There’s so much that goes into making your pet’s favorite dog food. Many years of thought, research, and testing goes into the food that your dog eats daily. When it comes to reading and analyzing the nutritional label on the back of your dog food, what should you look for? What ingredients are best for your dog?
We are breaking down the fundamentals of pet food labels and nutrition, so you are fully informed about the food you’re feeding your pup. The first two ingredients listed on the nutritional profile for your dog’s food are the most important because labels list ingredients by weight, starting with the highest first.
As humans, we know how important protein is when it comes to making sure we keep going throughout the day. The same goes for your dog which it’s why it’s listed at the first ingredient on the nutritional label for your dog’s food, meaning it’s the most prominent ingredient in your dog’s food.
For dogs, protein is an important source of essential amino acids and energy, and it should be listed as the first ingredient on any pet food you’re thinking of feeding your pup. It should be whole meat, like poultry, red meat, or fish.
“Protein is an important part of a dog’s diet,” said Dr. Bradley Quest, DVM. “Protein is made up of 22 amino acids, which can be thought of as the building blocks of protein. 12 of these amino acids a dog makes in their body, but the other 10 need to be supplied by animal sources such as meat, poultry, fish in the dog’s diet.”
When it comes to protein options for your pup, the great news is there are a wide variety of protein options available for every type of pup: Whether he has food sensitivities or simply doesn’t prefer the taste of fish or chicken. For example, Inception Pork Recipe has pork and pork meal as the first two ingredients which means it will make up a large portion of the dog food.
Next listed on your dog’s food nutritional profile are binders. Binders can consist of oats, millet, and milo. They are all healthy sources of carbohydrates and also contain other micro-nutrients such as magnesium, copper, and zinc. They’re also a healthy source of fiber and a great way to ensure that your dog is getting the nutritious benefits he needs from his food.
Other binders can also consist of corn, wheat, soy, and/or rice. These ingredients may either be good or bad for your pet, depending on individual food sensitivities they might have.
After binders, the next ingredients listed on the label are vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Inception dog food recipes contain healthy grains such as oats, millet, and milo, as well as other important vitamins and minerals for your dog such as Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement. Vitamin A is great for your dog’s vision (it’s the same vitamin that’s in carrots) as well as immune function and growth. Vitamin D3 is great for dogs because it’s a vitamin they simply can’t get from the sun due to their thick coat and oil on their skin, so it’s best they get Vitamin D3 in their diet.
Lastly, Vitamin E helps your dog to develop healthy and strong muscles and keep their immune system strong.
You might be thinking: What about taurine and L-carnitine? Well new studies have shown that taurine and L-carnitine are might be beneficial for your dogs’ health. It’s great when both are listed on the nutritional ingredient list for your dog’s food.
All Inception Dog Recipes are supplemented with taurine and L-carnitine.
“Most pet foods are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for your dog’s overall health and can be important nutrients for body functions such as healthy skin and coat, digestive health, synthesis of hormones and enzymes and development of the brain and nervous system,” said Dr. Quest.
A great starting point when assessing pet food for your dog is to make sure it has met the requirements outlined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If so, it will usually be stated somewhere on the packaging. This means the food has gone through and met the nutritional requirements outlined by AAFCO and contains all the nutrients needed to ensure your dog is receiving a balanced diet. “It is important to make sure any food has the AAFCO statement that means the pet food has been formulated to AAFCO nutrient requirements or has undergone AAFCO feeding studies to help make sure it meets your dog’s nutritional requirements to stay healthy,” said Dr. Bradley Quest.
If you have any questions about the food, you’re feeding your pup and if it meets his specific nutritional requirements, it’s always best to talk with your veterinarian.