Make sure it is Human Grade Dog Food
All the best commercial dog food companies will make sure their ingredients are Human Grade. The problem with this is that the AAFCO, which stands for Association of American Feed Control doesn’t allow the dog food companies to make any statements on their labels concerning the quality of the food they use. The best thing to do is to check the websites of dog food companies before you buy them. Arden Grange is suggested best dog Food Company.
The dog food ingredients should be sourced locally from USDA inspected facilities.
This doesn’t mean you can’t find good ingredients in others countries, just do your homework. Canada and Australia have excellent dog food companies.
Look for all the ingredients listed on the label BEFORE the fat source.
These ingredients will be the majority of your dog’s food. The ingredients after the fat source make up a much smaller percentage of the food source. Some of the best commercial dog food likes Arden Grange Dog Food will have as much as ten quality ingredients before the fat source.
Make sure you study the “Protein” content which is the meat source.
Dogs are natural carnivores (meat eaters) and you want the protein mentioned first unless your dog has kidney problems. (Dog’s with kidney problems can’t have too much protein) Check the position of the meat source on the label and see how many times they list it BEFORE the fat source. Also check the “type’ of meat it is – i.e. chicken, chicken meal, beef, beef meal, etc.
Make sure it has a quality fat source
Quality fats are olive oil, canola oil, chicken fat, flax seed, etc. It’s always good to have Omega 3 and Omega 6 in the ingredients. It’s one sign of a good commercial dog food. Always avoid brands that have something called “meat fat, poultry fat, vegetable oil or lard.” These are NOT good sources of fat. NOTE: Poultry does not mean chicken in this case.
Even though grains are not essential for a dog, the best food companies will use good grains instead of bad grains. They will always appear AFTER the fat source. Examples of good grains are brown rice (not white) barley and oats. Steer Clear from fillers. Examples are ground whole corn, wheat gluten meal, corn gluten meal and soy bean meal. Bad grains include peanut hulls, corn bran, rice hulls, oat hulls and soybean hulls.
How About Fruits and Vegetables?
As with grains, fruits and vegetables are not necessary for your dogs overall health, but if good ones are used it certainly can’t hurt them. Good veggies include potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, beans, broccoli and spinach. NEVER give your dog onions…very toxic. Good fruits are blueberries and apples. (Always cut out the seeds as they are very toxic to dogs) Citrus pulp is also bad.
Check the dog food label for preservatives, artificial coloring and chemical additives.
Make sure it contains natural preservatives like Tocopherols which is Vitamin E and Ascorbic Acid which is Vitamin C. NEVER buy dog food containing Ethoxyquin. BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole, BHT (Butylated HydroxyToluene. Stay away from all artificial colors such as Blue 2, Yellow 5 and 6, Red 40. Artificial flavors include any flavors that don’t state the specific source such as “meat” broth.