How to select natural dog food
* Understand What Food Your Dog Needs
You may be aware that there are different types of natural dog food. Raw meat and vegetables are considered natural, and so are cooked meat and vegetable, as well as commercially sold natural food. The key is to know which one best suits your dog's needs.
The best way to find out is to get to know your dog personally. You have to know his nutritional requirements based on his breed and special health conditions. You can do a little research on your own. Supplement your knowledge with your veterinarian's advice.
* Prepare Your Dog's Food
Many dog owners feel that they should be the ones preparing natural dog food for their pets. Again, this is only a good idea if you are fully aware of what exactly your dog needs and in what quantity. Some may serve raw meat while others feel that cooking meat and vegetables is a better idea. Heating and cooking can help destroy harmful bacteria that may have found their way into food.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many human foods are not suitable for dogs. For example, chocolates, raisins, mushrooms and onions are either dangerous or even toxic to dogs and should be on your "to avoid" list. You can make up your own list, though, with some research and observation. Compared to self-prepared food, commercially sold natural dog food is probably a safer choice.
* Read Labels
Most of us read labels when we shop for new human food. You should do the same for your dog. Natural dog food should never contain fillers like wheat and corn. There should also be no artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, animal and plant by products and artificial preservatives. Many of these synthetic ingredients can cause gastrointestinal problems, malnutrition and behavioral changes in dogs.
* Find Proteins and Nutrients for Your Dog
Dogs were built to be carnivorous so the bulk of their diet should remain protein-rich. The protein sources however should never be low-grade meat by-products. Your dog should be fed high quality lean meat and poultry.
Apart from protein, vitamins and minerals are also essential nutrients that should be found in natural dog food. You may choose to buy foods with fortified nutrients, or may feed your dog with vitamin-rich foods, such as squash, beans and peas.