Most of us love our furry friends (cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, etc.) as far as we treat them as members of our own family. These innocent and unconditionally loving animals contribute a lot to our lives. In fact, research shows that a pet has many health benefits. They are there for us when we are stressed or sad and always happy to see us (no matter how damned and torn) and full of love and devotion. Therefore, it makes sense that we wanted to give them the best possible animal feed.
According to the Pet Nutrition Alliance, “dogs and cats need more than 30 essential nutrients, including protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.” There are a few options for healthy animal feed. Here you will find treats, garbage, toys and of course a variety of foods. However, it will be difficult to find products that give your pets the food they need.
The choice of pet food in most grocery stores ranges from the private label to very inexpensive options to more expensive and recognizable names. Is one of these solutions really a good option to promote your pet’s health? Learn about the nutritional needs of pets and the best ingredients for animal feed.
Pet Nutrition: What do your animals need?
As far as the health of your pets is concerned, they also need certain nutrients to enable a long and dynamic life as people do. One of the best ways to love your pet is to give it real food instead of fake food and supplement its meals with the extra nutrients it needs.
Most packaged pet foods are full of fillers, additives, preservatives, and unpleasant ingredients that you simply do not want to apply to the body of your beloved pet. Most of these foods are similar to the ultra-processed foods that we found in the supermarket and are intended for humans. They are filled with ingredients that make us sick, not those that promote good health.
Which nutrients do animals need daily, especially dogs? As you’ll learn, pets/dogs are healthier when they consume foods that contain high-quality protein, healthy fats, omega-3s, and probiotics. Vegetables and other plant-based foods are not considered by all veterinarians as “essential” components of animal nutrition, but they offer benefits such as fiber.
For the most part, our pets’ ancestors ate high-protein meat, fish, and other foods caught in the wild. In fact, the animal feed was mass-produced only after World War II, and feed such as corn and wheat were incorporated into dog food. Today, some veterinarians say that a dog’s average diet should include 50% vegetables, 40% meat, and 10% portions of cereal.
In general, pets need a mixture of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Although it is recommended that pets do not receive corn, maize meal, soybeans, and wheat, most easily digestible cereals such as rolled oats, quinoa, brown rice, and millet. Your pets must stay hydrated just like you.
8 common animal feed ingredients and what they really are?
Animal feed is regulated at the federal and state level, including the FDA in the United States. When you read the labels of animal feed ingredients, you will find them in order of weight. This means that the highest volume ingredients (eg water) are listed first before being added in small amounts (eg fresh and dried ingredients). According to the website of dr. Jan Becker, Veterinarian, PetNutritionInfo.com, these ingredients are among the most common pet foods available on the market: (4)
- Lamb and lamb
- Flour and by-products of birds
- Meat and bones
- Animal fat
- Poultry sebum
- BHA, BHT
1. Lamb and lamb flour
We all know what lamb is, but did you know that lamb flour is a dehydrated lamb that contains up to seven times more lamb than you think? Meat meal may generally consist of various tissues, excluding blood, hair, hoof, horn, skin, manure, stomach and rumen. The animal tissues are cooked and then dried, creating a denser source of protein.
2. By-products of flour and poultry
Poultry by-products include woodpeckers, head, neck, bones, feet, guts, and feathers. These are often discarded pieces of chicken or turkey that are not fit for human consumption. When you buy animal feed that contains one of these ingredients, poultry feed is the best option.
Soy is a common ingredient in many animals feeds because it adds protein and texture. Since soy is a cheaper source of protein than meat or eggs, it is usually added to cut costs. Most dogs can tolerate soy, but some animals may find it difficult to digest them and can cause digestive or gas problems.
4. Meat and bones
This is really a great way to talk about bones, as this ingredient contains very little meat. That’s not all: The bone that will feed your pet usually comes from an unknown source. This source is subject to change without notice to the consumer.
5. animal fat
This is usually the cheapest fat and therefore the lowest quality on the market. Animal fat in animal feed usually comes from an unknown source and is inconsistent from one brand to another.
This is another name for poultry fat. It is more expensive than unpublished “animal fat” and is usually the best option for your pet.
7. BHA, BHT
These are chemical preservatives that are abundant in animal feed. These ingredients can accumulate in the animal’s system because, unlike people who eat a varied diet, pets usually eat the same food daily.
Corn and wheat are the most common bulking agents in animal feed. Carnivores are not expected to eat these seeds, especially in large quantities. They allow pet food manufacturers to produce cheaper animal feed. However, they can be difficult to digest and animals do not fill easily, so they need to consume more.
