The Best Dog Food – Learn How to Choose the Best Food for your Dog

March 20, 2009  
Filed under Dog Food Tips

Dog FoodWhen looking for the best dog food there are many variables to consider.  No matter what breed of dog you have, there are hundreds of dog food options available. This can provide a significant amount of difficulty when trying to choose the best dog food to meet your standards. There are some simple steps that you can take to help choose a high quality dog food that will best help maintain your dog’s good health.

BEWARE OF PRESERVATIVES

Due to the process involved in creating commercial dog food, some dog food companies will add different preservatives to increase shelf life. However, some of these preservatives can be very harmful to your dog’s well-being, and may cause serious health conditions. Examples of dangerous preservatives for Labrador Retrievers include: Potassium Sorbate, Ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT. Ethoxyquin in particular has been a subject of debate, with some veterinary studies linking it to potentially serious liver damage. Natural preservatives that are not harmful to your dog’s health include Vitamin C and Vitamin E, though these natural preservatives give your dog food a much shorter shelf life.

PROPER NUTRITIONAL RATIO

A generally applied ratio for your dog’s nutritional needs is a formula that contains 50% vegetables, 40% meat/protein, and 10% (or less) carbohydrates (sugars, grains, starches, etc). However, this guideline has been modified by some dog nutritional specialists, instead suggesting that a dog food contain 70% meat, 30% vegetables, and no carbohydrate ingredients. This is the nutritional philosophy behind dog food companies such as Orijen Dog Food, who have developed their formula using absolutely no grains or starches. If your dog consumes a diet that is high in carbohydrates, this can cause diabetes, as well as obesity. Because your dog’s digestive system is not fully equipped to handle a high-carbohydrate diet, use caution when choosing a dog food that has a high carbohydrate content.

AVOID “FILLER” INGREDIENTS

A filler is something that has been added to your dog’s food to help him feel “full” but contains little to no nutritional value.

Examples of filler ingredients include:

  • Citrus pulp
  • Corn and wheat
  • Seed Hulls
  • Soy
  • Animal Digest

Some fillers can actually irritate your dog’s digestive system. So, if you have an older dog or an animal with health problems, feeding a food without fillers may improve his or her health.

To avoid fillers, look at the ingredients on your pet food. While some companies may list real meat as their number one ingredient, they may actually have more fillers, which reduces the ratio of quality ingredients to useless ones.

DIETARY VARIETY

Just like humans, dogs will respond well to a small amount of variation in their diet. Some veterinary experts recommend that you switch between two or three different dog food brands about once every two months. You should maintain a quality standard for all of your chosen foods, and be sure that each dog food is compatible with your dog’s digestive system (i.e. no regurgitated food!).

There you have it.  I hope that these tips have been helpful.  Are you familiar with the ingredients in your dog’s food?

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Comments

18 Responses to “The Best Dog Food – Learn How to Choose the Best Food for your Dog”
  1. Michelle says:

    Jess-glad to hear that Tony is doing well-sometimes dogs can be really traumatized by an attack like that.BTW-that food is in pet stores and also Giant Eagle in my area.I don’t have a clue what the price is-but I can check the next time I go to the store.I would think it wouldn’t be too expensive if it’s sold at the grocery store-it’s probably the only decent food sold in there.Also they have a store locator on their website-but when I used the 10 mile limit it said no matches-so I tried the 50 mile radius and came up with a store that is 4.5 miles from my house.I thought that was kind of retarded.Maybe you would want to replace Tony’s medallions with that food?I know that you like to use several different kinds of food.Oh well anyway-just a thought.

  2. Michelle says:

    Hello-I came across a dog food that I have never heard of-so I thought I would post their website in case anyone wants to check it out. http://www.fish4dogs.com

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Should you have a concern regarding the diet of your dog, you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is the opinion of the author, and is presented solely for informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving professional veterinary care for your dog(s).
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