Alongside walks, playtime and the occasional snooze, what we feed our dogs is top of the to-do list. Feeding time is one of the most important times of the day, and a good diet will ensure your dog is healthy and happy, both now, and in years to come.
We’re sure you already know this, but dogs love food. They’re not fussy and will happily munch away on whatever it is we put in front of them – good or bad. This means it’s our responsibility as owners to do our best to buy healthy food for dogs. While our taste buds may differ, the benefits of a good diet are relatively similar for us and dogs. A healthy diet will: prevent the risk of heart disease, improve sleep, increase brain function and ensure a nice shiny coat (okay, maybe not the last one). Above all else, dogs need a well-balanced diet, full of protein and all the essential nutrients. With that being said, here are the top 5 things they need in their diet.
Meat is the most important component of any dogs’ diet. The best way to work these things out, is by imagining dogs in their most natural state. If we hark back to the days when dogs were wild animals, prey was the most essential part of their diet. This is the case for domestic dogs of all shapes and sizes. Do your best to ensure that the meat you provide is lean and responsibly sourced, so you know it’s packed full of essential proteins. Meat helps dog maintain their weight and is a great way to keep muscles and joints strong. That being said, dogs will not reach their full potential on an all-meat diet.
The best healthy dog food is always packed full of delicious carbohydrates. These are the second most vital component of a dog’s diet, so it’s important you feed them the right ones. Carbs, like pumpkin, squash and kale, are a great way to provide our dogs with the energy that they need. Be careful though. There are a number of low quality carbohydrates, like soy, corn and wheat. These don’t provide the same rich nutritious goodness as richer carbohydrates. Many dogs also have sensitive stomachs when it comes to these types of food.
Like us humans, fats are fine for dogs as long as they the right ones and within regulation. They’re an essential part of the dog diet, and go a long way to improving cell function and helping your dog develop a shiny coat. Healthy fats, include sunflower oil, coconut oil, fish oil and flaxseed oil.
The unsung hero of our dogs’ diets. These are essential components that, although not on the same scale as meat or carbs, do play a vital role in their development and growth. Vitamins A, B, D, E and K, are a great way to provide our dogs with that extra boost. Most types of dog food will include all the essential vitamins, but there are a few that may require you to supplement their food with additional vitamins. If you face this scenario, it’s always a good idea to double check with your vet.
Again, this is an essential element in dog food, but it’s only required in small amounts which is why they’re often referred to as trace minerals. Zinc, calcium, potassium and iron are all a great way to maintain your dog’s health. Minerals carry oxygen to the organs and muscles, while also controlling the balance of fluid inside and outside of the body’s cells. Small amounts, big responsibility.
Superfoods and Ingredients You Need to Know About
You now know the perfect dog diet – well-balanced and full of nutritious goodness. But what about the foods and flavors that make up these components? There are a number of ‘superfoods’ in the dog diet, like pumpkin, chia seeds, kale and quinoa. Pumpkin is particularly good when on the hunt for healthy puppy food. When you’re buying food, and you see these ingredients, you’ll most likely be onto a winner. And, of course, the most important super ingredient of all: water.
While there are many different types of dog food out there, and plenty of flavors to choose from, there are some things that you should always look out for. Meat, minerals, vitamins, carbs, and not forgetting water, are things that should remain consistent throughout your dog’s diet. These are the components that make normal food, extra healthy.
If you want to find out more about what to feed your dog, then head over to our new blog which is all about healthy dog food. Or take a look at the Beco pets website and blog which will give you a full run through of everything you need to know.