Dog food is basically food meant for eating by dogs and all other related domesticated canines. Dogs, being canine mammals, are primarily considered to be obligate carnivores with a slight carnivore leanness. In their earliest recollections, it is estimated that dogs have eaten a variety of plant material throughout the course of history, but today’s modern dog food products are formulated using meat as the main ingredient.
Because carnivores are at the center of the nutritional picture, it follows that carnivore diets are highly important in providing good nutrition to dogs. carnivores are designed to obtain protein from meat – which provides the essential amino acid, cysteine. However, humans and dogs differ in our need for vitamin A, which is found in carrots and egg yolks, among other animal sources. Because humans and dogs cannot produce their own vitamin A, it is essential to get it from our diet. A diet deficient in vitamin A can lead to retinal degeneration, cataracts, weakening of the dog’s immune system, and brain dysfunction – all symptoms associated with age and health problems.
Although most commercial dog foods contain some level of Vitamin A, this nutrient is not sufficiently concentrated in edible portions to provide significant amounts of this nutrient to dogs. Ingestion of Vitamin A can result in birth defects in both dogs and humans, such as blindness, cleft palate, and kidney failure. It is believed that retinal and kidney failure may result directly from consumption of dry dog food. Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble nutrient that must be properly balanced in order to achieve optimal dog health.
Because domestic dogs are not carnivores, they are unable to make use of fatty acids found in meat byproducts. However, domestic dogs can make use of fats from eggs and milk products. It is therefore necessary to provide these dogs with adequate fats in their diet. This is where grain is needed to provide additional sources of Vitamin A. However, grains have a poor absorption rate, which means that dogs must take a nutritional supplement if they want to obtain Vitamin A from grains. Furthermore, because grains are difficult to digest, they make the stomachs of dogs quite acidic, which is not ideal for their health.
While dogs can obtain all of the essential nutrients from meat, dairy products, and eggs, they cannot gain access to Vitamin A or Vitamin B-12. There are two types of Vitamin A, retinol and beta-carotene. Deficiency in either vitamin can result in severe and irreversible eye problems, caused when the eyes are unable to repair damaged cells. Dogs that lack Vitamin A are susceptible to dry skin and allergies, which can cause further health problems. Pups that do not receive Vitamin A suffer from patellar neuritis, a painful knee ailment.
Aside from fatty acids, dogs must get a sufficient amount of protein, which comes from poultry, fish, legumes, nuts, and other natural sources. Chicken dog food is the best source of protein for dogs, since chicken is one of the most natural meats available. This is because chicken is considered by many to be the best meat available. However, if you choose to feed your pooch a chicken dog food, be sure to carefully read the ingredient list of the ingredients. Because some pet foods use hormones or other artificial ingredients, it is important to read the label carefully. If you notice any strange ingredients, it may be best to consult your vet.
Since dogs need meat in their diet, it makes sense to buy dog food that contains high quality protein and fat, so that they can grow strong and healthy bones as they grow old. The best quality protein sources include poultry and fish, although there are some exceptions. If you opt to buy meats from the freezer section of your local grocery store, you should pay special attention to the dates on the label. Meat that has gone past its recommended date may be contaminated or otherwise harmful to your dog’s health.
Most dog owners want to feed their dogs a healthy, balanced food that gives them all the nutrients they need. Unfortunately, some dog food companies will cut corners when it comes to nutritional content. Instead of using recognizable names like chicken or turkey, they will use fillers like corn or soy. These fillers are cheaper, but are no substitute for real meat. To avoid unknowingly putting your dog at risk, always read the ingredients of dog food products before you buy.