The Beginners Guide To An Ideal Dog Diet
Low-fat, grain-free, all-natural, breed-specific…if you’ve ever stared in bewilderment at the pet food shelves and wondered what on earth to buy, you’re not alone.
Today’s loving pet parents are naturally concerned about their dog’s nutrition. After all, there are epidemics of cancer and obesity among our pets and if you’re like a lot of savvy dog lovers, you know it relates to your dog’s diet.
Yet, what is the ideal dog diet? Should they only eat kibble? What’s the deal with grains? Is it better to feed raw? What is the best approach to ensure your dog gets the nutrition he needs and stays healthy?
It’s the lament of smart dog lovers everywhere and we hear you.
In a minute we’ll share a special offer for you and your dog… one we think fits within the ideal dog’s diet of high protein and rich in essential fatty acids. But first, here are three questions to consider.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Dog
Like people, all dogs are not alike. They also have different activity levels and different breeds with different metabolisms. For example, in the dog world, small dogs have higher metabolisms than large breeds.
And obviously, working dogs burn more calories than dogs who spend their days (and evenings) curled up near the fireplace contemplating life – or whatever dogs spend thinking about.
All dogs require a well-balanced diet. Before we get into what constitutes “well-balanced”, ask yourself these questions:
1. How active is your dog? If your dog is like many dogs these days that don’t get enough exercise then, a sedentary lifestyle, can lead to health problems like obesity (which can lead to diabetes and heart problems.) It can even worsen doggie arthritis because extra weight puts increased pressure on the joints.
Exercising your dog, on the other hand, can help keep synovial fluid circulating which is the cushioning fluid that flows through your pet’s joints.
2. How old is your dog? Puppies grow fast so they require more calories and more protein to build muscle than sedentary adult dogs. Age is an important factor in what makes for good nutrition with your pet. As they get older, their needs will change again.
That’s why you don’t want to adjust their food throughout their life.
3. Your dog’s current health. If the veterinarian pronounces your dog healthy, then great. Maybe you’re already feeding him the ideal dog diet and getting enough exercise. However, if your dog could stand to lose a few pounds, then reducing the carbohydrates found in most kibble can definitely help.
We’ve heard of dogs losing massive amounts of weight simply by their owners cutting the kibble and feeding raw.
In case you’re not familiar, the raw diet is like it sounds. It is raw meat, tissues and bones you obtain from a butcher. It’s definitely an endeavor for any dog parent to transition to this way of feeding your pet and while some dogs thrive on it, it’s not for every dog.
Which brings us back to the well balanced diet concept; you may already know that dogs are classified as omnivores, (they can eat both meat and plants) yet, they have a clear bias toward meat and fat. After all, they descended from wolves and they have the sharp teeth to tear through meat and gnaw on bones.
Yet many pet foods are low in protein. Even some of the higher quality brands have far more carbohydrates than protein.
Do you know why?
It’s simple when you think about it. Real protein is expensive. What costs more, beef or grain? Obviously, you said beef. Yet, the pet food industry is set up in such a way that even if you buy only grain-free pet foods, you may not be getting as much protein as you think.
The reason is many pet food companies who engage in the questionable practice of “ingredient-splitting” where they put small amounts of three or four different (but related) ingredients such as pea fiber, pea flour and peas. Separately, it doesn’t look like that much but taken as a whole, the pea ingredients add up to more than the protein and peas are carbohydrates.
We discussed this practice in more detail in this article on ingredient-splitting.
This happens with human food too, particularly when it comes to labeling sugars. The FDA says there are 61 different names for sugars.
With pet food, you may be paying for lower quality ingredients in the form of pea and soy fiber as well as other filler ingredients.
Healthy Dogs Don’t Eat Fillers
Your dog doesn’t need a bunch of filler ingredients. Rather, your dog needs plenty of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. Many dogs will enjoy some fruits and veggies but they aren’t required.
Your dog will benefit from essential fatty acids like omega 3’s. You might think of fish like salmon as being a good source of omega 3’s and you’re right. Yet, it turns out that even The Heart Foundation and the Australian Veterinary Association agree that kangaroo is rich in these essential fatty acids that are healthy for your dog’s body.
Plus, kangaroo meat is low in saturated fats (the kind that aren’t good for you.)
Here at Pet Snacks, we’ve experimented with a variety of healthy dog treats and discovered that single ingredient kangaroo meat treats meet the nutritional requirements of many dogs.
After all, they’re great sources of protein, they have no fillers or additives and they’re full of those healthy omega 3 fats. Since they’re air dried and sourced from free range kangaroos, they’re truly natural and processing is limited.
Think about it, so many pet treats on the market today fall prey to the same problem as the typical kibble…that is, less of the ideal ingredients – like protein and more of the less ideal ingredients – like fillers and empty carbohydrates.
Get some for your dog today!