Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. The majority of dog food products are formulated to provide the sole source of nutrition for a dog. Products that are labeled “complete and balanced”, as defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), must meet guidelines to be sure they meet certain nutritional requirements.

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Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

“Complete and Balanced” means: the food contains all the vitamins and minerals needed to prevent most diseases caused by nutritional deficiencies. This means it can be fed as the dog`s entire diet.
Most commercial pet foods are formulated to be “complete and balanced,” “100% complete” or “scientifically balanced.” All these phrases mean the same thing: the pet food has been formulated to meet a recognized standard of minimum and maximum nutrients that a pet requires at the claimed “life stage” on the pet food
For a dog food to be labelled `complete`, it must meet regulations laid down by the European Pet Food Industry (FEDIAF). These regulations define the levels of all the vital nutrients a dog needs, with the word `complete` indicating that no supplementary foods will be required in your dog`s diet.
Complete & Balanced Dog Food – What It Means

If a dog food is labeled “complete and balanced”, it means that it provides your pet the right amounts (in the right proportions) of every single nutrient that your dog`s body needs: every day, every meal.

All Royal Canin diets have a complete and balanced profile. We measure and analyse each raw material in order to maintain the most accurate nutritional composition. This important step is taken very seriously as an incomplete or unbalanced diet could affect the health of all pets.
`100% complete and balanced` means that the product in question can be used on a continuous basis for a balanced diet and is able to provide your pet with all the nutrition it needs. In most cases, pets are fed the same product day after day on a continuous basis or even throughout their entire lifetime.
A balanced diet is the same as a complete diet because it has the right proportion of minerals, vitamins, other essential nutrients, and optimal calories for your body`s makeup. A balanced diet features foods from the following core elements: ‌Proteins. Fruits.
Purina ONE dog food is complete & balanced, made with no fillers and high-quality natural ingredients, including real meat. Plus, every formula is made with 0% fillers and 100% nutrition to help support his whole-body health.
All pet foods that carry an AAFCO-approved nutritional guarantee, often referred to as the“AAFCO statement,” are considered to be nutritionally complete and balanced. A cat`s nutritional requirements change through different stages of life. These stages include kittenhood, adulthood, pregnancy, and lactation.
Quality kibble is crafted to contain all the vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients your dog needs to thrive. And as a dog`s nutritional needs changes, their food must change with them.
Chicken and rice is good for short periods of time during sensitivity but its not a balanced and complete meal that your dog can sustain on. We never recommend feeding this diet for longer than a few weeks. It lacks critical vitamins and minerals that your dog needs to stay healthy.
The diet should meet the daily energy requirements of your dog`s individual needs. All nutrients should be balanced to ensure they are absorbed properly by the body and appropriately used for each bodily system.
Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber says he likes Royal Canin because the brand has a positive track record and a trusted name, and its products are readily available. He told us he has always been a fan of mixed feeding, meaning providing a little of both dry and wet foods.
Manufacturing Processes

These processes involve extensive testing, quality control checks, and compliance with regulatory guidelines. While these measures increase production costs, they also guarantee the highest level of quality and safety for pets consuming Royal Canin food.

Royal Canin Medium Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is the best overall product. This product is a whole bundle; from top quality to incredible nutritional advantages, it gradually provides everything your favourite adult-sized or medium-breed dogs require to become strong and healthy.
If a formula is considered nutritionally complete it can be used as a sole source of nutrition because it will provide all of the important carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals a child needs to grow and thrive.
Best dry dog food for adult small breeds: Royal Canin

Laflamme recommended Royal Canin for their peer-reviewed research, owned facilities and well-regarded reputation among pet parents and veterinarians.

