Dogs are mainly carnivores. They will eat non-meat foods but don’t do really well on them. Dogs have problems digesting people food, including corn, wheat, and soy, and that is a problem because cheap dog food is made with fillers that includes those items.
However, that’s not all that is in your dog food. Some of those additives common in cheaper foods can seriously harm your pet. Better quality dog food might be a bit more expensive, but you can save money on vet bills. Before we look at what should be in your dog food, let’s take a look at what is added to dog food.
Bad Stuff in Dog Food
Dog food is made from “feed grade” products. Since these are lower quality, they made contain mold toxins, the meat may come from dead animals from feedlots, animal shelter, and marketing barns or it can be fat, grease and food wastes from restaurants and stores. The dead animals may contain pentobarbital, a chemical used to euthanize animals.
Dog food may contain BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin. These chemicals stabilize fats and are known carcinogens. All three are prohibited for use in human food. Propylene glycol (PG) is added to wet food and soft treats to keep them moist. PG is a derivative of antifreeze and that is extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Food colorings are as bad for animals as they are for humans and lead to hypercreativity, behavioral problems and cancer.
Rendered fats at flavor, microorganisms like salmonella, and heavy metals to your dog’s diet. And finally, human food contaminated with rodent, roach, or bird droppings can be used in animal food.
How to Find Good Food?
Meat like beef, lamb, chicken or turkey. Avoid the terms meat, animal, or poultry – this means it came from that animal, but not which part
Meat Meal. Again, the meat should be identified as beef, lamb, chicken or turkey.
Vegetables – but NOT corn, wheat or beep pulp. Whole fruit is acceptable.
Grain – grain-free is preferable, but brown rice or potatoes are acceptable. Avoid grain fragments.
If it contains fish, it should have no artificial preservatives
Tocopherol is an acceptable preservative
What to Avoid
Make sure you avoid corn, wheat, or soy in any form. Meat by-products, animal meat, and poultry are all terms for the junk scraped off the slaughter house floor or even from road kill collections. Avoid artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives such as BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin, and propyl gallate.
If the label lists the same sort of ingredient over and over it is hiding how much is in the food. It might look like “brown rice, white rice, rice bran, and rice gluten meal.” It is all the same thing!
Avoid food, treats, and toys made in China. Unfortunately, there have been many instances of Chinese made pet food contaminated with melamine, a plastic the increase protein levels in laboratory testing. Melamine causes kidney failure and death.
But It is Expensive!
Good quality dog food is expensive. Start with a sample before you buy that 50-pound bag. If your dog hates it, you won’t be out that much. You’ll find it takes far less good quality dog food to keep your dog at a healthy weight and that cost is offset by the dog eating less.
Once your dog has a preferred brand, you can order off the internet often much less expensively that you can buy buying a bag at a time. Compare it at price per pound and don’t forget to add in shipping.
Taking time to do your research will help your pet live a longer, healthier life and save you in vet bills over your dog’s lifetime. Start your research and look for deals today!