Good health for dogs, as well as people, requires variety and fresh food in the diet. To meet this need add fresh foods to a dry dog food base. Since heat and processing destroys or alters the nutrients in foods, add supplements that return the lost nutrients back into the diet.
For the best nutrition follow the guidelines under optimal nutrition below. Since it is not always possible to feed optimal nutrition, the following are suggestions to help select the best nutrition available. When selecting food consider the following:
To obtain even minimally good nutrition, you must read the labels – on both food and treats – and good nutrition can be hard to find.
At a minimum, your dog's food and treats should contain
Good Nutrition: In addition to the above list, use
Optimal Nutrition: In addition to the above lists, use these products:
If you are interested in further information on nutrition, most dog food companies have their formulas (including ingredients, calorie, protein, and fat content) and distributor lists of their foods on their web sites. When choosing a food check the protein and fat content. Keep the protein between 22-26%. The fat content is not as crucial although it should be at least 12% until the dog reaches 8 years of age.
*Examples of good super premium foods are NutriSource, Holistic Select, Precise Holistic, Life's Abundance, Evangers, Fromm Gold, Fromm Four-Star, Merrick, and Flint River Ranch. Most of these foods are only available direct from the company, through distributors, or "small" pet stores. Many of them have web sites that will lead you to a distributor list. See the links page for web site information
The above list of foods is short because we do not believe in feeding foods manufactured by large conglomerates. Typically the ingredients are of lower quality and product control is not as strict. If you cannot find a food manufactured by a smaller company, please read the label ingredients and follow the recommendations above for selecting a quality food. Blue Buffalo, Canidae, Castor & Pollux, Natural Balance, Nutro Ultra Holistic Adult, PetGuard, and Natural Balance are good foods manufactured by larger corporations.
"Grain-free" diets are not recommended. Grain-free does not mean carbohydrate free. Generally these products have switched the grains for tapioca, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and/or peas as the carbohydrate source. Not enough research has been done on grain-free diets to recommend them, especially during growth.
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Copyright 2006-2013 Susan Armstrong - All rights reserved
Updated July 2013