Natural Dog Food – Is It Better For Your Dog?

We recently took a look at the alarming number of unnecessary, and potentially toxic ingredients in commercially prepared dog kibble. 

Dog owners want the best for their pups, but asking busy people to make their own dog food from scratch is a step too far for most folks. Many people are turning to so-called “natural” dog foods to fill this gap. But are they any better?

It just makes sense that most dog owners believe that less additives and less processing in their dog’s food is better. And overall, that’s true. But caution is required, as just because something is labeled as “natural” does not mean safer or necessarily better nutritional quality.

Dog foods are specially formulated to contain the proper amounts of nutrients, and some foods, even though they say they are all natural, may have too little or even too much of a particular nutrient or even inappropriate amounts of the added vitamins and minerals that most manufacturers add to make sure their formula is complete nutritionally.

You also have to be sure that the food you are giving your dog is appropriate for his or her breed, weight, stage of life (puppy, adolescent, adult or senior) and activity level. You also have to take into consideration any special circumstances, such as a dog that is dealing with medical problems such as digestive issues, skin conditions, or kidney disease for example. 

Your best bet is to speak with your vet about your concerns. If you have a relationship with your breeder, they are often a wonderful source of information as well.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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