Commercial Ingredients Dog Food: What to Look for and What to Avoid
Dog owners have a wide selection when it comes to ingredients dog food and an even wider choice of brands and products! Whilst some decide to cook their dog meals themselves, or serve a raw diet, most opt to just buy commercially prepared dog foods readily available in the market. The latter I think is the most convenient option to choose, as it involves less time input.
There are several types of commercial dog foods that you can easily purchase. There are specially formulated varieties for puppies and others intended for adults, and each has differing ingredients. But besides age, what else distinguishes the varieties? How do you know if you’re choosing the kind that will give optimum nutrition to your dog and will not put his health at risk?
Providing the correct food is not measured by which brand of dog food you purchase or the price of it. It does not mean that if you buy the most expensive, you will get the highest quality product. And vice versa, the cheapest one does not necessarily offer the least nutritional value.
To be confident that you are giving your dog the finest diet, be careful when reading and understanding what’s on the label of the bag or tin. Familiarize yourself with what’s included in the nutritional facts, and above all the inside ingredients dog food. Knowing which ingredients will be beneficial and what will be unsafe to your dog’s health is vital. As we all know, the type of food that our dog consumes can be the ultimate measure as to what level of health our dog has. It will also help them live longer and enjoy our companionship.
What to Look For
- Protein – the first ingredient on the label should be protein, and the type should be animal based. This nutrient is needed for the development of the dog’s strong muscles.
- Fats – this provides energy to your dog that they require for any activity. It also delivers amino fatty acids to make their coat shiny and skin healthy.
- Carbohydrates – although it is essential in a dog’s diet, make sure that you get one that has a higher protein content. Too much carbohydrate will make your dog less energetic and will likely give it bowel problems.
- Vitamins – there are several vitamins that aid in the good health of your pet, and they each predominantly help specific parts.
- Vitamin A – this is important for good eyesight and a strong immune system.
- Vitamin D – this aids in the calcium and phosphorous absorption to help bone mineralization.
- Vitamin E – this contributes to the development of healthy cell membranes and immune system because it is considered to be an antioxidant.
- Vitamin B Complex – B vitamins are needed in the processing of other nutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to turn it into energy.
- Calcium and Phosphorous – these two are essential for developing healthy and strong bones.
- Potassium – this maintains a healthy balance of fluid in the dog’s body.
- Magnesium – this is essential for proper bone growth and metabolism of vitamin c, vitamin e, phosphorous and calcium.
- Iron – this helps make sure that the dog has healthy red blood cells that can deliver oxygenated blood throughout its body.
- Zinc – this strengthens cell walls and helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin – this is especially needed in the diet of active dogs as well as aging ones. These two collectively work to help build and maintain healthy joints.
What to Avoid Ingredients-Dog-Food-2
- Corn gluten meal – this is a form of incomplete protein that is used by dog food manufacturers to substitute animal protein.
- Artificial preservatives – if you see BHA, BHT or Ethoxyquin, then the dog food is not recommended by us.
- Artificial colors, sugars and sweeteners – corn syrup, sucrose, and propylene glycol are added to keep chewy foods succulent but when added in large amounts, it can be dangerous and toxic.
- Cellulose – this is derived from dried wood that provides no nutritional value and used as fillers and gives texture to the food. It may be harmful if the wood used has been treated with chemicals.
Though there are not many ingredients dog food that is perfect, you should of course try to get one that is of the highest possible quality. Read the labels, bearing in mind the above, and choose for yourself which is the best dog health food for your budget and of course, your dog!