How to Choose Dog Food
Nutrition is one of the most important foundations for well-being and happiness for your dog. When choosing dog food, we should not be lazy but prioritize what our dog needs. Unfortunately, we cannot always rely on the fact that what is written “for dogs” always contains something good for our dogs. It should not be the cheapest but only the product that best nourishes our dog. In my personal experience, it is advisable to orientate ourselves towards nature, in harmony with nature, we have the greatest chances of health, vitality, contentment, and happiness. The following points, therefore, serve as a guide and should help you to find your way through the many types of dog food:
How Much Meat
Dogs are carnivores. From their teeth to their build and their digestive systems, their entire body is designed to capture, cut up, and digest prey. In nature, they would feed on animal proteins for the most part. This aspect is decisive for the fact that the ratio of meat and plant substances (fruit and vegetables) must be observed when selecting the feed.
The ideal mix is around 65-70% meat and 30-35% fruit and vegetables. If the proportion of vegetable proteins predominates and the proportion of meat is less than 50%, then it would mean that we have to feed the dog a significant amount of dog food to cover its needs. Which can lead to an overweight dog!
A Full Declaration, of Ingredients
We all like to know what we are feeding our dogs. However, the manufacturers are not obliged to list 100% of the contents. A manufacturer who is not obliged to inform us about the content of his product and who nevertheless does so creates transparency and trust. On the other hand, dog food with an incomplete list of ingredients is accompanied by the question of why a manufacturer does not provide all the information?
How do I recognize a full declaration?
The ingredients listed should be provided with the appropriate percentage. If all the percentages add up to 100%, we know that the information is complete. The more detailed the breakdown of the contents, the better we as consumers can rate the food. A manufacturer who plays with open cards here proves its credibility!
How Many Additives
By a healthy diet, we mean, above all, a natural diet. People who eat consciously avoid fast food, ready-made products, because these contain a lot of additives. Unfortunately, this also applies to finished dog products. Additives such as preservatives, taste and smell enhancers, attractants, and dyes are strongly represented in many products. All the vitamins and minerals in the feed are often synthetic and have nothing to do with a natural diet. The body is a marvel of nature and works best in interaction with natural substances.
It is well known that natural components can be absorbed and processed by the body much better than chemical replicas. Vitamins and minerals are directly related to the immune system and we should also think about cell renewal in the context of food containing chemicals. For me, chemicals in nutrition significantly reduce the quality and many vets say that many allergies or intolerances arise through the use of chemical additives in nutrition. Finding dog food that is consistently free of additives is not one of the easy tasks of a dog owner, but it is not impossible and I think our dogs deserve natural nutrition. To avoid any added vitamins or E numbers!
Grains, corn, and soy – these ingredients are often found in dog food. In some cases, it is advertised as “grain-free” and then corn or soy is listed in the composition. These three products are often used as bulking agents, but they are of no use to our dogs because our dogs cannot use them and excrete them undigested. Cheap dog food often contains 50% or more filler. The recommended quantity always results from the nutritional value of a feed. A food with a lot of filler has a low nutritional value because it contains few substances that are valuable for the dog, so a large amount must be fed to cover the dog’s needs. Conversely, it takes a small amount of good quality food with lots of valuable substances to meet the dog’s needs. When comparing prices, this aspect must always be taken into account!
Beware of Generic Terms
The last point can be perfectly explained using the example of animal by-products. Anyone who has often looked at the composition of feed ingredients will have read the term animal by-products before. Such terms summarize a wide variety of ingredients and make it impossible for us as consumers to decode the exact contents of the food. In addition, according to the definition, all products derived from animals, be it muscle meat, offal, hooves, feathers, fur, claws, claws, bones, cartilage, horns, beaks, hair are summarized under the term animal by-products.
These animal products might be inferior as we do not know exactly what has been used. and what proportion. The animal by-products do not necessarily stand for quality and value, they are mostly wasted in slaughterhouses. With the collective term of animal by-products, the manufacturers can quickly and easily suggest a high meat content to us as buyers. But be careful, because the proportion of animal by-products only reveals the proportion of animal proteins and not the meat content in the feed. For me, animal by-products and other collective terms are an absolute no-go in declarations, because they are not transparent and therefore not trustworthy.
We mustn’t get caught up in fancy labels and advertising slogans, but always read the fine print for the love of our dogs. Remember that your dog depends on what you put in front of him and that we have a great responsibility here.