Why high-quality ingredients are important for your pet

The dog food aisle at your local pet supply store can be an intimidating place for pet owners looking to choose the right pet food for their pooch. So many different foods on so many different shelves, covered in photos of smiling Border Collies, romping Jack Russells and snuggly Shih Tzus. Food in bags, food in boxes, food in cans, food in tubes.

Picking the right brand sure can be a daunting experience.

As a loving owner, you know your dog’s nutrition is key to his health and quality of life, and you know it is your responsibility to make the best food choices for your four-legged family member. What Fido munches on becomes what fuels him, what makes him healthy — or not. A wholesome diet is one of the major cornerstones of a dog’s overall wellbeing, so it is important to select a food full of high-quality proteins, fruits, veggies, and essential oils.

Good proteins — like all-natural meat and eggs — are a staple of any good pet food brand. Picking a dog food made with dense, easily digestible meats like chicken, teeming with protein and amino acids, is a good way to ensure the food is healthy for Fido. All meats should be pure — meaning not a byproduct — and should be hormone- and antibiotic-free.

High-quality dog foods also include high-quality fruits and vegetables—such as apples, blueberries, peas, carrots and alfalfa—in their formulas.

Apples are chock full of antioxidants, dietary fiber and vitamin C, great for giving a boost to Fido’s immune system. Blueberries are low in fat and high in health benefits; eating pet food containing this super berry can help increase antioxidant levels in the blood.

Dog foods containing peas are packed with potassium to help give your pup healthy muscles and nerves. The beta-carotene, vitamin A and Vitamin C in carrots are key to maintaining your pet’s immune system. And alfalfa — a veritable super food—is packed with vitamins C, A, and K, and folate — important for nutrient absorption.

Carbohydrates are an important part of Fido’s food, but there are certain carbs often used as food filler. These offer little to know nutritional benefit to your pet. When choosing a nutritious food for your dog, it’s best to choose one that lists healthy carbohydrates such as whole grain brown rice as its main carb source. Brown rice contains dietary fiber to keep Fido’s digestive system healthy and also provides enough energy to keep him going throughout the day.

To make sure your pooch will get the best fuel for his brain, heart, skin and coat, take a look at the essential oils that go into creating the pet food. Filled with omega-6 fatty acid and linoleic acid, sunflower oil is a great bet.

When selecting dog food for your furry friend, be sure to make informed choices. Read the ingredients list on the back of the package, and do a little digging on the web. Natura pet products, such as Innova®, Evo® and California Natural®, for example, are some great choices, full of nutritious ingredients like those listed above. Whatever brand you choose, remember — the right diet can do wonders for a pet’s health.