When you bring a new dog into your world, one of the most important decisions you want to check off right away is your choice of dog food. The blessing and curse of choosing dog food is that you won’t be short of choices. We’ll help you navigate the world of dog food so you’re well prepared before you bring your new dog home.
What Does Complete And Balanced Mean When It Comes To Dry Dog Food?
And more importantly, what are the individual ingredients of the feed and how were the ingredients processed? Only by understanding these two crucial factors can you go beyond the statement in a complete and balanced manner and be truly confident that the feed is providing the nutrients your pet needs.
Ingredients = Most Important Resource For Quality
The ingredients are the top priority when it comes to dog nutrition. The ingredients in the dog food should be identifiable and free from by-products such as powdered meat. Furthermore, the processing should be minimal. Extreme cooking processes, as found in many croquettes, can destroy the nutrients from the feed ingredients, leaving the feed less complete, balanced and meeting nutritional requirements.
Based on these factors alone, many pet owners are opting for a healthier whole food diet, away from dry food and toward raw food or innovative options like freeze-dried dog food.
To ensure you’re buying a food that has all of the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs, look for the phrase complete and balanced on the label. Being able to feed your dog a food that contains all the vitamins and nutrients they need is an advantage over raw feeding, which may require additional vitamin supplements.
One supplement to include in your dog’s daily diet, regardless of dog food choice, is omega-3 fatty acids. Just like humans, your dog also needs a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – good to know because Tales and Tails can be trusted when it comes to salmon oil. The imbalance in the food is more likely to be caused by a high proportion of omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in most dog foods. If you feed your dog commercial food, you should consider an omega-3 supplement to correct the imbalance.
Your Dog Needs Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and help dogs struggling with allergies and arthritis. Omega-3 improves skin and energy levels, as well as coat and joint health, and Omega-3 aids in cognitive development in puppies and may improve cognitive function in older dogs.
What Is The Best Way To Choose Dog Food?
Finding the best food for your dog is difficult because the choice is huge. Dog foods come in three life stages: growth stage, adult stage and senior stage, while other foods are simply suitable for all life stages.
When you have decided which food you are looking for for your phase of life, it is best to compare the product labels. When you read a product label, the ingredients are listed in order of largest to smallest amount. Be aware that manufacturers hide the amount of unwanted ingredients by listing them separately and disguising what percentage of the food they make up.
When you look at the product label, you should look for a variety of nutritious ingredients. Dogs can digest and utilize not only meat, but also fruit, grains and vegetables. A good dog food contains a combination of these ingredients, while the best dog foods contain the highest quality versions of these ingredients. Corn, cornmeal, soy, and wheat should be avoided as they are harder for dogs to digest.
Grain-Free Diet For Dogs?
You’ll read differing opinions on how dogs’ digestive systems evolved to handle grains and gluten. They range from those who believe dogs still have rather primitive digestive systems to those who believe dogs can digest grains with ease. When you read so many different opinions, the reality is probably somewhere else in between. A general dietary guide that most can agree on is that the recommended daily amount of grain for a dog is 10% of their diet. The rest of the diet should be divided almost equally between vegetables (50%) and proteins (40%). Proponents of a grain-free diet cite similar benefits to raw feeding, such as: B. healthier coat and teeth,
A downside to grain-free diets is that they are often higher in fat and calories and can lead to weight gain in your dog. A grain-free diet is also more expensive, so you’ll need to decide if the potential benefits are worth the extra cost. If you already have a happy and healthy dog, there probably isn’t a need to drastically switch his diet to grain-free.
Your dog only needs a grain-free diet if they are allergic to grains. If you notice itching or irritation on your dog’s skin, a food allergy could be at play. In this case, you could try a grain-free diet to see if that fixes the problem.
Should Your Dog Eat Raw Food?
A raw dog diet can consist of organ and muscle meats, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, fruits and vegetables, and yogurt. This type of raw feeding can be prepared by yourself. The other option to feed your dog raw is commercial dog food that contains raw ingredients.
Some say that the only reason to feed your dog raw is to eliminate the allergenic ingredients in commercial foods. If your dog seems to have a food allergy and you’ve tried grain-free food but the irritation persists, a raw diet might be an option. If you choose to feed raw, do as much research as you can beforehand and consult your veterinarian or nutritionist.
Opponents argue that raw feeding leads to an imbalanced diet that could harm your dog if fed over a long period of time. Those who feed their dogs raw meat bones could choke or suffer internal injuries. For these reasons, we do not recommend feeding your dog whole raw bones. Your dog’s ancestors may have had to resort to this type of diet, but that’s no reason to put your dog at risk.
Feed The Dog Bones?
If you want to safely feed your dog bones, there are many high-quality commercial options to consider. One possibility is whole, naturally shed deer or elk antlers. Choose the right size antlers for your dog to avoid choking. Your dog will chew it happily, it won’t splinter and it promotes healthy gums and teeth.
