If you’ve ever been given the opportunity to witness one of your pets devouring its favorite treat with reckless abandon, then you know how much they enjoy eating. In fact, if your pet is an adult male, chances are he or she has a preferred type of food that they prefer over others. Dogs aren’t picky when it comes to food preferences, but there are certain things they definitely prefer to eat more than others.
All animals have different nutritional needs based on life stage and activity level, so while there are general guidelines for what dogs should be getting, every animal also requires specific nutrients that can only be found in certain foods.
For example, carnivores (like cats) require protein, which means they must consume meat, whereas herbivores (which includes cows, goats and horses) need lots of fresh vegetation because they don’t process cellulose as well as other plant matter. Omnivores, such as humans, fall somewhere between these two categories.
We primarily get our protein from vegetables, but we also need fats and carbs from meats and grains. However, not all animals use all parts of plants to obtain nutrition. Dogs tend to eat more meat than any other animal species, but they still rely heavily on vegetable sources for carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.
It may sound sacrilegious for us to suggest that dogs eat meat, since they’re supposed to be vegetarian creatures that subsist mainly off fruits and veggies. Yet, many experts say that dogs actually need meat to stay healthy. The reason is simple: It provides essential amino acids that dogs cannot produce themselves.
Without this nutrient, our canine friends would become weak and sickly. Meat is also necessary for proper development and maintenance of strong bones, teeth and muscles, plus it helps regulate body temperature by providing energy needed for physical activity.
However, not all “meats” are created equal. It’s important to understand that not all meats are suitable for dogs. If you notice your dog seems lethargic after eating red meat, then it might be time to switch his or her diet altogether.
Red meat contains high levels of iron, and excess amounts can cause severe health problems for your dog. Dog owners are often advised to avoid raw beef, lamb and pork products, as well as organically raised poultry and eggs.
When choosing …