Checklist: what products are needed to cook the best balanced food for dogs on your own, create a menu for the day. Food ration options for a dog. Calculation of the amount of food, components, additives for dogs of different breeds, age and needs.
Check yourself how you make balanced dog food
At the very beginning of this article, we emphasize that we do not belong to strict adherents (fans, followers) of a raw food diet or ready-made dog food. Our goal is to determine the middle ground, the search for truth in order to provide our dogs with the most balanced diets. Let’s study the materials of scientific research, the opinions of veterinarians, statistics, which will help us independently conclude what kind of homemade food for dogs will comprehensively meet their needs.
What should contain the best balanced food for dogs
It would seem that feeding a dog is not difficult. Any food on the host’s plate that exudes a mouth-watering aroma will appeal to a four-legged friend. Of course, he cannot relish food and he will not feel much taste. But his sense of smell will tell him that a fried piece of meat smells more appetizing than raw. The question is will such food be healthy and balanced for the needs of the dog?
The resistance of the liver and kidneys to harmful effects in dogs is significantly lower than in humans. Therefore, all hot seasonings, sauces, pickles, smoked meats, confectionery and flour products for dogs are harmful and can lead to metabolic disorders, obesity, shortness of breath, various diseases of internal organs. Even if the dog occupies the same place in your life as the closest family members, it does not become a person because of this and you cannot feed it with everything that you eat.
What is the best balanced dog food from its nature
For 10 – 15 thousand years of man taming a dog in comparison with a wolf – his distant ancestor – only the psyche and hormonal system have changed. The digestive system remained the same as the system of the predator, the meat-eater. The dog does not chew, but tears and swallows large pieces of food. Its developed predatory jaws require active work; they are not intended for semolina porridge and sweets. A dog has different abilities than a person to digest food, so it needs a specially selected balanced dog food. There should be no soups, liquid cereals in huge portions, even if you have a very large dog.
In nature, carnivorous predators eat their prey whole – with a skin, plenty of blood, with the contents of the stomach and intestines, with small and large bones. Feeding dogs only with lean meat is not recommended by vets. Scientists have proposed: replace the missing blood with water and herring, bones with raw bone, the skin and booty with the skin of a sheep or rabbit, and replace the contents of the stomach and intestines with boiled rice.
Dog Digestion Features
A dog is distinguished from its wild wolf relative by less than 2% of the genes. In nature, wild dogs, wolves, cats and lions eat mainly meat. The exceptions are some medicinal plants or herbs that clean the digestive tract from the contents of the stomachs of their prey – hence predators take carbohydrates.
What is the difference between carnivores and herbivores and omnivores?
|Carnivores (dogs)||Herbivores (cows, sheep)||Omnivores|
|A simple and short digestive tract that breaks down proteins and fats, sharp teeth for tearing meat, jaws open wide to swallow whole pieces of food, but are not able to make lateral movements for chewing.||The long digestive tract, able to digest cellulose, molars are flat, complete nutritional dependence on plant foods.||The digestive tract is of medium length, capable of digesting both proteins and fats, have fangs for tearing meat and flat chewing teeth for chewing and plucking herbs.|
• Dogs have no digestive enzymes in their saliva. In comparison, a person has amylase to break down carbohydrates.
• The gastrointestinal tract is 2/3 shorter than in omnivores, it is adapted for rapid digestion of meat.
• The pH of the gastric juice of canine is 1, and in humans – 4-5. This means that it is more concentrated and contains more acid.
It can be concluded that for a balanced diet of dogs it is enough to eat food based on meat products. A balanced dog food should include fats, but have a low level of carbohydrates.
It would be a mistake to think that representatives of the canine family are exclusively carnivores. A fox, for example, consumes larvae, rodents, snakes, mollusks, mushrooms, acorns and various kinds of fruits, the jackal diet includes meat and vegetables, fruits and sugarcane glucose. Desert foxes eat termites, wild Chilean dogs – mollusks. Domestic dogs also need something else but meat.
A balanced dog food should include the following elements:
- proteins to form muscle tissue;
- carbohydrates, which are a source of energy;
- fats that promote healthy skin and coat;
- vitamins and minerals for proper metabolism;
- fiber to ensure good functioning of the digestive apparatus;
- water for all processes in the body.
How many calories should a balanced dog food provide?
The dog every day at different periods of life needs the following calorie content:
- puppy: 140 kcal for every kilogram of body weight;
- adult dog: 75 kcal per kilogram of body weight;
- elderly dog: 35 kcal per kilogram of body weight.
1 kg = 2.2 pounds
Such an amount is assumed for an animal that leads a moderately active lifestyle. Age, physical activity, environment, possible pregnancy, breastfeeding and disease – these factors in their own way affect the life of the animal. Each pet needs an individually tailored balanced feeding diet. It is very important not to overfeed it, it is necessary to reduce the amount of food at the first sign of obesity.
You can move slightly away from the rules in the direction of personal tastes of the pooh, without, however, being too indulgent.
