Dog Food - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

As we’ve talked about before, what your dog eats can affect his behavior.  We’ve also mentioned that high quality dog food will not be found in a supermarket, a convenience store, a discount grocery store etc.

I’ve listed below some things you need to look for when purchasing your dog’s food.  You read the labels on the food you purchase for your family—do the same for your dog he IS just as important!

First ingredient should be a good quality protein such as:  chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, salmon.  If the list begins with chicken meal, lamb meal etc those are also very acceptable protein sources but not quite as high quality.  This point is important: Ingredients are listed by weight,  if the first ingredient is a whole meat, say chicken— because there is a lot of water in fresh meat, there MUST be another quality protein source before the 5th or 6th listed ingredient or the food does not actually contain a lot of animal protein.  But if it starts out with chicken and chicken meal or lamb meal for number two or three on the list, chances are the product contains an admirable amount of animal protein.

No meat or poultry by-products!  Unless the fat (usually labeled animal fat) or protein (labeled meat meal) is identified by precise species of fat or protein that’s not good.

No artificial color, flavors or preservatives.  Natural preservatives such as vitamins E and C which sometimes are called mixed tocopherols.  Just as an FYI did you know that Ethoxyquin (sometimes used in dog foods as a preservative) was developed by Monsanto to preserve rubber in tires! No corn syrup, sorbitol, manitol.

So, where does that leave you? More educated I hope.  Here is a partial list of good dog foods.  You can easily find good dog foods at quality pet resorts, private pet stores and  some of them you can find at PetCO and PetSmart.  You can ALWAYS go on the internet, look up the brand of food you want to feed your dog and they will tell you where you can purchase it.

Here’s a list of dog food to get you started:  Natural Balance, Nature’s Variety, Nutro’s Products, Solid Gold, Eagle Pack, Merrick, Wellness, Drs. Foster and Smith, Natura Pet Products, Old Mother Hubbard, Wysong and the one we feed is Canidae.  Just because I’ve linked some and not all does not mean they are better than the others.  I was just showing you how easy it is to find the food online and where to buy it.

I will not go into the Bad and the Ugly, BUT if you look at the labels and remember what information I’ve shared you can figure that out real quick.  Here’s another little tip for you.  There is a wonderful publication called Whole Dog Journal that is like the Consumer Reports for Dogs – subscribe to it!

Bon Appetite

Jim Burwell’s Petiquette