There is no denying that the type and quality of food your dog consumes largely determines its health and longevity. Strangely, even some ardent pet lovers are not quite aware what is in dog food. The one simple rule is before you feed your dog with whatever you bought at a local store, study the ingredients. You can run into some serious risks when you offer your dog manufactured pet food. It is worthwhile spending some time to know all about what is in dog food.
Top 5 dog foods:
Recommend for the following breeds: Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Bulldogs, Working Breeds.
Available exclusively at: https://bullymax.com/product/dog-food/
Bully Max High Performance Rating: 5-Stars
Recommend for the following breeds: Golden Retrievers, labradors, poodles, low energy breeds.
Canidae Rating: 5-Stars
Recommend for: Moderate energy breeds.
Merrick’s Rating: 5-Stars
Recommend for: Moderate energy breeds.
Go! Rating: 5-Stars
Recommend for: Moderate energy breeds.
Wellness Rating: 5-Stars
Dog food Standards
Pet food labeling including dog food labeling is standardized by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). But the fact is AAFCO does not regulate or control pet food manufacturing. It merely provides the standards for pet food manufacturers in the United States to comply. Of course, AAFCO standards are also controversial and there are critics who complain that AAFCO is unduly influenced by the corporate lobby.
Dog food Ingredients
The grim fact is the vegetable and grain ingredients found in most of the dog food are rather high because these items are cheaper and widely available. Further meat portions used abundantly in dog food in earlier years are today replaced with plant products. This substitution has naturally resulted in gross nutritional deficiencies. To offset this, manufacturers of dog food are cleverly adding artificial vitamins and minerals so that the nutritional value appears balanced.
Additives in dog foods
Standard ingredients in packed dog food include cereals, meats and meat by-products, edible fats, poultry, sheep, beef, fish, oils, vitamin /mineral supplements and antioxidants.
Apart from these ingredients, manufacturers of dog food introduce a variety of chemicals to enhance the appearance, taste and texture of the food. Please know that these chemical additives serve no purpose beyond making the product appear appealing to the buyer and in many cases, they delay the decomposition process and increase the shelf life.
When your dog consumes these types of manufactured pet food sold in shops, they do not gain in calories and protein, but a lot of undesirable chemicals that constitute a health risk. You will be shocked to know that some of the pernicious chemicals used are anti-gelling agents, anti-caking agents, curing and anti-microbial agents, petroleum-based color additives, emulsifiers, lubricants, leavening agents, different preservatives, sweeteners, thickeners etc. The plain truth is you are exposing your dog to items it cannot ingest.
Please bear in mind that most manufacturers of dog food are driven by commercial greed and have scant respect for your dog’s health and well-being. They are keen to prolong the shelf life of their products to avoid taking back expired goods and suffer the concomitant monetary loss.
The simple truth is dog food contains heavy animal fat and hence it is liable to decay soon because of bacterial infestation. To overcome this, dog food makers add a significant quantity of synthetic preservatives. Though some of these chemicals are federally approved for inclusion in pet food, they are used in alarming quantities and seldom undergo any testing.
Clinical tests have conclusively shown that certain chemicals like Ethoxyquin, BHT and BHA have the potential to cause certain types of cancer – but still they are mindlessly used in pet food.
Harmful ingredients in dog foods that you need to avoid
When buying dog food, make sure you avoid the pernicious chemicals as also the following food items
Certain parts of chicken that are hard for the dog to digest
Corn products like gluten, corn meal, and grits and such similar cheap fillers
Ground wholegrain sorghum
Meat and bone meal which are unhealthy protein sources
All types of meat by-products
Animal fat and animal tallow
Do not buy overly cost-conscious when buying dog food because you will only get the quality that you pay for. The cheaper brands are bound to be unhealthy and an open invitation to all types of maladies.
Please know that the right dog food can make a lot of difference not only to your dog’s health but also to its behavior. Your dog can become hyperactive or slothful, attentive or distracted, overly timid or aggressive, excessively barking, licking and/or biting – these behavioral patterns of the dog has lot to do with the type of food it consumes.
