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What are the Best Ingredients for Dog Food?

fresh ingredients for raw dog food diet

When it comes to ingredients, you’ve probably heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” But what does that mean for our four-legged best friends? Well, we’ve come a long way when it comes to understanding canine nutrition over the past few decades. And like our diets, your dog’s diet is vital to their overall health and wellbeing. So, if you’ve been wondering if your dog’s diet is nutritious, delicious, and filled with the best ingredients for dogs, we have the answers you’re looking for. When it comes to the best ingredient for dog food, look for these on the ingredient list:

Meat, Meat, and More Meat!

flatlay of meats and proteins including chicken beef salmon lamb

Our dogs eat meat and high-quality meats cannot be beat. The best dog foods will always have meat as the top ingredient, and you should look for recipes that emphasize real animal proteins, rather than just meat meals. Because your dog’s food should have more meat than any other ingredient, it’s vital to choose a meat source that will benefit your dog’s health.


1. Kangaroo

This is often a preferred meat choice for dogs since dogs love its flavour, it is low in fat while being high in protein, and it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Because kangaroo is free-range, their meat is packed with micronutrients and an ethical alternative to other proteins. Dogs with allergies often thrive on this novel meat.


2. Beef

Beef is a high-protein option that is rich in iron and B vitamins. Most dogs go crazy for the rich meaty flavour of beef. Opt for pasture-raised beef if you can, since the meat will have a higher nutritional value, and avoid beef sources that use antibiotics and other chemicals.


3. Chicken

When it comes to commercial dog food, you’ll find chicken is overwhelmingly the most common meat. Does this make chicken the best ingredient for your dog’s food? Not necessarily. It all depends on the quality and source of the chicken. Free-range chicken sources have a higher nutritional value due to the diversity in their diet and higher levels of vitamin D because they get to enjoy natural sunlight.


4. Rabbit

Rabbit is low in fat and high in nutrition (similar to kangaroo). This meat is high in protein and can promote a healthier immune system for dogs. Because rabbit is less common than other meats, it’s an excellent alternative for dogs with dietary intolerances and restrictions.


5. Salmon

Wild-caught salmon is a safe and delectable meat source that dogs adore. This protein source is rich in Omega fatty acids, high in B12, and selenium. Salmon can boost your dog’s skin health and joint health.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

carbohydrates and fiber ingredients flatlay

Carbs may seem like an odd choice for dogs, but they’re not. Carbohydrates along with fibre are found in fruits, vegetables, and grains, and these ingredients give your dog the energy to enjoy life. But not all carbohydrate sources are created the same. When choosing your dog’s food, be sure to avoid low-quality carbs like corn and soy. Instead, opt for one of these excellent sources of canine-energy and health:


1. Carrots

These orange root veggies are rich in fibre, Vitamin A, and beta-carotene. This natural source of energy supports your dog’s eye health, immune system, skin and coat, along with a healthy digestive tract. Not only are carrots highly beneficial, but dogs find them irresistible.


2. Brocolli

Raw or cooked, broccoli provides pups with a blast of low-fat fibre and Vitamin C. This green veggie is also loaded with Vitamin K, calcium, and potassium and supports strong, healthy bones. It is also a great ingredient to improve your dog’s digestion.


3. Blueberries

You’re not the only one that loves these tasty berries. Dogs enjoy blueberries, and it’s a good thing they do. Blueberries are a wonderful source of antioxidants, fibre, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. These work to support your dog’s brain function and prevent an upset tummy.


4. Peas

Green peas are a small but mighty ingredient. These itty bitty legumes are a great source of protein, fibre, and vitamins. Peas provide your dog with vitamins A, B, C, and K. They also have folate, thiamin, and manganese. 


5. Lentils

While lentils may not come to mind when you think of your dog’s diet, they should. This highly beneficial ingredient can be linked to lower cholesterol for dogs and increased weight loss. They’re also a wonderful way to increase your dog’s intake of iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and B vitamins.

Healthy Fats

selection of healthy fats and oils avocado salmon nuts

Don’t be afraid of the word “fat.” Healthy fats are highly beneficial for dogs. In addition to the fats found in the meat in your dog’s diet, you can also increase your dog’s intake of healthy fats with a spoonful of:

  • Sunflower oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Fish oil
  • Coconut oil

Vitamins and Minerals

flatlay of ingredients high in vitamins and minerals

These seem like a no-brainer, right? But getting the balance of vitamins and minerals for your dog can be quite the challenge. Most of your dog’s vitamins and minerals will come from fruits and vegetables, but better quality dog foods will also incorporate them into their recipes. Which vitamins does your dog need to thrive?

  • Vitamin A
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Choline
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus

Herbs and Spices

different herbs and spices flatlay in spoons

You may be thinking that your dog doesn’t care about spices and herbs in their food, but they do. Not only do these ingredients make your dog’s dinner taste better, but these ingredients provide dogs with well-rounded nutrition. What herbs and spices will your dog benefit from?

Beneficial Herbs and Spices for Dogs:

  • Rosemary has antimicrobial properties, and it contains antioxidants to reduce the risk of cancer while boosting heart health. It is also calming for your dog’s digestive system and can improve mood and memory.
  • Parsley is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that improves urinary health and is rich in antioxidants.
  • Basil is antibacterial and fights free radicals. It also lowers the risk of diabetes while reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Oregano smells terrific and contains polyphenols that fight cancer. Oregano also improves digestive health and knocks out free radicals. It’s also a great anti-inflammatory herb.
  • Tumeric has been a holistic choice for natural pain relief in joints for centuries. This tasty spice also improves brain function.
  • Ginger is a zingy ingredient and is a great way to calm your dog’s stomach and improve cognitive function. It also reduces joint pain and helps balance your dog’s blood sugar.
  • Cinnamon can help your dog’s body combat heart disease and regulate blood sugar levels. 

Your Dog Deserves the Best Ingredients In Their Dog Food

When it comes to your dog’s diet, don’t skimp on quality. Your dog’s food is key to their overall health, happiness, and wellbeing. Providing your dog with the best is as simple as reading the ingredient list and selecting a food that is worthy of your dog.

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