There are a ton of dog foods out there, but not all are considered equal. So how can you determine which one is best for your dog or cat? The answer usually lies in the ingredients label.
We all know dogs and cats are carnivores (they eat meat – and a lot of it). So you want to make sure that the first/main ingredients on the label of your dog/cat food are, in fact, meat. And not just any meat – you want the specific animal listed (we’ll go into why that is later). Many commercial feeds will list corn or wheat as the main ingredient(s), because its a cheap source of carbohydrates, but dogs and cats are not designed to process those starches well, so most of it goes right through their systems. (Corn and wheat are also the top 2 food-related allergies in dogs.) At least 2 of the first 5 ingredients listed should be (specific) meat products.
Secondly, you want to be wary of the word “by-products”. Those by-products are the parts of an animal labeled “unfit for human consumption” by the FDA – the waste parts of an animal.
And lastly, any meat ingredient that does not list the SPECIFIC animal (i.e. chicken, beef, turkey, etc) should be AVOIDED! “Meat products” or “animal products” are items that can come from almost any kind of animal – including road kill, dead zoo animals, horses, etc..
So make SURE that your label lists each kind of meat they use.
Natural and holistic dog food companies pledge to use high quality ingredients without fillers and by-products. Most typically avoid incorporating corn or wheat as a grain base, and meat is the number one ingredient. They then go the extra mile to add beneficial nutrients without adding the unnecessary chemicals.
A well balanced and nutritious dog or cat food promotes better health, strong bones, fewer digestion problems, less waste, better breath, and an overall better quality of life for your pet! Now who wouldn’t want that?