Monday, March 29, 2010

How to Pick a Good Dog Food

Guest Blog - Dog Food Reviews
Use of Corn

There is an ongoing debate about the inclusion of corn in dog foodformulas. It has generally been agreed that corn is often used as acheap filler ingredient in many dog food formulas. Indeed, many dogsseem to develop allergic reactions to corn-based dog food formulasover time. The danger of corn often comes from when it is used as theprimary source of protein in a dog food formula. When corn is listedamong the first five ingredients, it is making up a significant bulkof the food. Corn has a lack of bioavailability to your dog, and maycause digestive problems. In general, a dog food formula that containscorn will be inexpensive, and your dog may need to eat more of theformula to feel “full”.

The First Five Ingredients
To gain a basic understanding of a dog food formula’s quality, you canuse the first five ingredients as a guide. As a general rule, thefirst five ingredients of a dog food formula make up the “bulk” of theformula. If you’re in the grocery store shopping for dog food, you canlearn a lot about a formula from reading the first five ingredients.For example, the first ingredient in a dog food formula should ideally be meat meal. If simply meat is listed as the first ingredient, it isusually mostly water. It takes five pounds of meat to make one poundof meat meal. This means that meat meal is usually more nutritionallydense. The only catch is that some companies use meat meal that is oflow quality. Some meat meals have animal parts ground down and mixedin to the meal, in order to ‘bulk’ it up for the formula. If possible,you should always check with the company about the quality of theirmeat meal. Ask where it is made, if they purchase their meal fromforeign countries (which may not be as strict in their healthregulations), and what the ingredients are. You may also want to ask which parts of the animal are used in making the meat meal.

Protein is the foundation of your dog’s diet, and should make up atleast two of the first five ingredients. Always avoid formulas that list a grain as the first ingredient, since this means that the formula is primarily grain-based. It’s usually best to steer away fromdiets that use an excessive amount of carbohydrates. Also avoid any formulas that use artificial preservatives, such as BHA or BHT. It’salso best to stay away from dog food that is artificially colored.

Toxic Ingredients for Dogs
There are several ingredients that have proven to be toxic for dogs.The two most notable ingredients (that are sometimes contained in somedog food formulas) are garlic and onions. Garlic and onions bothcontain a toxin that may lead to the breakdown of red blood cells in adog’s body. These toxins are more prevelant in onions than in garlic.Some dog food formulas contain a small amount of garlic seasoning,garlic oil or garlic powder. If this ingredient is among the first fewingredients, it’s best to avoid feeding this formula to your dog. It’s also very important to keep your dog on a diet that is properlybalanced in fats. Dogs may be prone to developing pancreatitis whenfed a high-fat diet over time (or from having just one high-fat meal).Monitor the fat content of the treats and food that you feed your dog.The guaranteed analysis usually shouldn’t have more than 20% fat,except if your dog has specific veterinary needs.

For more information on Dog Food you can visit:
Dog Food Reviews

4 comments:

parlance said...

Interesting. I once tried to give Penny some raw vegetables I had processed for her and added a couple of little home-grown garlic bulbs. Now I'm really glad she refused to touch it.

Also, what do you think about giving a dog the skin off some raw chicken?

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