MyBowl is here to help pet owners make better food choices for their dog.
Roll over to learn the essential features of a well-balanced meal for dogs and how they help ensure optimal health.
Water is essential to life. Your dog's daily needs for water are met by drinking fresh water and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Being properly hydrated helps your pet’s body function normally and eliminate wastes.
Watch out: Dogs dehydrate faster than humans do, so fresh water should always be made available.
Minerals are crucial in a complete and balanced dog food. The ingredients that provide minerals help your dog's body to grow, stay strong, and promote good health.
Essential minerals are found in common fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grain ingredients.
Look for: Minerals are also necessary in a well-balanced dog food. The label should mention mineral supplements.
Fats and oils have many important functions in your pet's healthy body. They provide energy, help with vitamin absorption, keep the nervous system working normally and make food taste better.
Certain essential fatty acids cannot be produced by the body and must come from the fats in the diet. The right balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids help promote heart health, healthier skin and coat, and optimal brain function.
Watch out: Fat sources such as beef tallow and lard are low-quality ingredients and should be avoided. High-quality fat sources include animal sources (like chicken or pork fat) and plant sources (like soybean oil or sunflower oil).
Look for: Normally there is at least one source of fats or oils included in the ingredient list. Quality sources of fats and oils include soybean oil, pork fat and olive oil.
Essential vitamins are provided by common fruits, vegetables, and plants. These ingredients provide antioxidants to strengthen the immune system. Other natural ingredients, as well as vitamin supplements, are added to dog foods to create the proper balance for your pet's good health.
Vitamins are classified as either fat-soluble or water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. Water-soluble vitamins are the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C.
Look for: Vitamins are essential in a balanced pet food. Natural sources of vitamins include carrots, apples, cranberries, peas, and broccoli. Vitamin supplements are added in the proper balance for your pet's good health.
Fresh meats and meat meals provide the building blocks for strong muscles. Proteins are essential for your pet's growth, maintenance and energy.
Chicken, beef, lamb, pork, chicken meal, soybean meal and eggs are all examples of excellent protein sources.
Watch out: A protein source should appear in the first few ingredients on the back of the dog food bag.
Look for: There should usually be about 1 – 2 sources of quality protein in your dog's food. Examples of some quality protein sources include chicken, chicken meal, lamb and fish.
Carbohydrates give your dog the energy to run and play. These ingredients also provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber to maintain optimal health.
Carbohydrates that come from whole grains keep blood sugar levels steady and keep your dog feeling full longer.
Watch out: Look for the word "whole grain" as a source of carbohydrates in the ingredient list.
Look for: Quality dog foods typically contain about 2 – 3 carbohydrate sources. High-quality carbohydrate sources include ingredients such as whole grain wheat, brown rice, whole corn, pearled barley, and potato.