Many of us think long and hard about what food we put into our bodies but few people can say they do the same for their pet dogs. In the UK there are currently very few laws regarding the ingredients put into dog food so it can be difficult to know how many additives and unwholesome ingredients are in their food. Some pet foods have been shown to contain high levels of chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, food colouring agents and sugar and salt.
In addition, with increasingly more dogs facing some form of food intolerance or allergy it is important that we know what our dogs are eating. There are a couple of ways to guarantee that you know EXACTLY what you are putting into your dog’s body.
Cook Your Own
The first way to ensure that your dog gets pure, unadulterated food is to cook it yourself. This is both healthy and economical. As dogs are omnivorous, they require a mixture of protein, vegetables and carbohydrates. Either consult your vet for advice or as a general rule of thumb, aim for 30% protein, 40% vegetables and 30% carbohydrate.
Your recipes should avoid uncooked bones, chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts, garlic, avocados, mushrooms, grapes, raisins, and any spicy or greasy foods which can all cause health issues. Suggested proteins can include fish, chicken, lamb or beef. Avoid pork as this is known to be associated with food intolerance in dogs. Carbohydrates can include potatoes, rice, oats or barley and finely chop any vegetables that you use. Cook the ingredients together in a little oil, you can then either serve like this or add a little stock or water and mash. If you want to be adventurous, there are a number of dog food recipe pages to be found on the internet.
If you do not have the time or energy to cook your dog food yourself, their a few brands that you can buy from your local pet supplies store that have done the hard work for you. Burns dog food was developed by a vet who saw dogs coming to his surgery with food related illnesses caused by poor diets. He recommended that owners make their own food but when he saw that many people were daunted by this, he developed a range of pet foods that are made from high quality, often organic, ingredients with no additives.
Naturediet dog food is another dog food which is made from totally natural ingredients based on strict holistic principles with the main aim being to keep your dog as healthy as possible. They only produce wet dog food which is hypoallergenic and free from artificial ingredients, preservatives and other chemicals making it perfect for fussy eaters or dogs with allergies.
Both of these ranges are also produced in the UK so you can rest easy knowing that your dog food has a low carbon footprint too!
Whatever you decide to feed your dog, these tips will ensure your dog leads a long and healthy life.