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4 Ingredients to Avoid When Shopping for Dog Food

 by jaime on 06 May 2014 |
8 Comment(s)

The popular phrase "you are what you eat" applies to dogs as much as it does to humans. Your pet gets much-needed nutrients from dog food, but the wrong additives and other components can lead to health problems. Here is a look at four ingredients to avoid when shopping for your dog's food. Take a look at the bag currently in your pantry and keep an eye out the next time you hit up the pet care aisle.


1. Corn
The country's number one crop, corn is cheap and easy to add to most foods-including dog food. Unfortunately, your pup won't actually get any nutritional benefits from eating corn, so you can view its presence in dog food as a cheap filler. In fact, dogs don't actually need to eat carbohydrates at all, so a diet that is too high in starches can lead to problems like obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Take a look at your dog food label, and you might see several different forms of corn, including corn meal, corn gluten meal, corn bran, and corn cellulose. None of these ingredients are beneficial and all of them should be avoided when possible.



2. Generic Meat Terms
Be careful when buying food that lists its meaty ingredients in generic terms. If the label says "poultry" or "fish" instead of specifying what specific animals the meat comes from, then you can truly have no idea what you're feeding your dog. You should also avoid food that simply lists "liver" as an ingredient. While certain types of liver have great nutritional value for your pet, others are just low quality meat. As a general rule, if the dog food label is too vague, you can take it as a sign that you should be looking elsewhere.


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3. Meat By-Products
The leftover scraps of meat that are deemed unsafe or unpalatable for human consumption are labeled as by-products, and many of them are sent to pet food factories. The problem with by-products however, is that you will never know where they came from or why they were rejected as acceptable human food. These components could come from parts of the animal like the brain, lungs, kidneys, blood, or bones-only some of which actually have any nutritional value, while others are just downright dangerous for your dog to be eating. They may also have been thrown out at the meat processing plant because they came from animals that were diseased or dying. Put simply, your pet deserves real meat rather than these by-products.



4. Animal Fat
Just like the other generic "meat" terms, you will often see "animal fat" listed among dog food ingredients. While not all fat is bad-in fact, some fat is necessary to provide your dog with essential omega fatty acids. You should seek out labels that specify chicken fat, pork fat, or vegetable oils. As always, it's best to know exactly where your dog's nutrients are coming from, and you are taking too big of a risk if you leave it up to chance.


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Marilyn Wilson - Comment
Marilyn Wilson09 May 2014Reply
Really gets you thinking! Excellent, informative article! I will most definitely be reading dog food labels more closely because I love "my baby girl" and want her with me as long as possible! THANK YOU, PETBUCKET!
Coral jane - Comment
Coral jane09 May 2014Reply
My dog eats the same quality red meat, chicken and fish as I do. I won't eat offal and tripe so why should she.
laura - Comment
laura09 May 2014Reply
I also suggest that pet owners consider Not buying commercial petfood at all.
you can look online to see how and why other people are doing this.
Petbucket Admin - Comment
Petbucket Admin09 May 2014Reply
Thanks everyone for your comments :)
Susan  - Comment
Susan 12 May 2014Reply
In answer to Coral Jane re Offal and tripe.
Offal and tripe are actually very nutritious for humans and dogs provided they are in their natural state - not bleached, diseased or cooked. Please don't let your sensitivities deny these health giving foods to your dog. I've been feeding them to my dogs for over 40 years with no ill effects.
Jason - Comment
Jason12 May 2014Reply
Good to know; will look at ingredients more carefully now (although our dog, Minnie primarily eats home cooked meals).
Don - Comment
Don14 May 2014Reply
I have a 8 yrs. male golden retriever, so what kind of food is best fit for him ?
Petbucket Admin - Comment
Petbucket Admin14 May 2014Reply
Hi Don, thanks for your question. If you are wanting to know what food is best for your dog, our advice is to speak with your vet or an animal nutritionist. Pet owners feed their pets a variety of foods - perhaps another reader on here could pass on some advice to you :)

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