How to choose the best dog food
How to choose the best dog food? How do you choose the best dog food for your dog? Do you go with a dog food brand that claims it only uses all-natural ingredients? Is it organic? And It is only 100% natural?
We are here to help you understand what to choose for your dog. In this article, we discuss how to identify the best quality dog foods. And what to look for in a dog food label. We also clarify the meaning of “organic” and “all-natural”. And addresses recent headlines about grain-free dog food and links to canine heart disease. And you can leave any questions and thoughts in the comments below! We appreciate your feedback.
1. How do we identify the best dog foods?
High quality and best dog foods use nutritious, natural ingredients and are processed to preserve the nutritional content of those ingredients. When considering food for your dog, start by reading the first few ingredients listed on the package. These elements are a good indicator of overall product quality.
The most important ingredient for dogs is high-quality animal protein, so make sure that a specified animal protein is listed first on the package, namely chicken, turkey, or lamb. Specified meat meal, ie chicken or lamb food, is also a quality protein and maybe the first or second ingredient.
All dog food brands are required to list this breakdown of protein, fat, moisture and fiber content. Dried dog food should offer a minimum of 18% protein for adults and 22% protein for puppies.
Next, see what sources of fat are used. Look for specially designated animal fats such as chicken fat and salmon oil. Especially healthy fats and oils like omega-3 and -6 fatty acids promote a healthy, shiny dog coat.
Finally, review the carbohydrates of dog food. Carbohydrates are essential for energy – they are the body’s main source of fuel – and digestion. Look for whole grains such as rice, oats, barley, potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas. These are healthy carbohydrates high in fiber.
Avoid grains of grain and flour (i.e. rice flour) that lose most of their nutritional value during processing. Ingredients such as rice flour and corn gluten are common ingredients in low-quality dog food brands and are used as cheap, incomplete protein sources.
2. What is the best protein in dog foods?
Animal-based protein is the most important part of a dog’s diet. It is also the most expensive ingredient for dog food brands to the source. The dog food you choose should have one or two specially designated meats at the top of the ingredient list (ie chicken, beef, turkey, duck).
In many cases, meat or fish meal (ie chicken food; lamb food; salmon meal) is used as the first or second source of protein. Meat is the concentrated protein powder of the food. Some forms of meat meal are good sources of protein. These include eating chicken, eating beef, eating lamb, and eating duck. “By-product” does not specify which animal or fish it is made of. Examples are “animal food”, “meat meal”, “animal byproduct food”, “fish food”, and “meat and bone meal”. These types of food are often made from animal waste: heads, hooves, bones, etc.
Low-quality dog food cooks will skimp on (or completely exclude) high-quality animal protein sources and “animal digestion”, “animal by-products”, “animal fat”, unspecified meat food, and here Even opt for a sub-option like corn. Many low-quality dog food brands use corn and corn gluten meal to satisfy the ‘protein’ content required in their dog food.
3. Organic vs Natural, What is the difference?
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to organic versus natural dog food. Many dog food brands market themselves as “all-natural” or “100% natural” ingredients. This “natural” dog food must be incredibly healthy, right?
Dog food can only be called “organic” if it meets strict standards enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). “Natural”, on the other hand, is a vague term with no real definition applied by the USDA. The phrases “natural”, “all-natural”, and “100% natural ingredients” are widely used by dog food brands to suggest that their food is made without artificial ingredients. However, this is not always the case.
4. Are “natural” foods good or bad?
It depends. Some dog food brands that market themselves as “natural” are healthy choices for your pet. Many of these dog foods are made with high-quality ingredients and strictly avoid the use of preservatives, chemicals, and synthetic materials. When we talk about “natural” dog foods in this article, these are the products we are referring to. Unfortunately, there are many low-quality dog food brands that market themselves as “natural” without following any standards.
5. Should I just buy organic dog food?
Not necessary While feeding your dog a 100% organic diet seems ideal, it is not always practical. Organic dog foods are often very expensive! Our aim to feed DogsEra an incredibly healthy diet, but we obviously cannot follow the 100% organic route. Instead, we choose the highest quality and healthiest dog food brands we can find. We often supplement DogsEra Gainer Super Premium Dog Supplement and DOGLAC Starter Supplement for Puppy with high quality, human-grade sources of protein such as organic eggs, wild Alaskan canned salmon, and freshly boiled chicken.
6. What about a grain-free diet? Is grain bad for dogs?
Grain-free dog food has grown in popularity over the years. Suddenly pet store shelves are overflowing with “grain-free chicken and eggs” and “grain-free beef and lentils” dog food dishes.
These days, the gluten-free diet is the most popular health trend in the United States. Dog food manufacturers noticed that humans were increasingly choosing a grain-free diet and felt that dog owners wanted a similar diet to their dog’s companions. This implies that humans believe that dogs are allergic to grains or that grains are bad for dogs. None of it is necessary.
Although dogs may be allergic to grains, most do not. In fact, domesticated dogs have evolved over the centuries to properly digest grains and other starch such as potatoes and rice. This means that most dogs digest the grains and derive nutritional benefits from the grains.
7. What does this mean for you and how do you choose dog food?
First of all, refuse to buy dog food simply because it looks fancy and claims to be the “best option” for your puppy. Unfortunately, any dog food brand can make such baseless claims. The best approach is to understand what the best dog food is and properly review the dog food ingredients and nutrition labels before taking out your wallet. The FDA published a great resource on pet food labels.
Second, talk to your vet. Your vet can analyze your dog’s diet and nutritional needs. She or he will be able to confirm whether a grain-free diet is the best option for your dog. And if you have any questions about a particular dog food brand or recipe, take a screenshot of the nutrition label and show it to your vet after purchasing it.