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Healthy Food - Happy Dog

Jul 26, 2008
There's no shortage of information and advice on feeding your dog a healthy diet. Just look at the ads and the descriptions on pet food cans and packages or listen to your vet, friends, family, or other dog owners. Why not go back to the basics and cook up a healthy and tasty meal for your best friend?

First, if you purchase commercial dog food, you should keep some basic guidelines in mind. A ratio of 40% meat, 50% vegetables and 10% grain is ideal. Check the packaging label closely to ensure a similar ratio when purchasing commercial food. While you're checking the label make sure that a meat protein is listed first on the label - usually chicken, beef or lamb. Keep in mind that buying cheap commercial dog food often results in cheap ingredients. Pay a little more for higher quality and your dog will thank you!

Many pet owners, concerned over the types of preservatives used in some dog food are resolving the issue by cooking their own pet food. Preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and oxyquin are believed to be toxic an large amounts. The problem is, how much is large and is the effect these preservatives may have on your best friend cumulative over time?

There are many sources for dog food recipes. Your vet may have some and the Internet certainly is a good source. Of course there are good recipes and some not so good. Follow the 50-40-10 ratios found on the packaged foods and you should be all right. Make sure the meat is fully cooked and free of bones. Brown rice and oatmeal are excellent choices for the grain component.

Given the proper ratios you can begin to experiment with your dog as the taste tester. Of course you don't want to give your pet things that taste good but are bad for it. Most people know that chocolate is not good for dogs. Fewer realize that grapes and raisins, as well as garlic, onions, mushrooms, and avocados can be very harmful. Don't salt the food for flavor as that isn't good either. Your goal is to provide a meal that your dog enjoys but also is safe.

Many people consider a vegetarian diet to be the most healthy. That may or may not be true for humans but dogs are carnivores and in their wild state would subsist mainly on a diet of meat. Your dog is apt to grow tired of it's meals if meat is a low percentage ingredient or absent altogether.

If you don't feel up to standing over a hot stove to cook for Fido you might check out your local health food store. Many have organic dog foods in stock. The Internet is also a good source of organic or holistic pet foods.

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to providing a healthy diet for your best friend, from checking the label of commercial food to developing your own delicious recipes to going organic. Your dog's health starts with his diet so it's worth the extra effort to make sure he's in top form and will be able to give you many years of love and companionship.
About the Author
To find out more about dog food facts please visit ThePoochPlace.com and learn the secrets about dog food recipes.
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