As dog owners, we like to keep our little friends healthy, and that means taking dog nutrition seriously. But while you might think that the dog food you buy for your pet is nutritious, there are a few things you should know so that you can determine for yourself whether what you’re feeding your dog is up to snuff. Since pet food regulations for labeling are rather lenient, what sparky has for dinner might not actually be what it seems. In fact, a simple online search for dog food recalls shows that what you feed your doggy could even be fatal. Dog nutrition shouldn’t be so difficult.
How to Read the Dog Nutrition Facts on Your Dog Food Label
Luckily, you have the power to inform yourself, and with vendors like Doggies Gone Wild who sell only the best in dog nutrition, it doesn’t have to be hard. Plus, we deliver, so you don’t even have to leave the house to stock up!
But first, let’s take a look at how to read a dog food label.
What to Look for on the Label
The first thing to know about how to read a dog food label is that manufacturers list the ingredients by weight. That means the first ingredient you read on the package is the heaviest, most dense ingredient, making it the most important when considering dog nutrition. Since dogs are largely carnivores, the first ingredient should be the protein source, if you want what’s best for them.
Unfortunately, many dog food companies break down some of their ingredients, like corn, and categorize each component as its own ingredient. Seeing things like corn gluten, corn bran, and ground corn on the same ingredient list means that the heaviest product listed might not actually be the heaviest.
- Meat – Meat is the usual protein source for dog food. In dog nutrition, meat means anything from the actual muscle to things like the heart and tendons.
- Animal Byproducts – Despite sounding unappetizing, animal byproducts are actually good for your dog. These include animal parts like stomach, liver, and bone marrow, all of which have high nutritional value.
- Artificial colors, preservatives, and fillers – These ingredients are to be avoided, if possible. They are considered safe, but add no nutritional value.
There are also a few marketing tricks that dog food companies use to sound more nutritional than they are in reality. You will often see words like organic, holistic, premium, and natural on the front of dog food labels—don’t be fooled. These words, because the regulations in the dog food industry are so lax, don’t actually mean anything. They are marketing, pure and simple.
Hopefully this post has taught you the basics that you need to know in order to make a more informed decision. If you want to start feeding your dog the good stuff, trust Doggies Gone Wild for the best dog nutrition. Try the convenience of our dog food delivery service.