Published at Friday, May 24th 2019. by Montaine Michel in Dog Food.
Just as potato chips may be considered a ”filler food” for humans, with few nutritional benefits and being high in fats, additives and preservatives, some commercial dog food can be placed in the same category. If you have ever looked at the ingredient panel on a bag of ”generic” or ”store brand” dog food, you will see that they are highly processed and may contain bi-products and lots of preservatives. Foods of this caliber do little to keep your pet healthy and full of energy. ”Top Rated” or ”Name Brand” dog foods are usually healthier than their cheaper, mass produced counterparts. Your biggest concern should be the health and happiness of your dog. Giving your dog a food that is of good quality, while higher at the check-out stand, may actually save you money in the long run in vet bills. Many people say that dog food is dog food, but they are missing the facts that by choosing top rated dog food, they may actually improve their dog's health.
So, why is a high quality meat based diet so important? For dogs, meat is the appropriate source of protein and fat is the appropriate source of energy. High quality meat contains all the proteins, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients needed for dogs to live a long and healthy life. Yet, carbohydrates have become the dominant nutrient found in most dog foods. Why is this? Because they are abundant, have a long shelf life, and are cheaper than protein and fat. What does this mean? Less expensive dog foods generally include less meat and more animal by-products and grain fillers. Is this good? Keep reading to find out.
The multinational pet food companies have increased bulk-purchasing power; those that make human food products have a captive market in which to capitalize on their waste products, and pet food divisions have a more reliable capital base and, in many cases, a convenient source of ingredients. The ingredients listed on the label are very much less as to what is actually present in the food – they are tiny; and the items themselves are usually scraps and rejects from processors of human foods-certainly not the whole, fresh ingredients they want you to picture. The labeling of dog food is a confusing discussion to say the least and very much a tell half-truth scenario. Many label rules exist such as; the ”Flavour” Rule that states that a food may be labelled as ”Beef Flavoured Dog Food” even if it does not contain any beef, as long as the flavour is ”sufficiently detectable. When a label reads ”With Real Turkey,” a consumer may assume that he is purchasing quality turkey dog food for his pet. If the label reads ”Beef and Liver for Dogs,” the food must contain a combined amount of beef and liver to total 95%, and again there must be more beef since it is listed first. However, as I outlined above the amounts in there are based on tiny morsels and weight – weight is inclusive of water content too.
Dog food producers know very well how to make high quality, healthy dog food as evidenced by the expensive 5 star brands, but the problem is, it is just too expensive for most dog owners. And to be competitive with other producers, the price of the food dictates what the foundation or the primary ingredient is; and it is not meat. In a nutshell, most dog owners are feeding their dogs as if they were plant eating herbivores rather than meat eating carnivores. But it is not your fault that producers are not disclosing the truth about the nutritional value of their dog foods, but instead doing everything in their power to convince you they are nutritionally complete and the best food for your dog.
Commercial dog foods tend to be comprised of one meat product and several other items that are generally carbs or meat by-products. The first five ingredients listed on the side of a bag of dog food tends to be a basic summary of 95% of its contents. This is fine, but the issue is when pet food companies embellish on the value of the product within the bag. It is a no-brainer that any dog owner should pay close attention to these items, and the way the items are placed and worded on the package.
So, what if you cannot afford a high quality meat based diet for your dog? Then, of the dog foods available in your budget, choose the best one. And to supplement your dog's diet, offer your dog bone free table scraps that contain healthy, digestible protein and fat content. Better your dog benefit from the nutrients and variety rather than disposing of them. Please be aware that several common seasonings, including onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and avocado can create problems for your dog and should be removed from the table scraps.
Before purchasing a commercial dog food, check the label carefully. Most commercial food is manufactured with bi-products and poor quality meats. They may even be made with highly processed meats and organs from diseased sources. Processors believe that by heating the foods to extremely high temperatures will kill all the bad things in the food. All this typically ensures is that any nutrients that may have been found in other ingredients is cooked out. One of the best things to look for in a dog food is that it is made from ”human grade” meat ingredients. Simply put, ”human grade” meat used in the dog food could have been served to someone in a restaurant. Most ”cheaper” commercial foods, and some of the more expensive ones, do not use meat that was meant for human consumption. If you wouldn't eat it, why feed it to your best friend?
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