The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Dog Dietary Needs

Dogs aren’t exactly known for being picky eaters.

Leftovers, scraps, the cat food, random stuff on the side of the footpath… it seems like they’ll give anything a go, given half the chance!

But, just because they want to eat it, doesn't mean they should! Your precious canine cannot survive properly without a healthy diet.

And you know they deserve the best.

So that you can give them the best, we’ve assembled the ultimate guide for understanding dog dietary needs. Keep reading to find out what your furry friend needs to stay happy and healthy.

Dog Dietary Needs

All dogs need a balanced diet, regardless of their size or breed. Keeping their tummies full and their bodies full of the good stuff is essential. Here are just some of the nutrients your pup needs to maintain optimal health:

Protein: Essential for building and repairing tissues, proteins are vital for your dog's muscle development, immune system function, and overall growth. Choose foods that contain wholesome protein sources like lean meat, poultry or fish.

Fats: Healthy fats will keep your pup moving. Fats provide a concentrated source of energy and help to maintain a healthy coat and skin. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are particularly important for maintaining skin and coat health, reducing inflammation, and supporting cognitive function. They come in the form of fish and flaxseed oil usually.

Carbs: While dogs do not need to carbo-load, carbs still provide a great source of energy for our four-legged friends. Complex carbohydrates like brown rice and potatoes are great options for providing fibre and essential vitamins.

Vitamins & Minerals: The correct vitamin intake supports your pup’s various bodily functions, like immune support, bone health and good metabolism. Vitamins A, C, D and E should all feature in their food, along with various B vitamins. They should also consume a range of minerals like calcium and iron to maintain strong bones, healthy teeth, nerve function and overall health.

Water: We can’t forget a drink to go with that meal! Good hydration is essential. Not only does water help with quenching thirst, but it also helps regulate body temperature, aids digestion, transports nutrients, and flushes toxins from the body. So, make sure your dog always has access to fresh, clean drinking water at all times.

Things To Consider When Picking A Dog Food

Quality Over Quantity

As we just mentioned, dogs need a careful balance of nutrition. They thrive on high-quality, natural ingredients. When choosing a dog food, opt for premium natural dog food like the ones offered here at Real Dog Food. Say goodbye to fillers and by-products and hello to wholesome, nutritious meals that keep those tails wagging non-stop!

Look Beyond The Label

Don’t be taken in by fancy packaging and cute slogans. Some dog foods look amazing on the shelf, but the contents don’t always match the flashiness of the label! Take the time to read the label to understand exactly what is in the food. Look for ingredients like real meat, whole grains and essential vitamins and minerals. A good rule to abide by is, that if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, it might not be the best food choice!

Country Of Production

Many big brand dog foods are produced overseas. Some as far away as Europe and America. That means, in order to keep that kibble fresh on the long boat ride to New Zealand, it is going to need a lot of preservatives. Preservatives often fall into the category of ‘ingredients you can’t pronounce’. So, it is better to choose a New Zealand produced brand for better freshness and fewer nasties.

Cooking Process

Consider how your potential food choices have been cooked or produced. The longer a food is cooked, the more the nutritional benefits are reduced. That’s why we extrude our food at Real Dog Food. What’s extruding? Well, it’s when the food is cooked under pressure by direct steam injection, and it’s done in less than 30 seconds. Compared to the 40 minutes it usually takes to bake a biscuit, this is a huge difference!

Extruding ensures minimal nutritional loss, especially with vitamin content as these are particularly sensitive to damage if heated too long. Keep this factor in mind when choosing your food.

Treat Allotment

Treats can be a way to show your pup some love, but treat selection is important and so is quantity! Opt for healthy, natural treats that complement your dog's diet and avoid overindulgence. Moderation is key on your part as your doggo will probably consume as many treats as you let them have!

The Best Dog Food

Understanding your dog's dietary needs doesn’t have to be rocket science. It’s all about choosing the right brand of food. By serving up a balanced diet rich in premium ingredients, you're giving your furry friend the gift of health, vitality, and endless tail wags.

Not sure what the best dog food is for your pup?

Then, why not start with Real Dog Food? Formulated by pet nutritionists and made right here in Aotearoa from premium, natural ingredients, it is a great choice of balanced nutrition for your doggo.

With balanced, puppy, allergy, grain-free and working dog blends, there is an option to suit any four legged friend. We also offer trial sized bags and a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try our kibble without risk. Shop for Real Dog Food now, your doggo will thank you for it!