Healthy Pet Food vs. Unhealthy Pet Food
Tuft University’s Veterinary Medicine Center offers the following tips for choosing healthy pet foods:
- Keep in mind that the expenses are not necessarily of equal quality. It is more important that an animal feed contains essential nutrients and that its quality is tested.
- Larger companies generally apply stricter quality control protocols, so their food products tend to be more consistent.
- Products that contain a statement from the United States Association of Food Control Officers (AAFCO) that they have been tested at the appropriate stage of life are generally preferable.
- Check the manufacturer’s website. Look for evidence of ongoing testing and product enhancements based on the latest research.
- A long list of ingredients is not necessarily better. This often happens for marketing reasons, but does not reflect the quality.
- The term “human quality” has no legal significance in the animal feed industry.
- The quality of by-products (eg lampshades) used in pet food may vary. Therefore, it is important to choose manufacturers that apply strict internal quality control standards.
- There is currently no evidence that raw food offers added value to more cooked diets. Raw food should be handled with care as it may be associated with tooth fractures, bacterial and parasitic infections and other health problems.
- Cats are carnivores and get better results with a high protein and carbohydrate diet. They can not digest plants well, so wet food is usually better than dry food.
- Do not be fooled by marketing gadgets. Check the ingredient labels for highly refined starches such as potatoes or tapioca (manioc), which are often used instead of cereals. These ingredients often provide low nutrients and are used as fillers in “grain-free” products.
- Believe it or not, recent research shows that many domestic dogs (lots) carry harmful chemicals. The processing of pet food processed and chemical-laden pet food is just one of the sources of chemicals in dogs and pets. Others include chewing plastic toys, scrubbing carpets treated with chemical cleaning agents, and spending time in pesticide-sprayed yards.
Unhealthy pet food is probably one of the biggest sources of chemicals in your pet’s life. Here are some ways to tell the difference between unhealthy pet food and healthy pet food:
Check that the pet food is packaged in equipment made with non-stick chemicals. Switch to a brand that does not use it if your brand uses it.
Flame retardant PBDEs are more commonly found in contaminated farmed seafood. It may be useful to choose a different type of dog food.
Do not give your dog anything off the ground. Sweets on the ground tend to absorb pesticides and heavy metals that are carried by people’s shoes.
Best Six Healthy Ingredients for Pets
Now that you know a little more about not feeding your pet, let’s take a look at what you should give it.
In terms of your pet’s diet and health, it is important to know that the diet of animals has evolved just as much as human nutrition. Although our body is built and needed for food, a typical diet lacks many vital vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it is important that you not only strive to provide your pet with the right foods, but also to supplement your pet’s food as needed.
Here are the healthy ingredients your pet can benefit from:
1. Omega-3 and DHA
In the days when dogs went crazy, they could get omega-3s and DHA in the natural foods they ate. Wild canines eat reptiles, intestines, bone marrow and fish, giving them the necessary supply of these healthy fatty acids.
Of course, if pets consume processed dog food today, that will not happen. For this reason, you should look for the best ways to get a regular dose of Omega-3 fatty acids for your pet, especially your dog. DHA in Omega-3 is very important for dogs:
- Retina support
- You can supplement your pet’s food with one or two tablespoons of cod liver oil or fish oil or serve your dog wild salmon several times a week.
Probiotic products are the best way to increase good bacteria in the body, especially in the intestines, while reducing bad bacteria. This is especially important if your pet has taken medications, especially antibiotics that eliminate beneficial microbes. Like humans, dogs and pets need good bacteria to get rid of bad, otherwise, the body suffers.
Probiotics are essential for several reasons:
- It helps to produce vitamin B, especially biotin and folic acid.
- It helps to balance the level of cholesterol in the blood.
- Improve the antioxidant activity.
- Increase energy.
- Eliminate toxins
- Reduce inflammation
- Increase digestion
- Probiotic supplements can help overcome the following problems in pets:
- digestive problems
- skin problems
- Food intolerance
- Chronic health problems
- Consider adding living bacteria to your pet to give him the probiotics needed. There are also freeze-dried supplements and liquid supplements, but the living types are usually the best.
3. Quality protein (collagen)
Proteins are essential for pets as they promote growth, maintain muscle mass, quench the appetite, and more. Collagen is a type of protein that makes up the tissues of pets and humans. In humans and dogs, you will find collagen in muscles, bones, tendons, skin, blood vessels and digestive system. Collagen for dogs can be a great way to maintain overall health as it promotes connective tissue healing, digestion, healthy skin, and bones.
