Homemade Dog Food Nutrition Made Easy

Large Breed Dog Food

When it comes to dog food nutrition, "better safe than sorry" is the best motto. Buying high quality, premium brand, natural dog food may be expensive in the short term, but in the long term, you will save money on vet bills that can result from numerous medical conditions caused by a poor diet and dangerous chemicals. Keep in mind that cheap, poor quality conventional dog foods are chock full of harmful ingredients, dangerous chemical preservatives, and by-products that have no nutritional value. Understanding dog food nutrition is the key to avoiding ingredients that can be found in these conventional foods, foods that can cause everything from constipation to cancer in dogs.

What Kind of Dog Food Should I Feed My Dog?

High quality natural dog food is popular for health-conscious dog owners for several reasons. It provides the vast majority of the vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids dogs need and natural dog food does not contain fillers, by-products or synthetic additives such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol, and ethoxyquin.

What Makes High Quality, Natural Dog Food So Special?

High quality, natural dog food is made up 40% meat (protein), 50% veggies, and 10% carbohydrate. This gives it a healthy and vet recommended 40/50/10 ratio. High quality nutritious natural dog foods also contain a healthy balance of essential vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and proteins. Nutrition content should be as follows:

  • Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid and Choline
  • 12 essential minerals for dogs: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Chlorine, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Selenium, and Iodine
  • 10 essential amino acids: Arginine, Histidine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenyalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine, Isoleucine and Leucine

Are Natural Preservatives OK?

Yes. Many natural dry dog food companies use "natural" preservatives such as Vitamin C (ascorbate), Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), and oils of rosemary, clove, or other spices, to preserve the fats in their products. This reduces the shelf life of the product to six months, but in the long run, natural preservatives are safer and healthier for your dog.

What Should I Look for in a Dog Food Nutrition Label?

As a general rule of thumb, if a dog food label lists ingredients that you cannot pronounce, by-products and/or any of the harmful chemical preservatives listed above, it's best not to buy it. If the label is vague or it includes disclaimers, it's best not to buy it. If the packaging consists of beautiful pictures of meats, fruits, and vegetables, but they are not listed as ingredients, it's best not to buy it. And finally, when in doubt, just don't buy it. Better safe than sorry!