The topic of dog food regularly leads to discussions and, in addition to the large selection of products, advertising makes it difficult for owners to feed their pets healthily. If the animals do not receive the nutrients they need from their feed, this can have fatal consequences for their health. The spectrum ranges from obesity and allergies to gastrointestinal complaints and bone problems. This guide contains practical tips on essential raw materials and explains what has no place in dog food.
A must: high meat content
Dogs are carnivores and get the energy they need from animal protein. If the meat content is too low, the animals often appear limp and listless. You lack energy for the day. For dogs to remain energetic and healthy, they need a high proportion of meat in their feed. At least 70 percent should be at the same time, products with a protein source, i.e. only one type of meat, are often better tolerated than alternatives with mixtures. Chicken, lamb, and turkey are well tolerated by many dogs. In addition to the quantity, the quality must be right. The higher quality of the meat, the better. Good muscle meat provides a lot of energy and should be plentiful.
In addition, offal is important as long as its proportion remains manageable. They provide dogs with lots of vitamins and minerals. However, the correct waste must be fed in a sensible ratio. The liver, for example, shouldn’t be on the menu more than once a week because it’s high in glycogen and has a laxative effect. The detoxification organ kidneys should not end up in the bowl every day, but only rarely. Hearts are also to be used sparingly. They contain many important nutrients, which in turn can have negative effects if overdosed. Lungs are a low-calorie stomach filler. Due to the laxative and flatulent effect, however, feeding must also be limited here in terms of quantity. The rumen, the largest cattle stomach, is well suited. It may be provided two to three times a week. Allowed from an entire meal percent consists of offal.
Cartilage and bone are supplemented. The latter is rich in calcium and is therefore a crucial source of the mineral. Bones also encourage dogs to chew. However, less is more. In principle, only raw bones may be fed, because cooked bones can injure dogs due to the changed structure. Splitting bones not only cause wounds in the mouth, but the entire digestive tract can also suffer life-threatening injuries.
When choosing food, dog owners should pay attention to the highest possible meat content. There are quite a few manufacturers on the market who value a high proportion of high-quality protein. These include Provital dog food, which has 90 to 95 percent protein. There are no preservatives or chemical attractants. Incidentally, a high meat content in wet food is no less important than in dry food. Even when dried, the meat content must be high for species-appropriate dog nutrition.
Vegetable ingredients in dog food
Although they are carnivores, meat alone is not enough to provide dogs with a species-appropriate and balanced diet. The intestinal structure of the animals ensures that plant substances are digested less well than is the case with humans, for example, but the organism cannot do without them. In nature, wild dogs unconsciously ingest plant matter from their herbivorous prey. They also eat grass, roots, and herbs from time to time. Plants provide dogs with trace elements, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. To ensure that the digestive system absorbs the nutrients it contains, vegetables and fruit should always be served pureed. When pureed, the cells of the plants are split. A large part of the valuable vital substances is not utilized unpurified, because dogs lack the necessary enzyme. Well-suited is:
- boiled potatoes (raw ones are toxic to dogs)
- carrots (always feed with oil so the beta-carotene is absorbed)
- dandelion leaves
This is to be avoided
Many types of dog food contain corn, wheat, and soy. What sounds healthy at first glance is out of place in dog nutrition. Because such ingredients are cheap fillers, which manufacturers want to save money with. Dogs have no health benefits from these ingredients. On the contrary: Some even develop allergies and intolerances due to regular consumption. Flatulence, diarrhea, and vomiting can also result. Likewise, sugar must be avoided entirely as dogs cannot metabolize it and suffer from diarrhea and bloating. In addition, there are adverse side effects on teeth. Preservatives, colorings, and attractants as well as flavor enhancers should also be banned from the four-legged friend’s diet. These can trigger allergies.
|Important ingredients||Please avoid!|
|High-quality muscle meat
Offals (max. 10%)
Bones and cartilage
Parts of plants (vegetables, herbs, fruit)
Oils (e.g. linseed oil)
If the dog food provides all the necessary nutrients, the dog benefits holistically. Not only visual changes such as a shiny coat indicate a healthy diet. Vitality, the ability to concentrate, and balance are also promoted by species-appropriate dog nutrition. It also promotes strong bones, stable teeth, muscle growth, sharp senses, and the immune system. Since, among other things, the size and breed determine the individual diet, dog owners should find out which substances are beneficial for the animals. Veterinarians and dog nutritionists explain this.