Some claim that the benefits of raw feeding are primarily due to the higher fat composition of these foods. These opponents claim that the benefits of a raw food diet could be doubled by replacing high-fat commercial foods.
It’s hard to recommend a raw diet for your dog considering nutritionists have concerns that an unbalanced diet could be harmful in the long term. A Tufts University study looked at five raw foods, two commercially available and three home-made, and all five had nutrient deficiencies or excesses that could lead to serious health problems if given long-term.
A single study is far from enough to assess the entire raw food landscape, and there are likely to be many more studies both for and against raw food.
Ultimately, it’s difficult to know exactly what to believe. From this author’s perspective, it may be safer to wait until there is clear evidence one way or the other before making drastic changes to your dog’s diet.
Wet Or Dry Food?
When you decide on dog food, you have the choice between wet and dry food as well as dry food. Dry food has the advantage over wet food that it does not need to be refrigerated after opening, and it can also be slightly cheaper than canned wet food. Wet and dry food both contain similar ingredients, but wet food can contain higher levels of fresh protein and animal by-products.
Dry food can be more expensive but also of higher quality and is intended to be rehydrated with water at a meal…
How Much Food Should You Give The Dog Daily?
The amount of food a dog should be given daily depends on your dog’s size and activity level. In this table you will find the recommended amounts that you should feed your dog over a period of 24 hours, depending on their size.
Slow Transition From Old Food To New Food
Before you start feeding your dog the new food you’ve spent so much time on, you need to slowly wean him off his old food. You can make this transition over a week or two, gradually introducing the new food until you’re fully transitioned. Monitor your dog’s bowel movements during the transition to make sure his stomach is happy with the new food. If not, you should look for a different food that your dog can digest better and keep trying until you find a food that his tummy and body are happy with!
What Is Freeze Dried Dog Food?
Learn about the process of freeze-drying dog food, the nutritional benefits of freeze-dried food, and the common ingredients your pet can expect to find in their diet.
How Is Freeze Dried Dog Food Made?
Freeze-dried dog food gets its name from the freeze-drying process used to make the food. The process begins with the gentle chopping and mixing of all the feed ingredients. Once the ingredients are crushed and mixed, they are frozen.
The frozen ingredients are then placed in a freeze dryer. During the freeze-drying process, all moisture is removed from the food. A major benefit of freeze-drying raw, whole foods is the preservation of nutrients. Because high temperatures are not used in freeze-drying, freeze-dried dog food retains the original nutrients found in natural, high-quality, whole-food ingredients.
Freeze Dried Dog Food And Nutrient Absorption
Another advantage of the freeze-dried process is the impact on bioavailability. Bioavailability indicates how much of a nutrient can be absorbed and utilized by the body after consumption.
There are many factors that can affect food bioavailability, including the way it is processed. For humans, the structure of raw food components is important for the bioavailability of the food itself. For example, broccoli is a wonderful source of fiber and protein and contains iron, potassium and calcium. The way all these nutrients are combined allows for better absorption due to the natural structure, just as nature intended.
The Processing Plays A Major Role
The same goes for pet food, where the type of ingredients and how the ingredients are processed are key. Let’s take the example of a dog food that contains beef protein. When the feed is processed at high temperatures, as is typically the case when producing kibble, the proteins found in beef can break down and become less digestible. If, on the other hand, the feed is freeze-dried and not cooked, the protein structure and nutrient quality are retained.
Transparency Of Ingredients In Freeze-Dried Dog Food
While preparing ingredients at home is a great and healthy option for your pet, it’s not always cost-effective or time-saving. Still, you want to feed your pet the healthiest ingredients without having to build your own farm. That’s where freeze-dried dog food comes in!
The ingredients in freeze-dried dog food make it different from other types of food: Freeze-dried dog food is made up of whole ingredients that are freeze-dried to preserve the ingredients’ natural nutrients! The result? Freeze-dried dog food is easy to serve and contains the natural nutrients and whole ingredients of a raw dog diet.
Another distinctive feature of freeze-dried dog food is the transparency of the ingredients, which some brands like Side by Side have. Take a moment and imagine the last bowl of dog food you served your pet. Can you list every single ingredient on the food’s ingredient list? You probably can’t. Due to the way the food is processed, many dog food brands lack transparency when it comes to the ingredients. This is not the case with select brands that produce freeze-dried dog food. The actual ingredients are brought back to life through the rehydration process, allowing you to enjoy the beef cuts.
carrots and green beans. That means what you see in your dog’s bowl is exactly what he’s getting. Make sure you choose a brand that doesn’t use synthetics, additives, or fillers; just look at the ingredient list. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, look for the brands that are clean and clear.
Common Ingredients In Freeze-dried Dog Food
To give you an idea of the ingredients you will find in freeze dried dog food, here are some of the ingredients that we at Side by Side use to prepare our freeze dried food:
- Sweet Potato
- Green Beans
- Dried Seaweed
- Whole Duck With Bone
- Beef Heart
- Chicken Heart
- Chicken Liver