Finding the right food for your furry bestie is a science of its own, and it might take some time before you find a brand that works and a food type that is good for your pup – but also that he or she will like and enjoy.
A big step in the right direction is education and acquiring knowledge, and there are quite a few things that most dog owners might be unaware of, in regard to dog food and its ingredients!
Today we will show you the 12 facts that you never knew about dog food!
You can also enjoy this video on dog foods-
Importance of Protein
Vegetarian and vegan diets may be popular among humans, but dogs need meat and protein for their bodies to function properly.
Most scientists are convinced that dogs are carnivores, yet some argue they may be omnivores, but regardless of which – it is agreed that they don’t thrive on a meatless diet, and the only reason you would feed a diet without meat is if your dog has some type of a d or sensitivity.
Make sure your dog food contains real meat high up on the ingredients list.
Deceitful Product Packaging
What you see isn’t always what you get when it comes to dog food, and just because the bag has a big juicy steak pictured on the package – there isn’t necessarily real meat inside the bag.
What many dog owners are not aware of is that what is reflected on the outside may not represent what the kibble or wet food truly contains.
Make it a habit to flip the container over to read through the ingredients list, and don’t be too surprised if you find that your dog food does not actually contain meat, but only “meat flavor” (artificial).
At this point, there are no rules or laws to prevent dog food manufacturers from using packaging that makes the food look better than it is, as long as they don’t state in words that it contains something that it doesn’t.
This basically means that it is completely fine for them to decorate their food bags with juicy steaks or delicious grilled chicken, as long as the food contains the flavor in question.
No real meat is needed.
Animal by-products sound a lot better than it is; because while you might think “hey, dogs eat meat, so this must be good” – it isn’t.
These types of ingredients usually come from leftovers at a slaughterhouse, and they could be any part of the slaughtered animal such as bird beaks, bones, feet, etc.
Basically, animal by-products refer to any slaughterhouse leftovers that were deemed unfit for being sold for human consumption, and there is no guarantee that it contains enough protein to meet the needs of your pet.
Grain-Free Dog Food – Good or Bad?
The idea that grain-free dog food is better than dog food with grains gained popularity in recent years, as experts claimed dogs thrive when fed a diet close to what their wild ancestors would have eaten in the past.
There has, however, been some controversy in recent years, where there have been indicators that grain-free dog food might be linked to heart problems in dogs.
Naturally, this alarmed a lot of dog owners, so what is the truth? Is grain-free dog food bad?
The answer is – it depends. Just like with any dog food, it is all about quality.
It is important to pick a product that uses natural organic ingredients and adequate levels of protein, and since these studies came out, most respectable dog food brands have adjusted their ingredients by adding additional taurine.
The Truth About Meat meal
For those who know to avoid animal by-products, there is some general confusion regarding meat meal; what it is, and whether it is good or bad for your dog.
Some assume that meat meal and animal by-products are the same, and while there is a connection – they can potentially be entirely different.
Both come from the meat rendering process, and meat meal is a dry product made from the combination of animal flesh and skin, but without any bone, fat, heats, and so on.
It has been drained with the water content of the meat removed, which actually makes a meat meal even richer in protein than a slab of fresh meat.
Smell Is More Important Than Taste
For dogs, what matters the most is actually the smell of the food they’re eating, rather than the taste.
A fun fact is that while humans have about 9000 taste buds – allowing us to savor even the subtlest flavors – dogs only have about 1700. Smell, how, however, is a whole different thing!
Where humans have somewhere around 5 to 10 million sensory cells in our noses – dogs have somewhere close to 125 million.
Quite a difference, isn’t it?
When looking at it like this, it suddenly makes a lot more sense why the smell of your dog’s food is what truly matters.
As humans, we might not even realize that our furry buddy’s food smells much at all, but for a dog – the smell of the food can be what makes him or her like it, or hate it.
What “Natural” Dog Food Means
The term “natural ingredients” gets thrown around a lot nowadays, especially in relation to pet food, but what does it actually mean?
The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) defines it as ingredients that are derived from animals or plants, which may then have been rendered, exposed to heat, purification, hydrolysis, extraction, fermentation, or enzymolysis, but not to any type of chemically synthetic process.
In plain English, so to speak, this would refer to a product free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and other ingredients.
Worth noting, however, that just because dog food is advertised as natural, it does not guarantee the quality of the product, nor of the ingredients used to make it.
Food Quantities & How Much to Feed
If you choose to change your dog’s food, you also need to be paying attention to the feeding instructions that come with the product.
A common misconception is that you can feed the same quantity of food regardless of the product, which is why dog owners tend to continue feeding the same amount even when switching brands.
What quantity to feed depends entirely on the ingredients that have gone into making the dog food with more protein – for example – might mean that your dog needs less than what they would need of low-quality dog food.
Always check the feeding instructions and feed in accordance with your dog’s weight.
Corn & Other Fillers
A very common ingredient in low-quality dog food products is corn, and some will even proudly display it on their product packaging.
There is nothing wrong with corn and it is not harmful to your pet, but it also does not contribute to any nutrition as the canine body is unable to process it.
The real reason why some brands have chosen to add it is simply that it is a cheap product that works well as a filler.
Corn is not considered a quality ingredient and has no place in good dog food.
Its presence is usually an indicator that the dog food in question might not be that great.
Can Humans Survive on Dog Food?
Our dogs deserve quality food, and many brands now pride themselves on using human-grade ingredients; meaning ingredients that are fit for human consumption.
This raises the question if a human could survive eating dog food, but the answer is most likely no.
This is not because dog food is bad (assuming you feed a high-quality product), but more a result of dogs and humans needing different nutrition to thrive.
Dogs, for example, do not require vitamin C in their food, as their bodies are able to produce enough of it themselves.
Wash That Bowl
We spend so much time and money to provide our dogs with the best dog food, the most complete nutrition, and ingredients that are even fit for us humans, but many dog owners forget the importance of washing the food bowl regularly.
Can you imagine eating off of the same plate for days, weeks, months, or years – without ever washing it?
This is the case for many dogs, and it can cause health problems due to bacterial growth.
Always make sure to wash both the food and the water bowl as often as possible, and keep the area where your dog eats clean.
Before giving your dog a certain food or diet, perform thorough research on your options and make an informed decision.
We strongly advocate making your own dog food because you have complete control over the contents.
If you don’t have time to produce your own dog food, choose foods from large manufacturers because they employ board-certified nutritionists, adhere to stringent quality-control methods, and provide comprehensive nutritional analyses of their dog food products.
Content Developer at Dog Region
Content writing is my passion. And I believe in following my dreams to achieve my goal in life! I am a full-time entrepreneur who believes in investing his time in his profession and passion equally.