Healthy pet foods with super-premium ingredients like ours are becoming increasingly popular with pet owners. Unfortunately, it's harder to sift through marketing hype to determine which foods are really good for your pet, and which foods just say they are. There is a lot of information online and in books, and we've compiled some key considerations for buying your pet food
- Check the first ingredient, which is the largest ingredient by weight. It should be a named protein meal, like "chicken meal". Meals are just dehydrated meat. If the first ingredient is just a named protein, like "chicken", it contains up to 80% water, so by the time it is cooked is probably not the first ingredient by weight anymore.
- Look for natural ingredients. Avoid synthetic flavors and artificial preservatives like ethoxyquin or butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). Natural preservatives are typically made from vitamins C or E.
- Avoid corn, corn gluten, soy and wheat. These are difficult for dogs to digest and can cause or aggravate allergies.
- Instead, choose grains from barley, sorghum, rolled oats, millet, quinoa, and brown rice.
- Depending on your dog’s ability to digest, check the digestibility of the protein source. For instance, lamb and fish is somewhat more digestible than chicken.
- Avoid protein by-products which is simply slaughterhouse waste.
- Avoid un-named "meat" or "meat-meal" which can legally contain road kill, euthanized pets, dying, diseased or disabled farm animals.
- Look for Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. These fats that must be supplied in the diet because the body cannot produce them.
- Check if the food is made in an APHIS EU-certified export facility, which means the ingredients are held to the strict European Standard of "fit for human consumption".