Take these steps today and gain confidence in your pet’s food choice!
Tired of hearing your pet’s food is not good? Every pet food review shows recalls and warnings, making you nervous about your chosen food. Of course you have selected the best food for them; you love your pet! But why is everyone telling you that your pet food choice is inadequate or even dangerous?
At Appalachian Dog Training, LLC we provide a Pet Food Nutrition Consult with every training program including Board and Train and Private Training. We want your dog to feel their best and live a long, happy life. Our Trainers are Canine Nutrition Certified through Dogs Naturally certification course.
Take these 3 steps today and gain confidence in your pet’s food choice!
1. Read and understand the pet food ingredients
2. Beware of marketing influences/ misleading advertisements
3. Evaluate a pet professional’s specific experience with canine nutrition
Why Pet Food Brands Get Labeled as Bad
We want you to feel confident that you are feeding your dog well, building health and longevity. It is overwhelming to switch to a new food based on recommendation only to find out next month that you could be feeding your dog a better food.
No one would feed their pet an unhealthy food, so why is this even happening?
How Pets End Up Eating Unhealthy Food
Take these steps to evaluate your dog's food on your own. These skills will help you for a lifetime as you will always be able to read new food labels and argue the facts that prove them to be healthy foods or low quality foods.
Step 1: Read and understand the pet food ingredients
The top 5 ingredients are the most important. They are listed in order of quantity meaning that the majority of the food is in the first ingredient. The bulk of the food will be made of the first 5 listed ingredients. Beyond the first 5, we most often find vitamins, minerals, preservatives and food colorings.
The first 5 need to be protein sources such as beef, pork, turkey, whitefish, salmon, and chicken. If the ingredient is listed as “pork” that is best as “pork meal” is every part ground up and processed. Corn, corn meal, ground corn should never appear in the first 5 as dogs cannot receive any nutritional benefit from corn.
The worst protein source would be “meat”, “meat meal”, or “animal fat” as these terms can indicate any animal, and any and all animal parts. The ingredients should be specific like “pork” or “turkey” and should not be vague like “animal fat”. In the pet food industry vague = hidden!
Vitamins and minerals can sound like chemical names, but just google the terms and you will determine which ones are everyday, naturally occurring supplements. Those are good!
Preservatives and food coloring are ALL BAD!! The most common preservatives are BHA and BHT. These are used to keep the food shelf stable. Higher grade brands do not spray their foods with chemical preservatives, rather they spend money on special airtight bags and packaging to keep their food fresh and shelf stable. Food colors Yellow, Red, Blue must all be avoided! Not only are these items toxic to you and your dog, but dog’s cannot even see the colors in food. The food dye is a marketing scam intended to get you to buy. Steer clear!
Step 2: Beware of Misleading Marketing
Misuse of terms is the best trick marketing uses to confuse us. “Natural” and “holistic” are the most trendy terms that hold little to no value. Instead, we must evaluate the quality of the ingredients the company is using. Low quality brands will use low grade of proteins -meats- which means rendered animals. Rendering is a process that converts waste animal tissue into usable materials. Y U C K !
Human grade ingredients confirms that the animals used in processing would meet the standards for human inspected foods. This is where we want to source our pet’s food; from the same safe standards as our own food.
Step 3: Evaluate a Professional’s Association with Brands
Pet professionals are an obvious source for best nutrition information. While some pet professionals do specialize in nutrition, many sell a specific brand of food and will of course recommend it as the best choice. Breeders and rescue groups get price breaks on food and will suggest you feed that same brand. While it may be a good brand for their needs or organization, your individual pets’ needs may differ.
Either path is fine as long as it meets your standards and you feel confident that you are feeding your dog well and your dog is void of nutritional ailments. The key is to read and evaluate your dog food label to make your own determination.
Feel Confident About Your Pet’s Food!
Arming yourself with this information and studying your pet food’s label will give you the confidence to make your own, informed decision.
“Fresh is best” meaning raw, prepared diets are the most natural feeding plan. Fresh food is more costly and more difficult to prepare but the nutrition benefits are huge. The next best option s to find a human-grade dry food in which you have read and understand each of the ingredients. Taking these steps will help guide you to making an informed decision you can feel confident about!
Katie Weibel, Master Dog Trainer. Providing training for companion, service and working dogs, sharing knowledge and expertise.