While most dogs will eat nearly anything you put in front of them, veterinarians, breeders, and trainers will tell you that along with exercise, nothing affects the health of your dog more than the quality of their diet. And a natural diet is best of all because natural dog foods do not contain harmful man-made chemicals, additives, or preservatives. What’s wrong with man-made ingredients if they help keep dog food fresh or make it taste better? The problem with these ingredients lies in their possible effect on your dog’s well-being and the fact that they don’t align with what healthy dogs eat in the wild. Considering these factors, here are five reasons your dog should be eating natural:
- Not solely carnivores – In the wild, dogs supplement their diet of meat with grasses, herbs, fruits, and root vegetables. Your choice of a natural dog food, therefore, should contain the same variety of ingredients that will keep your pet healthy based on a balanced diet.
- Prevention is a priority – Some artificial colors are said to cause hyperactivity, aggression, and insomnia, as well as thyroid problems and cancers. As well, a preservative called ethoxyquin has been known to cause liver and blood disorders while the preservatives BHA and BHT are said to be carcinogens. A natural diet free of additives eliminates the risk of these and other possible health concerns.
- Digestible advantages – Less gas, less odor, fewer trips outside, less waste to clean up. These are advantages that dog owners enjoy when they feed their pets natural dog foods. Because a dog’s body “knows” what to do with natural ingredients there are usually fewer digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting, too.
- Less is more – When dogs eat nutritious food that provides what their bodies need, they require less of it. When dog food ingredients contain nutrient-dense calories, only need two meals per day, they beg less for food and treats, and you can maintain their body weight easier.
- Dogs are what they eat – When your dogs are doing well their skin and coat appear healthy, their weight and energy level matches their age, and their stool is brown and firm. Natural dog foods promote these characteristics by including ingredients from a variety of food groups, using lean meats that are low in fat, and including only the most essential vitamin and nutrient supplements.
Among pet owners and professionals, there is still some disagreement over whether grains such as corn and wheat are healthy for dogs. Some experts say that dogs cannot digest grains while others claim grains cause allergies. Still, others say that grains provide dogs with necessary nutrients. Whatever your opinion, be sure to ask your veterinarian if a diet containing grains is suitable for your pet. Meanwhile, don’t risk affecting your canine’s behavior, health, or his life for the sake of additives that are not naturally part of a dog’s diet. Go natural!