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Feeding a nutritious, well-balanced diet is paramount to your dog’s health, but dog food options are plentiful and can be overwhelming when you are searching for the best food for your pup. Some owners opt to prepare homemade foods for their dog, but recipes posted on the internet often lack the appropriate nutrient composition, which can lead to significant health complications such as skeletal abnormalities, thiamine deficiency, electrolyte abnormalities, and heart problems.1 When evaluating a particular diet for your dog, ensure you read the label to determine if healthy ingredients are included. A complete and balanced diet contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in the correct proportions. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a private nonprofit organization that ensures dog food products undergo rigorous analysis and have the necessary nutrients. Every Ollie dog food recipe meets established AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages nutritional levels, but you may be wondering what the best dog food ingredients are. Keep reading to learn what ingredients you should look for on your dog’s food package label.
Your dog’s body uses foods’ nutrients as energy to perform metabolic functions necessary for maintenance and growth. The six essential nutrients are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, but not all nutrients are created equal. The best dog food ingredients include:
Essential for growth, maintenance, reproduction, and repair, proteins provide the basic building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones, and immune cells. While protein can be obtained from several sources, high-quality animal-based protein sources—such as beef, lamb, chicken, and turkey—have the highest essential amino acid amounts, providing the best nutritional value for your pup.2 As their first ingredient, all Ollie’s fresh recipes contain a high-quality animal protein source.
When a wild carnivore eats a prey animal, they consume more than the meat. They also ingest the animal’s organs, which provide an array of nutrients. These superfoods include:
Organ meats are important Ollie recipe ingredients. The beef recipe contains beef heart, kidney, and liver. The chicken recipe contains tasty gizzards and liver. The turkey recipe contains turkey liver, and the lamb recipe contains lamb liver.
Unlike cats, dogs are not strict carnivores, and they can derive nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables—non-meat ingredients that can be valuable essential vitamin, mineral, and fiber sources.3 Ollie provides high-quality carbohydrates—such as pumpkin, squash, kale, rice, and berries—appropriate for your dog’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Fats are concentrated nutrients that provide more than twice the amount of energy as carbohydrates and proteins. These healthy dog food ingredients also help your dog feel satiated after a meal. Fats used in dog food should be easily digestible and come from a high-quality source.2 Your dog’s food should contain these two main fat types:
Fiber is an important dog food ingredient to help maintain a dog’s GI function and health. Total dietary fiber includes2:
High-quality dog food should contain vitamins A, D, E, K, and B vitamins, choline, and trace minerals such as zinc gluconate, ferrous sulfate (iron), and manganese sulfate. If your dog’s food is complete and balanced, you don’t need to add vitamins or mineral supplements unless your veterinarian prescribes them.
Superfoods are healthy dog food ingredients that are rich in compounds such as antioxidants, fiber, and fatty acids. Examples include chia seeds, blueberries, pumpkin, and kale, all of which are in Ollie’s fresh recipes.
Typical kibble often contains unsatisfactory ingredients that are unhealthy for your dog. Some dog food ingredients to avoid include4:
Reading the label on your dog’s food packaging is the best way to know what they are eating. Here at Ollie, we only use the best dog food ingredients in our recipes to ensure your pup receives exceptional nutrition. The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.
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