Active And Working Dogs
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Dogs that are actively exercised for several hours a day naturally burn a huge amount of calories, and their diet needs to represent this. There is a wide choice of working dog foods available, the majority of which are cheap, low grade feeds that, instead of providing extra energy, rely on the owner feeding a lot more to get enough calories in to the dog. There are exceptions, however, but since the best source of calories for dogs is meat, and since meat is expensive, good quality, working dog foods can be fairly expensive. Take a look at our our Dog Food Directory and filter for working dog foods to see what options are available.
Terms That Are Not Regulated
Natural, All-Natural, or 100% Natural
The label claim of natural has a loose definition.
Natural dog or cat food ingredients must be of plant, animal, or mined sources, which most ingredients are, and can undergo any manufacturing process except a chemically synthetic process.
Chemically synthesized ingredients include many vitamins and minerals, preservatives, and flavor and/or color additives.
All-natural or 100% natural means that every ingredient used complies with this, or the label can specify certain ingredients as natural .
If a product is all-natural or 100% natural, it is not likely to be complete and balanced, because most vitamins and minerals that are added to pet foods are synthetic. Therefore, supplementation would likely be necessary to meet your pets specific nutrient requirements.1
Holistic or Wholesome
The terms holistic and wholesome are used to imply whole-body health, but they do not tell you anything about what ingredients are included, how or where the ingredients were sourced, or how the product was manufactured or handled.
Most manufactured retail pet foods are not truly raw, as heat processes are often used to prevent bacterial growth.
Dog Food: What To Buy And Ingredients To Look For
Over the weekend, I peered into our dog food bin and saw just a lone kibble sitting at the bottom. No doubt, my teenagers forgot to mention we were low on food. As I stood in the pet food aisle at the grocery store, I quickly understood the paralysis my clients feel when it comes to choosing a diet and best dog food for their pets the variety of choices on the grocery shelves and refrigerated cases was dizzying. Lets address a few common misconceptions and give you some general tips to choose healthy dog food for your own pup. As always, consult your veterinarian for advice as variations in breed, life stage, body condition, activity level, and health status should affect your purchase.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials is a regulatory agency that checks to ensure dog foods meet the minimum standard of nutritional adequacy the AAFCO label should be present on any food you are buying and includes key information such as identification of product, net quantity statement, manufacturers name and address, proper listing of ingredients by weight , the guaranteed analysis, nutritional adequacy statement, feeding directions, additional label claims, and calorie statements. If the AAFCO label does not exist, the company may not have verified nutrient claims with laboratory testing. Call the business to find out. All pet food companies should be transparent and want to educate the consumer about their product.
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What Are The Nutritional Requirements For Dogs
The six basic nutrients are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. These essential nutrients are required as part of the dogs regular diet and are involved in all of the basic functions of the body. The minimum dietary requirement has been established for many nutrients. The maximum tolerable amounts of some nutrients are known, and results of toxicity have been established. What is less understood is what may happen over time with marginal deficiencies or excesses.
Nutritional guidelines have been developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . AAFCO guidelines are the general basis for the nutritional content of commercial pet foods. Make sure that your dogs food meets the AAFCO standards. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and your dog may need more or less depending on his health status. Speak to your veterinarian for more information on specific nutrients that your particular dog may need.
What Nutritional Requirements Exist For Dogs
When choosing which food to buy, youll want to understand the nutritional needs of your dog and how they may differ from other dogs. If you have a new puppy youll need food specifically formulated for young, growing pups. Or if you have a dog on the small or large end of the spectrum there will be a specific formula more suited to your dogs needs.
To ensure that youre buying food that contains all of the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs, look on the label for the words complete and balanced. This is a term the FDA uses to regulate dog and cat food nutrient profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . The ability to feed your dog one food that contains all the vitamins and nutrients they need is an advantage over feeding your dog a raw diet, which may then require additional vitamin supplements.
One supplement you might want to include in your dogs daily diet regardless of the dog food you choose is omega-3 fatty acids. Just like in humans, your dog needs a balance of omega-3 and omega-6. The imbalance comes from a high amount of omega-6 which is found in most manufactured dog foods. If youre feeding your dog commercial food, you should consider adding an omega-3 supplement to correct the imbalance.
Your dog needs omega-3 for a variety of reasons including:
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Understanding Pet Food Package Terms
Pet foods are often labeled with eye-catching phrases, like all-natural, organic, or wholesome.
These terms sound similar but can mean quite different things about the product. Some of these terms are regulated by AAFCO and the FDA, while others are not. Its important to know the difference and what these words actually mean.
Here is an abbreviated version of the AAFCO definition that can help guide you, but if you want more information, visit AAFCO Talks Pet Food.
