Dog Food Ingredients Provide Essential Nutrients
While yes, the ingredient list for dog food is important, just as vital are the nutrients provided by these ingredients. “All animals need water, energy — from protein, fat, or carbohydrates — essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals,” says Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, and Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. “The nutrient needs of dogs are met by nutritionists and food scientists employed by companies that make dog foods.”
Dr. Buffington goes on to explain that animals have nutrient — not ingredient — requirements. As long as all nutrients are present in appropriate amounts for your dog — in proper balance, and available for absorption in sufficient quantities (which can’t be determined from reading the label) — he believes that the nutrient source is irrelevant to the health of the dog.
Take protein, for example. Dogs need protein to meet their requirements for essential amino acids. However, once those requirements are met, additional protein beyond what the dog can use for energy is excreted. A dog’s energy requirements can also be met by carbohydrates, which have the added benefit of controlling excessive levels of minerals or other nutrients which are not optimal for a dog’s health.
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For the complete article on Pet Food Ingredients: How to Strike the Right Balance for Your Pet, visit petMD.