Sunday, December 29, 2013

Natural Health Food for Dogs

Natural Health Food for Dogs

Meat byproducts, animal meal, sugar, corn and wheat glutens, additives and artificial colors offer little or no nutritional value for dogs, yet these dominate the ingredient list of many cheaper brands of dog food. Natural health food for dogs offers human-grade meat and other ingredients to provide balanced nutrition. In addition, natural food does not use preservatives that can upset canine digestion, nor does it add ingredients that can trigger dog allergies.


    When using the term human grade, makers of natural dog food refer to meat that has not been rejected for consumption by humans, according to Dog Aware. The pet-food industry is allowed to use animal parts from sick or dying animals that cannot be sold to people, provided that meat is processed in a way that destroys microorganisms, according to the American Association of Feed Control Officials. The makers of natural dog food say they offer products that humans could eat, because they include meat and other ingredients, such as whole grains, of a higher quality.


    Natural dog food brands share several key characteristics. They list meat as the first ingredient, as opposed to meat byproducts or meat meal, according to After real meat--beef, chicken, turkey or lamb, for example--ingredient lists typically include vegetables such as carrots or celery, eggs, brown rice, flax or fish oil, and vitamins and minerals. Some brands add probiotics to support healthy dog digestion. Natural dog food never uses wheat, corn or soy glutens, which are used in cheaper brands to increase the protein content when there is not enough protein from real meat.

No Preservatives

    Makers of natural dog food never use preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin, which have been linked to cancer and immune deficiencies in animals, according to Purely Pets. Natural food also does not contain propylene glycol, which is added to maintain moisture but also inhibits the growth of natural intestinal bacteria that is needed to aid digestion.


    Start by shopping online. Compare various brands of natural dog food, their pricing and customer recommendations. You may also want to consult your vet on how your feedings should change. Dogs eating purer food with no fillers need smaller portions, according to Vet Info, as they will be getting the proper nutrients with less food. Feeding the right amount of higher quality food also helps maintain proper weight.

Homemade Food

    If youre interested in the most natural dog food available, consider a homemade diet for your dog. This type of feeding requires time and planning, as you must be sure your dog receives the proper amount of nutrients, including calcium. Pet owners who use this approach start with ground chicken or beef, add vegetables such as corn or peas, and include grains such as rolled oats, corn meal or brown rice, according to Vet Info. Consult a veterinarian for tips on how to feed your dog with homemade food based on its size and breed.


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