Do I need carbohydrates in my pet’s diet?
Dr. David Kronfeld argues that carbohydrates are important for pets in only two situations:
- For puppies at the end of milk feeding (mother’s milk contains 12% carbohydrates) and
- For a nursing female who needs three times more blood glucose to produce milk, than during normal life.
He also says that “puppies after switching to adult dog food and adults do not need carbohydrates, even those that perform heavy physical exertion.”
“Canine liver can easily synthesize enough glucose (from amino acids derived from proteins, and glycerol derived from fats) for transport through the blood and use by other tissues.” He also claims that a high carbohydrate content in dog foods leads to coprophagy (eating stool) and a decrease in blood sugar.
The BARF system complies with this concept of balanced dog nutrition.
The history of the BARF nutrition system began in 1993, when the book by Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst entitled “Give the Dog a Bone” was published. In his book, the author describes the advantage of feeding dogs with raw foods close to the natural diet of wild ancestors (wolves) over industrial feeds.
The original abbreviation BARF was interpreted as “bone and raw food.” Subsequently, it turned into a “biologically appropriate raw food”.
Biological balanced food should be consistent with the anatomy of dogs (cats or other predators), and be prepared taking into account the modern lifestyle and reduced calorie needs.
- 1. High Protein from Fresh Meat
- 2. Does not contain cereals
- 3. Be low in carbohydrates
- 4. Rich in fruits and vegetables
- 5. Contains beneficial herbs
The best balanced dog food ingredients list recommended by vets
Let’s dwell on the sources of proteins, fats and carbohydrates for a balanced diet of your dog. These rules also apply to creating a cat’s diet. Find out the ratio of certain products in the pet’s diet to provide him with an optimal balanced diet.
Dog food with high protein content from fresh meat
Dogs and cats are carnivores. Their organisms are biologically adapted to consume foods that are high in concentrated meat proteins and low in carbohydrates.
Balanced dog food contains 70% meat; its high natural protein content provides the body with the amino acids necessary for vitality, strong immunity and optimal pet health.
These 70% of meat ingredients should include fresh grain-fed chicken, freshly caught fish and fresh chicken eggs. To preserve the natural composition of amino and fatty acids, fresh meat must be processed at low temperatures (90 ° C).
Balanced Grain-Free Dog Food
By nature, dogs and cats do not eat grain.
Cereals first appeared in pet food 70 years ago, when consumers, because of convenience, wanted to buy food in paper bags, and manufacturers wanted to reduce costs, hoping to get inexpensive calories from carbohydrates.
Cereals like wheat and rice provide cheap calories, but their high carbohydrate content leads to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems in cats and dogs.
As a source of carbohydrates or proteins, cereals are always a secondary source of nutrition for cats and dogs.
Although a “cereal-carbohydrate” approach to such feeds is still widespread, it ignores the crucial goal of balanced pet food: to promote animal health!
Many “super-premium” pet foods contain about 40% carbohydrates, even though cats and dogs don’t need so many carbohydrates. In contrast, choose food for a dog or cat that is low in carbs.
In addition to providing daily energy and health, low carbohydrate balanced foods in dogs and cats reduce the risk of obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
Carbohydrates are recognized in the body of a pet as sugar compounds that easily turn into fat and lead to various health problems.
High carbohydrate foods in pets lead to fluctuations in blood glucose levels and problems with insulin resistance.
Despite this, cereal carbohydrates remain popular among manufacturers because of their low cost, availability and ease of processing. Most commercial pet foods contain two or more cereal ingredients, which exceed 40% of all edible carbohydrates!
Fruits and vegetables (minimum 25%)
Instead of cereals, balanced dog food includes fruits and vegetables, which are low in carbohydrates and provide the body with important vitamins, minerals and phytocomponents.
Add tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, Atlantic algae, blackcurrants, cranberries and apples to your dog’s food.
Unlike “holistic” feeds, which rarely contain more than 5% of fruits and vegetables, a balanced dog food of 25% should consist of these beneficial nutrients.
Vegetables and fruits provide the body with important natural protective nutrients, such as: B vitamins, organic minerals and essential enzymes that enhance immunity and improve digestion.
Plant materials and enzymes
Dogs and cats have an instinctive ability to select and eat herbs and plants that enhance their health. These phytocomponents help combine two concepts – good balanced nutrition and physical health.
Plant materials and tonic herbs
Tonic herbs are used by the body to strengthen immunity, prevent diseases and stable work of all organs and systems.
Tonic herbs support the functions of various organs that are responsible for the overall health of the whole organism. Animals naturally seek and eat plants that their body needs.
Plants are a tonic that supports the organs and tissues of the body – for example, they serve to strengthen the heart muscle and improve digestion.
Herbs help recovery processes by removing toxins from the body through physiological processes, such as cleansing the intestines, bladder and liver.
Plant materials for balanced dog food are selected by veterinarians and have a broad supporting function as natural antioxidants for the continued and stable health of cats and dogs, helping to avoid common health problems such as allergic dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic hepatitis.