Best & Worst Ingredients in Dog Food
We want to do the best we can for our pets. But, unfortunately, cheap dog food brands make feeding them right hard. Some cheaper dog foods pack in a multitude of fillers that are unhealthy and oftentimes dangerous.
With prolonged feeding of these foods, your dog will suffer from lack of nutrition and even increased risk of digestion, immune, and heart issues caused by the low-quality ingredients in their food.
While many commercial dog foods are marketed as healthy and nutritious, it's important to be aware of certain ingredients that can be harmful to your dog's health.
This list will help you figure out which ingredients you should be looking for and which ingredients you should definitely be avoiding when it comes to dog food brands.
Here are some common dog food ingredients to avoid.
Dog Food Ingredients To AVOID
1. Artificial preservatives are Dog food ingredients to avoid. Many commercial dog foods contain artificial preservatives such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), and ethoxyquin.
These preservatives are used to extend the shelf life of dog food, but studies have shown that they can be linked to various health issues, including cancer and liver and kidney damage.
Look for dog foods that use natural preservatives such as mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) instead.
2. Artificial colors and flavors: Artificial colors and flavors are often added to dog food to make it more appealing to pet owners, but they provide no nutritional value and can potentially cause adverse reactions in dogs.
Some dogs may be sensitive or allergic to these artificial ingredients, leading to digestive issues or skin problems.
It's best that dog food ingredients to avoid are free from artificial colors and flavors, and instead opt for those that use natural ingredients for flavor enhancement.
3. Meat by-products and fillers: Meat by-products are the non-muscle parts of animals, such as organs, bones, and blood, that are often used as cheap protein sources in dog food.
Fillers, on the other hand, are low-quality ingredients that are used to bulk up the volume of dog food without providing much nutritional value.
Meat and grain “meal” is not a substitute for real, high-quality meat protein. It’s a filler and it will not benefit your dog in any way.
Meat by-product. Similar to “meal”, by-products do not serve any nutritional purpose in the food, they’re a cheap alternative.
These can include ingredients such as corn, wheat, and soy. While they may be used to reduce costs for pet food manufacturers, they can be difficult for dogs to digest and may not provide the optimal nutrition that dogs need.
Look for dog foods that list whole meats, such as chicken, beef, or lamb, as the main ingredient, and avoid those that contain meat by-products or fillers.
4. Excessive salt and sugar are dog food ingredients to avoid. Just like in human diets, excessive salt and sugar can be harmful to dogs as well.
High levels of salt can lead to dehydration, kidney issues, and an increased risk of developing heart disease, while too much sugar can lead to obesity, dental problems, and diabetes.
Always check the label of your dog food to ensure that it doesn't contain excessive levels of salt or sugar, and opt for those with minimal or no added salt or sugar.
5. Allergenic ingredients: Dogs, like humans, can have food allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients. Common allergenic ingredients in dog food include beef, chicken, dairy, and grains such as wheat, corn, and soy.
If your dog has known food allergies or sensitivities, it's important to avoid dog foods that contain these ingredients to prevent digestive upset, skin issues, and other health problems.
Instead, choose dog foods that use alternative protein sources and grain-free options.
6. Chemical additives are dog food ingredients to avoid. Some dog foods contain chemical additives such as propylene glycol, food coloring, and carrageenan, which are used for various purposes, such as improving texture, taste, or appearance. However, these additives can potentially be harmful to your dog's health.
Propylene glycol, for example, has been associated with gastrointestinal issues, while carrageenan has been linked to inflammation and digestive problems. Look for dog foods that are free from unnecessary chemical additives and instead focus on those with natural, whole-food ingredients.
7. Generic animal fats and by-products: Some dog foods may list generic animal fats or by-products on their ingredient list, without specifying the source.
This can be a red flag, as it may indicate that the ingredients are of lower quality or unknown origin. It
Corn and wheat gluten. This is a very popular filler and it can adversely affect your dog’s health.
Food Dyes. Many people are waking up to the adverse health effects of unnatural dyes in both human and pet food. You should be sure to avoid Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, and 4-MIE for certain but you’re best off avoiding dyes altogether—high quality foods will not use them at all.
What To Look For:
Here are some tips for finding high-quality dog food:
Rather than meal or by-product, look for foods that have Beef, Chicken, Lamb or another protein as the first ingredient. Meal might come later in the list, but it should be the secondary source, not the primary source.
You might have to skip past the big name dog food brands to find a truly high-quality solution. Smaller brands might be lesser known to you, but all you have to do is compare the ingredients list to see which food is the best—forget about commercials, marketing tactics, and the “big names” if you truly want to find a great dog food.
If you find a dog food that has any food dyes whatsoever, chances are, it’s low quality. No high-quality dog foods use food dyes in their product because there is simply no reason to (other than human marketing tactics). Skip any brand that uses food dyes.
In addition to offering your dog a high-quality dog food, you might also need to supplement their diet with a pet supplement to help support their health and give them the full range of vitamins and minerals they need. Some of the more popular supplements include gels, liquids, and pills that give a range of nutrients to help support join and overall health.
Here is one of the highly recommended dog foods
EarthBorn Holistics Dog Food
Formulated without grain, gluten or potato, this special formula is ideal as a high-protein, grain-free alternative diet. Carefully-chosen vegetables and fruits, such as peas, blueberries, cranberries, apples, carrots and spinach contain antioxidants important for everyday optimal health