Who actually knows if the natural dog food you’ve been feeding your pet for years is actually healthy? These days, it seems impossible to know for sure. Even deciding on healthy human foods can feel impossible. There is always some controversy in the news about what is healthy and what is not. Where do we stand on butter vs margarine? And what about the whole debate on eggs and cholesterol?
No matter what, there will always be controversy regarding health and wellness, even when it comes to canine health. Try not to believe everything you hear in the media when deciding on the proper dog food, and do your own research instead. Start right here by reading up on these tips for choosing a natural dog food that is actually healthy.
Don’t Let Cost Be the Determining Factor
Obviously we don’t all have hundreds of dollars to spend on dog food each month, and for some of us cost is a major concern. However, try to set aside enough money for feeding the dog properly. Just as a child is a part of the family, so is the dog, so don’t skimp on canine nutrition. It is irresponsible for someone to invest in a pet in the first place if feeding the animal properly isn’t an option.
The best tip for choosing a healthy dog food is to not let price be the determining factor. You should never walk into a pet store with the intention of purchasing the cheapest dog food. Studies actually show that this can be more costly in the long run. A dog that is fed low-quality kibble with no nutritious value is much more likely to need medical attention later on, and we all know that veterinarian bills can quickly add up.
Focus on the First Ingredient
Just a labels work for human food products, the same goes for dog foods. The list of ingredients is not in random order, but instead the top ingredient is the one that holds the most volume in the product. The very first ingredient on the list is the one that makes up the majority of the product.
Search for a product that labels chicken, beef, fish, or another “real” animal protein as the first ingredient. Avoid products that list “animal meal” as the first ingredient. Animal meal is a low-quality protein alternative that is a by-product of animal tissue. It’s basically the hot dog of the dog food industry. Studies show that animal meal has very little nutritious value, and it certainly does not contain the amount of protein required by your dog.
It’s Never Good When You Can’t Pronounce the Ingredients
After you read the first ingredient, continue reading. Generally speaking, you should be able to pronounce all of the ingredients on the list. Not only that, you should have an understanding of what specific ingredient is, or at least its purpose in the product (e.g. natural preservative). If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it.