Natural Balanced Organic Food for Dogs

When you shop for natural balanced dog food, what criteria should you look out for in choosing the best product for your friend? In general, the best balanced dog food
is actually naturally balanced by the food ingredients it contains. However, you’ll have to know what to look for before you’re able to find truly natural and healthy options. Most dog foods are marketed as ‘nutritionally balanced’ or ‘nutritionally complete,’ indicating that the food ingredients have been supplemented with nutrients to levels recommended by the Association Of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which is essentially a pet food industry-regulated entity. Although recommended nutrient levels are based on individual research data collected by the National Research Council (NRC), these data may not really reflect the true requirements for every pet, as even identical twins may show metabolic differences based on environmental factors alone. How can laboratory-based nutritional or feeding studies compare to real life scenarios if even the water supplied to the animals differs from lab to lab and home to home? Not to mention the fact that most lab studies are done with so-called ‘purified’ diets, which are a far cry from the commercial dog foods available today. Furthermore, the quality of nutrients added to achieve the AAFCO-required levels that allow dog foods to be marketed as ‘complete’ or ‘balanced’ are often of such low quality that they may pose risks to your dog’s health rather than supporting it (many of these supplements are manufactured in China, a country where manufacturing companies all too often are subject to low quality assurance standards and oversight).

A natural balanced dog food is composed of real food ingredients that supply the nutrients your dog requires to maintain good health, i.e., what nature actually intended. Nature never supplements after the fact; that is, there are no naturally occurring stashes of minerals and vitamins that a wild dog would eat ad libitum to complement or balance his or her prey. Of course, supplementation with nutrients can often become necessary, considering what low quality food ingredients are used in most dog foods claimed to be balanced.

Feeding your dog a natural balanced dog food gives you, as his or her guardian, the unique opportunity to provide him or her with real food and reserve supplementation with high quality supplements (which can be healthful and reasonably bioavailable) for times when such supplementation is required (such as after an injury, during pregnancy, in the course of certain breed-associated chronic diseases that may occur in older dogs, particularly if you did not start feeding the dog with healthful food soon after his or her birth). Ideally, natural balanced dog foods are provided fresh or frozen, but may also be dehydrated for convenience. But be aware: not all dehydrated natural balanced dog foods are created equal! Such claims are often made, even though some of the ingredients used may have been treated with high heat before being mixed with other ingredients and then dehydrated. This is just a further demonstration that, given the relatively lax state of current laws and regulations governing the pet food industry, you, as your animal’s guardian, need to do a lot of homework before being sure that you are serving a natural balanced dog food to your best friend!

Eric Taylor has years of expertise on pet care and pet rearing. He writes on organic pet products, raw pet foods, natural balanced dog foods and pet treats that could be used as diet for your pets and ensure their health and wellness.

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