Vitamins and minerals are essential to a healthy diet, not only for humans, but for our dogs too. Are you feeding your dog quality food? How does a pet owner decide which food on the market is best for their beloved dog? In addition to vitamins and minerals, dogs require the proper intake of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and water in their daily diets. Just as human beings benefit from eating healthy foods, dogs will be healthier and more active if they are eating a quality dog food containing everything they need.
Luckily, there are several top-notch commercial dog foods on the market today from which to choose. Look for a quality food that is nutritionally complete; meaning that it will provide a balanced diet for your dog. If you are unsure of which dog food is high quality, your veterinarian is sure to have a few recommendations. The least expensive dog food, while still being healthy, is dry food or kibble, which is nutritionally balanced and it will help to keep your dogs' gums and teeth in good shape. Many pet owners supplement their dog's dry food with a canned, wet food, but if the dry kibble is of good quality, it should be sufficient.
There isn't any proof as of yet that organic dog food is any better than the high quality commercial brands, but if cost isn't a concern and you feel better about it, that is another avenue.
As you look for a dog food for your pet, make sure to read the labels on the bags and understand what it is your pet requires in his diet. Some dog foods use preservatives that are unhealthy, so be on the watch for those as you read the list of ingredients.
Your dog's age may determine which food you choose too. Puppies obviously have a different set of needs than middle-aged or mature dogs. Puppies are growing, so they require a higher level of calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D with protein that is easily digested. As an adult dog, a few vegetables now and then (no more than 10% of their diet), would be beneficial since they contain fiber and vitamins and dogs typically love them. A senior dog will have more of a restricted diet, but still needs protein that absorbs easily, a good level of carbohydrate for energy and possibly a small amount of glucosamine to help with joint function. Get a quality dog food that meets them where they are nutritionally and they'll be healthier for it
The healthier your dog is, the less money you'll give your veterinarian each year. If your pet gets the vitamins, minerals and other content he needs from a good dog food, the only time you'll need to see the veterinarian is for yearly check ups and necessary shots.
Overall, do your research and get recommendations from other pet owners and your veterinarian, and choosing a high quality dog food won't seem like such a difficult task. By giving your dog the food that is best for him, you are helping him to live longer and be healthier all the way around.
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