It’s no secret that feeding your canine companion is one of the most important parts of pet parenting. On the surface, it might seem like choosing a dog food for your pooch is a pretty simple and straightforward process; however, when you actually head out to the pet store, you’ll find that there is an endless array of options to choose from: dry dog food, organic dog food, wet dog food, and even human-grade dog food; the list seems to go on and on. There are also dozens of dog food brands to choose from, such as Royal Canin dog food, Eukanuba dog food, Taste of the Wild dog food, just to name a few. With so many options, trying to select a high quality, well-balanced, nutritious food for your pooch can seem like a pretty daunting task.
So, how can you narrow down all of the different options and make sure that you are picking the best possible dog food? The best way is to read the list of ingredients! If you spot any of the following ingredients listed in a formula you are considering, keep on searching, keep on shopping:
- Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Unfortunately, a lot of dog food formulas are filled with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. The first makes the food look more appealing, the second makes it taste more palatable, and the third helps it last longer; unfortunately, all of them can be bad for your pet’s health. Artificial anything translates to chemicals, and we probably don’t have to tell you, but chemicals are not a part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Stay away from anything that contains byproducts. Why? – Because byproducts are the internal remains of an animal; the parts of the animal that remain once the meat has been removed, like the lungs, the spleen, the hide, the intestines, and even the bones, hair, or feathers. Sounds gross, doesn’t it? Byproducts are more than just gross; they can be extremely harmful to your pet and have been linked to cancer, tissue damage, and organ damage, so steer clear!
- Corny syrup. Another ingredient you want to make sure your dog’s food is free of is corn syrup. It’s just as bad for dogs as it is for people. Corn syrup is a form of sugar that is difficult for your pup’s digestive system to break down. In excess, corny syrup can lead to a number of health issues, including weight gain, hyperactivity, diabetes, and changes in disposition.
- Artificial sweeteners. Sure, they might make the food taste better, but artificial sweeteners offer no nutritional value; in fact, they can be extremely harmful. Xylitol, for example, is an artificial sweetener that, when consumed by a canine, can cause a sudden sure of insulin, which can cause hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Some studies have also found that artificial sweeteners can lead to liver damage.
If you want to ensure your pet is eating the healthiest, most nutritious food possible, then you are definitely going to want to steer clear of any recipe that contains the above-mentioned ingredients. By taking a little extra time and reading the food labels, you can better shield your furry friend’s health; which is one of the most important things that a pet parent can do.