Tips to Feed Your Dog Right
The foundation of Fido's health starts with what goes into his body. His diet is key to a long, healthy life and it is up to you as his care giver to provide the best you can for his little tummy. A diet deficient or overloaded with any one ingredient can cause health problems, and not all kibbles are made complete despite what the label says. Know what to look for so your dog can feel and look his very best.
Dogs are carnivores, despite much debate over them being omnivorous eaters. This means they should consumer primarily animal products. Their body is meant to get energy from protein, not carbs like humans or other small pets. When searching for a kibble, read the label! If there is any grain listed, including rice, keep looking. While a dog can handle a carbohydrate or grain in his gut, it simply passes through his system as a filler with absolutely no nutritional value. It can also cause some tummy upset, as it is much more harsh on his system than an all-meat based kibble.
Check your preservatives! If you see an ingredient listed that you cannot pronounce, it is most likely a synthetic preservative meant to make the food last longer on shelves. The only purpose for this is to decrease monetary loss for the manufacturer, and plays no good role in your dog's body. Natural preservatives that are acceptable are rosemary and Vitamin E.
Make sure all animal products listed also include the species of animal used. For example, never let your dog eat something labeled “animal fat” or “animal protein” because this means it could be any type, or mixed types, of animals. Anything from pork to chicken or even imported horse meat could be in those ominous food labels. Be aware of the proteins your dog consumes!
Labels that include meals are generally accepted because it is a condensed version of the meat, bringing the protein count higher in a small amount of food (which means more protein per bite.) However, if you come across any “by-products” stay away for the life of your dog! A by product is an inedible part of an edible ingredient. This is stuff dogs cannot truly digest or gain anything from, such as feathers, beaks, and overly processed parts that hold no nutrition left after all is said and done. Basically, they act as another filler.
Ingredients can be imported from over seas where food inspection is loosely or not at all regulated for animal feed. This means your dog's food could easily be contaminated with chemicals or bacterias that will not be found or recalled until a dog, or many, fall ill after consuming the food. You can avoid this by buying food made and sourced locally. Don't be afraid to call any manufacturer that you are considering to drill them on where all of their ingredients come from. As a consumer, you have every right to know! If they don't answer up front, consider it shady and move on. Your dog is worth it!