Good Dog Food Ingredients

When choosing a food for your pet, you want to look for good dog food ingredients, which will improve his health and reduce veterinary visits. The quality of dog food varies significantly, and one food will not work for all dogs. However, by looking for the right ingredients, you increase the odds of selecting a food on which your dog will flourish.

Benefits of Quality Ingredients

Not all dog foods are created equally, so it's important to seek high-quality food sources for your pet. Feeding your dog a healthy diet will have the same effects on him as it does on you when you improve the quality of your diet. Your dog will have more energy, better teeth and coat, fewer allergic reactions and fewer health problems, such as skin and ear infections.

It's important to note, though, that not all dogs flourish on the same type of food. Thus, if you have two dogs, one might improve on one type of food while another has diarrhea and poor health quality. Be flexible when choosing your food. Just because the ingredients are good doesn't mean it's the right food for your dog.

Types of Protein

Protein is the most important dog food ingredient because it's the ingredient that provides dogs with most of their nutrients. Which protein to choose largely depends, however, on your individual dog. Some dogs are allergic to certain proteins and will do better with another. It's also important to rotate protein sources occasionally to prevent your dog from developing allergies by overexposure.

Look for proteins such as beef, chicken, turkey and fish. These should be listed by name in the food that you choose. Stay away from foods that list "meat," because this is a combination of unwanted meats. Also avoid meat byproducts, which are taken from parts of the animal that have very little nutritional value for your pet.

Some foods combine protein sources and offer, for example, chicken and turkey in the same food. As long as your dog is not allergic, this is fine.

Fruits and Vegetables

Dogs are omnivores, but fruits and vegetables play a much smaller role in your pet's diet. When selecting a food, some types of vegetables are important, but fruit may be omitted without much concern.

Good vegetables for your dog include green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, squash, carrots and peas. Avoid corn because your dog cannot process this. It's simply used as cheap filler, which means the food isn't that high quality. Fruits such as apples, cranberries and bananas may also be included.

Quality Grain Sources

There is a lot of debate about grain in the dog food world because it is the cause of many allergies, and many experts contend that it isn't necessary for a healthy diet. Wheat should definitely be omitted from a healthy diet, but barley, brown rice and oats are often included in low protein food and can be a good substitute for an additional protein source.

Because the dog food industry isn't regulated as strictly as human food, it's important to seek out high quality ingredients. Many foods can claim to be "organic" or "healthy" when they are not. Thus, it's crucial to read the back of the labels for quality ingredients and do research before purchasing a new food brand.