Giving your dog high-quality diets are essential, as this affects its quality of life and lifespan.
The right food can reduce the chances of skin and ear infections, make its coat healthy, and improve the strength of bones.
It can boost your dog’s immune system, reducing the number of visits to the vet. However, when you start looking into dog diets, you observe there are different types of approaches.
Where do you begin and what do you follow? Use this as a guide to help you understand dog diets so that you can select the best one for your furry friend:
Holistic Dog Food
Holistic dog food refers to a diet that supports your canine’s complete wellness and body health.
These types of dog diets don’t only focus on providing the essential nutrients but also goes beyond to ensure your pet is healthy.
When you go to the market, you will find a wide range of dog foods that claim to be holistic.
As the regulations aren’t as strict as they are for humans, it is common practice for manufacturers to use this word frequently.
Keep in mind that there isn’t any universal definition of what comes under holistic dog food.
Similarly, you should know holistic and natural dog food is different, even though people use them interchangeably. Natural refers to dog diets that are free from preservatives, additives, and synthetic ingredients.
How to select holistic dog food?
When it comes to selecting holistic dog food, you need to look at the list of ingredients.
This will help you determine if the diet is healthy for your canine. For the meal to be healthy, it should use only high-quality ingredients.
What does this mean? The primary ingredient in any dog food should be protein. If you find two or three additional sources for this nutrient, it is beneficial to your canine.
It should also contain fat, from sources such as salmon oil or chicken fat, as they provide all the essential fatty acids to improve your dog’s health.
However, the amount of fat your furry friend should consume depends on its age. For puppies, feeding a high-fat diet is a good practice, as it leads to healthy growth.
However, once your canine starts to age, you should cut down on fats as your four-legged friend’s metabolism slows down.
Digestible carbohydrates such as whole grains are also essential in the ingredient list. If your canine is allergic to grains, opting for the grain-free option is the right decision.
However, make sure the substitutes the manufacturer uses is healthy.
Make sure you stay away from preservatives as artificial colors and flavors as they don’t fall under the holistic dog food.
Raw Diet for Dogs
Raw diet for dogs is another way to provide essential nutrients for your canine. Before humans domesticated dogs, their ancestors used to eat food such as vegetable scraps and raw meat.
One of the reasons why there is a rise in popularity for these types of dog diets is that it comes with a myriad of benefits.
For instance, your canine’s coat and skin become shinier and healthier than before. Due to the toughness of raw food, it cleans the teeth of your dog.
Also, owners who choose a raw diet for dogs report that their furry friends have higher energy levels.
However, this diet also faces controversy, due to the risks that come with eating raw food.
Both you and your dog can suffer from diseases due to the presence of harmful bacteria. If you don’t balance the diet, it can damage your canine’s health in the long run.
Bones can cause internal punctures, break your dog’s teeth, and cause choking.
What ingredients are present in a raw diet for dogs?
The best raw dog food will consist of the following ingredients:
· Organs such as kidneys and meat
· Ground or whole bones
· Fruits and vegetables such as apple, celery, spinach, and broccoli
· Muscle meat attached to the bone
Should you give your dog a raw diet?
Although the best raw dog food is beneficial for your dog, you shouldn’t make the jump to it right away. You should keep in mind that it doesn’t work for every canine.
For instance, if your dog is suffering from liver or kidney failure, pancreatitis, cancer, or any other immunosuppressive disease, avoid this diet.
Before switching to a raw diet for dogs, make sure you consult with your vet. The doctor will give you the best recommendation for your canine.
Vegan Dog Food
On the other end of the spectrum from raw meaty diets, would be vegan dog food.
It's basically a type of dog diet that is growing in popularity is vegan dog food due to an increase in people supporting veganism.
Although your dog is a canine, your furry friend can have a healthy life following this type of diet.
However, you should make sure that you feed your four-legged friend a balanced diet with supplements.
When it comes to vegan dog food, it doesn’t mean you only have to avoid all animal-based products.
You should keep in mind that your dog needs appropriate amount of nutrients to be healthy.
Food such as quinoa, carrots, rice, lentils, leafy green vegetables, and broccoli are excellent ingredients in a vegan diet.
You can give your canine whole grains, raw and cooked vegetables.
However, you should avoid giving your dog fruits when giving it a meal high in protein. The enzymes and sugar present in fruits can cause digestive issues with protein.
You can also opt for commercial food which contain the right amino acids such as taurine and L-carnitine, minerals, and vitamins.
Always make sure you go through the label of the dog food, before purchasing one for your canine.
If you want to go for vegan dog food, make sure you consult with your vet, especially if your canine is suffering from a pre-existing medical condition.
Also, you need to keep an eye for allergies, as your dog may not react well to certain ingredients.
Always remember that if you plan on switching your dog’s diet to one of these options, you should do it gradually.