Personally I have been on the search for a well-balanced natural or holistic dog food, Now researchers have discovered that not all “Natural foods” are good for our pets. Why?
Well the research indicates that not all natural dog foods have the proper balances of carbohydrates, vegetables, fruit , and of course meat. While there is little doubt that fruits and vegetables can contain a multitude of antioxidants that are a great for your pets, they may not give them all the nutritional requirements they need. Brands that tout their benefits, may not be giving them all they need, they may not be as well-balanced as they should be.
The basic breakdown for a well-balanced food for dogs would be a 40% Protein, 30% Carbohydrate, and 30% Vegetable and or Fruit combination.
Make sure that food has the proper nutrients a pet needs, pet owners should only buy pet food that has at least one of the two AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements on its label, Nelson said. The association’s standards determine whether a pet food company’s product is complete and balanced for a specific life stage according to one of two criteria: the diet’s formula meets the minimum nutrient requirements established by the association or the diet has undergone association feeding trials.
Some owners have taken to making their own dog food from scratch or (homemade) I certainly think this can be done, but I in no way endorse anyone under any circumstances taking this on without first consulting your vet. Also you must keep in mind dogs react to various things negatively and they can be toxic.
I feel people need to do their research and provide their dog/s with one of the best options you can. Holistic brands of dog food, that have passed screening and feed trails are an excellent choice.
In conclusion no matter which option you do choose, as long as your dog is happy, energetic, has a healthy looking, shiny coat, and has the seal of approval from your vet than you are doing right by your dog! I have added a list of the major no no’s below, some are obviously not found or made into dog food but are interesting for the toxicity and effects.
|Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine||Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea and be toxic to the heart and nervous systems.|
|Citrus oil extracts||Can cause vomiting.|
|Fat trimmings||Can cause pancreatitis.|
|Fish (raw, canned or cooked)||If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.|
|Grapes, raisins and currants||Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.|
|Hops||Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.|
|Human vitamin supplements containing iron||Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.|
|Macadamia nuts||Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.|
|Marijuana||Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.|
|Milk and other dairy products||Some adult dogs and cats may develop diarrhea if given large amounts of dairy products.|
|Moldy or spoiled food, garbage||Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.|
|Mushrooms||Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.|
|Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder)||Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.|
|Persimmons||Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.|
|Pits from peaches and plums||Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.|
|Raw eggs||Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.|
|Raw meat||May contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.|
|Rhubarb leaves||Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.|
|Salt||If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.|
|String||Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a “string foreign body.”|
|Sugary foods||Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.|
|Table scraps (in large amounts)||Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.|
|Tobacco||Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.|