The Ingredients that Are Good and Bad for Your Pet Dog
Meet Jordan Walker, one of the regular contributors at the Coops And Cages blog. As one who shares the same interest in dogs, Jordan will talk about those good and bad ingredients that could be found in our pet dog’s plate.
Dogs are one of the best animal companions. They could be your partners during your morning walk at your neighborhood’s nearby park. They could be your silly roommate that keeps you away from being bored. Or they could just be your energy fix when you’re feeling down. Because your pet dog makes you happy, you feel the need to feed him more as a token of gratitude, as a sign that you also care for him.
The happy face that you see from your dog when he’s eating makes your heart filled with warmth. But as a responsible pet owner, you need to be more aware and more conscious as to what you feed your dog. You want your pet to be happy, too, right? In this article, you’ll be able to know the good and the bad ingredients to your waggling animal companion.
The good and bad meat ingredients
Meat is an essential part of a dog’s diet because it is a great source of protein. Protein consists of amino acids which are important for your dog’s growth and development. Meat could come from chicken, duck, turkey, pork, beef, lamb and salmon. The lean parts of these meat sources are considered good meat, but how about the so-called bad meat?
Bad meats are generally the by-products of slaughtered animals such as the head, neck, lungs, liver, kidneys, blood, bones, brain, spleen, etc. Though most people think that these by-products are also meat since they come from animal sources, they are not really classified as meat because they lack real meat content. Plus, these by-products might be consisting of diseased tissues and organs.
Depending on the breed, size and activity of your dog, his protein requirements differ from any other dog.
Whole grains and corn/soy/wheat products
Foods containing carbohydrates provide energy to your pets. Examples of carbohydrate-rich foods are whole grains such as corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley, oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and many more. It is often debated that dogs don’t really have a nutritional need for carbohydrates but they could still burn carbohydrates to use as an extra source of energy and help improve their digestion.
You may include whole grains in their diet as long as you provide them with quality ingredients. But among the whole grain products that you should cross out in your list are corn, soy and wheat, as well as the milling leftovers. This is because these whole grain products are only considered as cheap fillers in any dog food.
Essential fatty acids and animal fats
Fats have gained a bad rap in animal nutrition, but not all fats are bad. Essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 are among the good fats that your pet dog needs. You could derive these good fats from salmon oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil, chicken fat and pork fat. These essential fatty acids add flavor to your pet’s food and they also help your pet to maintain a healthy and shiny coat.
On the other hand, animal fats which are obtained from the “4-D” class (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) are obviously bad for your pet’s consumption. If bad fats are fed to your dog, your pet would be at risk of developing health problems such as obesity.
Natural and artificial preservatives
Preservatives are usually added to your dog’s kibble to prevent early spoilage of the food, as well as improve its taste. Though preservatives are generally attached to the notion of unhealthy and artificial, there are actually preservatives which are good for your dog such as the natural tocopherols (vitamin E) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
Ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, BHT and BHA are some of the artificial preservatives you have to watch out for when choosing dog foods. These artificial preservatives are often linked with the development of several health conditions such as cancer, kidney and liver damage, and intestinal blockage.
Now that you have known what’s good and bad for your pet dog, it is really essential for you to read the dog food’s label. If you want your pet to stay healthy, stay away from the abovementioned bad food ingredients. As to how much good food your pet dog should consume, always ask your vet first. Dogs have different built, activities and health conditions. Based on their current health status, your vet may prescribe your dog to eat as much as this or as little as that. But generally knowing these tips, you know what food ingredients need to be consumed or avoided. Dogs would feel your love for them if you treat them as you love yourself. Provide them shelter, give them nutritious food and play with them!
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Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages