Regardless of your dog’s breed, age, or temperament, all dogs have one thing in common: the need for high-quality nutrition. The quality of your dog’s food intake affects their energy, vitality and longevity. To keep your best friend at their best, look for four crucial ingredients in dog food.
High-Quality Protein Source
The majority of your dog’s dietary intake should be comprised of high-quality protein. Look for nmwith a whole meat source listed as their first ingredient. Examples of common protein sources include salmon, beef, chicken and turkey. If you want to add variety to your pup’s diet, you can include lamb, duck, pork, fish or venison.
Their food’s primary ingredient should be a whole protein source, particularly if you feed them wet food for dogs. Meat meals, such as chicken or beef, can be included in the ingredients, but they should not be the primary ingredient. These proteins are of lower quality but contain vital nutrients for your dog. This makes them a great addition to dog food, but you don’t want your canine to miss out on higher-quality meats.
Whole Vegetables, Fruits, and Grains
Unlike cats, dogs are omnivores, meaning they can consume plant foods and meat. Even a small amount of fruit or vegetables in a dog’s food can provide high levels of vitamins and minerals, essential for your pup’s well-being. Like meat, you should prioritize whole plant ingredients for your pup.
If your dog’s food contains grains, ensure they are whole grains like oats, millet, and barley rather than wheat or corn. Wheat and corn are often used as fillers and can elicit allergy symptoms in some dogs.
Fats are an essential component of any dog’s diet. Fats help your dog maintain their energy levels while benefiting their coat and hormonal production, so their diet must contain ample amounts of high-quality fats. The food’s ingredients should list whole fat sources, such as duck fat or coconut oil, for your dog to get the most benefits. If the dog food uses whole, fatty meats, it may be unnecessary for the food to add additional fats.
No matter how well-rounded your dog’s diet is, they will likely need supplementation in their food to maintain adequate nutrition levels. Most dog foods are fortified with nutrient supplements, but you should ensure the food contains several essential vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin critical for immune health, cell function, and eye development. B vitamin complex is a group of B vitamins that regulate metabolism, blood sugar and protein synthesis. Vitamin D3 allows for the absorption of minerals like phosphorus and magnesium from your dog’s diet. This is vital for bone and joint health and crucial for dogs that spend a lot of time indoors. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that minimizes oxidative stress and inflammation.
Choline is an essential component of cells’ phospholipid layer and supports healthy liver and brain function. Zinc is critical for enzymes and hormones and a deficiency can cause thyroid and immune dysfunction.
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