Do you know what’s in your dog’s food? Many commercial pet foods may contain ingredients like animal by-products and preservatives that may be harmful to your beloved pet. Combined with filler products like grains, many of which don’t benefit a dog’s health, and provide only empty calories, and artificial colorings and flavorings, these are then processed at high temperatures, effectively destroying any nutritional value the food may have had.
Unsurprisingly, canine obesity and diabetes, as well as a whole host of other health problems have been on the rise, many of them attributed to poor diet and nutrition. The preservatives and chemical ingredients found in many commercial dog foods have even been linked to such health issues as digestive problems and even cancers.
Today, many brands of premium and natural dog foods have entered the market, giving dog owners literally hundreds of choices for dog food, kibble and dog treats, each with it’s own claims of superiority and quality. What is a pet owner to do in order to ensure that his dog gets only the best nutrition?
One of the most important things for all pet owners to learn is how to read the labels of a good pet food. In order to familiarize himself with the labels on pet products, a conscientious pet owner must know which ingredients a healthy pet food should and should not contain.
For example, animal by-products listed in the ingredients mean that the food uses, as a source of protein any by-products from the processing of animals – including hooves and hair, stomach contents, slaughterhouse waste, manure, meat from diseased animals and sometimes even euthanized pets. These highly undesireable ingredients are used in many brands of dog food and dog treats.
The order in which the ingredients appear is also an important factor. It is important to pay attention to the order that ingredients are listed – the first on the list comprises the biggest part of the food. One sure indication of a low quality pet food is one that lists corn, corn meal or other corn based products as its first ingredient. This is usually used by pet food companies in order to keep costs down, but provide little nutritional benefit, and can cause health problems like allergies in cats and dogs.
Pet owners should also take care not to overfeed their pets with dog treats like table scraps, which might contain ingredients that are harmful to their canine companions. High quality dog treats like flint river ranch dog food contains the same ingredients as their pet food, ensuring that what your dog gets is not junk and fillers, but a nutritious and rewarding treat.
Melinda Smith lives with her three dogs and veterinarian husband by lake Michigan. An advocate of healthy and natural diets for her own pets, she has seen the difference that a high quality diet can make. High quality pet foods and dog treats like Flint River Ranch dog food have improved her dogs’ health, happiness and even their coats and breath. She regularly writes advice about dog care, and dog food online.
– Melinda Smith