The 5 Best Holistic Dog Foods
When it comes to dog food, there is an endless variety to choose from. Each product is unique, though they may look very similar until you take a closer look.
Dog food can be divided into many categories and understanding those categories is the key to picking out a healthy and high-quality dog food for your dog.
Holistic dog food is one of the best options out there because it is made with wholesome, natural ingredients and designed to provide your dog with completely and balanced nutrition.
Keep reading to learn more about your dog’s basic dietary needs and to receive some tips for picking the best holistic dog food. You’ll also receive our top 5 picks for the best holistic dog food.
What is Holistic Dog Food?
There is no legal definition for the word “holistic” when it comes to dog food, so don’t believe everything you read on a dog food package.
Generally speaking, however, holistic products are made with all-natural ingredients with no artificial additives. They are also usually made with whole-food ingredients and supplemented to ensure nutritional balance.
Here are some things to look for in a holistic dog food:
- Natural Ingredients – A holistic dog food should be made with all-natural ingredients rather than by-products and unnamed proteins or fats. Look for a high-quality source of animal protein and fat at the top of the list with digestible carbohydrates.
- Nutritional Balance – All dog foods use synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition, but a good holistic dog food will also contain fresh fruits and veggies to provide natural sources for some of those nutrients.
- Beneficial Supplements – In addition to vitamins and minerals, a good holistic dog food will contain other beneficial supplements to support your dog’s whole-body health. Examples include prebiotic fibers, probiotics, and joint-supporting nutrients.
- No Additives – Just as important as the ingredients included in holistic dog food are the ingredients not included. Holistic dog food should be free from artificial additives including colors, flavors, and chemical preservatives.
Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best holistic dog food. Here’s what you need to know:
How to Choose the Best Holistic Dog Food
When it comes to choosing the best holistic dog food, you need to consider your dog’s basic nutritional needs as well as the quality of the product itself. All dogs require a protein-rich diet to support their lean muscle mass.
This protein is best when it comes from animal-based sources because they are complete proteins that provide all 10 essential amino acids. Your dog needs at least 18% protein.
After protein comes healthy fat, a rich source of energy and essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Again, this should come from animal-based sources, though plant oils can be used to provide a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Your dog needs at least 5% crude fat in his diet, more depending on his breed size and activity level.
Your dog has no specific requirements for carbohydrates in its diet other than they be digestible. Holistic dog food usually contains whole grains or grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potato, peas, and chickpeas. In addition to carbohydrates, holistic dog food should contain vitamins and minerals for nutritional balance and other supplements like probiotics for healthy digestion. Again, all of these ingredients should be completely natural and the recipe free from artificial additives.
Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best holistic dog food.
The Top 5 Best Holistic Dog Food
A good holistic dog food starts with all-natural ingredients. Look for premium sources of animal protein and fat, digestible carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and veggies as well as vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure whole-body health.
Here are our top 5 picks for the best holistic dog food that you should consider:
How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?
The amount you feed your dog depends on its age, breed, and body weight. Small breeds need more calories per pound of body weight than large dogs, so they may need three meals a day versus the two meals that is appropriate for medium to large dogs. In terms of the actual volume of food, that will depend on the product you choose because all dog foods have different calorie content. Choose a high-quality dog food formulated for your dog’s breed size then follow the feeding recommendations on the package based on its age and weight.
What About Food Allergies and Sensitivities?
All dogs have the potential to develop food allergies and sensitivities, but holistic as well as best Hypoallergenic dog food reduces those risks by removing low-quality ingredients and artificial additives from the equation. All-natural ingredients are easier for your dog’s body to digest, so make sure the holistic dog food you pick contains whole food ingredients. If your dog is allergic to a common protein or another ingredient, you may want to find a limited ingredient diet or switch it to a grain-free recipe.
While you can’t always believe what you read on a dog food label, it is generally safe to assume that holistic dog food offers quality nutrition. Take what you’ve learned here to start shopping for holistic dog food or try one of our top 5 picks for the best holistic dog food.