Your dog is likely someone you consider to be part of the family. Because of that, you take their nutritional health seriously. Not all dog food is actually nutritional, and because of that, you should look out for these key aspects of dog food to avoid.
When you examine your dog’s food, one of the key red alerts that you should look for is anything that says by-products. It may say chicken by-product or meat by-product. This means that the meat that was used in the making of the food came from either a dead, dying, diseased or disabled animal.
These 4 D’s are things that food quality technicians look out for in human food. If an animal falls under any of those categories, the food is tossed out. For canines, however, the meat is still considered edible and served to them.
That does not mean that the food is healthy for them to eat. By-products aren’t good for dogs. It can cause cancer and other problems. Instead, you should look for a dog food that gives dogs actual muscle meat from the animal.
Another ingredient to watch out for is corn. A lot of dog food brands use corn as a filler in their recipes. To keep the price cheap, these companies use more corn than actual meat. That isn’t good for your dog.
Corn doesn’t do anything nutritionally for them. Much like in humans, it’s basically empty calories. More than that, a dog can’t digest corn as easily as it can meat. As a result, the dog’s body has to work harder in order to digest it.
This can cause gastrointestinal problems. They can become constipated, have an upset stomach, or just have a difficult time digesting food, in general, over time.
One big red flag that you should look for is the use of BHA or other preservatives in the food. BHA, in particular, has been linked to cancer through numerous studies performed by the World Health Organization. Yet many dog food companies still use it as a way to preserve the dog food.
To limit the chance of your dog developing cancer, try to steer clear of preservatives as much as possible.
4. Whole Grains
Another filler that is often used to keep dog food cheap is to use whole grains. Much like corn, these grains don’t offer much in the way of nutritional value. In fact, all they might do is make your dogs gain weight. This is because dogs can’t digest whole grains as well either.
When you want to give your dog the best nutritional meal, you’ll want to stick with dog food that limits its ingredients. You need real muscle meat and a few vegetables that actually do something for them.
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5. Meat and Bone Meal
Similar to by-products, meat and bone meal is another ingredient in dog food that should be avoided. These two ingredients work similarly to by-products in that they are harvested from animals that don’t match the standards for human consumption. Instead, they’re considered ‘feed-grade.’
These lower standards mean that your dog could be eating some pretty nasty contaminants and toxins from the leftover meat. While they might be getting some protein, they’re also ingesting potentially terrible pollutants and diseases.
6. Rendered Fat
One last ingredient to watch out for is rendered fat. You’ll likely see animal fat or rendered fat listed in the ingredients of certain dog foods. These should also be avoided. Rendered fat is used to enhance the flavor of certain kibble dog foods. It also can contain toxins.
"If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two."
-- Phil Pastoret