All Natural Dog Food
All natural dog food does not equal a cheap dog food, no matter what the pet food makers tells us. One of the best things you could do for your dog’s food before you buy it is read the labels. You will learn so much about the food you are buying if you only just read the labels. The first ingredient you want to see on the label is some sort of meat like chicken, or lamb. If the label says regular own meat is can be anything.
Do not get turned off if the label has some by products included such as heads, necks or stomach contents. This is ok. Truthfully your dog would eat this stuff if it was out on the wild. If you buy a food that contains this, it does not mean your dog is going to turn into a blood thirsty hound. All natural dog foods can include organs, liver, head and feet (usually in the case of chickens) and are very high in natural vitamins and minerals so if a dog food contains them, they are probably fairly high in vitamins and minerals.
You want to make sure there is no soy in your dog food. Dogs tend to have a real problem with soy and most are allergic to it. You are betting off avoiding any product that has soy in it. The result could be really uncomfortable for your dog.
Make sure there is calcium in your dogs diet but you do have to be very careful about how much calcium your dog has. Calcium will help your dog’s teeth and bones grow strong but to much and you could wind up giving your dog bone abnormalities. If you dog has too little calcium and your dog could develop rickets or softening of the bones that bend under the pressure of your dogs weights.
Also make sure your dog’s food has plenty of protein in it. For a puppy it is recommended that there is at least 28% protein in their food. For an adult dog, it is 18% and for a pregnant or nursing dog the number goes back up to 28%. It is possible for your dog to get to much protein. Usually this will not do them any harm and the extra protein will come out in their urine. However if you have a dog that has kidney problems, to much protein could be a problem for them and might possibly cause kidney failure.
Fiber is also a good ingredient to make sure your pet’s dog food has. A good amount for the food to contain is about 2 ½ % and 4 ½ %. Too much fiber might upset your dogs stomach. It can cause loose stools, and some accidents. Usually in an overweight dog, your vet will recommend a diet high in fiber to help your dog feel fuller or if your dog has diabetes or hyperglycemia.
Make sure there are no chemical preservatives listed on the label. Look for words like ethoxyquin, BHA or Propyl Gallate. If you see these on the label, take heed. Ethoxyquin is usually used as a preservative in many pet foods it might be hard to avoid it. Ethoxyquin can have toxic effects. There is still much debate as to whether Ethoxyquin is dangerous or not. Though it is listed as a hazardous chemical by OSHA Hazard Communication Standards some the FDA are still saying it is harmless. Do your research to determine how you feel about Ethoxyquin as an ingredient. You can find tons of information on it, on the internet. Also note that Ethoxyquin can also show up on labels as just E.
Another important thing to look for on a label are the words or phrase “AAFCO feeding trails confirm that XYZ is complete and balanced for adult dogs or all life stages”. This means that the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) has actually fed this food dogs to find out if it meets the nutritional needs or not. Another phrase you might see is “XYZ has been shown to be complete and balanced using testing procedures as outlined by AAFCO” this simply means that instead of feeding the food to dogs, they tested it in a lab to find out.
Chances are if you see that phrase, there were no test dogs to try the food out on just laboratory tests. Again this is a personal decision for you. If you are comfortable buying food that has not been tested on dogs, by all means by the one that was tested in laboratories.
You will also notice on some foods it might say “human grade”. Again this is a debatably phrase. Some people feel that if it says human grade on it, it is to be interpreted as being good enough for humans. While others feel that human grade means it the food that goes into the dog food came from the same places which also sell food to humans.
When looking for a good all natural dog food, beware of gimmicks. Gimmicks can range from anything such as Specially for Large Breeds or even dental/teeth cleaning formulas.
These are all things that are found in supermarkets. With all the recalls lately there are a lot of dog owners who are cautious about buying dog food in the supermarket. So where else can you look for dog food? The first place you can look are pet stores. Some Pet stores might carry different brands than the supermarkets. Another bonus is that some of these stores train their employees on dog food and they should be able to help you with any questions you have.
You can also look online. The internet will show you a world of natural and organic pet food that can be ordered and delivered right to you. They provide detail descriptions of the foods and the ingredients. The only downside is that sometimes these foods can be costly and if you do decide to purchase one, there is a possibility your dog might not like it. After all, the final decision does come down to your dog and their tastes. You might want to purchase the smallest size of dog food available to test on your dog.
Though there are many dog lovers out there who gasp at the thought of using pre made dog food, there are still many dog lovers who swear by dry dog food. There are many, many brands of dog food out there and many manufactures. No one will be able to tell you what the best one is. You and are dog will have to work together as a team. You can do your part by carefully reading the labels on the food you are going to buy.
Remember cheaper is not always better. A lot of times the cheaper brands add a lot of fillers and use cheap ingredients. The more premium dog foods tend to use better ingredients with no fillers. Your dog is going to do their part by letting you know if they like the food or not. If you are switching food for what ever reason, then you want to make sure you give your dog a transition period. Sometimes if you go from one brand of dog food, to another you could upset your dogs stomach. Spend a day or two adding it to the brand you already use and each day add more new food and less of the old food until your dog is completely switched over. This can take a week or so to transition but it is in the best interest of your dog.