There’s no rule book for your dog’s dietary and nutritional needs. Like humans, dogs can be picky eaters and have different requirements depending on their breed, age, size, and activity levels.
Feeding your dog a healthy, balanced diet rich in macronutrients like fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
This article will outline some helpful tips to ensure you choose the right dog food to address your pet’s nutritional needs.
Kibble can deliver your dog nutrient-dense nutrition and provide oral benefits such as reduced plaque and healthier gums.
When serving dry foods to your dog, such as store-bought kibble, make sure to buy one made with natural meat proteins such as chicken, beef, lamb, or fish. It should also contain carbohydrates such as whole wheat, oatmeal, barley, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Essential fatty acids such as omega-3 are crucial to look out for as your dog’s body cannot produce these fats. Omega-3s can improve your pet’s bodily functions and help to reduce inflammation preventing the risk of diseases like arthritis and cancer.
You can supplement your dog’s diet by adding omega-3 rich foods into their kibble. The two primary sources of Omega-3s are plant and marine foods and include:
- Flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds
- Coconut, coconut oil
- Beans, leafy greens
- Mackerel, salmon, sardines, and oysters
Avoid high GI foods
Foods with a high Glycemic Index (GI), such as starchy carbs, can cause spikes in your dog’s blood glucose levels, leading to pancreatic problems and a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Eliminating grains from your dog’s diet is not necessarily the solution. Many grain-free dog foods contain higher levels of simple carbohydrates and a higher GI because they use cheap filler ingredients. Substitute high GI foods in your dog’s diet, such as potatoes, rice, and processed oats, for low GI alternatives like fruit, vegetables, beans, and lentils.
Superfoods: Certain foods are packed with nutritional value from vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants. These superfoods can deliver your dog the maximum amount of nutrients with the least amount of calories and include the following foods:
Kale: Loaded with vitamins A, E, and C as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron, this leafy green vegetable is high in antioxidants and can help your dog’s liver to detoxify, strengthen bones and support the heart. It can also support your dog’s sight, colon health and help fight infections.
Carrots: Carrots are rich in vitamin A, carotenoids, potassium, and fiber and can support your dog’s vision, immune system and improve their skin and coat health. Carrots can be served to your dog raw or cooked, and chewing on them can also help improve your pet’s dental health.
Nori: This dried seaweed is rich in antioxidants, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins, iodine, and zinc. It can help support your dog’s metabolism, immune function and help with digestive problems such as stomach ulcers and gastritis. Nori also has anti-tumor benefits.
Follow the tips in this article to meet your dog’s nutritional needs and maintain your dog’s health throughout its life.