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What are premium dog foods?

Premium dog foods are definitely better than your garden variety economy counterparts. But how do you tell the difference between the two? Is price the only indicator of how healthy the dog food is? Does a premium pet food have a different kind of label? How do you know what is premium?

A true premium dog food has better quality ingredients. This means your dog will get more and better nutrients that he desperately needs. But don’t be fooled by all the enticing bags in the market today. Don’t be lured in by the beautiful pictures of fresh foods and advertising stating how your dog needs something in this dog food. The dog food ingredients list is what you need to find.

Before you purchase a premium dog food, check out the first two ingredients. Look at the actual ingredients listed on the ingredients label. They tell you a lot. Premium dog foods will have a meat listed first – dogs need animal proteins. Premium dog foods also use a better quality of grains.

Grains: Premium dog foods will use better grains (rice, oats) than economy foods (corn, soy, wheat). Why are these better? Because your dog can digest and metabolize the nutrients from these grains better. Grains are top ingredients in the economy dog foods, not in premium ones.

Some grains, such as soy, wheat, and corn, are also common sources for food allergies in dogs.When utilized as by-products, such as corn wheat gluten, they are nothing more than cheap fillers. Their main purpose is to fill up your dog’s stomach so that he feels full. It’s kind of like human junk food – fill your tummy with no nutrition.

A meat by-product is not a top 2 ingredient in premium dog foods. Meat by-product is just what is left over after all the usable meat has been removed. This includes the bones, head, intestines, and blood.

Again, like cheap grain by-products, meat by-products are just not an equal substitute for real animal meat for your dog. They are used to boost the protein percentages in the dog food and make pet owners feel like they are feeding their dogs animal meat.

Premium dog foods will have a meat meal or meat as the top ingredient, with a meat meal being the better choice. Many premium dog foods will have 2 or 3 meats/meat meals listed in the top ingredients, thereby giving your dog better protein and nutrients.

What about price? Is that a good indicator of the type of dog food? Not really. Of course if you see a really cheaply priced dog food, it is probably an economy food. But just because the food is expensive, does not automatically mean it is a healthy, premium dog food. Again, you need to take a peek at the dog food ingredients list to really know what you are getting.

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