What Should and Should Not Be in Your Dog’s Food
Ever since that horrible pet food recall in 2007 they have tried to set standards on what can actually go into a dog food. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) who set pet nutrition standards has stepped in, but just how much do you know about them? You better know exactly what’s in your dog’s food because they will give approval to BOTH your low quality dog foods and the “Premium” dog foods. I believe it’s unethical. Why? Because the average dog owner will think he / she is getting good food for their dog just because the AAFCO has their stamp of approval on the package. Not always so.
What SHOULD be in Your Dogs Food
Do yourself a favor and do some research to find a good holistic (organic) dog food. It may cost more but you will find you will not need as much as a low quality dog food because it’s nutrient rich.
Protein: The first listing on the label should be a protein. Chicken, beef, fish, venison, duck, etc. You get the picture. If you can get a protein meal mixed in with that, it would even be better. What something like “chicken meal” means is that they have taken the moisture out of the chicken and broken it down to make a meal. This actually has more protein per lb than just chicken itself. One thing you must remember is that it must have the protein name before the word meal. If it says “meat” meal, DO NOT buy it. It must say chicken meal, beef meal, lamb meal, etc.
Carbohydrate: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source or just plain potatoes. I would not buy a dog food with white rice because it has NO food value in it. Brown rice is much better, however if your dog has allergies stick with sweet potatoes.
Fruits and Veggies: If the dog food you want to buy has fruits and veggies in it, it should be labeled third or fourth on the list.
Fat Source: Yes, this is important. Just make sure it’s a good fat. Believe it or not, a chicken fat is an excellent source of fat. Canola oil is ok, which is one that is used a lot in premium dog food, but I personally would rather have chicken fat.
What this is showing you is that what is listed first will have the highest percentage of that particular food. It is very important what food is labeled BEFORE the fat content. After the fat content, the other ingredients are very limited.
What SHOULD NOT Be in Your Dog’s Food
Something easy for you to remember when reading the ingredients label … if you would not eat it why would you feed it to your dog?
By-Products: If you see the word by-product, run the other way. Never buy a dog food that has this in it. Here are some more “fillers” that these dog food companies would have you think you’re buying a nutritious dog food:
Fillers: Cottonseed hulls, citrus pulse, peanut hulls, corn, feathers and soy. Soy is one of the worst ingredients for causing allergies in dogs. So many companies use it.
Poisons: Ethoxyquin, BHT (Butylated HydroxyTolulene and BHA) Butylated HydroxyAnisole, Propylene Glycol Hydrolyzed Protein, (this is just another name for MSG) or Menadione. for human comsumption because it was causing cancer.
Use diplomacy when looking for a dog food. So many are masked with phrases like “moist, chewy or contains vegetables.
Buy your dog’s food from your local family pet store. These people are very knowledgeable and most of them will not even carry any of the “junk food” that you get in the dog isle of a grocery store. Organic (holistic) is always the best way to go if you’re feeding your dog kibble.