About Healthy Dog Food

By Leigh Kelley
All dog food is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, but not all dog food is created equal. Just as with human food, some dog food contains a lot of fillers, which makes it less than ideal. Choosing a healthy dog food is an important decision since it usually the only means of nutrition for your dog.


Feeding your dog a high quality dog food is essential to keeping the dog healthy. A healthy dog food keeps the dog's coat healthy. It also provides the necessary nutrition to keep the dog's vital organs, including the heart, functioning properly. Poor quality dog foods often have little nutritional value, which deprives the dog's body of necessary nutrients.


Healthy dog food is available in dry, canned, moist and all natural varieties. Dry dog food and moist dog food are the most common types of healthy dog food. These varieties are usually found in bags. Canned food is usually used as a supplement to dry dog food. All natural dog food is used mainly by dog owners who have food sensitive pets.


You must consider the type of dog you have, the activity level of your dog, the dog's age and the size of your dog when you are choosing a food. A large breed dog, such as an American Bully, shouldn’t eat food manufactured for a Teacup Yorkie. Another example is that a 6-month-old puppy shouldn't eat food made for a senior dog. Read the package to find a dog food that fits your dog's needs.


Ideally, the dog food should contain 50 percent vegetable, 40 percent meat or protein, and 10 percent grains. Another way to identify healthy dog food is to look at the ingredients label on the bag. At least two of the first five ingredients should be animal protein. Animal by-products don’t count as animal protein. The grains in the dog food should be millet, brown rice, rolled oats, barley or quinoa, as these are easily digested by most dogs. Corn, soy and wheat are allergens for some dogs and are harder for dogs to digest. Any dog food that lists BHA or BHT isn't a healthy dog food. These ingredients are preservatives that are inexpensive for manufacturers, but they cause health problems such as allergies in a large number of dogs.


An expensive dog food isn't always a healthy dog food. Some people are mistakenly led to believe that if they don’t spend a lot of money on the dog food, the pet is getting poor nutrition. Some of the "discount" dog food companies have come a long way in their attempts to provide dogs with nutrition equal or superior to the most expensive brands.
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