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Keep Your Dog Healthy with Nutritious Food

a dog licking its lips eating out of a silver dog bowl

Food has the power to heal, but that healing is totally dependent on the quality of the ingredients within each dog food recipe. Dog food recipes are constantly changing according to new scientific research and costs. With so many dog food brands trending and a wealth of information out there, here are some tips on how to choose a high-quality dog food for your dog.

Like people, dogs have unique needs, and we found the best nutritional bet for your furry best friend after hours of research.

Dogs, like people, have individual needs, and every dog’s nutritional requirements are unique depending on breed, age, weight, and activity level. Dog food that works for one dog may not work for another.

Many pet owners underestimate the importance of good nutrition for our furry best friends. There are many different brands to choose from, and while I know which ones are great for my dogs, you should assess your dog’s activity level, age, breed, and any medical conditions that he or she may be prone to when selecting thebest dog food. 

Dog Food Regulation

FDA, AAFCO, U.S Department of Agriculture, & Individual State Department of Agriculture Regulates All Dog Food

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Individual State Department of Agriculture regulate all dog foods. That said, it’s The Association of American Feed Controls (AAFCO) that provides guidelines for the manufacturing, selling, and labeling of pet foods to ensure pet safety. AAFCO also dictates the levels of nutrients that should be used for each life stage. So, I took a close look at the AAFCO’s regulations in search of the best.

Choosing the Right Type of Dog Food For Your Dog

Dogs give us everything: friendship, love, and loyalty! In return, we should give them the very best nutrition.If you want to see which dog foods make a difference and keep Fido healthy, you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

The best dog foods are made with the simplest and most nutritious ingredients. Look for high-quality ingredients such as whole meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains, and take heed of the different macronutrients like proteins, fats, and carbs. Providing Fido with the most appropriate diet that is healthy and beneficial to his life stage will help give your pet a long and healthy life.

Dog Food Allergies

In terms of feeding duck or venison versus the normal protein sources like beef or chicken, it’s most valuable if your dog has a food allergy to other protein sources. Experts add that if you are switching diets for food allergies, there can be a lot of cross antigen reactions between duck and chicken, and venison and beef. Consult with your vet and inquire about the benefits of acannabidiol pet supplement for allergy relief.

Vegan and grain-free diets

A dog eating Whole Foods out of a large silver bowl

These diets are generally not recommended unless your pet has an allergy, or your vet specifically recommends it. Grain-free and vegan versions are fine, although probably not advantageous. If you’re thinking about doing a switch, consult with your veterinarian first to ensure a balanced diet. Opt for a high-quality, balanced that works specifically for your dog.

With nearly 80 million dogs in the U.S., it’s important to consider why large-scale pet food companies have recently become more concerned with better nutrition. Pet parents are demanding organic, natural, high- quality dog foods that will help their pets lead healthier and longer lives.

All in all, you’ll find that dog owners are being encouraged to provide the best in nutrition for their pets. However, it’s important to consider what makes a good dog food So here’s how to see what makes up a good dog food formula.

Important features of dog food 

One of the biggest trends today is grain-free formulas. You’ll see that many brands have been releasing grain-free versions of their original formulas.

Here’s what to look for

  • Dog food formulas should contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives such as propylene glycol.
  • Diets should include whole foods instead of processed foods.
  • They should also use real meat instead of meat meal.
  • Organ meats are good.
  • Look out for by-products such as organ meats, which are fine, but no non-meat parts.
  •  There should be a good source of calcium in the dog food formula.
  • The formulas should contain vegetables for fiber and nutrients such as flavonoids.
  • Diets need to be tested using AAFCO feeding trials, or by formulation to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles
  •  There must be specific quality control measures to assure consistency and quality of all ingredients used, as well as for the end product.
  • All dog food diets should be complete and balanced.
  • The dog food formula should indicate what life stage it is intended for.
  • AAFCO provides nutrient profiles for all different life stages, all but for one, the senior geriatric dog.
  • All dog food formulas must meet the AAFCO profiles for all life stages and must meet the minimum nutrient levels for growth and adult maintenance in dogs.
  • A reputable and knowledgeable dog food company that has the highest quality control measures must make the dog food formula.
  • Dog food should not be made in China, nor should any of the ingredients originate from China.
  • Puppies should only eat a puppy food formula, and should always be fed a puppy formula.
  • Large breed pups like the Great Dane or German Shepherd need to be on a large breed puppy diet to ensure correct growth and no growth abnormalities.
  • Formulas should contain antioxidants, Omega 3’s, healthy ingredients, and a balanced diet for the appropriate life stage.