Some chemicals like BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin used as preservatives may not harm your dog so much physically as they do mentally and behaviorally. Feeding these chemicals into your dog’s system on a daily basis is like putting your dog on drugs.
What to look for in the top 5 dog foods?
Preparing the dog food on your own would certainly be ideal but getting the proportions right can be tricky. Again, few dog owners have the time or inclination to prepare their dog’s meals. People invariably depend on commercially manufactured products sold in the market. The top essential healthy ingredients to look for in a dog food are the Fat Percentage and Protein Percentage.
Please know that egg is widely acknowledged as the best source of protein and as a matter of fact, it is actually the standard on which other sources of protein are rated. Fish meal and milk are supposed to be ideal sources of protein for dog food. Remember that one of the most acceptable sources of fat for dogs is fish oil. Fish oil is loaded with omega fatty acids and it is a healthy fat.
Beef, soybean meal, Bone meal, meat, corn and wheat have varying percentages of protein content and can form healthy constituents in dog food. Parts like feathers and hair may be rich in protein but they are ineffective since they consist of a type of protein that dogs cannot assimilate and benefit.
Avoid dog food products that use artificial preservative BHT, BHA, TBHQ and Propylene Glycol. These preservatives have been proved as potentially cancerous and a cause for liver disease. Look for safer organic alternatives, used in better quality brands.
Also avoid hot grains, corn, barley and wheat as your dog cannot use the quantum of energy that these grains produce in its system. These items are indeed cheap and that’s why manufacturers use them in the food.
Many experts opine that excess protein is no health risk for dogs. If your dog consumes excess protein, then a part of it will be digested and excreted and rest will be used as calories or presumably converted into fat. However, high protein diets can be a strain on their kidneys. Therefore Most pet food manufacturers actually exceed the prescribed requirement of protein but that need not cause you any alarm. Please know puppies will require a higher proportion of protein to assist the growth of bones and tissue, whereas adult dogs might require less protein but extra vitamins and minerals.
What dog food to buy
When buying dog foods from the grocery shops, opt for foods that contain the right percentages of fat and protein and foods that are also grain free. Learn to read and understand the ingredients list displayed on the packing.
The dog food labels should be informative and contain exact description of the product. All the major ingredients need to be listed on a panel in descending order of inclusion with the high percentage at the top and micro additives at the end.
Holistic dog foods are indisputably the best as they are deemed human grade dog foods. When buying dog food, the holistic dog foods have the highest quality ingredients, right percentages of fat and protein, and free from grain, corn, or fillers.
Obtain a list of the top 5 dog foods available in the market and consistently buy any of them. Also make sure you check for the ingredients to avoid, as well as make sure they protein and fat percentages are correct for your dog in terms of its age and physical condition. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you on this.
Cheaper dog foods invariably use poor quality substitutes because they want to cater to the cost-conscious market. But consumers fail to understand that that dogs will require these foods in greater quantities and therefore the cost benefit stands negated.
Dog food recommendations
A healthy protein, healthy grain, good quality oil, and of course, the nutritional support of vitamins and minerals are all that your dog really needs.
Meat and dairy products are excellent sources of protein, iron and vitamin B. Cereals are the most acceptable source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Fish consumption is a must as it provides Vitamin A and Vitamin D and Omega 3. Provide your dog quality food items like chicken, lamb, turkey or duck that are easily digestible protein sources.
The dog food must vary in keeping with your dog’s life stage, such as puppies, grown up dogs or aged dogs.
When looking for the top 5 dog foods answer to the question ‘what is in dog food?’ is the dog food should be the right blend of protein, fat, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins. The source of these nutrients as well as the right proportions, are crucial. Majority of the recognized brands of dog food products contain very little or no preservatives because they are just not needed.
If you walk through a pet food section in a supermarket, veterinary clinic or pet shop, you will find a wide variety of healthy dog foods, offered by reputed manufacturers that make their products with experience, continuous research and knowledge of pet nutrition. These brands of high quality dog foods contain all the nutrients that dogs need and you need to look no further.