While domesticated dogs are largely carnivores, they do consume some omnivorous foods. A wild dog’s diet consists mainly of prey animal raw meat, organs, other tissue, raw bones and digested vegetable matter. Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to consume this type of diet.
When you look at your dog’s teeth, you’ll notice that it has only pointy canines for ripping into meat and no grinding molars. This indicates that dogs aren’t really built to eat grains, as they lack the teeth to properly break them down. Many pooches can develop skin problems and other health issues like bloat from grains in dog food.
When selecting dog food, check the label to confirm that it meets the standards set by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). All Evanger’s complete dinners meet or exceed AAFCO minimum nutritional needs with 100% USA made ingredients. The same holds true with our treats that include all grain-free chicken, venison, pheasant and buffalo jerky treats.
Essential Nutrients For Dogs
Always consult your veterinarian to determine any special nutritional considerations for your canine’s diet. Most dogs will thrive best on a diet that includes the following pillars of optimum nutrition:
- Water – To supplement fresh, clean water that should be available at all times, canned dog food helps meet some of your pet’s hydration needs. Serving your dog at least a partial diet of moist, canned dog food will help keep cells well hydrated, and nutrition more easily absorbed.
- Proteins – Proteins are the building blocks of your dog’s nutritional needs, made from essential and non-essential amino acids. Some essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by dogs in sufficient quantities and must be supplied in the diet. These amino acids include arginine, methionine, histidine, phenylalanine, isoleucine, threonine, leucine, tryptophan, lysine and valine. Animal-based proteins such as chicken, lamb, turkey, pheasant, pork, beef, fish and egg have complete amino acid profiles, and are important ingredients to include in your pet’s diet.
- Fats – The most concentrated form of food energy, fats provide your pet with more than twice the energy of proteins or carbohydrates. Since dogs can’t synthesize certain essential fatty acids, they must be provided through dog food. Deficiencies may result in reduced growth or increased skin problems.
- Carbohydrates – While there is no minimum carbohydrate requirement, plant based carbohydrates do provide dogs with moderate amounts of glucose, which helps supply energy to critical organs. Vitamin rich carbohydrate choices include sweet potato, squash, peas, carrots, and other vegetables.
- Vitamins and Minerals – While many vitamins and minerals are naturally occurring in high quality dog food ingredients, dog foods are often supplemented with small amounts of vitamins and minerals that may not be present in certain ingredient combinations. Look for foods that use high quality chelated vitamins and minerals for the most effective delivery to your dog’s body. Evanger’s complete dinners, such as our Classic Line, incorporate essential chelated vitamins and minerals for a nutritionally balanced diet.
Typical Dog Feeding Mistakes
- Overfeeding – Pet owners are notorious for overfeeding. Obese dogs are prone to joint issues like arthritis, torn cruciate ligaments, pancreatitis and even breathing issues since extreme weight stresses the cardiovascular system. While Evanger’s dog foods are appropriate for all life stages, the serving size should be adjusted to the canine’s age as indicated on the food label. Consult your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount of calories needed for your dog’s lifestyle.
- Dry Food Versus Wet Food – Kibble satisfies a dog’s urge to chew. But more often than not, canned/wet dog foods have a higher quality and higher content of protein, as well as fewer preservatives and fillers. If you do decide to feed kibble, ensure that it is made from high quality ingredients, and contains pure meat protein sources as the main ingredient, such as Evanger’s Super Premium Dry Foods for Dogs. Also, consider combining the dry kibble with canned foods rich in meat protein, such as Evanger’s Super Premium Beef Dinner for Dogs or Evanger’s Grain Free Rabbit for a protein supplement. Canned food adds high quality nutrition as well as moisture for optimal digestion. If your canine has delicate gums or is missing teeth, an all wet food diet may be most appropriate for your dog.
- Grain-Based Diets – Unless medically necessary, grain-based diets are not biologically appropriate for dogs. Check your dog food’s ingredient list to ensure that whole meat proteins appear first. Excessive grains or fillers, even if hidden, may also signal inferior nutrition. Carbohydrates cause plaque, decay, and overgrowth of gingival bacteria in dogs and cats as they do in humans, so it is best to limit carbohydrates. For example, carbohydrates in dry kibble can be diluted with Evanger’s Grain-Free Game Meats pure protein supplements. When fed a grain-free or low-grain diet, a dog can consume less of the food since their bodies use more of what they’re eating – thus producing smaller stools. Be aware that some grains, such as corn, have been linked to skin allergies, joint swelling and bloat in dogs. Evanger’s offers a variety of canned dog foods that use USA grown meat as the main ingredient. Grain Free complete dinners for dogs include Evanger’s Roasted Drummet Dinner for dogs, Evanger’s Signature Series Chicken Stew, and Evanger’s Super Premium Duck and Sweet Potatoes Dinner for dogs.
- Scraps – While it’s never recommended to feed your dog human foods and scraps, certain ones can be extremely toxic when consumed in high concentration. Among these are onions, avocados, grapes, raisins, chocolate, raw eggs, walnuts, macadamia nuts, gluten, alcohol, baking soda/powder, caffeine, chives, corn cobs, fruit pits/seeds, milk/milk-based products, mushrooms, nutmeg (and other spices), rhubarb leaves, yeast dough and Xylitol non-caloric sweetener.
While small amounts of garlic are found in a few Evanger’s dog foods, it’s a very low concentration. The benefits, however, are amazing! Limited garlic boosts the immune system, fights bacterial/viral/fungal infections, enhances liver function and provides a natural tick/flea repellent.
All Evanger’s foods are made with completely human-grade, highly palatable and nutritious ingredients that will satisfy even the most finicky eater. Evanger’s canned dinners can be fed as a healthy, complete diet, or mixed with Evanger’s dry foods. Natural vitamins and minerals are blended with all-natural meats for ultimate nutrition in completely balanced meals for all life stages, ages and breeds.
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