For cats with digestive issues or sensitive stomachs, veterinarian Jamie Freyer recommends this specially formulated food from Royal Canin. Such ingredients as easily digestible proteins, prebiotics, and fiber-rich psyllium-seed husks promote intestinal health and regular bowel function.
Milk is called a “complete food” because it has a lot of protein, fat, carbs, all known vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants, and many essential minerals that are needed for growth and good health. Milk has a lot of high-quality protein and all nine essential amino acids.
A balanced diet contains an adequate amount of all the nutrients required by the body to grow, remain healthy and be disease-free. In addition, a healthy, balanced diet provides the necessary energy requirement, protects against vitamin, mineral, and other nutritional deficiencies, and builds up immunity.
Purina ONE® +Plus Tailored Cat Food

Purina ONE is recommended by veterinarians and is available in dry and wet options. From energy and immune health to strong muscles, including a healthy heart, these high-quality formulas combine nature and research for results you can see in your cat.

Ultimately, the decision of Purina Pro Plan vs. Purina ONE comes down to personal preference. If you`re looking for the highest-quality food possible, Pro Plan is the way to go. However, if you`re on a budget or simply looking for good, affordable food, Purina ONE may be a better option.
In general, for healthy adult cats, the best option is a canned food with a protein content of 40% or higher (greater than 10% if the can is greater than 78% water) and a carbohydrate content of 10% or less.
If your cat never seems to finish their full portion of cat food, consult a vet. A vet can help you find the right diet for your cat, or assess whether your cat has any health issues. Cats` eating patterns can involve several breaks, rather than eating an entire portion in one sitting.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I want to feed a homemade meal for my dog. What are the basics I need to follow?
ANSWER : A. Feeding your pet a homemade meal can be tricky, however there are several steps to take. The first is to begin by examining the ingredients of meals similar to the one you’d like to feed them. Many commercial raw and fresh food diets will feature complete ingredient lists to give you an idea of the portions and types of foods used. Looking up recipes that others have made can also help you find what ingredients are common.

Foods require a balanced level of nutrition that is made up of proteins (your meat source and “slow” energy), carbohydrates (short-term energy and needed for brain health), and fats (for stored energy as well as flavor). Carbohydrates can be in grain form which is most common in commercial diets, or in non-grain sources such as potatoes, peas or sweet potatoes (more common now in “natural” or “holistic” diets). Proteins can come from plant sources, but are most commonly found in animals, and fats can be from many things.

When starting a homemade diet, it is always a good idea to add in an extra vitamin supplement to fill in any gaps or holes in the diet while you find the right balance for your dog. Working with your local veterinarian is also good as they can monitor your dog’s weight and overall health, and may also recommend bloodwork to check for any nutrient deficiencies.

While homemade diets are a nice alternative to commercial ones, they are not under the same standards as commercial diets. For a diet to be fed as a commercial product, it must have an AAFCO certification on it. This is usually listed as a statement on the packaging which mentions whom the food can be fed to (adults, seniors, all life stages, puppies, etc) and ensures that the food is nutritionally balanced. This means that your dog would be able to survive fully on eating only this food. While it may seem the food is balanced, it does not mean the food is healthier than others, and may still contain ingredients that dogs with sensitivities or allergies can have a reaction to.

Q. Why is it important for my dog’s food to be balanced?
ANSWER : A. Balance is vital for your dog’s metabolism and efficiency. Dog food is formulated to be the main nutritional source and the ingredient ratios are essential in making your dog’s diet complete and balanced. If, for example, an essential amino acid is low a pet food company may add another ingredient higher in that essential amino acid. However, too much of a certain ingredient can have an adverse effect. For instance, too much protein and the excess of phosphorus may exacerbate kidney issues. The need for balance is why reputable pet food companies hire trained veterinary nutritionists to select ingredients carefully and find the proper balance for optimal health.

Q. What does “complete and balanced” mean?
ANSWER : A. The majority of dog food products are formulated to provide the sole source of nutrition for a dog. Products that are labeled “complete and balanced”, as defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), must meet guidelines to be sure they meet certain nutritional requirements.