What Are The Proper Ratios For Ingredients In Dog Food
Ratios for ingredients in dog food vary among manufacturers, as well as for a dog’s age, breed and activity level. The Association for American Feed Control Officials is an association of local, state and federal agencies that suggests the amount of each nutrient by percentages, not ratios. Commercial pet food that is nutritionally complete or balanced will include AAFCO’s statement that guarantees the pet food meets nutrient requirements.
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What Are The Best Wet Dog Foods For Dachshunds
Choosing the best wet dog food for Dachshunds needs special care and attention. Dachshund owners should consider the following when they choose the best wet dog food for their pups. Due to their long spines, Dachshunds are predisposed to intervertebral disk disease. They need controlled amounts of calories, protein, and fat. The top best choices of wet dog food for Dachshunds are listed below.
Premium-quality food in 12 x 3.5-oz single-serving tubs delivers the ideal level of lean protein to build muscle and maintain your Dachshunds health. Made with high-quality lean protein to help maintain ideal body conditions and gentle fibers designed to promote healthy digestion for overall health and wellness, ideal body composition.
Grain-Free Small Breed & Puppy Dog food. This recipe is specially formulated for Dachshunds and other small breeds. It features real lamb and turkey, plus wholesome veggies, including sweet potatoes and carrots.
Dachshunds can be prone to spinal diseases, weight problems, joint problems, and constipation. It might be a good idea to invest in high-quality food for a Dachshund.
How Do I Read The Dog Food Ingredient List
Like packaged food for people, pet food must list ingredients by weight,starting with the heaviest. But if the first ingredient is a type of meat, keepin mind that meat is about 75% water, according to the FDA.
Without that water weight, the meat probably would fall lower on theingredient list.
Meat meals, such as chicken meal or meat and bone meal, are different mostof the water and fat have been removed, which concentrates the animalprotein.
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Wellness Stews Complete Health Wet Dog Food
Wellness Stews Complete Health Wet Dog Food is a product of Wellness Pet Food, founded in 1997, with its headquarters in Massachusetts. Made with high-quality meats for canines, this Wellness range offers delicious, chunky, slow-cooked homestyle stews. They contain tender cuts of premium chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, beef, venison or salmon, with nutritious veggies, slow-cooked into a delicious savory gravy. It is grain-free and provides high protein without excess fat or calories to support your dogs overall health. The first four ingredients are whole proteins as required for each recipe, followed by vegetables like peas, carrots and potatoes. Some recipes have brown rice as the fifth ingredient, followed by veggies.
As you go down the list, ingredients become lesser and typically with little effect on the final product. However, Wellness Stews have ingredients that offer additional benefits to dogs, and salmon oil contains high-quality Omega-3 fatty acids. Depending on the quality, dried egg products provide exceptional biological value, and chelated minerals are minerals chemically attached to proteins to make them more absorbable, typically present in high-quality dog food.
The only ingredient that might raise concern is sodium selenite, which could be toxic to dogs depending on the amount included.
Best Dog Food For Puppies
The nutritional needs of dogs vary throughout their life. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, and senior dogs have their own nutritional considerations. Most dog food companies carry specially formulated puppy foods for each stage of a dogs life, making it easier to narrow down your choices. If you are concerned about which is the best dog food for your dogs life stage, consult your veterinarian to see what stage food is appropriate for your dog.
Your puppy requires a different nutrient balance than an adult dog. This is especially true for large breeds. Feeding a large breed puppy food can help, as their growth needs to be monitored carefully to prevent bone and joint problems. Other puppies do well on both puppy food and food labeled for all life stages. The best food for your puppy depends on your puppys size and breed. Always consult your veterinarian for recommendations on puppy feeding, and advice on how to switch puppies to adult dog food.
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I Was Told That Dogs Cannot Digest Carbohydrates Is This True
To meet their energy needs, dogs have evolved to use proteins and fats as their primary energy sources, but they can also use carbohydrates for energy. The fact that the dog’s digestive system produces enzymes that are specific for digesting starches and sugars shows that they are capable of digesting carbohydrates. However, complex carbohydrates such as grains are more digestible when they are cooked.
Dog Food Ingredients & Nutritional Value
What is the minimum standard for an adult dog to maintain weight and good health? A food must contain at least 18% protein, 5% fat, and maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture. Some dog foods guarantee minimum levels of other nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, sodium, and linoleic acid which are especially important for bone growth in puppies. Changes to minimum accepted levels of taurine will likely be included on future labels as a link between low levels of dietary taurine and heart disease in dogs was recently discovered in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients.
