You’ve heard about balancing your plate to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, but have you ever thought about balancing your dog’s bowl to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs?
Sure, you buy a dog food that claims to be the best of the best, but is it providing your dog with the balanced diet she deserves?
To give your dog a balanced bowl, she needs a healthy variety of grains (don’t be hasty, there’s something you may not know about dogs and grains), fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals.
Despite what you may have heard, grains are an important factor in a dog’s diet – especially when it comes to regulating the digestive system. In many dog foods, carbohydrates make up 30%-70% of the ingredients, which is okay because studies show that dogs may actually be omnivores, meaning they can process carbs as a source of energy. Further studies need to be conducted to solidify this claim, but veterinarians are closing in on the fact that domesticated dogs are not complete carnivores like their wild ancestors.
The next step to balancing your dog’s bowl is to make sure she is consuming enough fatty acids. Fats allow dogs to absorb vitamins, and they provide energy, healthy skin, and shiny coats. Dogs need a diet consisting of 10%-15% of fat to remain healthy.
The third step in balancing your dog’s bowl is one I know you’ve all been waiting for: protein. Protein is one of the most important nutrients for dogs because it supplies the other half of essential amino acids – the building blocks of muscle and tissue – every dog needs. Dogs can make only half of their essential amino acids, so it’s imperative that their food provides the other half. To learn how to calculate the actual percentage of protein in your dog’s food, click here.
The last step in balancing your dog’s bowl is ensuring your dog is getting vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. You can also give your dog fruits and veggies as daily treats, but never give your dog grapes as they are toxic to dogs.
Grains, fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals are all needed to balance your dog’s bowl. It’s important to remember that every dog is different – age, breed, and size all contribute to the amounts of each nutrient your dog needs, so be sure to consult with your veterinarian to find out what your dog’s exact needs are.
Is your dog’s bowl balanced? What steps do you take to ensuring your dog’s bowl is balanced? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date on pet product recalls, pet safety concerns, and pet company lawsuits!