Dog Food: The Good, the Bad, and the Healthy
Concerned your dog’s food is lacking in the necessary nutrients for optimal health and daily energy? Not sure how to look for a quality dog food? Read on!
For Starter, Learn What the Labels on dog food Mean
Association of American Feed Control Officials set guidelines for foods labeled “completely balanced” or “nutritionally complete.” These foods meet the nutritional requirements for either maintenance (adult dogs) or growth and reproduction (puppies and pregnant or lactating mothers), as specified in those guidelines. The label must indicate the group for which it is intended.
Dry food is the most economical commercially available dog food. Dry food is more filling when eaten, because it is crunchy and takes more time to eat. The crunchiness of non-moistened dry food keeps a dog’s teeth healthy by reducing the accumulation of plaque. The chewing action massages the gums for good oral health.
Canned foods cost more than dry foods, but if you own a small dog this price difference will be much less noticeable. However, if you are feeding a Rottweiler or Great Dane, then the cost difference will really add up. Canned foods are the go to choice for any dogs that are underweight or those recovering from surgery or illness.
Frozen foods are next up on the menu. Frozen foods have the same advantages of canned food products, such as a higher percentage of meat and vegetables, however, frozen varieties often contain even fresher and better variety of ingredients and therefore, typically costs a bit more than the canned foods. Both cooked and raw forms of frozen dog foods are readily available.
Watch Out For Human Foods on dogs
Many common and delectable human foods have the potential to make your dog or puppies very sick or in certain cases, ingestion of these could cause your pet’s death. These foods need to be kept out of reach of your very special four legged friend.
1) Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine (a substance related to caffeine) and different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine. Theobromine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, seizures and irregular heartbeat in dogs.
2) Macadamia Nuts: A serving size as small as 2 teaspoons per pound of bodyweight can cause toxic signs. While the nuts are especially delicious to eat, they can cause weaknesses in dogs, vomiting, depression, and other signs. The agent that causes these symptoms is unknown.
3) Onions: A toxic dose of raw onions is about 1 to 5 ounces. Both raw and cooked interviews contain a substance that ruptures the red blood cells, a condition, which can lead to severe anemia. Garlic can also produce similar effects, though not as severe.
4) Raisins and Grapes: While the toxic agent remains unidentified, these foods can cause kidney failure in some dogs. According to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, toxicity can occur following ingestion of quantities ranging from a single serving of raisins to more than a pound of grapes.