Ultimate guide: Dog food ingredients debunked

Here is the place to find out about dog food ingredients. This will expose everything you have always wanted to know; and what should and shouldn’t be adding to your dog’s food.

It is possible that some dogs can tolerate some foods more than others. However, you have to ask yourself if it is worth the risk even if they can eat it.

Symptoms of feeding toxic dog food ingredients to your dog may not be seen straight away, but it could prove detrimental later in life. If you want to look deeper into these types of foods take a look at this ever important question ‘Is cheap dog food the perfect formula?‘.

As a rule of thumb, most toxic dog food ingredients are found in most one-star and two-star brands. They can be found in three-star foods but not as much, and even less in four-star ratings. It is better to err on the side of caution and go for middle ground. Buying four-star brands is a safe option, especially if ‘Top five-star brands‘ is out of your budget.

Dog food ingredients that don’t pass the test

Often, some brands that are considered top of the range can contain harmful dog food ingredients. They may declare their kibble is the best, but when you look at their ingredients, you might be somewhat horrified.

Our advice to you is to never trust the wording on labels or their fancy promotionals.

Dog Food Ingredients

  • Dogs need to eat a gluten-free diet, they weren’t created to eat gluten; they’re carnivores. Gluten intolerances are very common in dogs and it causes degenerative diseases, digestive problems and allergies. Although food intolerances can be as painful as an allergy, allergies are considered more dangerous because death could occur. For further reading take a look at ‘Getting to Grips with Dog Food Allergies’.
  • Most dog food ingredients are highly processed and the food is heat up to 350°. This can degrade the potency and cause vitamin and mineral loss.
  • There should be little or no grains in dog food, if grains are rated as the primary ingredient, then you ought to change brands. Meat should be the primary ingredient.
  • There should be no cereal in dog food since it’s high in sugar. Sugar is known to cause diabetes in dogs, weight gain and hyperactivity. This is another reason to stay clear of cheap dog food.
  • Many brands add water to their foods and is quite often never labeled, top brands will not include water to their dog food ingredients.
  • Manufacturers are clever at marketing by referring to corn as maize. Unless stated, 95% of corn today is GM. Many brands are now listing this food as their first ingredient, and more often than not, corn isn’t gluten free. Corn shouldn’t be consumed in huge amounts or preferably never.
  • Corn syrup is the leading cause of diabetes, hyperactivity, gaining weight, fearful and disruptive behavior.
  • Brewers yeast that is already in dog food is usually left over matter from the brewing process. It is much better to buy quality brewers yeast from your health store rather than look for it already included in the kibble.
  • Animal derivatives and by-products are another issue. By-products are not chicken, buffalo or a big fat juicy turkey. Animal by-products is anything taken from an animal. This includes dead cats, dogs, rabbits, squirrels or even rats and much more. Derivatives mean skin, ears, carcass, bones, tumors, eyes, brains and anything else morbid.
  • Animal fat is another ingredient to watch out for, it must state the animal, i.e. Chicken fat.
  • Salt is found in 2/3 of commercial dog foods, particularly the one-star rating. Salt encourages a dog drink lots of water, it can make them bloated and can cause hypertension, kidney and heart disease. Sea salt sounds good to the untrained eye, but it is unfortunately used to cover up rancid meat. This has the same effect as ordinary salt.
  • Fish such as salmon sounds a good food. However, if the salmon is farmed and it usually is unless stated, then there will be little nutrients and a lot of mercury.
  • Canned dog food should be avoided as a predominant meal because cans leak aluminium; this is potentially very harmful, even for humans. Use it minimally or give it in absolute moderation.
  • The primary ingredient in dry dog food needs to be ‘named meat’, and it should never have been previously frozen. Don’t be fooled into believing that if the label states 30% meat, then it’s actually 30%. For example, if the label states ‘chicken’ or ‘fresh chicken’, then this meat contains 80% water. The weight is inaccurate on the label because companies weigh raw meat before drying and count that as the overall percentage. You the consumer could be being fooled – you may be paying for a lot of water.
  • Once the fresh chicken meat is dried, it is called ‘chicken meal’. The drying process will make the meat denser, and the water will have evaporated. Manufacturers; therefore, have to add more ‘chicken meal’ for the meat to state 30% on the package; this applies to any meat. Dried meats, dehydrated chicken, chicken meals, etc. aren’t inferior to fresh meat, it’s the other way around.
  • You’ve probably thought about buying organic dry dog food, believing it to contain the best dog food ingredients. Beware; there are even organic foods made with the lethal toxic weapons that are listed on this page. None of which help dog’s grow strong and fit. Take a look at this intriguing articleClarifying organic dog food myths‘.
  • Dried foods are not considered to be in their natural state. The closest to natural is dehydrated, raw and homemade. As a precautionary, take a look at this article on ‘Dog food analysis nutritional facts‘, this offers an excellent nutritional guide to help determine the best dog food ingredients.

Differences between dog food ingredients and ratings

Here is an outline of quality versus harmful, both are well known dog food brands, which would you choose?

Six-star dog food

  1. Fresh boneless chicken
  2. Chicken meal
  3. Fresh boneless salmon
  4. Turkey meal
  5. Herring meal
  6. Russet potato
  7. Peas
  8. Sweet potato
  9. Fresh boneless turkey
  10. Fresh whole eggs

One / Two-star dog food>

  1. Corn
  2. Soybean meal
  3. Beef and bone meal
  4. Ground wheat flour
  5. Animal fat
  6. Corn syrup
  7. Wheat middlings
  8. Water
  9. Animal digest
  10. Propylene Glycol

About the author

Jennifer Pitts

Jennifer Pitts

I love pets and I love animals. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and it's not enough for me.

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