How to Choose

You are what you eat, and so is your pet. A very important part of pet care is taking the time to ensure that your pet receives the proper nutrition. This can be accomplished by choosing a nutritionally balanced diet that is appropriate for your pet’s needs. However, there are literally thousands of pet food formulas available on the market. When choosing the right pet food, there are many different important factors that you need to consider. Picking the right pet food is one of the best things that you can do to care for your pet’s overall good health. Here is some general information that can help you to choose the right food for your pet.

* Common fillers such as corn and wheat make pet food cheaper to produce, but do not provide any nutritional value for your pet. If your pet is always hungry because they are not getting the nutrition that they need, then they will continue to overeat and may even gain weight.

* Avoid Animal Fat, Animal Digest, Meat & Bone Meal. The FDA tells consumers these pet food ingredients are one of several pet food ingredients that are probable to contain the lethal drug pentobarbital thus probable to contain the remains of a euthanized animal. “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.” Most grocery store foods contain Animal Fat or Animal Digest – even the “better” ones.

* Avoid Byproduct meals, even if a species is identified (chicken/beef/turkey/lamb byproduct meal etc.), since highly questionable ingredients may be used in these rendered products.

*Contrary to what many people believe, meat sources in “meal” form (as long as they are from a specified type of animal, such as chicken meal, lamb meal, salmon meal etc.) are not inferior to whole, fresh meats. Meals consist of meat and skin, with or without the bones, but exclusive of feathers/hair, heads, feet, horns, entrails etc. and have the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio required for a balanced diet. You get more concentrated protein per pound of finished product.

Things to avoid:

  • Corn, by-products, animal fat, animal digest
  • corn bran, peanut hulls, rice hulls, soybean hulls, oat hulls.
  • Dyes: Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6,  among other “numbered” dyes.

Visit Dog Food Advisor and/or Truth About Pet Food to see how your pet food rates.

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