Good nutrition is crucial to the health and longevity of our pets. Feeding the highest quality pet foods available is essential to ensuring a proper, nutrient-rich diet. Choosing the right dog food can be a daunting task for individuals that are just learning about pet nutrition. There are a few simple points to follow to ensure the best dog food is purchased.
How to Choose the Best Dog and Cat Food
- Read the label
Ignore the television commercials and advertising campaigns. The best way to ensure good pet nutrition is to read the label on a bag of food. The label will list all of the ingredients. This is a great way to see what is going into a bag of food. Some of the most popular brands with amazing claims and high-dollar marketing campaigns are not healthy at all. It isn’t enough to just read the label. It is necessary to understand what the listed ingredients are.
- Meat Comes First
Meat should always be the first ingredient in a dog food. Ideally, the first ingredient will be meat, not meat by-product. Meat by-product can contain anything from bone and blood to feathers and feces. Meat meal is also acceptable for pet foods. A meal is typically just processed meat. The water has usually been taken out of chicken meal or lamb meal.
- What to Avoid
It is also important to know what to avoid. As mentioned above, by-products should always be avoided. Corn is very commonly used as filler, but it should be avoided. Dogs and cats do not digest corn the way that humans do. Many pets also show an allergic sensitivity to corn. Chemical preservatives should also be avoided. Avoiding ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT, and propylene glycol is important. Tocopherols are natural preservatives that are much safer in pet foods. Find here a list of poisonous food that your dog should never eat.
- Limited Ingredients for Sensitive Pets
Pets with food allergies and sensitivities should be placed on limited ingredient diets. Many of the best dog food brands now offer limited ingredient options. These bags typically list one meat and one grain. Brands that offer limited ingredient foods are often a much better choice than traditional, popular brands. Reading the labels on limited ingredient bags can also help to show the differences between healthy foods and unhealthy, popular, name-brand foods.
Ultimately, choosing nutritious foods for one’s pet is an investment in their good health. A healthy pet starts with a healthy diet. Although many nutritious foods are more expensive than mainstream brands, they are a much healthier choice. Reading food labels is the first step in providing a healthy diet for one’s pet. Choosing a brand that offers real meat as the first ingredient is a great place to start. It is equally important to know what to avoid when choosing a healthy food. Finally, limited ingredient diets are a safe and healthy choice for any pet.
Is your dog not eating well or has lost it’s appetite? Click here to see the common reasons why your dog is not eating.