If you own an average dog (with no allergies or other health issues) figuring out what to feed them tends to be based on availability, affordability, and word of mouth recommendations from friends and vets. In the light of the allegations of tainted food and treats hailing from Chinese manufacturers, dog owners need more information on what should be in dog food rather than what to avoid.
Buying Healthy Dog Food
The Dog Food Project, has a very detailed list of ingredients to avoid (including the chemical names for these ingredients). A less complicated approach to finding healthy dog food is watching out for fillers such as corn and rice. These carbohydrates are empty calories lacking beneficial nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fibre. When these fillers are the main ingredients in dog food and treats, problems with bloating, diarrhea, and gas may result. Additionally, there is the argument that carnivores receive no nutritional value from grains or vegetables and that majority of allergens in pets are caused by these grain fillers.
Avoid foods with the term “by-product” attached to it. By-products tend to mean the bits of an animal (chicken, lamb, cattle, and so forth) that are less savoury. These are the bits that would be considered waste and thrown away if it was food being prepared for humans. Why should our dogs eat this? This is the same for meat described as “meal”. Meal also tends to describe the waste product from meats.
If we (as humans) are trying to avoid over-processed foods, food additives, dyes, and preservatives in our own diets, we should probably try to keep them to a minimum when feeding our pets too! We want the food they eat to provide all the nutrition a vibrant creature needs from their daily diet. Sadly, cost can be a factor when we it comes to buying healthy dog food, but the easiest way to avoid over-processed and unhealthy food choices is to buy from reputable pet food suppliers versus your local grocery store.
What other tips do you have to help dog owners make healthy dog food choices?