Read Full Q/A … : Why Eat A Balanced Diet

Q. The vet feels our cat may be allergic to fish. He eats raw homemade diet with fish oil supp. What can we substitute for fish oil Omega 3 &6? Thanks
ANSWER : A. Fish is the best source of omegas. Raw food diets aren’t ideal as they are not complete or balanced and can easily lead to deficiencies. I strongly recommend putting your cat onto a complete balanced cat food from your vet or pet store. Royal canin and hills science are very good.

Q. I have a 13 year old pointer mix, after a 2 mile walk she had difficulty standing up on her back legs, and also this odd rapid movement of her eyes.
ANSWER : A. Thank you for your question.

The odd rapid movement of her eyes is called nystagmus and is usually referred to a problem of the vestibular system. This is a body system in charge of controlling the balance and spatial orientation.

Diseases affecting this system can be peripheral (outside central nervous system) or central (originates inside the central nervous system).

A vestibular disease can result in signs such as loss of balance, head tilting, circling, staggering and nystagmus.

The peripheral form of the disease is much common than the central one.

Among peripheral causes idiopathic (means without any underlying identified cause) peripheral vestibular is by far the most commonly seen in general practice. Usually the improvement in idiopathic form is quick and sometimes the signs disappear completely after few days.

Most cases improve quickly with supportive care and treatment.

I would recommend to take her to your veterinarian for a consultation if she does not improve in the next 12hours. Your veterinarian will then understand if the vestibular disease is likely, if it is peripheral or central and will give most appropriate treatment.

Regards,

Dr. Orioles

Q. What brand of dog food should I feed my dog? She’s a husky mix and about 45 lbs. She’s almost 2 years old.
ANSWER : A. I would recommend Natural Balance at your local Petco store. Call the store and ask if they have a Natural Balance Brand rep who comes to the store and see when they come. Make sure the brand rep brings free samples with them. Normally they bring samples of the different flavors to the store and you should ask for some to try to see what your dog likes best. Offer the dog the different kibble and see which they prefer by holding them out in your hands and switch out the flavors. My dog prefered the Salmon based Natural Balance Synergy bag the best from all the flavors. I also found out he doesn’t care for the Bison Natural Balance even though a lot of dogs love it. The Petco may have free samples already so ask if they do. The pet store associates should be able to also assist you in finding the right food for you. The reason you want to go with a high quality high protein food vs the cheaper brands because they are grain free, no by products, and no corn. The cheaper brands have corn in it as the main ingredient and by product which is also very bad. When our dogs are forced to eat the cheaper brands they have to eat more to get the energy they need from the food resulting in more bowel movements and without the proper nutrients this can hurt their health later in life. The higher quality brands will be more cost per bag but you will be buying less because the dog eats less so you will be saving money that way and it comes out about even in the long run. Petco has a great Rewards Program so make sure to sign up and ask about the details on it. Every $100 you spend you get $5 in your email with the Pet Pals Reward Program.

Q. My dog had a tumor removed and the biopsy came back “Moderately differentiated basal cell carcinoma”. What does this mean and what is the prognosis?
ANSWER : A. Great answer below. With complete excision basal cell tumors are usually cured, however please ask your vet to confirm that the mass was removed with complete “margins”, meaning there was no tumor left behind.

Q. My pet shows weight loss and has a hard time walking, like he has lost strength in his legs and has no control to maintain balance. What’s wrong?
ANSWER : A. Loss of balance or inability to control the limbs can be caused by a wide range of problems and is usually cause for concern. Damage to the nerves or muscles can cause loss of balance, as well as neurological disease or some illnesses. Having your vet perform a complete examination is needed to determine the exact cause.

Weight loss can refer to the actual loss of fat and weight on your dog, or may also be due to the loss of muscle tone in the body. If there is a problem with one of the limbs, it may be that the weight loss you are seeing is actually loss of muscle in that area. Weight loss can again be caused by a wide range of problems from neurologic disease, illness, parasites or disease. Making an appointment with your vet is best.