7 dog food ingredients, can hurt your dog!
What ingredients make for good and bad dog food?
First of all, many of the big companies are paying really slick marketers and advertisers millions of dollars per year to advertise their dog food. The amount of money they are spending on marketing has no relationship to the quality of the dog food. This is unfortunate for you as some of the best advertised dog food is inferior.
There is one way for you to guess the quality of dog food however it is not fool proof. You can normally use the price of the food as an indicator as to the quality. Low priced foods are not always, but most often, the lowest quality foods on the market and likewise the more expensive are normally better quality.
When feeding your dog you want to make sure that the adult dog food you are feeding is 22-25% protein and 15-19% fat. The protein should come from a good quality source. Some dogs such as puppies, large breeds, and active breeds have different protein and fat requirements so make sure to discuss this with your vet to ensure proper feeding of your dog.
When making an informed decision, you must know which ingredients are better than others. When you look at the dog food label, the following are the kinds of ingredients that you are looking for:
- Human Grade Ingredients Chicken meal
- Turkey meal
- Fish meal
- Lamb meal
- Sunflower Oil
- Vegetables and others.
For a good dog food, the first four ingredients on the dog food label should not be grains. Instead they should consist of things like meat and proteins.
You also want to make sure it says chicken meal and not chicken as the primary ingredient. If it says chicken only, this means that the manufacturers are counting the entire chicken toward protein value. This includes all of the pieces they have probably scraped of the ground such as beaks, feathers, and feet. With chicken meal, they are only counting the cooked down version of the protein. This will ensure that your dog is getting the appropriate kind of protein and not by products.
Vitamins and fatty acids are also good ingredients in dog foods. Some examples include Vitamin E, Omega 3 and 6, etc. These are very important for a healthy looking skin and coat.
Make sure your dog food is not laden with preservatives. Some of the ingredients that you dont want to see on your dog food label are the inferior proteins which consists of but are not limited to variations of the following: Wheat, Corn, Chicken by-products, Soy, Gluten.
These ingredients are hard to digest and can cause health problems later on if used for a long period of time. Sugar is another ingredient that you want to stay away from.
You are always better off making your own dog food and dog treats from recipes such as those you can find at www.dogtreatrecipes.com.au, however if you are purchasing dog food you really should only purchase from a company that spends time and money field testing their products.
You can always be sure that companies such as Purina, the Iams Company (which also includes Eukanuba), Royal Canin, Nutro, Diamond, and Hills Science Diet are constantly testing their foods to provide the optimum quality ingredients. These companies offer different grades of food, however, from lower quality to premium quality so make sure that you always read the labels.
These are not the only companies by any means who make good quality dog food. The important thing is to read the label, do your research, ask questions of your veterinarians and pet professionals and always be informed. People who work at feed stores are usually a good resource and can help you find good quality pet food. Breeders can also be a good source for finding a quality food for your dog. Dog trainers will also often have a good knowledge of proper nutrition.
You should always follow your veterinarians recommendation on food as well. Many times dogs of certain ages or with certain health conditions need to be on a prescription diet. While these diets are often expensive, they do contain the proper nutrients that dogs in these categories need. Many times owners will switch to a commercial food because of cost or palatability concerns and the dogs health will go in to a decline. Your veterinary staff know what is best for your particular dog.
While it is often confusing, proper dog nutrition is vital to the health and longevity of your dog. By knowing what consists of good quality ingredients and which ingredients to avoid, you can be assured that you will choose the proper food for your dog. As always, if you have questions, ask your veterinary staff for more information.
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