What’s in Your Dog Food?
Dog food is food specific designed and intended specifically for dogs and other domesticated canines like the cocker spaniel. Dogs are often considered as omnivores, with a predominantly carnivorous diet. Carnivorous animals feed on various creatures including vegetation, eggs, small animals and insects. Omnivorous means that they eat both plants and animals, while being capable of eating only one type of food at a time. It was once thought that dogs, like human beings, could not survive without meat in their diet.
The composition of dog food consists mainly of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, fat, fiber, water and ash. Some sources of protein in dog food include beef, chicken, turkey, fish, mutton, rabbit and goat’s milk. Meat is also included but should be only occasionally, since some species of dog are allergic to it. However, most dog foods contain meat, poultry or fish as their primary ingredient.
Dry food has less meat and more by-products and vegetable content. Some kibble brands, such as Fancy Feast, contain ground corn and wheat as ingredients, as well as soy and corn gluten. Some kibble brands, like Purina, use chicken or beef heart as its main meat ingredient, while others use poultry, lamb or fish. However, since these ingredients have a short shelf life, they are replaced by vegetables, fruits or herbs such as spinach, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, spinach, parsley, chives, garlic and basil. These ingredients, together with some other artificial or organic ingredients, are used to provide the necessary nutrients to the pets.
Most commercial dog foods use manufactured meat and by-products that are suitable for canine health and growth. Although meat is necessary, some dogs may be allergic to it. Many commercial dog foods contain chicken meal, which are a source of protein, as well as by-products from other animals. These by-products, such as byproducts from roasting cattle, emulsified fats, corn and wheat gluten, are harmful to the dogs‘ digestive tract. Furthermore, they are harmful to humans as well.
Dogs that suffer from food allergies will be disappointed to find this in their dog food. To ensure that you do not feed your dog a dish full of something they are allergic to, choose a dog food that does not use chemicals as one of its primary ingredients. Organic and natural ingredients are a better choice than chemical-based ones. You can read labels to make sure that the ingredients used are organic and natural.
Although kibble is cheaper than dry dog food, you should feed your pets a little bit more each day, to help them maintain energy levels. If your dog’s lack of physical activity, they will have low energy levels and weight problems. In addition, if you notice that you dog eats more when you feed them kibble than when they are fed dry food, then they are probably being over-fed with kibble. You should feed your dogs twice a day, once in the morning and again at night, depending on their activity level.
Bacteria such as Escherichia and E. coli may grow in dog foods that use ethoxyquin as preservative. However, the bacteria may grow naturally and in controlled environments. Some of the food that uses ethoxyquin as a preservative has been recalled due to these bacteria. You should avoid foods that have ethoxyquin.
Beef or lamb as the primary ingredient in a dog food product must contain meat meal, and not a by-product. By-product products are usually made from scrap, which means it is cheaper for the manufacturer than if it were to process the beef or lamb into a product. The processing of beef or lamb can sometimes contain chemicals. This might be listed on the can’s label. You should avoid any product that has by-products.