Just like with people, dogs also need balanced nutrition to maintain health and wellness. People rely on tools to understand their own nutritional needs, but there aren’t any similar tools for dogs. To help dog owners learn the basics of balanced nutrition, petMD and Hill’s Pet Nutrition worked together to develop MyBowl, a special interactive learning tool.
MyBowl was created to teach dog owners what they might not know about feeding their dogs. MyBowl demonstrates how a dog food should provide certain amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and vitamins and minerals, helping owners to apply that knowledge and better understand the dog food label.
You will notice as you roll your mouse over MyBowl that certain information appears. There are important statements to be found in each section, where you will learn more about each nutrient and what to look for on the dog food label. You will also be advised to watch out for certain things that could pose problems.
Let’s take a quick tour of MyBowl.
The largest part of MyBowl is represented by carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important sources of energy that help maintain blood sugar levels and keep your dog feeling full. Carbs also provide some essential minerals and vitamins, as well as fiber to promote proper digestion. You will find any carbohydrates listed in the ingredients list on the back of the bag.
The next largest area of MyBowl is made up of protein. Proteins are essential for building strong muscles for growth and maintenance. Another important part of a healthy, balanced dog diet comes from fats and oils. These ingredients keep the body working properly, provide energy and make food taste better. On your food’s ingredient list, you will be looking for high-quality sources of protein and fat, which you will learn more about from exploring MyBowl.
Dogs require certain vitamins and minerals in their diet to stay healthy. These sections of MyBowl are very small, as these ingredients are usually added to dog foods as concentrated powders. Common fruits, vegetables, whole grains and meats are the initial source of vitamins and minerals, and this is why fruits and vegetables are included as ingredients in dog foods.
Finally, you will notice next to MyBowl that there is a bowl of fresh, clean water. This is to remind dog owners that dogs also need plenty of water daily to stay hydrated for optimal wellness, which is what we want our dogs to have for life.
Put it all Together
Now that you know about the importance of certain ingredients in a balanced dog food and what to look for on the package, use the information to make an informed decision about which dog food to purchase for your dog. A healthy diet will have good-quality ingredients in the proper balance to provide the best possible nutrition for your dog.