This source of protein, derived from sources such as chicken collagen, fish collagen and bovine collagen, contains all the essential amino acids in addition to the compounds that promote healthy joints, such as glucosamine. When choosing a collagen supplement for your pet, look for high quality collagen that is hydrolyzed for digestion. You can try collagen powder, collagen capsules, or liquid collagen for dogs, depending on how you want to use them.
4. Healthy fats
Fats in your pet’s diet, as naturally present in meat and some parts of animals such as the skin, are important in maintaining a healthy coat and regulating its weight. As in humans, healthy fats also contribute to the health and reproduction of the brain.
5. Bone broth
There are many reasons for administering bone broth to dogs and pets as it provides dozens of different nutrients, including amino acids such as glycine, collagen, gelatin and trace minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Many of these nutrients are not easily derived from other foods, especially from highly processed dog foods. You can use a bone stock to fill in the gaps in your pet’s diet and help him cope with common health problems such as joint pain, dehydration, diarrhea, upset stomach, and allergies.
Homemade broth may take a long time (takes at least one to two days). Bone broth is therefore a good alternative. Use about a cup of bone broth as a vinaigrette for pet food, pour a small liquid broth onto your dog’s meals, pour a little into the bowl of water, or freeze the bone broth an ice bucket to treat your pet as an icy-cold treatment.
6. Vegetable foods for vitamins and minerals
Most pets, including dogs, are omnivores like humans. This means they can eat a variety of foods including vegetables. Vitamins and minerals in vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, etc. strengthen your pet’s immune system, prevent fatigue, and fight inflammation. The plant foods that provide these nutrients are also fiber that is important for the digestion and “regularity” of your pet.
Where can I find the best animal feed?
How do you know which one of the best dog food brands you have? Some of the best dog food brands are available from your veterinarian, online or at pet shops. Because each animal is unique and its age and age affect the type of feed the animals should eat, there is no ideal brand for animal feed.
It is more important to read and research the ingredient label. You can also ask your veterinarian for specific recommendations if your pet has special needs, such as allergen-free foods. You can also choose to consult a certified veterinarian to make sure your pet’s needs are met. When buying dog food or pet food, it is best to look for the animal feed label according to the AAFCO Nutrition Adequacy Declaration to see if this food is complete and balanced for the stadium. the life of the animal.
How You Can Make a Healthy Meal for Pets?
Before you prepare healthy meals for your pets, follow these steps:
Talk to your veterinarian: Do not change your dog’s diet without consulting your veterinarian. Choose a vet who has the same attitude to your dog’s health as you and who is prepared to treat health problems by managing his diet rather than just prescribing medications.
Use real ingredients: Use real, recognizable (no-load) ingredients like meat, bone stock, fish, whole grains and vegetables. Switch to high-quality grain and in most cases omit corn, wheat or soy. Grain-free dog food is good for some pets, but it is not necessarily the entire cure program for all dogs. Keep in mind, however, that cats are carnivores and get better results with a high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet. To healthier cat food, therefore, include high-quality meat, small grains or feed.
Avoid Problem Foods: Many pets do not tolerate onions, garlic, chives or spring onions very well.
Make the changes slowly and control your pet: it’s better for your pet to change your diet gradually. Add dog food with no cereals or protein-rich meals to your dog’s current dish, mix it gradually, and gradually increase it for several weeks. Monitor the progress of your pet throughout the process.
Watch for signs that your pet has an allergy or intolerance to something in his food. An estimated 10% of allergies in dogs due to their diet. The most common allergens in pets include beef, dairy, wheat, eggs, chicken, lamb, soybeans, pork, rabbits and fish. In fact, we believe the beef is the # 1 food allergy in dogs, while dairy is the second. Your pets may show any of the symptoms below if they do not respond well to their food:
- Shake your head often
- Constantly licking or scratching.
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic diarrhea, chronic gas.
- That bites back
- Loss of appetite and weight changes.
Final Thoughts on Diet and Healthy Pet Food
Like us humans, animals also need certain nutritional nutrients to live long and dynamic. The most important nutrients for animals include proteins, healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and plant foods.
The lamb and lamb meal and poultry by-products, soy, meat and bone, animal fat, beef tallow, BHA / BHT and fillers such as corn, wheat, and maize flour are among the most common ingredients in pet food on the market.
The benefits of complete meals for your pet with bone broth and/or collagen improves the health of the bones, joints, skin, hair, nails and digestive system.
Talk to your veterinarian if your pet/dog has specific health needs and tries to solve them by changing their diet. gradually change your pet’s diet and monitor its progress.