Canine Food Groups – The Top Four
Ferndale, WA: Here they are: Fats, Carbs, Proteins & Fiber. Say are we feeding our family at the dinner table by chance? Seems like the only thing missing is the pizza. So in a nutshell you have it. The four basic food groups that are correct for your dog, and each one of them should in theory show up in meals that you are giving your pet in order to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle – and of course give your pet the fun, bounce that we enjoy so much.
So lets get into this a tad more an find our exactly what each term means and of course we realize that its a bit of a no brainer but for sure there may be some subtle differences that are of value to know, between pets and humans since pets (especially dogs) have different nutritional requirements than humans.
Big commercial pet foods. Forget ‘em. Boom gone! We don’t endorse any of them because we don’t like their ethics since they don’t label properly. However, we are seeing some new companies launching into the market with pet foods that include the same groups as for human foods – so Omega-3s, carbs, fats and vegetables and fruits for fiber.
The salient point to remember is that cats are obligate carnivores – they must have meat but dogs are more along the lines of human foods. They are actually omnivores. They do well with a balanced diet with carbohydrates, fiber sources and protein all mixed together.
1. Proteins. High-quality protein sources can include chicken, beef, lamb and other meats, poultry or fish. In addition, by-products or meal from protein sources — such as chicken by-products or chicken meal — are also good sources of protein.
And here’s something to note, at least one protein source always should be in a top spot on the ingredient label of a dog food in order for it to meet regulatory standards from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for a “complete and balanced” food for your pup.
2. Carbohydrates. For active dogs, carbohydrates can provide long and short bursts of energy. Good sources of carbohydrates include whole-grain sorghum, whole-grain barley, cornmeal and rice. The whole grains such as barley, provide extended energy to keep your pup satiated all day.
3. Fats. Chicken fat, fish oil fat all help dogs get important fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s. Fats can help a pup maintain skin and coat health, but fatty acids are key elements in the function of the brain and spinal cord.
4. Fiber. Fruits and veg and other fiber sources (e.g. flax) help dogs maintain proper digestion. Ingredients such as apple and beet pulp combined with some grains and probiotics like fructooligossaccharides (FOS) in premium foods can help your dog remain regular.
In addition, scientific studies are starting to support the benefits of adding some vegetables to your dog’s food. Researchers at Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine found in a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association that when Scottish terriers were fed vegetables at least three times per week, they had a lower incidence of developing transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder, which is a deadly type of cancer.
Before making any dietary changes for your dog, always talk to your veterinarian. Ask ‘I’m thinking of doing this. Is it a good food? Is it OK for my particular pet?’