It is an axiom (a generally accepted idea or proposition assumed to be true) that using healthy dog food ingredients will result in healthy dog foods. It is also true that feeding dogs healthy food enhances their quality of life by reducing illnesses, improving the coat and teeth, and providing healthy energy for their bodies.
But no matter how healthy the ingredients are in a specific dog food, if a dog’s health doesn’t improve with a particular type of food, then it is not the right diet for that dog. Many dogs are allergic to certain types of protein or other ingredients used in the manufacture of dog food, and if your dog seems to have more health issues after changing to what you believe to be a healthier dog food, you’ll need to experiment with a few other dog food brands or recipes.
Luckily, most quality dog foods also come in smaller packages, negating the need to buy large bags and waste money if your dog can’t or won’t eat the new food.
Some signs that your dog needs to change its diet are excessive flatulence, frequent ear infections, licking the top of its paws too much, and frequent vomiting or diarrhea. If this is happening to your dog, try changing the type of protein used in its food and see if the symptoms disappear or at least improve.
A dog’s stomach will often attack unfamiliar ingredients, so a new food may not be accepted right away and often can cause diarrhea. Don’t buy a new brand or type of dog food at the first sign of these problems. Continue feeding your dog the same food for a least a week or two before deciding to try something new.
Dogs can also develop allergies to foods they eat too often, so it’s a good idea to feed your pet several foods that contain different protein sources to help it maintain a balanced diet.
Dogs are omnivores, and like humans their bodies were designed to obtain nutrients from both meat and vegetables. The reality is that pet dogs receive most of their nutrients from protein sources, so when choosing a dog food, the quality of the protein is the most important ingredient. As a general rule. three of the first five ingredients listed on the label should be protein sources.
Don’t choose dog foods containing “meat byproducts” or any with labels listing “animal protein” as a principal ingredient. These two ingredients usually don’t include muscle meat from which dogs receive most of their protein. Look for dog foods with labels listing specific ingredients like chicken and turkey. If your dog has food allergies you can choose a food containing proteins like duck, venison or rabbit.
Dogs are not able to efficiently digest corn, wheat, white rice or soy. Instead choose dog foods with whole vegetable ingredients like carrots, green beans and sweet potatoes. There are some dog foods that also include fruits like apples, and grains like oats and barley. Grain-free foods are also available that substitute potatoes in place of the grains.
Other healthy dog food ingredients include pumpkin (which helps soothe a dog’s upset stomach), cottage cheese which provides healthy bacteria, and eggs which are a healthy protein source.
There is no one dog food that’s right for every single dog, but some foods are definitely higher in quality than others. Compare labels on the dog food you now feed your pet with other brands available wherever you shop for dog food.
Depending on where you live and where you shop, you may need to visit Petco or PetSmart, or your local pet store to find a healthy dog food.