What ingredients make up a quality food and from where should they be sourced? Ideally, companies obtain the raw materials for protein, carbohydrate and fat from local or regional sources with whom they have an established relationship and have strict quality control. Contamination from bacteria such as salmonella and listeria, mold, or toxins such as cadmium, lead and arsenic should be monitored by the supplier and and rechecked by the pet food company after manufacturing. Surprisingly, diets labelled grain-free were found to contain more toxins that those that contained grain.
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Regulated Terms: Usda Fda And/or Aafco
This term is regulated and is signified with a USDA Organic Seal.
The United States Department of Agriculture Organic seal means that the pet food production and handling adhere to the requirements established by the USDAs National Organic Program for human food regulation.
Certified organic pet foods must be made of at least 95% organic ingredients, and the use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering is not permitted.1
There is no true definition for this in animal feed regulations, but according to AAFCO, for a pet food to be considered human-grade, every ingredient must be human edible and manufactured, packaged, and held in accordance with federal regulations.
Very few pet foods can meet this standard, so if you see human-grade on the label, you might want to call the company to ask about their manufacturing procedures .1
What Are The Best Wet Dog Foods For French Bulldogs
The best wet dog food for French Bulldogs are those that meet their unique nutritional needs. Understanding those needs can help owners to avert innate health problems, and ensure optimum health. Two of the best Wet dog food options for French Bulldogs are listed below.
With added Vitamins & Minerals, No Meat by-products, Wheat, Corn, Soy, Artificial Flavors, Colors, or Preservatives. The first five ingredients on this Core Wet dog food ingredients are turkey, turkey meal, potatoes, peas, dried ground potatoes, and it contains all the nutrients required by Frenchies.
A limited-ingredient canned food formulated for dogs with food sensitivities. This chicken-free recipe features high-quality turkey, easily digestible carbohydrates, plus omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
Frenchies are known to have sensitive stomachs, and their tendency to gain weight easily must be considered when choosing their kibble.
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When People Find Out We Make Our Own Dog Food At Home They Always Ask Us What About A Raw Diet So Let’s Get That Out Of The Way First
There are LOTS of thoughts and theories on feeding your dog a raw diet especially a dog that is living with kidney disease. Our vet however, was personally opposed to feeding a raw diet due to the fact that dogs, just like us, are very susceptible to food poisoning. Besides that, a raw diet can be tricky to get just right! You run the risk of giving your dog a horrible belly ache by mixing a raw diet with cooked treats, so if you decided to go raw it is important to have both raw meals and raw treats planned for your pup at all times. NO MIXING the two! Since raw and cooked foods digest at different rates any combination of the two can wreak serious havoc on your pup’s gut which can lead to some pretty unpleasant situations for you – if you get my drift.
Are There Any Breed Differences In Nutritional Requirements
In the past several decades, nutritionists and veterinary researchers have identified that there are definite breed variations in metabolism and nutrient requirements. Breeds of dogs that were developed in specific locations, such as Arctic Circle breeds and some of the water breeds, may have adapted to specialized diets that are common in their place of origin. Inbreeding and genetic differences between individuals in each species may result in further need for individualization of the pet’s diet in order to optimize health.
In addition to considering your dog’s breed, you should also consider your dog’s lifestyle. Working pets require different ratios of proteins and fats in their diets than lap dogs or sedentary house dogs.
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Raw Or Undercooked Meat
Raw meat can contain Escherichia coli and Salmonella, which are types of bacteria that can cause food poisoning in dogs and humans. Cooking the meat properly kills the bacteria.
In recent years, certain manufacturers have promoted the benefits of raw meat for dogs, and some boutique products contain it.
It is important to understand that raw meat diets pose health risks to dogs and may not provide a complete nutritional balance.
Premium Isnt Always Better
Stores tend to group dog foods into the categories of popular and pricier premium or gourmet diets, but there arent any nutritional requirements for these labels.
I never guilt pet owners into feeling that they have to feed their dog or cat a premium diet, Sanderson says. In fact, I feed my own animals a combination of popular and premium diets.
If cost is key for you, they recommend you buy a less-expensive popular food, and save your money for other things your dog needs, like heartworm preventive medicine.
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Why Dog Food Matters
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Make no mistake, food is the most important factor in your dog’s life. Through diet, he has to get everything his body needs: from the energy needed to keep chasing those balls to the incredible array of nutrients that form every tissue and keep every cellular process going, it must all be delivered through his diet. Too much or too little of any one nutrient can quickly cause upsets and if something gets into your dog’s diet that shouldn’t be there, you can be sure that problems won’t be far away. From weaning right through to old age, it is diet more than any other factor that will determine the quality and the length of your dog’s life.
You owe it to your dog to get his food right but don’t fret, we’re here to help all the way!