Dog food is simply food meant for canine consumption and specifically designed and planned for such consumption. It may be in the form of canned food or dry food. Dogs are generally regarded as omnivores; having a dietary preference towards either meat or plant materials. The diet of a dog will depend upon the breed, activity level and availability of particular nutrients. A dog’s nutritional needs will change with age so it is important to regularly inspect its nutrition through a variety of sources.
Dry dog food consists of primarily meat or poultry ingredients. Real meat is usually absent and a combination of vegetables, fruits, and grains form the first ingredient of dry dog food. This dry food is typically low in calories and carbohydrates, but high in fiber and fat. The first ingredient in real meat is protein which provides the dog with the necessary amino acids to create their growth and development.
Dry dog food labels will list the percentage of meat and/or poultry used for the product. In recent years, a common alternative to real meat is chicken or turkey. With this being said, both have their own set of ingredients that need to be assessed while purchasing.
Puppies and Small dogs usually require diets high in carbohydrates and protein to grow properly. These can be found in the first two ingredients listed on the dry food label. Many commercial foods are sold as ‘nutritional dog food’, however these are rarely appropriate for growing dogs. Such diets should only be purchased by veterinarians or other trained professionals. These diets are usually designed for puppies and small dogs under the age of seven.
There are some specific needs that should be addressed when feeding a puppy or small dog commercial kibble. These diets are formulated to provide sufficient amounts of dietary protein and vitamins. Meat should be a major component of the diet but the number of grains should be limited. The number of eggs in the diet should also be limited, again, by the veterinarian’s recommendation.
Feeding a dog kibble versus a premium brand can sometimes be a difficult choice. You want to give your pup a balanced healthy meal, one that has the right balance of meats, vegetables, and grain to meet their nutritional needs. However, you do not want to pay a premium price for the name on the label.
Pet owners today are turning to online pet nutrition information sources for answers to the question of which animal-grade foods are healthy for pets. The majority of the information provided comes from websites that sell or post recipes. The recipes themselves include basic nutrition facts like protein, calories, fat, fiber, vitamins, and onions. This information is helpful to pet owners who are paying attention to what they are feeding their animals.
Some recipes call for lean meat such as turkey or beef. Chicken or turkey may be included in the recipe along with some vegetables. In most cases, however, these recipes will also call for lean cuts of the organs such as the liver or kidneys. If you are uncertain about the components in the recipes, consult your veterinarian.
You can search for food recipes for free on the Internet. Recipes for dog food can range from easy to complex depending on the volume of food that the recipe calls for. A simple dog biscuit recipe may only call for a quarter pound of meat, cooked in a crock pot over low heat. This recipe may still be high in calories but not high in fat. A much more complex chicken breast recipe may include chicken meat, oil, eggs, carrots, and potatoes. Each ingredient may have a different gram per gram count.
Some recipes are available from the manufacturer’s website. These are usually recipes for small amounts that can be given at home and taken at your feeding. Other recipes are available for large quantities that must be delivered to the dog. An example of these recipes is the kibble that is sold by the pet food manufacturers. This kibble contains large amounts of meat, grains, vegetables, and may contain fruit.
Pet foods are made of a combination of ingredients to provide many of the vitamins and minerals dogs need. However, there are several important factors that can be changed when you switch to a new diet. The first thing you need to change is the amount of protein. Most dog foods are high in protein, but they are very low in carbohydrates. Dogs that live on ordinary diets need to receive lots of carbohydrates to fulfill their energy needs.
Some of the common carbohydrates are grain, potatoes, and corn. Dogs on gluten free diets need a higher level of carbohydrates. Also, vegetables are important to the nutritional needs of dogs. Vegetable sources that provide a high level of nutrition are leafy greens, beans, and carrots. In addition, there are several brands of commercial dog foods that use only non-food ingredients to provide the protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates pets need to live healthy and happy.