High quality dog foods should contain the following:
Sources of protein, that are either whole fresh meats or single source meat meal such as chicken meal rather than poultry meal. I know they sound the same but they are not. Be wary of generic terms for meat.
On packaged dog foods, a whole-meat source should be the first two ingredients, such as beef, lamb or chicken.
Whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables, and other foods, such as brown rice and not fillers such as brown rice hulls. See the difference?
Poor quality dog foods will contain the following:
Corn is the number one ingredient in most low quality dog food. Corn is a low cost filler and nothing more. Dogs have a very difficult time digesting corn and there is no nutrition value in it for your dog.
Meat by products are not whole meats. They are a boiled down goop of animal body parts that are processed into soft dog food or dried and turned into kibble. To learn more about the processing cycle read Are You Poisoning Your Dog? Any food that contains meat by-products as the MAIN source of protein is indicative of a low-quality product, that can be the cause of disease in your animals.
Dogs do need some fat in their diets, but you should avoid feeding them any food that contain fats or proteins that are named generically such as animal fat or poultry fat instead of beef, chicken or lamb fat. Again, the specific name of the type of animal fat is the key here.
Artificial preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and ethioxyquin are found in most low cost dog foods to preserve the shelf life. If your dog food can be left on a shelf for several years without turning rancid, then it contains these chemicals. In animals, ethioxyquin (EQ) has been linked to immune deficiency syndrome; spleen, stomach, and liver cancers; and a host of skin allergies
Artificial colors are added to dog food to appease you, the human owner, not the dog. Dogs are color blind and could careless what color their food is. Artificial colors are not good for you or your dog.
Sugars such as corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, cane syrup, or ammoniated glycyrrhizin, to name only a few of the names to disguise sugar, are added to improve unappealing food. Obesity and tooth decay are only two of the problems that too much sugar causes.
Propylene glycol is a toxic substance, when consumed in large amounts like daily feedings, and is added into the goop at the processing plants to give a moist appearance and texture to the “chewy” dog foods.
I can never stress enough to research and learn what the ingredients in your dog food mean and to read your dog food labels. By educating yourself, you may find out what the causes of your dogs illnesses are and be able to cure you pup yourself without the help of the medicines from the vet.
Just by the simple action on your part, of changing your dogs food from an over processed, full of chemicals food, to the nutritious food he needs can eliminate many of the disease, allergies and common ailments that dogs face in todays over processed world.
Photo by Tatiana Rodriguez on Unsplash