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Natural Dog Food

Natural dog food, containing all-natural ingredients, is one of the best ways to help ensure the health of your four-legged friend. Natural dog food does not contain chemical additives, so it is more likely to be made from only healthy and often organic ingredients. Since your dog's health depends on it, spending a little extra money on natural dog food is well worth it.

Natural dog food is available from a variety of manufacturers, and comes in the same basic forms as all other dog food: dry food, canned food, or semi-moist food. The type you select for your dog depends on factors such as his breed, age, activity level and general health. While there are no standard requirements for what constitutes "natural dog food," the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) instituted voluntary guidelines in 2001. This means that there are no specific rules on what natural dog food must include. In fact, the guidelines specify what it cannot include, namely "additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic." Natural dog food often does not contain any fillers or by products, but it is important to read the list of ingredients to be sure.

Dogs are omnivores, meaning that in the wild they eat both meat and plant matter. As long as at least ten percent of his calories come from natural protein, it doesn't matter whether your dog's protein comes from animals or vegetables. Diets that are higher in protein, up to around 25%, are even better for your dog's health. Natural dog food that contains animal proteins usually do so in the form of meat, not "meat by-products."

Although natural dog food may cost more than other types of food, you will likely save money in the long run by giving your dog a healthier diet. Natural ingredients, along with the lack of grain-based fillers, provide your dog with better nutrition and also mean that he will feel fuller longer on smaller quantities of food. Although a bag of natural dog food may cost much more than a same-sized bargain bag, you will likely get more meals from the natural food. You are also likely to have fewer health maintenance costs if you feed your dog a healthier diet.

Always read the ingredients listing on your dog's food. While natural dog food will not contain the names of chemicals that may be hard to pronounce and even harder to understand, it is important to be sure the food does contain natural meat and vegetables that are healthy for your dog. A food made mostly from meat by-products and fillers, even if there are no chemical additives, is not a healthy choice for your dog. Natural dog food made from healthful ingredients will make a noticeable difference in the health of your dog.

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