Just like us, our pets thrive on proper nutrition. With the right diet this means less visits to the vet, strong bones, a healthy heart and anatomy–which in the end leads to a longer life and better quality of life.
I’m sure one of the healthiest meal options you can feed Fluffy is a home cooked (or raw) organic diet (and that doesn’t mean table scraps!). While we’d all love to be able to do that, realistically do we even do that for ourselves on a daily basis?
Some argue that the healthiest food for your pets is a raw food diet, taking them back to their original diets before they were domesticated (and what animals eat in the wild still), which eliminates many health issues and allergies. For some information on this diet, check out these links:
When considering doggy foods, choose ones that are made with human grade ingredients and are full of nutrients. “AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) suggests a pet food definition for “natural” as “of or pertaining to a product wholly comprising ingredients completely devoid of artificial or manmade substances including, but not limited to, synthetic flavors, colors, preservatives, vitamins, minerals, or other additives, whether added directly to the product or incidentally as a component of another ingredient.”
Flint River Ranch offers a high quality dog food that is free of corn and packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. The meats used are free of antibiotics and hormones. Aside from the fact that this is such a healthy option for your four legged family members, I love that the company makes all their products in the US.
Another natural and nutritious dog food is made by Precise Pet Products. This dog food is free of corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and grain sorghum, making it another safe and healthy option.
While many dog foods claim to be all natural or holistic, some of their ingredients may be healthy while the others don’t hold such a high standard. They are still healthier than many others on the market and can be a good option for more readily available and budget friendly foods.
Some of these are Natural Balance (Organic Formulas in particular), Newman’s Own Organics, Holistic Select, Wellness Pet Food, and BLUE which still contain vitamins, fat, protein, and fiber, but are not as nutritionally packed with the highest quality ingredients as the choices above.
What you don’t want in your dog’s food:
- Meat by-products or poultry by-products
- Meat meal or bone meal
- Animal fat
- Preservatives such as Ethoxyquin, BHT, BHA, EEA
- Colors, dyes, or flavors added
- Bil Jac
- Good Life Recipe
- Kibbles ‘n Bits
- Ol’ Roy
- Science Diet
Foods to avoid (the human stuff):
- Alcohol (duh!)
- Avocado (I hear various comments on this one–some say the whole avocado is bad, and others say just the seed. We have an avocado tree in the backyard so my dogs have always loved them, but interestingly enough never eat the seeds–which leads me to believe that the seeds are what is not good for them!)
- Fish bones
- Chocolate (probably the most well known one)
- Fat trimmings
- Macadamia nuts
- Human vitamins
- Marijuana (ummm, I really hope people aren’t that stupid)
- Raw eggs
- Sugary foods & artificial sweeteners