What are the good ingredients in a dog food formula?

General ingredients that include whole meats, fruits, or vegetables in their top 5 ingredients are considered good foods. Those that also incorporate antioxidants like blueberries; cranberries, pomegranates, and pumpkin are also becoming popular. With that said, organic, natural, and preservative-free with no artificial ingredients, are also key to a well- balanced, and high-quality dog food.

Is your dog suffering from a health condition?

Before choosing a dog food formula ask yourself if your dog is suffering from any health problems? What life stage is he or she at? Veterinarians recommend those dog owners have a better understanding of their dog’s health issues and life stage before choosing a dog food. That said, consult with your veterinarian if you are switching out dog food formulas and need advice.

Read reviews too, and watch for energy dips and spikes, stool issues, bloating, diarrhea,skin, and coat problems when testing out a new dog food brand. If your dog starts itching or after a few weeks has a coat that lacks luster, it may be due to a poor quality dog food formula. CBD as a nutraceutical may be beneficial when added to your dog’s food, and may help with skin issues and “hot spots”.

 Bonus ingredients to look for

  • Flaxseed – Rich in soluble fiber when ground into a meal, this is one of the best sources of healthy omega-fatty acids available. This is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-fatty fatty acids
  • Chelated minerals – When minerals have been chemically attached to a protein, which occurs during the chelation process, they become easier to digest.
  • Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a whole-grain product made from ground oats containing plenty of B-vitamins and dietary fiber.
  • Chicken fat – This is a high-quality ingredient that offers plenty of linoleic acids, which is an omega – 6 fatty acid, and is necessary for life.
  • Kelp- This nutritious sea vegetable is also rich in calcium and helps to maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin.

CBD dog treats with antioxidants

You can also opt to add natural, healthy ingredients and make dogCBD treats at home to ensure natural macro and micro-nutrients with no synthetic dyes or preservatives keeping your dog healthy all the way!

Ingredients like turmeric, blueberry, flaxseed, coconut oil, peanut butter, banana, oats, and sweet potato when combined with a cannabidiol oil to make super easy CBD dog treats also offer digestive, anti-inflammatory properties, and also relief from pain and anxiety. This is a good way to add healthy ingredients that your dog may be missing each and every day. You can do this with or without the CBD oil.

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What You Need to Know Before Baking

Here’s how what you need to know before baking CBD dog treats for your furry best friend:

  • Use organic, non-GMO ingredients
  • Use all-natural ingredients
  • Refrain from using preservatives or synthetic dyes
  • Understand what ingredients are safe and which should not be used
  • Try to use vegan ingredients
  • Calming herbs like chamomile can be added
  • Glucosamine and other supplements can be included (consult with your veterinarian)

You may not realize that your dog’s physical well being depends on what you feed him. Feeding your furry best friend the right foods will help him or she overcome certain diseases, live a longer and happier life, and even prevent many behavioral problems that may be linked to improper nutrition.

While dehydrated dog food is an excellent option, canned and dry dog foods also provide high- quality nutrition. Dogs also enjoy variety when it comes to what they eat. With the huge selection of high- quality dog foods available, make sure to try different varieties in the same way that we try new foods. And as always, consult with your veterinarian for expert dietary advice, and add those very importantsupplements.

Meet The Author 

Claudia Bensimoun

Canine Specialist & Writer

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.

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