Making Sure your Dog's Nutritional Needs are Met: A Basic Guide

Ensuring the Health of your Dog with the Proper Food

Dog foods are designed to meet the nutritional requirements of a dog, based on his
breed, age, and weight.

Basically, dogs, just like humans, will thrive if their diet is healthy and contains
nutritional substances (such as protein, vitamins, and minerals) that will keep him fit.

Sadly, however, some dog food manufacturers don't put a lot of thought into these
dietary requirements and therefore your dog can suffer health-wise as a result

. A good way to make sure that your dog is receiving the right kind of nutrition then is to make sure that the food your purchase has been endorsed by the AAFCO, an acronym that stands for the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

Make Sure your Dog Gets Enough Fresh Water

In addition to making sure the dog food has the AAFCO seal of approval, you should also make sure that you pet is well-hydrated too. Water is essential for transporting nutrients and cleansing the system of wastes and impurities.

Protein - The Essential Building Block in a Dog's Diet

The major building block of a dog food is protein as it is necessary for maintaining health and repairing tissues. In dog food, the best source can be found in meat meal in form of chicken meal, beef meal, venison meal, turkey meal, or fish meal.

Essential Fatty Acids in Dog Foods Keep a Dog's Coat Shiny and Skin Infection-free

In addition to meat meal, you also want to find a dog food that contains the essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 - good nutritional sources for enhancing the health of a dog's skin and keeping his hair or coat in optimum condition as well.

A Good Dog Food should also Contain Some Carbohydrates

To balance out the diet, a good nutritional dog food should also contain carbohydrates - substances that aid in digestive health. Carbohydrates are derived from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Keep away from dog foods featuring corn in their ingredients though as the vegetable is difficult for a dog to digest.

Vitamins and Minerals that Should be Included in a High-quality Dog Food Brand

With respect to vitamins, your dog's food should contain water-soluble vitamins, such as B and C - vitamins that need to be supplanted on a daily basis. Minerals such as phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium are helpful in keeping your dog's system regulated too.

Portion Size: Always Follow the Label Directions

Portion size is also an important consideration. Depending on your dog's age or size, make sure that the amount of food you give him is appropriate for him and that you follow the directions on the label in this regard.

Taboo Substances

Plus, there are certain dog food ingredients that should never be included in your dog's food. For example, if the dog food contains any of the following substances, steer clear of buying it as these additives are considered toxic - copper sulfate, titanium dioxide, propylene glycol, zinc sulfate, and sodium bisulfite. In addition, according to research studies, some food colorings are known to be carcinogenic. Such colorings include Blue #1, Blue #2, Yellow #6, Green #3, and Red #3. Therefore, stick to foods that are approved by the AAFCO which contain natural ingredients.