Your dog appreciates good food as much as you do, but what tastes good to them may not necessarily be healthy for them. There are numerous dog foods on the market that contain artificial, unnecessary ingredients that can produce negative side effects in your furry friend. We know you don’t want that, so in this article we’ll teach you which ingredients you do and don’t want to see in your dog’s food!
Worst Dog Food Ingredients
1. Chemical preservatives
There are three main types of chemical preservatives used in dog food: BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), and ethoxyquin. Both BHA and BHT have been found to cause or increase the risk of cancer in humans and animals. Meanwhile, tests by the Monsanto Company revealed that high doses of ethoxyquin causes liver damage in dogs.
Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, and just regular sugar are all extremely sweet. Their function in dog food is either as a preservative or to make it taste better for the dog. But added sugars can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other severe health issues in your pet.
Xylitol is marketed as a sugar substitute for diabetics, but it can have a disastrous effect on your dog’s health. It can actually lower their blood sugar and make them develop hypoglycemia. Once again, sweetness is only added to dog food to make your dog eat it. It doesn’t have any other significant function, and therefore it should be avoided.
4. Food dyes
Food dyes can cause a whole host of problems if your dog has sensitivities… which is very common. Tartrazine, or yellow 5, for example, causes asthma, headaches, itching, and insomnia. Dyes are also completely useless as their only function is to change the color of the food.
Best Dog Food Ingredients
1. Natural preservatives
Your dog’s food still needs to be preserved so it will have a longer shelf life. Look for natural preservatives like Vitamin E and Vitamin C, which have real nutritional value for your pet.
Meat and meat by products should be the primary ingredients in your dog’s food. Your dog is a carnivore, after all, and meat gives them the protein and nutrients they need to keep their bones and organs healthy.
Grains provide carbohydrates and give your dog energy. Just make sure that grains are not the first ingredient. Too many grains can actually slow your dog down and make them gain unnecessary weight.
4. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are natural sources of vitamins and fiber, so they are a great addition to your dog’s food.
Safe dog food brands to try
There are several brands committed to providing healthy, natural food for your pet. Check out Blue, Wild Earth, and Nutro Ultra, or for those living in Canada try Orijen, Acana, GO!, and Now Fresh. Whichever brand you buy, be sure to read the ingredients carefully to ensure that you aren’t choosing something that could be harmful to your dog in the long run.