It is important to read labels even dry dog food ingredient labels. Is meat the first ingredient? how much corn is o.k.? Should I be feeding a grain-free diet just because?
Food as medicine is a common way of thinking for us humans, but what about our pets? There is fierce competition in the dog food industry it is hard for us pet parents to make the best choice. Even for pets, quality food choices help keep immune systems in tip-top shape and leads to a healthy pet. Just like us pets can be prone to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancers. High quality nutrition can help avoid these future problems, but what is the most nutritious option? what factors do we include, are all ingredients the same? Do dogs need both wet and dry food? Is the cost for designer food worth it?
As a pet parent, choosing your pet’s diet is an important decision to make. We all want the best for our pets. But, many factors come into play, such as breed, age, activity level as well as your family’s pet budget. There are endless choices and opinions on what is best. Dry dog food is convenient and budget-friendly and there are several ways to know you can get a quality product for your fluffy friend, without compromising their health. Despite new foods on the market and current research, still dry dog food can be a part of a healthy happy pup’s diet.
What ingredients should you avoid in Dry Dog Food?
- meat or “by-products” (more about this later)
- Preservatives like BHA butylated Hydroxyanisole, BHT Butylated Hydroxytoluene, and Ethoxyquin
- Propylene Glycol
- Food Dyes
- Corn and Wheat gluten or White Flour
- Corn Syrup
- Pea Protein
Most of these are merely fillers and preservatives and unnecessary. Dry dog food is processed food and it is convenient however, there are many fresher options than your standard kibble. Many of these chemicals have natural alternatives such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, or Rosemary extract that HAVE NOT been found to be cancer-causing in rats. Manufacturers have gotten smart and also add sweeteners to entice your pet to consume their product. It is a brilliant marketing strategy as dogs have developed a sweet tooth, however unnecessary.
Be wary of ingredients like soy, or corn as they can be an allergen. If your dog has or develops an allergy it can develop dry itchy skin, a lack of appetite or other tummy troubles.
Did you know dogs can’t see clearly up close? and are considered red-green color blind? Why do they artificially color dog kibble? For YOU ! not them.
What to Look for in Dry Dog Food ingredients
It is important to make an informed choice., and do your research and read those labels. A dog’s diet should be comprised of mostly meat, vegetables, and fruits. as well as a minimal amount of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates do offer added essential vitamins and nutrients to their diet. It is recommended that they only make up about 14% of the dog’s diet. That is lower than most commercial dog foods. A neat trick to know is, the ingredients are listed in order of quantity from highest to lowest. The best order listing sof dry dog food ingredients :
- Chicken, Beef, Lamb, (not by-products)
- Whole grain
- Whole vegetables (and Fruit)
- An expiration date that is 6 months out.
- Look for the Association of American Feed Control Officials statement of the label
It is a small list of quality ingredients to look for on the bag. Simple is best. It is also a great idea to discuss options with your veterinarian.
Can a dog live on Dry Dog Food alone?
Yes and No.
In a pinch a dog can live on dry dog food alone, however, a dog is considered an omnivore. They are opportunistic eaters and will eat both plants and animals, even in the wild. Dry food is higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat which is not ideal for all breeds, but many dogs have happily lived on kibble alone.
Kibble does provide a great way to keep teeth healthy , chewing helps clean teeth, and breakdown the food to make digestions easier too.
Since dry food is processed and dry, it is important to make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh clean water at all times. Dry dog food does not help with hydration. At home, our best furry friend does get a mix of both wet and dry. (as well as a variety of healthy treats). We feel that is what is best for her.
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I’m a busy blogger pet parent to my senior-aged cat Pizza. We have traveled all over Los Angeles, endured several moves, jobs, roommates and now global pandemic together. Today we write, learn, and share information and our favorite products, in hopes you can experience your best life with pets too, We currently live with other humans and their beautiful dog.