As Seen on TV: What to Look For in Commercial Dog Food
Depending on their preference, some pooches’ tastes may not correspond with proper nutrition, so it is best for pet owners to be mindful of the foods they choose to feed their beloved pups.
While we humans salivate over the delicious food presented on the Food Network, or perhaps over a McDouble on a McDonald’s commercial, dogs act in a similar manner when it comes to their own food favorites. However, you wouldn’t feed your dog a cheeseburger over a well-balanced and nutrient rich meal, would you? With that being said, here are choice words that every owner should be educated on when it comes to the ingredients in your dog food:
• Protein: An essential component of any doggie diet. Be forewarned: certain sources, like “meat meals,” are used to disguise the truth behind the product. Even worse, some products use ground up remains of the cow in order to increase the protein levels of the dog food.
• Binders: There is no nutritional value in cheap binders, like corn and wheat gluten, so be on the look out for these fillers!
• Food Coloring: Since dogs are considered to be color blind, they probably won’t mind more natural looking food. Nevertheless, avoid food coloring at all costs.
• Flavorings: If there is no origin name to the flavor, it is safe to assume that the flavor comes from the 4D’s, which are dead, dying, diseased, and disabled, and should be avoided.
• Fruits: Fruit is safe so long as only the fruit is provided. Apple seeds and peach, apricot and plum pits are toxic to a dog’s stomach. Grapes are also poisonous to dogs; do not give these to your canine.
• Preservatives: Most preservatives for humans are harmful, so exposing your furry friend to these is even worse! BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin are toxic. Ethoxyquin has been especially linked to thyroid, kidney, immune, and reproductive illnesses, as well as cancer.
• Supplements: Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E can cause a toxic reaction to dogs if overly supplemented in their food. Much like with us owners, salts should always be in lower quantities. Low quality dog foods may also contain yeast, which helps boost the flavor, and mineral oil, which acts as a laxative and stool softener. These ingredients are not representative of a high quality dog food product!
• Sweeteners: Sugars such as sorbitol, fructose, corn syrup, and cane molasses cause hypoglycemia, nervousness, tooth decay, cataracts, obesity, arthritis, and even allergies. The old saying goes “what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander,” and if these side effects of sweeteners are problematic for our own species, they can do the same damage to our pooches. Additionally, dogs can become easily addicted to sweet foods, and shun healthier alternatives.