What Are Some Qualities of the Healthiest Dog Foods?

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The healthiest types of dog food provide adequate nutrition for the animal and are made with high quality, reliably-sourced ingredients. Dog food that contains a quality mix of protein, carbohydrate and fat content is optimal for keeping dogs healthy and active.

Dog food should be made with at least 19 percent protein for adult dogs and 25 percent protein for puppies. The healthiest dog foods often use a combination of beef, chicken and reliably-sourced byproducts to ensure the animal receives enough protein. Companies that use high quality byproducts often share information about the exact types of byproducts used and the sources that they come from as an act of transparency for pet owners.

Fat is a necessary ingredient in dog food. Owners should look for a brand of pet food that lists the exact source of the oil. They should avoid pet foods that include mineral oil or undefined fats. Dog food should have about 18 percent fat and be preserved with natural ingredients, such as vitamin E and vitamin C. Omega fatty acids should be included to provide the nutrients necessary to support healthy development.

Carbohydrates are essential for most dogs. Carbohydrate sources include rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, peas and other whole grains. The healthiest dog foods are made with whole grains that are minimally processed to retain their nutritional value.