Balanced and versatile nutrition is an integral part of caring for your pet. If you have a puppy, you know for sure which nutrients should predominate in their meals, and which should be given in a controlled manner.
Read more about the basics of proper nutrition in dogs at the following link: https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/diet-nutrition
If you’ve ever bought puppy food, you’ve probably noticed that the information on the packaging differs. Some products contain plain poultry meat; in others, you’ll find a chicken meal or by-products. Although your pet may not even notice the difference, you, as a responsible owner, should know what your pup is eating.
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The Importance of Protein in Animal Diet
The importance of protein in human nutrition is well-known, and the same rules apply to animal diet. Without this macronutrient, no organism can function. Proteins build healthy cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, and drive the muscles. Besides, they have numerous other roles in the bloodstream, hereditary material, etc. And most importantly, in the absence of other nutrients, proteins can serve as sources of energy.
Your dog has an increased need for proteins as a puppy. These needs are slightly reduced in adult animals because their diet and nutritional intake become more varied. Increased needs are noticeable in female dog’s breastfeeding cubs.
Poultry is a food that meets many criteria related to the quality of your dog’s diet. Meat used in industrial dog food has been pre-processed to extract the maximum nutrients from it. Some information will help you distinguish the product made of real meat from those containing matters that are not good for your furry buddy.
What is Chicken Based Food?
Besides the ingredient that gives the taste (poultry, beef, liver), you can find many other products and additives in canned food. By law, all of this must be clearly stated on the label. That also refers to allergens and potentially toxic substances.
Still, there is a lot of doubt on terms that sound similar but have very few similarities. For example, you’ve probably noticed the labels ‘plain chicken’ and ‘chicken based dog food’ on cans and bags. What you conclude from this is that the product tastes like chicken. But what percentage of this meat is inside?
The ‘poultry meal’ label seems a bit suspicious, and most dog owners think it’s the worst meat class. The truth is different. Chicken meal is a base made of real poultry, commonly used to prepare kibbles.
In percentage terms, the poultry-based contains the most flash, but also bones. The percentage of the dried, meaty matter is high due to the dehydrating process. Later, the machine grinds this mixture, making it a concentrated protein blend.
Where to Find Real Chicken?
Premium brands usually have the label ‘real chicken’ on their products. It shows that dog food contains lean meat and skin without bones and other body parts. This compound is almost similar to a chicken meal, only in wet form. That’s why you can’t see ‘real chicken’ mark on kibbles and other dry food.
You can recognize food that contains the highest quality pieces of meat at a high price. Although expensive, you can be sure that these wet meals are the best choice for your pet. Besides flash, these products also contain vegetables, spices, and a minimum of additives.
Avoid Chicken By-Products
All body parts from poultry can be used in the industry. But not all are suitable for animal nutrition. Not all manufacturers adhere to the standards and recommendations of animal nutrition experts. So you can often see that the dog food contains chick by-products, as stated on the packaging.
If only intestines, such as liver, kidney, and spleen, are classified under by-products, such food is safe for your dog. Moreover, these body parts are an excellent source of protein and minerals, such as iron, phosphorous, and potassium.
Some dog food makers use by-products that include cartilage, feathers, legs, intestines, unfertilized eggs, etc. All of that is considered waste. You should never give any of these to your dog. Check this link to find out why.
Dogs are omnivorous by nature, but meat takes most of their diet. It must not be raw but processed in the form of home-cooked meals, or as part of purchased dog food. Feel free to give ‘chicken’ and ‘chicken meal’ foods to your pet, as it’s easy to digest and contains many nutrients needed by your furry buddy.