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.
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.
What To AVOID
By all means, avoid these things:
- Corn and wheat gluten. This is a very popular filler and it can adversely affect your dog’s health.
- 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.
- BHA, or Butylated Hydroxyanisole.
- BHT Butylated Hydroxytouene.
- 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.
- PG, or Propylene Glycol.
- Rendered fat.
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.