Understanding dog food labels and using that information wisely can make the difference between choosing a good quality dog food or settling for a dud.
4. No Unnatural dye
How to Really Read Dog Food Labels:
Other items to note when reading the ingredient list: food dyes, flavorings, and preservatives.
Remember that higher levels of nutrients aren’t always better; there is an optimal percentage depending on your dog’s requirements and lifestage. Most dog foods are formulated to slightly exceed your dog’s nutrient requirements. When choosing an adult dog food, pick a food that has at least 18-28% protein as listed on the label, unless your dog has other specific requirements.
Stay away from “mystery” meat (e.g., unidentified-species meat and meal). An ingredient list should always state the species of meat (e.g., chicken, turkey, trout, etc.). If it doesn’t, it is using a mixed source of meat, which can be of questionable origin. Plus, the mixed source will not be consistent from batch to batch and this may upset your dog’s stomach.
Coloring is there to make the product more marketable to you—the dog owner. Choose foods that do not have a lot of dye in them.
Dog foods, like people foods, will spoil over time. To prevent this, preservatives are added to kibble to allow for a longer shelf life. BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are synthetic preservatives and vitamin E (tocopherol), and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) are natural preservatives. Multiple studies have shown that consumption of preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are not associated with cancer. In fact, some studies have indicated that they may, in fact, be protective against cancer. However, there has been concern that some dogs may develop allergies to synthetic preservatives. If you are concerned about your dog consuming synthetic preservatives, choose foods that have been preserved with vitamin E or C.
If you are choosing to feed a commercial dog food, one of the best ways to improve your dog’s health and well-being is to feed an appropriate amount of a good-quality dog food. With a good diet, your dog will live a longer, healthier life.
Here are two dog foods we stand behind. There are other good ones out there, but many more aweful ones so be aware and make smart decisions with what you feed your Fred!
ORIJEN DOG FOODS
BY NATURE, DOGS OF ALL BREEDS AND SIZES ARE EVOLVED AS CARNIVORES — BIOLOGICALLY ADAPTED FOR A DIET RICH AND VARIED IN FRESH MEATS, WITH SMALLER AMOUNTS OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND GRASSES.
Formulated to match your dog’s natural diet, ORIJEN ADULT is loaded with the protein-packed meat ingredients (80%) that Mother Nature intended all dogs to eat — including free-run chicken and turkey, whole eggs and wild-caught fish that are farmed or fished within their region of Canada by people we know and trust.
SOJOS NATURAL DOG FOOD
Simply water to one of their natural pet food mixes and you have a fresh, homemade pet food in minutes. Some mixes require the addition of a protein.
Sojos foods offer the superior nutrition of naturally- occurring vitamins, minerals and enzymes that you cannot get from a cooked, processed food. No preservatives. Nothing artificial. Just natural, human-quality ingredients.
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