Do You Know What to Avoid on the Dog Food Label?
Choosing a dog food can be really confusing.
I mean, you have to know the healthy stuff to look for and the toxic stuff to avoid, right?
If you're at all confused by all the dog foods out there, I can totally understand. I mean, there are so many!
If you're searching for the best food for your dog know this.
A lot depends on your dog.
Different breeds, health, weight and activities will play a role. There is no "magic bullet" food that's right for every dog.
It can definately take some trial and error.
With that said, let's look at some of your choices.
I'm going to skip the big name brands available--wait, let's not.
If you're still feeding these brands you should know what's in them.
Most big name commercial dog foods are a combination of agricultural waste products. Yes, even Purina, Science Diet and the others.
This "waste" includes diseased and rancid animal parts -I know--yuck!
They're also filled with chemical additives. Artifical colors and flavors are added to make it taste and look better--I guess it'll need something!
Then it's baked at a really high heat to destroy whatever vitamins and minerals were there, put it in a bag or can and call it dinner.
Now you know why pet food smells so crummy.
And the nutritional value isn't so great either.
Now to be fair, all kibble is baked at a high heat which destroys a lot of the nutrients.
Even the premium brands, it's just the only way it can be made. But, the ingredients in higher quality brands are way better.
Instead of hooves, feathers and diseased animal parts found in the cheap brands, you'll get real lamb or salmon, sweet potatoes and green beans.
Which would you rather feed your pet?
Plus, your dog won't have to eat as much as the more expensive food because it has higher levels of protein and fills up your dog more.
And, you're investing in his health.
All the chemicals and crap in the cheap foods is wrecking the health of our pets.
Just look around, I'm sure you know at least one dog with cancer. What about leukemia? Yep, dogs get it. Kidney failure? Yep. Cushings Disease? Yep. I could go on...
Some vets are starting to point fingers at the big pet food manufacturers.
It's not pretty.
But There’s Hope
New natural pet foods are being made that really are all natural; i.e. no gross animal products, and few, if any chemicals.
The newsletter Whole Dog Journal puts out an annual round up of dry and canned foods that pass their stringent tests. The 2010 Dry Foods list had over 40 brands that met their requirements.
Just to name a couple that met their requirements were California Natural Dog Food, Eagle Select Holistic and Newman's Own Organics. You can order these right here.
Or, you can find them in pet shops.
What Should You Avoid?
Avoid these harmful preservatives in your pet's dog food:
• BHT, buylated hydroxytoluene --thought by some scientists to be a cause of liver damage
• BHA: butylated hydroxyanisole-- a known carcinogen
• propylene glycol--perservative--known to cause illness in dogs
• EQ ethoxyquin --found to cause liver tumors in newborn mice
And, we wonder why so many dogs have cancer! (You might want to watch out for it in your own food too.)
Look out for "animal byproducts", which can be anything "left over" from processing;
•animal carcasses and other things deemed unfit for human consumption. Including diseased parts.
So, What Should You Look For in Dog Food?
When reading the label, you want to make sure that meat is the first ingredient. Ingredient labels list in order of largest amount to smallest (by weight).
Look for meats, fruits and vegetables and natural preservatives like rosemary.
Animal protein meal is ok, but it should say what animal it came from--i.e., chicken meal, not "animal meal".
Look for high protein content, over 20%.
You'll want to experiment to see what works best for your
Remember that it can take up to a month before it "kicks in", or before signs of improvement or sickness (if allergies) shows up.
The best source is a health food store or premium pet shop, online or offline.
Also consider adding raw or cooked foods and vegetables to your pet's diet.
Real food is good for your dog!
And if you have a "special needs" dog; allergies, kidney problems, joint difficulties, etc. there's a dog food for your pet.
You should know that wheat and corn allergies are fairly common among dogs due to the large amounts of filler used in many brands.
This means you may want to avoid brands with cornmeal.
Especially if you think your pet could be allergic.
There is no "best dog food" for all dogs.
And you can improve your pet's health with good nutrition.
Watch this short video to see Veterinarian Dr. Jones share a recipe for good health while he cooks it up for his dog.
Dr. Andrew Jones Cooks