Learn how much meat your dog needs daily, what types of meat are best for them, and how to feed them a balanced diet that includes real meat dog food.
If you are a dog owner, you probably want to feed your furry friend the best diet possible. You may have heard that dogs need real meat dog food in their diets, but how much meat do they actually need?
And what types of meat are best for them? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, based on the latest scientific research and expert advice.
Why Do Dogs Need Meat?
Dogs are descendants of wolves, which are carnivores or meat-eaters.
Wolves can consume up to 20 pounds of meat in one meal, and they prefer to hunt large-hoofed mammals, such as deer, elk, bison, and moose.
They also eat smaller mammals, such as beavers, rodents, and hares.
However, dogs have evolved over thousands of years of domestication to adapt to a more varied diet that includes plant foods.
Dogs produce more amylase than wolves, which is an enzyme that helps them digest starches.
This means that dogs can eat foods other than meat, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.
However, this does not mean that dogs do not need meat at all. Meat provides dogs with essential amino acids that they cannot produce on their own.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are vital for many bodily functions, such as muscle growth, tissue repair, immune system support, hormone production, and energy metabolism.
Meat also provides dogs with other nutrients that they need for optimal health, such as iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.
These nutrients help support your dog’s blood health, immune system, brain function, skin and coat health, and joint health.
Therefore, meat is an important part of your dog’s diet. However, not all meats are created equal. Some meats are better for your dog than others.
What Types of Meat Are Best for Dogs?
The best types of meat for dogs are lean meats that are low in fat and high in protein.
Fat is not bad for dogs per se, but too much fat can cause digestive problems and pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed and cannot produce enough digestive enzymes.
This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, and even death.
Some examples of lean meats that are good for dogs are:
- Chicken (skinless)
- Turkey (skinless)
- Lean beef (ground or steak)
- Lamb (lean cuts)
- Other boneless fish
These meats provide your dog with high-quality protein and essential amino acids that they need for their health.
They also provide other nutrients that your dog may not get from plant foods alone.
However, you should avoid feeding your dog meats that are high in fat or salt. These include:
- Hot dogs
- Meat trimmings
- Deli meats
These meats can cause stomach upset and pancreatitis in dogs. They can also increase your dog’s risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer.
You should also avoid feeding your dog raw meat or bones. Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or E.
Coli that can cause food poisoning in dogs. Bones can splinter and cause choking or internal injuries in dogs.
Therefore, you should always cook the meat before feeding it to your dog. You should also remove any bones or skin from the meat.
You should not add any seasonings or sauces to the meat either. These can contain ingredients that are toxic or harmful for dogs.
How Much Meat Should You Feed Your Dog?
The amount of meat that you should feed your dog depends on several factors, such as their age, size, weight, breed, activity level, and health condition.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
However, a general rule of thumb is to feed your dog 1/4 to 1/3 pound of meat per day for each 20 pounds of their body weight.
This means that if your dog weighs 40 pounds, they should get about 1/2 to 2/3 pound of meat per day.
If your dog weighs 80 pounds, they should get about 1 to 1 1/3 pound of meat per day.
Of course, this is just an estimate. You should adjust the amount of meat according to your dog’s individual needs and preferences.
You should also consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet.
You should also not feed your dog meat alone. Meat should be part of a balanced diet that includes other foods, such as kibble, vegetables, fruits, and grains.
A diet that consists only of meat can cause nutritional deficiencies and health problems in dogs.
One way to ensure that your dog gets a balanced diet that includes meat is to feed them real meat dog food.
Real meat dog food is a type of commercial dog food that contains high-quality meat as the main ingredient.
It also contains other ingredients that provide your dog with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that they need for their health.
Real meat dog food can be a convenient and healthy option for busy dog owners who want to feed their dogs meat without having to cook it themselves. However, you should always check the label and ingredients of the real meat dog food that you buy. You should look for real meat dog food that:
- Contains at least 25% protein from animal sources
- Contains no by-products, fillers, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Contains no grains or gluten (unless your dog is allergic or intolerant)
- Contains natural sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Contains fruits and vegetables as sources of antioxidants and fiber
- Meets the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards for complete and balanced nutrition for dogs
By feeding your dog real meat dog food, you can ensure that they get the benefits of meat without the risks of raw meat or bones. You can also save time and money by not having to buy and cook meat yourself.