What Ingredients To Be Wary Of In Dog Food
In a world where convenience and instant solutions are needed, we, as pet owners, have turned to commercially prepared dog food products. While this helps us assuage the hunger of our dogs instantly and almost without too much inconvenience, we could sometimes be sacrificing our best friend’s health.
For this reason, it is important to know what goes into a portion of dog food and ensure that we are not feeding them with harmful substances and ingredients.
As responsible pet owners, you need to know the various ingredients that we should watch out for in dog food. What are they? Find out more by reading this post.
To ensure freshness, companies add levels to their products. Unfortunately, it could also contribute to the illness of our beloved four-legged friend.
There are at least three preservatives that you should look out for. These are the following:
- Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
- Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Nitrites or nitrates
BHA and BHT preservatives are known to cause cancer, kidney damage, and liver diseases.
It is illegal to use ethoxyquin in human foods. However, companies are permitted to use it in dog food.
Nitrites and nitrates are commonly used to preserve food. However, eating a lot of dog foods that come with these chemicals could lead to methemoglobin, a deadly blood disorder.
Check the label of your dog food. As much as possible, stir away from any artificial preservatives. Thankfully, there are preservatives that can still be healthy for your pets. These include vitamin C and E and rosemary.
Propylene Glycol (PG) is closely related to antifreeze chemical, which is toxic to animals, including your dog. Some companies would argue that PG isn’t harmful to your dog and thus, they use it on their products and even label it as “pet safe.” However, consuming these products won’t definitely improve your dog’s health.
Food dye and artificial colors serve only one purpose in dog food – it is to make the food visually appealing. However, this is completely unnecessary for your pet. So, it is better not to buy food with artificial colors since your dog can live without it. After all, artificial colors are known to cause allergic reactions and behavioral problems – things you don’t want to worry about.
Meat, Meat Meal, and Rendered Fat
Yes, meat is commonly part of your dog’s diet. In fact, it is among the best sources of protein and nutrients for your furry pal. However, the problem with some dog food products is that they don’t specifically mention what meat is added. They simply label it as “meat,” “meat meal,” “meat and bone meal,” “animal fat,” or “poultry fat.”
We think this is a little dodgy. If the label does not specify the source of these meat and fat, then you are not sure where they are coming from. The meat and fat can come from dead, diseased, disabled, and dying animals, leftovers, and others.
White flour is white because it has undergone extreme “purification.” It looks good on your food, but it is not in your dog’s tummy. White flour has already been stripped of its nutrients. It can cause a spike in your dog’s blood sugar, but it also causes an instant drop. This makes your dog hungry again and could lead to unnecessary obesity and diabetes.
Corn syrup is simply an alternative to refined sugar. Both lack the nutrients of a good carbohydrate. Like white flour, corn syrup causes unstable sugar levels in your pet, which again, can lead to weight gain and diabetes.
Monosodium glutamate or MSG is commonly used to enhance the flavor of food. It can make up for the low-quality ingredients used in dog food. Yes, the food tastes good, but it is not actually meeting the full nutritional needs of your pet.
Others You Need To Avoid
Aside from the items we have already mentioned above, here is a quick look at other substances you should avoid:
- Gluten – causes allergies, digestive disorders, ear infection, and itching
- Farmed salmon – known to cause cancer
- Xylitol, maltitol, and sorbitol – can cause hyperglycemia (abnormally increased blood sugar)
- Soy – dogs are unable to properly digest this protein source. It can cause bloating and gas.
- Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP) – active ingredients in detergents and is known to be a neurotoxin
- Vegetable oil – contains a high level of omega-6 fatty acid that causes inflammation
- Cellulose and corn – dogs are not able to digest these properly.
- Sodium Hexametaphosphate – may cause ingestion when consumed in high doses
After reading our list, you probably have eliminated the majority of dog food products on your list. But don’t worry, it is better to be safe and healthy than sorry. Thankfully, there are high-quality dog foods out there that don’t contain any of these harmful ingredients. They use meat from free-range chickens, whole fruits, and organic vegetables.
While the price might be a good indicator of quality, just remember to still check the labels. Do enough research and we’re sure you will eventually find the right dog food for your best friend!