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We understand the importance of a naturally healthy way of life--ensuring our foods are organic and sustainably sourced, taking our vitamins, and embracing a green-friendly lifestyle. But how does that healthy lifestyle extend to our four-legged family members? Good health starts from the inside out, and this certainly is true for our pets. Sustainably sourced pet food with high-quality protein and ingredients play an important role in the health and wellness of your pets—specifically dogs. Let’s explore this further.
It’s important to research the nutritional label on your dog’s food. Specifically, understanding where the ingredients come from and if they’re sustainability sourced. Just like with people, eating foods that are sustainability sourced can have a direct impact on your health. “Sustainability is important in pet food ingredients just like it is in human food ingredients,” said Dr. Bradley Quest, DVM. “To continue to supply the industry with healthy wholesome plant and animal ingredients while having minimal impact on our natural environment is something most people agree about.”
Essence Pet Foods is an example of a pet food brand that utilizes sustainability sourced ingredients and a farm-to-plate philosophy. They utilize plant-based, locally farmed ingredients. The poultry in the Essence Air & Gamefowl recipe, for example, is cage-free, antibiotic, and hormone-free. These factors can have a positive effect on the health and well-being of your dog. “Antibiotic-free ingredients are important because there are studies that show that using antibiotics as growth promotants in livestock can contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans and other species,” said Dr. Quest.
When it comes to dogs eating protein, it’s important they’re fed a high-quality, protein-dense diet to support their strong evolution of being carnivores. When reading the nutritional label on the dog food bag or can, the first ingredient is the most prominent in the food. If you discover a dog food that has protein as the first ingredient such as Essence, that’s a great sign. Even better, the first four ingredients are protein, which means your dog will be benefiting from multiple protein sources.
“Animal proteins are typically excellent sources of proteins for pet diets,” said Dr. Quest “Since each dietary protein has different amino acids that combine to make that specific protein it can be good to combine different proteins in a diet to make sure your dog is getting what it needs nutritionally.”
Just like it’s essential for us to take our vitamins and eat fruits and vegetables, the same goes for dogs. It’s important that the dog food you’re feeding contains vitamins, as well as fruits and vegetables. “Fruits and vegetables can contribute may healthy nutrients to a dog’s diet,” said Dr. Quest. “Many vegetables contain healthy antioxidants that are beneficial for the immune and nervous systems. Some fruit and vegetables are also sources of healthy fiber important for good digestion.”
Sustainability and high-quality ingredients can play a large role in the life of your dog—making sure he is healthy and thriving. “Sustainability in pet food ingredients is important to ethically, efficiently, and with the least environmental impact as possible supply pet food ingredients to keep dogs healthy and happy,” said Dr. Quest.
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