Blog by Irene Hislop
To find the best dog food for your pet, you have to know your way about a dog food ingredients label. Knowing what is in dog food ingredients means you can make an informed choice about which ones will help your dog thrive and enjoy a long, healthy life. Knowing what to look for is vital, and so is knowing what to avoid.
The best dog food is one that is suited to your dog. For optimum health, give your dog a food that is designed for their size, age and activity level. Finding the right dog food can involve some trial and error, but you can take a shortcut when you know what is in dog food ingredients and which ones to avoid.
Artificial Ingredients Are Unnecessary
Dogs are not really colour-blind but they do see a narrower range of colours than we do. Our colour range encompasses shades of yellow, red and blue, while theirs is limited to yellow and blue. Think about that the next time you’re in the dog food aisle surrounded by red and orange food and treats. Dogs really and truly don’t care what colour their food is. Dying it is purely marketing. If you worry about artificial colouring in your own food, remember that it isn’t any healthier for our dogs.
Artificial sweeteners are even worse. Yes, some dogs do have a sweet tooth, but corn syrup isn’t the way to cater to it. Nor is sucralose or any other artificial sweetener. In large quantities, these can be dangerous to your dog. Quality foods that use wholesome ingredients don’t need to rely on artificial ingredients. They are naturally appealing to dogs. Bright colours and artificial sweeteners are red flags warning you that the brand relies on cheap ingredients and isn’t putting your dog’s nutrition first.
You can avoid a lot of artificial ingredients by choosing foods made of simple, identifiable ingredients. It shouldn’t take a science degree to understand what is in dog food ingredients. You can opt for a food with mainly ingredients such as chicken, rice, linseed and things you recognise to avoid artificial ingredients. Of course, it helps if the label plainly says it doesn’t contain any artificial colours or flavours.
We’re proud to say that our favourite Go Native and Leader treats are all made without artificial sweeteners or preservatives, so we can recommend them to all precious pups totally guilt-free.
What to Look for on a Dog Food Label
Knowledge is power. The more you know about what is in dog food ingredients, the easier it will be pick the right food for your fur baby. Most dogs will thrive on beef or lamb or chicken or salmon. The real issue is the quality of the ingredients and how those ingredients are blended for a balanced food.
The things to look for on a dog food label are the details that tell you the ingredients really are high quality. Locally sourced, traceable ingredients are ideal – just like those found in our Go Native range. This suggests that the brand has long term relationships with reliable, reputable producers instead of chasing the latest bargain. (And if you are concerned about the environment, that also means a smaller carbon footprint because ingredients aren’t travelling around the world, just up the road.)
The best food is one that is formulated for your dog. So look for one that is targeted to your dog’s age, size and activity level to give them the optimum nutrition for their needs. Larger and older dogs need more of some nutrients to keep their joints and heart healthy. Very active dogs and puppies need more calories than mature dogs who lead a leisurely life. A brand that offers a range of foods is one that is concerned with your dog’s well-being.