By Claudia Bensimoun
Good health and quality of life will ensure that your dog’s life is the best it can be. Today, our dogs are living longer lives. However, they also may be prone to obesity and lethargy. If your furry best friend is prone to hanging out on the couch or in his dog bed or if you have trouble getting enough exercise with your pup, you may find doggie fitness classes and dog sports are ways of getting you both motivated.
Improving your dog’s diet can also help improve his quality of life. In this blog, we will discuss how a high-quality diet combined with regular exercise can make an impact on your pup’s energy level.
A sedentary life can play out negatively on your dog’s health. Overweight dogs that are not stimulated enough can become lethargic and obese. Making dietary changes for your pet is crucial to his health, and with kibble remaining a popular feeding choice, often high in carbohydrates, you want to do your best when purchasing a commercial dog food for your pet.
Many of us underestimate the importance of good nutrition for our pups. With so many brands to choose from, you should assess your dog’s activity level, age, breed, and medical conditions when choosing a high-quality dog food formula. Here is the take with commercial dog food:
AAFCO Regulations on Dog Food
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) does not directly test, regulate or approve dog food. They establish guidelines for ingredient definitions and laboratory analysis of ingredients, as well as product labels and feeding trials. Pet food brands use third-party testing agencies to analyze their dog food according to AAFCO guidelines.
AAFCO model regulations and the federal feed laws stipulate that all pet food labels need to list all the ingredients in their formulas in descending order. This goes by the weight of each ingredient listed. By looking at the first five ingredients, you will see where most calories and proteins come from. Here is the take on how to choose high-quality dog food:
- The recommended guidelines on the packet may yield more calories than your dog needs.
- You should feed a complete and balanced dog food for your dog’s life stage.
- Lifestages are separated into adult maintenance and growth, and reproduction.
- Dog food that is marketed for all life stages must meet AAFCO requirements for growth and reproduction.
- If a dog food is marked complete and balanced, it has passed the AAFCO nutritional adequacy standards. Dog treats and snacks do not have to contain one of these AAFCO designations.
- High-quality pet food should contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives such as propylene glycol.
- Dog food formulas should feature whole foods instead of processed foods.
- They should be made from real meat instead of meat meal.
- Look for a good source of calcium in the dog food formula.
- The formulas should be crafted with fiber and nutrients such as flavonoids.
- Dog food formulas need to be checked using AAFCO feeding trials or by formulation to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles
- Opt for transparency in all dog food labels and look for quality control measures to assure consistency and quality of all ingredients used and the end product.
- All dog food diets should be complete and balanced for optimal safety and health.
- Large breeds like Great Dane and Bullmastiff puppies should be fed large breed puppy formulas to ensure proper growth and no growth abnormalities.
Dog Food Choices
A high-quality dog food diet is available in many forms, from frozen raw diets, freeze-dried/dehydrated dog food, dry pet food, wet pet food, and more. Quality dehydrated dog foods offer dehydrated ingredients made from raw meats like chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, and a variety of veggies and fruits. It is easier than ever today to feed your furry best friend a high-quality and healthy diet.
Dehydrated raw pet food and frozen pet food improve digestion, increase energy, and promote healthy coats and skin. These are biologically appropriate diets that offer optimal nutrition, which may also benefit obese dogs that need to lose weight.
The key to good nutrition is to avoid commercial dog foods that rely on potatoes or legumes as their main ingredients. Many pet food ingredients are processed using high temperatures that can damage high-quality animal proteins.
Low-quality proteins are also damaged with excessive heat and will be poorly digested, damaging taurine, which is the meat’s amino acid. Taurine plays an important part in nutrition because it plays a vital role in body functions. It is required for the following:
- Vital for eye and brain health
- Used for the proper function of muscle tissues
- It is a component of bile that is used to break down dietary fat in dog food.
- It is an acceptable form of antioxidant with plenty of anti-inflammatory properties.
- Some dog breeds may be more prone to taurine deficiency healthy issues.
When it comes down to giving our furry best friends the best lives possible, we need to focus on a combination of regular exercise, healthy dog food formulas, adequate veterinary care, and plenty of socialization and mental stimulation. Just like people, dogs can become lethargic through a lack of good nutrition and regular exercise.
Your dog’s diet is the foundation of good health. You should consider supporting his diet with supplements to provide the correct balance of minerals, enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, lignans, protein, amino acids, and more!
You’ll also need to provide your furry best friend with the correct ratio of omega 3,6,9 fatty acids for joint, brain and skin health. Consult with our veterinarian if your dog is suffering from a lack of energy. It may be an indicator that something is wrong, and your pup could be in pain or discomfort.