Low Carb Dog Food

If your pet is part of the one-quarter of obese dogs, you should consider making some changes to the dog food they're getting. Switching to a low-carb diet could prove beneficial.

Benefits of a Low-Carb Dog Food

Dogs can maintain a good weight on almost any dog food, so long as they aren't over-indulging themselves and are getting plenty of exercise. But a quarter of all dogs in the country are over-weight, and even for those healthier ones, a low-carb diet can help avoid problems later down the line.

Obese dogs are at risk for (though not limited to):

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • metabolic disorders
  • arthritis

Low-carb diets are also excellent for dogs that have already been diagnosed with diabetes as well, to help keep the disease in check.

Dogs Are Omnivores

Dogs are omnivores. This means they can survive off of meat as well as vegetables, fruits and grain. But taking into consideration evolution and where dogs originated from (the wolf), it makes sense that over-feeding your dog grains is not a good idea. Dogs are designed for diets low in sugar and refined starches. Carbohydrates are not healthy for dogs in the high doses they get in the every day dog food. Most commercial dog food contains between 30% to 70% carbohydrates.

These days, many dog foods contain "filler" ingredients such as corn meal and starches. These, along with animal by-products and a variety of other ingredients, are the leftovers of other companies, unfit for human consumption. Their only purpose is to provide cheaper ingredients for the company, and will make your dog feel full faster without giving him the nutrients he needs.

Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Food

  • Wheat
  • Corn, cornmeal, yellow corn and whole grain corn
  • Gluten
  • Brewer's rice
  • Cereal food fines
  • Potato product
  • Feeding oat meal
  • Soy flour

All of these are 'filler' ingredients and very high in carbs. Any nutrients your dog may or may not get from these can be found much more easily in healthier alternatives.

Suggested Foods for Dogs

There are a number of good brands of low-carb foods. Many of these come in the form of raw and dehydrated, the latter being beneficial as dehydrated dog food is much higher in nutrients than standard food. Several of these brands are also known for using entirely grain-free recipes, as well as hormone-free turkey and meat.

Check your pet store for foods that are lower in carbs be examining the ingredients. Be knowledgeable about what ingredients work, and what don't. You're going for low carbohydrate, high protein, so some of the following ingredients you want to look for are beef, chicken, lamb, turkey or pork. Alternatives include beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey meal. Never give your dog food containing "animal meal" or "animal fat." This is a red flag for a very poor-quality food.

Vegetables and/or fruits in dog food are also a good thing, to get in all those nutrients lacking in meat. Many low carb dog foods will contain some of the following:

  • apples
  • bananas
  • rosemary
  • cranberries
  • celery
  • spinach
  • carrots

Most of these foods are appropriate for dogs in all stages of life, from puppy to senior. As always, make sure you make the switch from their current food to their new, low-carb food gradual so as not to upset their digestive system.

In short, keep away from foods containing grains, and lean toward those with real meat, fruits and vegetables.