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Understanding Your Pet's Food Label 101: Things you Do Want to See in Your Pet's Food

Welcome back! In this week's post we will tackle what you do want to look for in your furry best friend's food. For a look at what you want to avoid in your pet;s food take a look at the last few weeks posts. As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us at woof@nskansascity.com, our Facebook page or by phone at 913.451.7387.

Protein: 

Protein is a very important component of our dog's nutrition. Protein has several roles in the body, such as building and repairing muscles and other body tissues. It is needed to form new skin cells, grow hair, build muscle tissue, and more. It also assists in creating body chemicals like hormones and enzymes that are needed for normal function. It provides energy and keeps the immune system strong. 

Proteins are made up of amino acids, and dogs require 22 amino acids to make necessary proteins. A dog's body is able to make about half of these needed amino acids, but the rest must come from the food your pet eats every day. Because these amino acids are so important, they are called essential amino acids. Deficiencies of any of the essential amino acids over time can lead to health problems. The most complete and digestible source of protein for your dog is from meat products. Be sure your furry best friend has a food with a named meat meal as the first ingredient.

As mentioned in previous posts you should avoid non-specified meats and animal by-products as they are the left over parts of an animal from the packing plant. This can include beaks, talons, feathers, hooves, bones, blood, intestines, lungs etc. and has no quality or contamination control to regulate it. These are extremely hard to digest, and cause allergens, and other health issues similar to the ones caused by fillers.

Carbohydrates:

One of the most important functions of carbohydrates is to provide adequate energy to your pet. Carbohydrates are broken down in the small intestine into glucose molecules. Glucose is the common energy source that can be used by the majority of body cells. Glucose is required by the body to provide quick energy, and is also needed by the brain and nervous system for normal function.

Carbohydrates also provide fiber which is another important component of a healthy diet for your pet. Fiber helps with preventing obesity and helping with weight loss, maintains colon health, aids digestion, helps control blood sugar levels, and some fiber is fermented in the large intestine helping regulate good bacteria in the colon.

Good quality sources of carbs will usually include the word ""whole"" in its name, letting you know that the product provides important nutrients and fiber to keep your dog energized and satisfied every day instead of coming from the by-product or waste from the grain processing plants.

Below is a list of the healthiest and preferred carbs to look for in your dogs food.

  • Brown Rice
  • Lentils
  • Oats
  • Potatoes (Preferably Sweet Potato)
  • Barley (Pearled)
  • Millet
  • Sorghum


Vitamin and Mineral Complex:

Just like for humans, vitamins and minerals are an important part of a complete and balanced diet for your pet. The quality of the vitamin and mineral complex added to your pet's food can vary widely. You want to look for a source that is highly digestible and readily available for your dog to use otherwise it passes through your dog without effect. Look for vitamins and minerals that have been chelated to an amino acid (protein) or a carbohydrate source (like oligosaccharide) so that the body will easily recognize it as food and readily absorb it. While chelation is pretty standard for the better quality pet foods out there I wanted to note that Nature's Select uses the best vitamin and mineral complex on the market and it is 800% more absorbable than chelated.


Probiotics and Prebiotics:

Probiotics are the good bacteria found in the gut and are extremely important in keeping your pet's digestive tract healthy as well as supporting a healthy immune system. Prebiotics (inulin and chicory root) are foods that feed the probiotics in order to make them more effective and keep them healthy. A good food will contain both. Examples of probiotics are Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Aspergillus Niger, and Bacillus Subtilis.


Fruits and Veggies:

Dogs are carnivorous, there is no doubt, but they are not obligatory carnivores like cats. This means that dogs will eat fruits and veggies in the wild for a complete and balanced diet to be fulfilled. You want to make sure your dog's food contains plenty of healthy fruits and veggies in their ingredient list.


At Nature's Select Pet Food we only use meat as the protein source and primary energy source for our pet food because we understand that is what is healthiest for our furry best friends. We do not use fillers or by-products in our food. We were among the few pet foods awarded the seal of approval in 2017 from Whole Dog Journal for proving our food is made from wholesome top of the line ingredients as well as being complete and balanced diet for your beloved pet.

If you are interested in giving our food a try please use the coupon code First10 to get $10 off of your first order. We also offer FREE shipping on all of your orders over $25.

Thanks for joining us for another educational blog.
Dr. Jena Kittle