Do You Know What’s In Your Dog’s Food?

Do you ever worry about the quality of the dog food that you feed your beloved pet? Did you read about the millions of pet food recalls a few years back and wonder if perhaps you should make your own homemade dog food? You’re not the only one. There are so many products on the market, all boasting something special and at different price ranges, it’s hard to know which ones are best for your dog.
There are probably just as many opinions on what is the best dog feeding method as there are dog food products. Everyone seems to have different ideas and reasons for the choices they make when picking out their dog’s food, some as simple as finances. Sometimes, the only food we can afford to buy is going to be the food they eat. Unfortunately, some of these lower priced dog foods may have below par ingredients that may ultimately harm your dog in the long run by not providing the proper nutrients. This could mean additional and unexpected vet bills.
The generic, or store brand types of dog food are generally considered to be of a lower quality than other dog foods. Often these brands are full of lower quality ingredients with a lot of fillers and not as many nutrients as other brand name dog food products. Although they may help your budget, a quick look at a generic and a brand name list of ingredients, will quickly show you why the store brand food is less expensive than the popular name brand when comparing similar items.
You should stay away from products that don’t even tell you what type of animal they used in the making of the food. I’d like to know if it contains say, chicken or seafood or veal. I have never heard of the “Meat By-Product” animal and don’t really want to know what they taste like. A Food Supplement Vs Dietary Supplement meat by-product can be just about anything and may have no nutritional value whatsoever. The first item on the list of ingredients is the most prevalent item in the food. When the first ingredient is some type of “meal” like corn you will be getting mostly filler and little nutrients.
Just because your dog likes the less expensive dog food, it doesn’t mean it’s good for him. Remember he is a dog, and will eat just about anything. Often these foods are laced with chemicals and additives that make the food look, taste and smell great, but the reality is that it’s just not the best food. Again, you can see these additives on the label; look for: coloring, drying agents and texturizers, and try to stay clear of them.
When you visit your local or online pet store you’ll find so many different types of premium brand dog food, your head will spin. Most of these products include the highest grade ingredients without harmful chemicals or additives and are honestly good for your dog. There is a wide range and variety, all claiming to be the best, and most come at a premium price. Sometimes it seems the dogs may eat better than us, but are you willing to pay the price?
Many people have chosen to make their dog’s food at home so they will know and control exactly what their dog is being fed. You must however, do your research and make sure that you include the proper balance of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Also, because dog’s have different digestive systems than us, you have to make them easily digestible. Feeding a dog table scraps is not a proper way to feed your dog, and could, in fact cause irreparable harm.
If you have the time, and would like to try making and feeding your dog wholesome, nutritious food from home, the “BARF” diet is the way to go. The BARF diet is attributed to Dr. Ian Billinghurst and stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Although this diet is quite different from commercial dog foods, both will provide your dog with a proper nutritional balance and the best ingredients available. The BARF diet is made up of whole foods, in a way that their ancestors would have eaten. This includes muscle, bone, organs and vegetable materials, the type that would have been ingested by dogs in the wild.
Although there are many great things to be said about the BARF diet, the biggest downside of it is the time it takes to research and prepare it. As with everything else, there is great information available online and in books to teach you the proper methods for preparation, so it need not be difficult, just time-consuming. With this diet your dog will get all the nutrients he needs and you will have the peace of mind of knowing exactly what goes into his food.
The main thing you need to know when it comes to feeding your dog is that not all dog foods are created equal. Some products will keep them full but give them little in the way of nutrition, and others may cost an arm and a leg, and be Medical Treatment Book no better than a common commercial brand. It’s up to you to control what your dog eats, and by simply reading the ingredients and AAFCO standards, you will be an educated consumer and help your dog live a longer and healthier life.
My father in law had a saying: “Food is the best medicine”. This goes for dog food too.

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