Dog food has changed a lot in recent years. It’s always been known that canines need to eat a well-balanced, highly nutritious diet that meets their nutritional needs; however, in the past, many commercial dog recipes were made with a host of unhealthy ingredients, such as byproducts, additives, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. As pet parents are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of these harmful ingredients – and as canine food sensitivities have become more common – limited ingredient diets have become more popular.
But what exactly is a limited ingredient diet and what are the benefits? Read on to find out!
Limited Ingredient Dog Food Explained
As the name suggests, a limited ingredient diet is the practice of feeding a canine fewer (or limited) ingredients; hence limited ingredient dog food is made with fewer ingredients than an average recipe. This type of diet is ideal for canines that suffer from food allergies or sensitivities, as pet parents can clearly see what their pups are eating and avoid feeding them anything that they know causes an adverse reaction; hence the reason why dog food for allergies and dog food for sensitive stomachs often contain limited ingredients. Generally, these recipes are made with a handful of wholesome ingredients that most dogs can tolerate, such as:
- Real beef, poultry, lamb, or fish
- Non-gluten based carbohydrates
Typically, only one source of protein is featured in a limited ingredient diet, a select few fruits and veggies, and maybe one or two grain-free carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes or dried brewer’s yeast. Since limited ingredient diets are usually free of corn, wheat, or soy, they can are often considered grain free dog food, too. Many organic dog food recipes are also made with limited ingredients, as are raw dog food recipes and human-grade dog food formulas.
Many high quality dog food brands offer limited ingredient recipes, such as Blue Buffalo dog food, Addiction dog food, Merrick dog food, Taste of the Wild dog food, Wellness dog food, and Purina dog food; and, both dry dog food and wet dog food formulas are available.
The Benefits of Limited Ingredient Dog Food
The primary benefit of feeding your pup a limited ingredient diet is that it reduces the risk for adverse reactions; particularly if your pet suffers from food allergies or suffers from food sensitivities. By limiting the ingredients you are feeding him, you can prevent your furry friend from being exposed to foods that can irritate his skin and upset his stomach, for example.
Another benefit of this type of diet is that your pet won’t be consuming harsh ingredients that are known to have harmful consequences, like additives, byproducts, and gluten. That’s because these recipes are made without any of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives; they’re free of corn, wheat, and soy; and, they don’t contain “mystery” meat. Offering your furry pal a limited ingredient diet can also help to improve his energy levels and maintain a healthy weight.
Image Source: Dogster