mealtime must haves
It’s no coincidence that some pet food labels are hard to understand or misleading, but with our Dog Food Nasties list, you’ll soon be a pro at recognising what to avoid when looking for a nutritionally balanced natural diet for your four-legged friend.
Quality protein is the most important part of your dog’s diet. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are used for energy, the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies and building muscle and other structural tissue. Specified meat sources, fish and eggs are considered the best foods for providing nutritionally rich and high quality protein.
- High meat content
High meat content is also very important. Wet dog food should contain a minimum of 75% specifically named protein sources like chicken, duck etc. and this should be at least 30% for dry food. Avoid ‘meat and animal derivatives’. Always search for named species (chicken, lamb, duck, turkey) and don’t forget to use your nose… if the food smells too bad to eat yourself, don’t give it to your dog!
Your dog can convert protein and fat into energy and therefore does not have a specific requirement for carbohydrates. However, carbohydrates spare valuable proteins from being used for energy, so it can be used for tissue repair and growth. As a result, your dog’s body functions much better with some carbohydrates in it’s diet. Carbohydrates also provide dietary fibre, which promotes gastrointestinal health and helps your dog feel full. The healthiest sources are unprocessed or minimally processed, such as brown rice, sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
- Vitamins & minerals
Dogs need vitamins and minerals to grow, develop, and stay healthy, but balance is key. Key ones include: Glucosamine & Chondroitin helps to prevent the breakdown of joint cartilage, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, Zinc is an essential mineral used by all the body’s cells, and Taurine can regulate the heartbeat.
For thousands of years humans have added botanicals and herbs to their foods for both flavour and to treat ailments. Many of them have similar benefits for our furry friends. Linseed Oil is beneficial to a pet’s skin, coat and aids bone development; Prebiotics encourage the growth of ‘friendly bacteria’; Parsley helps prevent bad breath; and Nettle is known to help allergies and skin irritations.