The Benefits of Holistic Dog Food
What Is Holistic Dog Food?
I'm assuming that since you are searching for information on holistic dog food, you care for your dog's health and wellbeing. Perhaps you're here because your veterinarian recommended a different, higher-quality dog food. Or maybe you're aware of the dog food recalls in the news. I'm glad you're here to learn more about holistic dog food, and I guarantee that your four-legged friend is grateful as well.
There are so many types of dog food and different brands out there. It can be quite overwhelming to choose a dog food that is a great fit for your dog.
Read on to learn how holistic dog food is different from regular dog food. I'll also give a few recommendations as to where to buy them too.
Why Bother With Holistic Dog Food?
Many of the reasons why more dog owners are switching to a high-quality dog food is due to the symptoms that surface due to regular dog food.
Does your dog have any of these symptoms?
- Excessive scratching and itching
- Dandruff or dry, flaky skin
- Frequent ear infections
- Diarrhea or frequent "bathroom breaks"
- Constant licking of paws (sometimes looks red)
- Lack of energy
- Uninterested in their food
These are common symptoms that are relatively mild. Many pet owners turn to hypoallergenic dog food to help alleviate certain allergies. Most holistic practitioners agree that allergic reactions are usually the result of some kind of an underlying health problem, system imbalance, or weakened immune system.
Did you know that dogs can also be prone to disease, such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart problems, arthritis, and other conditions that humans can have? A lot of it has to do with the quality of dog foods that are on the market.
Cheaper dog food usually contains fillers, meat byproducts, and inexpensive ingredients such as corn or wheat gluten. These fillers can cause an array of problems, such as hair and skin issues, frequent ear infections, itchiness, and other sorts of ailments.
What Does "Holistic Dog Food" Mean?
Holistic health generally means fixing the root of a health problem, rather than just getting rid of the symptoms. For example, if your dog's hair gets dry and flaky, there are many shampoos out there that promise a smooth and silky coat. This shampoo may fix the symptoms, but there could be an underlying cause of the dry skin.
He could possibly be allergic to an ingredient, filler, or coloring in his food. Or, your dog could possibly be missing some important nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Whether it's a skin condition or a digestive issue that your dog has, holistic food serves to get to the root of the problem. Since holistic food contains a wide array of vitamins and minerals, it may even solve other problems too.
Holistic dog food is created based on this definition, with the goal of providing your dog the much-needed nutrients to balance out their health and wellbeing. It is made from high-quality ingredients, such as whole grain rice, real meat, antioxidants, vitamins, probiotics, digestive enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients.
What Ingredients Are in Holistic Dog Food?
While most holistic dog food brands contain different ingredients, the one thing they have in common is the nutrients that they provide.
You can expect to see the following nutrients:
- Quality protein: from fish, chicken, or pork.
- Wholesome grains: for energy.
- Prebiotics and probiotics: supports the digestive system and provides easy absorption of nutrients.
- Digestive enzymes: to help break down protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
- Natural fiber: to help the food move along their digestive system and keep them "regular."
- Herbs: to help with inflammation (especially with senior dogs).
- Vitamins and minerals: for strong bones, a healthy heart, and for the benefit of other organs.
- Antioxidants: to keep their immune system strong and to help prevent cancer, diabetes, and other possible diseases.
Better Quality Means Less Food Is Necessary
The better quality the dog food, the higher the price, the less food is fed. So in essence, you will spend as much (and possibly less) on a higher quality dog food.
Is Holistic Dog Food Worth It?
My own mother does not understand why I pay so much more for my dog's food. What she doesn't realize is that a 40-pound bag of holistic dog food has lasted twice as long compared to the old dog food that I used to feed them.
A Quick Personal Story About My Own Picky Eater
My sweet pit, Oakley, used to be a "picky" eater. He would not eat his dry food unless I mixed some real meat with 1/4 cup of chicken broth.
I remember the first time I switched him over to holistic dog food. I poured 1 cup of dry food in his bowl while I heated up his chicken in the microwave. To my surprise, he ate it all before the chicken was done heating!
Your Dog Will Be More Satisfied With Less Food
If you ever try to smell the holistic dog food, you will notice that it has a stronger scent of real food. They all look the same, but you can tell from the smell, as well as your dog's reaction, that this food is real.
Dogs require the right amount of carbohydrates and fiber to keep them full. Since holistic dog food contains a higher percentage of nutrients (including fiber) that comes from real ingredients, your dog will be satisfied with less food and stay satiated longer. Grocery dog food brands use fillers that not only fail to provide nutrients, but they can also be harmful.
Each bag has a recommended feeding instruction. Many grocery store brand dog foods recommend feeding a 50 lb dog between 3–5 cups per day. Most holistic dog food brands recommend only 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups.
Although holistic dog food is much more expensive, you can save money in the long run. And you can save yourself from high vet bills later.
So yes, I truly believe holistic dog food is worth it!
Which Holistic Dog Food Do You Recommend?
If this is your first time buying holistic dog food, I would recommend trying out some of the highly trusted brands. You can start off with a smaller bag, such as 5 to 10 pounds. With any changes to dog food, always introduce the food in small amounts.
Let your dog try it and make observations for a few weeks. Notice how their energy level changes and how their hair looks. Pay close attention to their poop and how often they do their business.
With that said, I recommend the following holistic dog food brands to try:
- Candidae Dry Dog Food
- Earthborn Holistic Ocean Whitefish
(Note: I do not work for any of these companies, nor did they pay me to write this article. I am simply sharing with you from personal experience, my friends' and family's experience, and my own research and readings.)
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.