I am completely uninterested in endorsing one product of food that is best for you dog. I do believe that dog health and nutrition are very important, so I will provide a set of guidelines to consider when comparing the nutrients in dog food. I will also identify some food products (and by-products) that are not good for your pet, and often don’t digest well. With this information, you can determine what brand is best for the needs of your dog, and best for your budget. It’s important to realize that certain foods offer “puppy” or “senior” which will provide more, and different, vitamins and ingredients for the stage of life your pup is in. Some dogs are allergic to certain ingredients, so being aware of the ingredients in the dog food you purchase for your furry family member is important. I personally prefer organic food for myself and for Cooper, simply because I think it’s better to promote organic farmers rather than GMO mass producing farms. In addition, organic produce often has more nutrients, making them naturally easier to digest.
What nutrients are important
- Meat, meat and more meat. Meat and fat ingredients should be identified by species (turkey, lamb, beef, fish etc.).
- Ingredients three and four should be vegetables
- Whole fruits as a portion of ingredients three and four are fine — especially if they replace grains.
- Basically, keep it natural.
50% real meat and 50% vegetables is ideal.
Stay away from:
- Grains. Avoid formulas with ‘grain fragments’ since these are non-nutritive fillers. Grain-free formulas will frequently use potatoes as the starch, which holds the food together during processing. If you do use a grain, in small amounts, rolled oats, barley, quinoa, millet and brown rice are best.
- Corn, wheat or beet pulp
- Leave all pet food containing corn or soy in any form on the shelf. Corn is a cheap filler ingredient, non-nutritious for pets and a known allergenic. Soy is estrogenic and wreaks havoc on your pet’s endocrine system.
- Also walk away from formulas containing by-products, especially those that don’t specify the type of meat in the meat by-product. Believe it or not, meat by-products, especially those not specified as a certain kind of meat, will contain parts of beaks, feathers, feet, hooves, hair and even tumors that have been ground into the mix during processing. Although some by-products may provide some nutrition, such as spleens and other organ meats, because they are all lumped together, it’s best to avoid them.
In addition to these food do’s and don’ts, it’s good to be aware of pet food recalls and the reasons for them. Another thing to keep in mind if you decide that your dog food isn’t healthy enough, or if your pet brand has recently been recalled, make sure to slowly implement the food change, in order to prevent tummy aches and issues for your dog.
Is there a dog food that your dog loves, and is also nutritious? Comment below and let us know!