Most dog owners tend to buy 40 pound bags of dog food without really knowing whether or not it’s healthy for their pets. It’s important to look beyond marketing campaigns that present their product as the only food your dog will ever need. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the ingredients in typical commercial products can promote allergy development or even worsen existing allergies. Whether or not your dog displays allergy symptoms, feeding a high-quality,wholesome food will do wonders for their quality of life. Knowing how to read dog food labels will help you make a more informed food choice than those catchy jingles.
Tips to locate healthy dog food
The first thing you should know is that the order of the ingredients indicate how predominant they are. The first or second ingredient should be any kind of meat, and it should be followed by a similar quality ingredient, grains, or vegetables are fine. When you read something about preservatives, look for Vitamin E or Vitamin C, and trace minerals that have been “chelated”. This process makes it easier for the minerals to get absorbed by your dog’s intestinal tract and bloodstream. These guidelines will make it easier to spot healthy dog food. One school of thought prefer dogs to eat a high-protein diet that eliminates all grains, believing this to mimic the most natural canine diet.
Avoid by-products and “meat and bone meal”
If you find that the first ingredients of the dog food are by-products you should discard it. By-products are parts of animals that are not fit for humans. Things like intestines, fish or chicken heads, bones, and more things of this nature. Meat and bone meal can include road kill or contaminated slaughterhouse, which are grounded and processed. If you find by-products or meat and bone meal at the top of the ingredient list, stay away from it, it provides little nutritional value.
Avoid preservatives such as bha, bht and ethoxyquin
Before you get to see dog food on the shelves of your favorite supermarket, some manufacturers can keep them in storage for up to 18 months. They use chemical preservatives that guarantee that the food won’t spoil for a long time. The ones that you should avoid are BHT, BHA and Ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin may cause kidney failure, and damage to the bladder and stomach. BHA and BHT have similar effects, and they are banned in most European countries.
Many of the dog foods at the supermarket will have these ingredients, so we encourage you to read their labels the next time you’re there. You can try purchasing holistic dog food, or hypoallergenic dog food which tend to be among the better choices. These use higher quality ingredients, and they’re probably the best dog food for dog with allergies. You can also prepare homemade dog food for Fido. There are plenty of online recipes to give you ideas, but make sure to consult with your holistic veterinarian to get the best food for your pet.