Most dog owners strive to give their four-legged pets the best life possible, though many might be fooled by certain pet foods on the market. Some big name brands claim to have only the best ingredients, but in certain cases, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Because of this, it’s important to understand what to look for in a kibble in order to help your dog maintain a healthy diet for life.
Modern Dog Magazine reports the best way to ensure your pooch is getting the top nutrients is to read and understand the ingredients list on dog food.
What to look for
The top item to look for in a dog food is a single meat or protein source, whether it be chicken, beef, lamb or fish. It should also say specifically what meat is in the food, rather than it saying “meat meal,” which means the food is made up of more than one type of protein. If grains are the second ingredient on a food’s list, you should skip over that food, as many times it means that once water is removed, there are actually more grains than meats in the kibble, the news outlet reports.
Avoid pet food with these items
An easy way for manufacturers to add more grains and fillers into dog food is to split them up separately. This way, they can put the protein higher on the list, followed by the array of grains. If they were all put in the same category, the companies would need to list the grains first, as they would make up more of the food than actual meat. So, avoid foods that list a protein followed by ingredients like wheat, flour, wheat bran, wheat shorts and wheat germs, for example.
High quality pet food will clearly label the source of protein or the source of fat on the ingredients list, while lower quality kibble will typically just say “meat,” or “fat.” If you notice your dog’s current food lists the latter, you may be feeding your dog mystery meat – which is never a good thing for its health.
Other items that are commonly found in low quality pet food include additives such as sugars like glucose, fructose or corn syrup. These are unnecessary in a dog’s diet and are commonly added to improve the taste of the kibble, especially since these brands typically skimp on real meat and fresh produce in their food.
By understanding what should and should not go in your dog’s food, you’ll be able to help find the right kibble for its body.