrition that many pet owners are not aware of – your vet may not be the best source of dog information, particularly in relation to nutrition. Veterinary schools’ nutrition courses tend to be rather short and incomplete, and pet food companies tend to push their products on vets and patients rather aggressively.
It is of utmost importance that a pet owner do research on canine nutrition to be armed with the dog information he needs for his furry friend’s health and well being. Here, the most essentian pieces of knowledge on dogs and nutrition will be discussed, in the following paragraphs.
As carnivorous animals, dogs eat meat in the wild and their food as pets should always contain a good quality, meat-based source of protein. In the ingredients listing of your dog food, look for a named meat source, like beef or turkey, rather an a generic “meat”. More than one of these should be listed in the first five ingredients on the list. Animal by-product, is another story and should be avoided, as it can contain meat from dying and diseased animals.
Dogs need carbohydrates too, and a dog food should contain some vegetable starches to provide these. Rice, potatoes and oats are sources that a dog can easily process, while corn, corn meal, wheat gluten and similar items are not. These are not necessary for canine nutrition and can cause problems like food allergies in dogs.
There are a lot of labels like premium, organic and human grade that are used on dog foods. Premium and human grade are regulated very little, if at all, and may not be very beneficial for your dog. Organic dog food should follow the standards for organic food, meaning they should be grown without chemicals. Organic foods are thought to prevent things like cancer by not introducing possibly dangerous chemicals into the body.
Many dog owners also opt to feed raw in order to ensure that their dogs get the same diets as they would in the wild. There is a lot of dog information out there on the benefits or raw feeding. However, for the more squeamish pet owner, home made dog food, while more time consuming than commercial feeds, may be the best and most cost-efficient way to give your dog the best nutrition we can provide.
Any pet owner needs the right dog information to educate themselves on what foods their dogs need in order to live happy and healthy lives. They need to learn to read labels on their pet food to know exactly what their dogs are putting into their bodies. Many commercial pet foods contain ingredients like grains and by-products, which provide little benefits to pets. Organic dog food, home made dog food and raw feeding are excellent alternatives to commercial feeds.
– Melinda Smith