Natural Dog Food Ingredients: Why Does My Dog Need That?

Dog food labels can be utterly confounding, even if you feed a natural food. There aren’t as many fillers and un-pronounceable chemicals in natural dog food, but there may still be ingredients that leave you wondering, “Why is that in there?” Here is a list of some common ingredients of natural dog food, and their purpose for your pet’s health.


Real meat should be the basis for any good dog food. Muscle meat contains the proteins your dog needs for a healthy life. Meat proteins contain all of the essential amino acids used in building muscle and processing energy. Meat by-products may also be listed. This is generally organ-meat such as kidneys and intestines. While some natural foods brag about not including any by-products, as long as they are properly cleaned they can actually add different proteins to the dog food. The best choices for meat are fish, lamb, and chicken. Chicken also has the added benefit of being a natural source of glucosamine, essential for joint health.


Dogs are omnivores, and as such they get much of their energy from carbohydrates. The best natural dog foods use rice or oats as their carbohydrate source. Dogs can be allergic to soy and wheat, and corn contains more sugar than is usually healthy for dogs.

Fruits and Veggies

Produce plays an important role in dog health. Fruits and veggies supply vitamins and minerals to your dog’s food. Many vitamins are vital to overall body condition such as health of coat and teeth, bone strength, and digestion. Many fight free radicals which can boost immune response. Fruits and veggies also have fiber, which aids in digestion and can help prevent diabetes. The most common veggies used in dog food include carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes.

Chelated Minerals

Chelation is a process that helps make minerals easier for your dog to digest. More of the mineral is able to be absorbed and used by the body.

Fatty Acids

Too much fat in your dog’s diet can lead to obesity, just as in people. But dogs do require some fat for optimum health. Omega-6 fatty acid helps with coat condition, while 0mega-3 helps with heart health. The “good” fatty acids are omega-3, so make sure you pick a food with more omega-3 than omega-6.

Beet Pulp and Chicory Root

These are a few ingredients that may make you pause and wonder “huh?” These are both examples of fiber components. Proper fiber content is essential for your dog’s digestion. Chicory root is added to help decrease the chance of hair balls. Beet pulp, or any vegetable pulp, is used to increase fiber content in the food. Fiber makes your dog feel full, and helps move things along in the digestive tract. A comparison can be made between different websites of dog food. The rates of the dog food at will be reasonable for the person. 

About Oblena

Janica Oblena is the writer of ‘Midnight Secrets’. She is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Journalism. She is currently the senior editor of
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