The basis for good health in our dogs is diet and the key to good health is prevention. The more natural and fresh the diet, the more nutrients are available for your dog’s body to use in building a good immune system which will in turn ward off illness and disease. Organic and natural dog food is the best way to start off your puppy’s life to give him/her the healthiest chances of long and happy life through adulthood.
The remainder of this article will discuss the pros and cons of using organic versus non-organic dog food. There is a common misconception that organic dog food is more expensive than non-organic (supermarket quality) dog food. This cannot be further from the truth, read the remainder of this article before making that purchasing decision.
Commercial Pet Food The first known commercial pet food that came into existence was first known as wet food or canned pet food. Dry pet food, or what is known as kibbles, did not come into existence until the 1950’s. We have always been told that feeding human food to our pet was not healthy. Ironically, feeding the wrong type of commercially packaged dog food to your pet can be just as unhealthy. Certain grades of commercially packaged dog food may need to have additional supplements added to the food just to maintain the nutrient level best for a dog’s good health. The exception is with the use of high-quality natural and organic dog foods. Many of the better of commercial organic dog foods have added these to the dog food making them a great choice for your dog.
Ingredients Some of the things you will most often see listed on the label of your non-organic kibble or canned food are different types of grains. Dogs, however, do not fare well on grains because they are carnivores and their bodies were not made to digest grains. The reason grains are added to commercial dog foods is that they are cheap and your dog can survive on them for a while before health problems begin to manifest. Meat is often listed as the first ingredient in commercial dog food which seems healthy at first glance. Unfortunately this meat has been cooked for so long that the nutritional value is gone and the beneficial fats and enzymes are no longer present.
Here are some guidelines to help you make informed decisions for your dog when purchasing commercial dog food:
· Avoid commercial foods that have chemical preservatives such as BHT, BHA or ethoxyquin. Try to choose organic foods that have natural preservatives such as vitamin C, E and mixed tocopherols.
· Try to avoid canned foods altogether. Canned foods consist of the worst junk parts of dead animals, along with poor-quality grains packaged in such a way as to sound appealing. Most canned foods are mostly grains, by-products, and preservatives with flavoring added.
· Try to avoid grains as much as possible. Your dog will have a much healthier and longer life if you leave the grains out of his/her diet. Make sure that grain is one of the last ingredients listed on the package of the dog food you are purchasing rather than one of the first. Always avoid any dog food that has corn in it, dogs have a very hard time digesting corn and will get sick from it over a period of time.
· Choose a food that does not contain any by-products. A By-product is a fancy word for everything that really should be tossed on the slaughterhouse floor and is not fit for human or dog consumption.
· Add cooked meat to your dog’s dry food or cooked or steamed vegetables to add flavor.
Be very selective in the foods you purchase and read the labels closely. There are many organic and natural commercial dog foods that are good for your dog so do not just settle for the supermarket varieties. Look at the ingredients and make sure the healthy ingredients are listed first and the grains are listed near the end.
Need More Convincing? Because the lower-end, less expensive commercially packaged dog foods are usually so laden with grains and other undesirable ingredients, your dog will have more frequent and larger stools. The bigger the stools, the fewer nutrients are being assimilated into your dog’s body. All the junk in commercial dog food will eventually take its toll on your dog’s body, leading to a decline in health. Your pet will also have more offensive body odor and doggy-breath when fed a lower-end commercially packaged dog food.
If you are planning to use the commercially packaged food method for feeding your dog, seriously consider using a higher-quality organic or natural dry dog food. The initial higher cost for the organic dog food will pay off. In the long run, you will pay far more in veterinary costs and experience more behavioral problems with your dog by feeding him/her a lower quality food just to save a few pennies. Your dog also requires less volume of the organic and natural dog foods because of the higher concentration of nutrients. If you start out with high-quality organic and natural dog food you will save money and have a healthier and happier dog.