Time to sniff around
Bad News first...
If you see any of these listed on the ingredient label of your dogs' food - RUFF!RUFF!RUN!
Per the National Agricultural Law Center, these ingredients can contain "dead animals from farms, ranches, feedlots, marketing barns, animal shelters, and other facilities; and fats, grease, and other food waste from restaurants and stores.
According to California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, BHA is on the list of known carcinogens & reproductive toxicants. BHT is also a carcinogen and causes kidney and liver damage in rats.
Ethoxyquin is illegal to use in human foods in the U.S.
These food dyes have been documented to contribute to hypersensitivity (allergic type reactions), behavior problems, and cancer in humans. More recently, caramel color has developed a bad rep as it contains a known animal carcinogen.
Other harmful ingredients to keep an eye out for:
unhealthy filers, such as rice bran, corn bran, soybean hulls, wheat mill run, modified cornstarch, oat hulls, cereal by-products, cottonseed hulls, peanut hulls, rice hulls, citrus pulp, corn gluten, wheat gluten, soybean meal
"animal fat" or rendered fat
MSG (monosodium glutamate)
What to look for...
The most nutritious dog foods will have a named protein (not a "meal") as its first ingredient.
Although not essential to the daily diet, vegetables are a great addition for vitamins & minerals; and some help with digestion.
Although not essential to the daily diet, fruits such as berries are great additions for fiber & antioxidants.
fats & oils
Dogs require a balance of certain fatty acids, as they not only provide energy and flavor, but help absorb vitamins and enable a healthy coat.
A good food brand will be transparent with where ingredients are sourced - none of which should be from China.
food for thought...
Pets are no different than humans when it comes to how food impacts your overall health & well-being. What we feed them effects their skin & coat, digestion, energy, dental hygiene, etc.
As pet owners, we are responsible for giving the best care to our fur-babies - and that means being diligent about knowing what you feed them.
Do your research! Really sniff around when deciding what to feed your pets. A good brand will be transparent about the sourcing of ingredients - and they won't risk quality by using cheap fillers to save on costs.
Yes high-quality food comes at a higher price, but when you break down the numbers, the extra dollar a day is worth a healthier life for your pet.