Too few dog owners pay attention to what they feed their dogs. For many, it’s just a case of whatever is on special at their local supermarket, without any consideration for what the food contains. Many would be shocked to know that some of the ingredients, flavorants and colorings may actually be harmful to their dog.
Not only that, but in many cases buying cheap is actually a false economy, as I’ll explain later.For now, lets just concentrate on ways to select a healthy, good quality dog food for your dog.
Dogs are omnivores and require both meat and vegetables in their diet. The ratio between the two should be about 50/50 with no additional fillers. How do you know if a particular brand of kibble meets this requirement? You read the label.
Unfortunately, labels sometimes appear to be written in a foreign language, so here’s a short-cut to finding out what you need to know. Just look at the first five listed ingredients, and if they are meat based products, the food will probably meet your dog’s nutritional needs.
It’s not that grains are bad for your dog, just that they are better fed whole. Grains like rice, millet, oats and barley are actually a rich source of fiber, but the grains contained in dry dog food are primarily there as filler, and contain minimal nutritional value.
The other things you should look out for are preservatives and artificial flavors and colorings – a quality dog food will not contain any of these. If preservative are present, take particular note of what kinds of preservatives are used. Chemical preservatives can cause cancer, so rather go a product that uses natural preservatives, like Vitamin E and C.
All this checking of labels can be a bit of a bind after a while though, so why not just cut to the chase. Buy a premium or super premium dog food brand and you can be almost certain that it will give your dog the optimum level of nutrition he needs.
Now you may be thinking that these products are exorbitantly priced but as with most things, you get what you pay for. Remember earlier when I said that buying cheap is a false economy. Here’s why.
Cheap dog food brands use sub-standard ingredients that are low in nutritional value. This means you have to give your dog more food to meet his nutritional needs. Feeding more inevitably leads to obesity, obesity leads to disease, disease leads to expensive visits to the vet, and your dog living a shorter, less fulfilling life.
Feeding a premium brand means you can feed smaller quantities, so that expensive brand of kibble last longer and also passes quality nutrition to your dog. Your dog will also pass less waste, so there’s less for you to pick up!
Hopefully this article has illustrated why you should always feed your dog the best dog food you can afford. But quite aside from the health benefits, your dog deserves it.