Why are we told that we can not replicate the wholesome nutrition, that our dogs need, at home? Because, dog food companies seize this opportunity to show you a platter of meals options. What they don’t tell you are the little secrets that make their meals delicious for dogs and appealing to the human eye.
Today we will tell you all the secrets that most dry dog food companies like to keep to themselves.
‘Meat Meal’ as a primary ingredient
Protein is a very important dietary requirement for dogs and therefore it must rank on top in all dog food labels. But, if you see something that says ‘meat meal’, you should be dubious before picking it up. Never go for anything that isn’t clear about the meat they use. Rather, buy an option that says ‘chicken meal’ or ‘pork meal’. This would give you a clear idea of the kind of meat that goes into the production of your dog’s food.
Meat meal is very vague and can even refer to road kill or left-over meat in a restaurant!
Dubious fat sources
Just like proteins, dogs need fats as well. There is nothing wrong with the fat itself but its origin. Again, go for products that give you a clear idea of which fat is used- like chicken fat or fish oil, coconut oil etc.
Too many fillers
Fillers are usually fibers like rice hulls or corn starch. Dogs need insoluble and fat soluble fibers in their diet. They are often called fillers because they are very difficult to digest and add more bulk to the meal. Ideally a dog should have around 5% fillers in their diet. An obese dog can have up to 10% of it in their diet. However, too many fillers can lower the costs of production which, in turn, reduces the quality of the products. Cheaper dry dog food is only made affordable by adding extra fillers. Better steer away from them and settle for something with 5-10% fillers.
Added food colours
This component does the product no good. Companies add artificial food colours only to catch your eye. They are listed in the ingredients as ‘Red 40’, ‘Yellow 5’, ‘Blue 2’. These colours are not only used in dog food but human food as well. If consumed for a long period of time can cause health issues like cancer!
Choose food items that don’t contain any food colour. If a meal is nutritious, it’s natural colours will be inviting enough. Plus, because your dog doesn’t care how it looks so long as it is tasty.
Naturally, a product that was increased with fillers and low-quality protein would need something to really keep their tasters interested. And what better way to do it than with artificial flavours? Artificial flavours add no benefits to the meal. Sometimes dogs show allergic reactions to the flavours. Buy a meal that does not need artificial flavours to make it inviting. If you choose something that contains high quality meat and meat by-product, it will be enough to keep your dog interested.
Most packaged food items contain preservatives. Some companies add salt and sugar to make their meals tasty and to last longer. Dogs do not need added salt and sugar and too much of it can make them sick. When it comes to preservatives, try to buy something that follows the six month rule. Do not buy anything that has a shelf life of more than six months.
Yes glycerin- what you commonly expect in your soap- is actually used in dog food! Mainly for four reasons. It:
- Sweetens the meal thereby making it more appealing to your dog
- Binds the product together
- Acts as a good preservative
- Adds a crunchiness to treats
Glycerin is a synthetic product and can cause kidney problems in the long run. Companies add it to make their product look appealing to potential customers. It has no health benefits.
So, these were 7 secrets that we wanted to let you in on. Be sure to spread this with as many pet parents you know so that we can make healthy meal choices for our dogs.