Since you can’t trust regulators to hold unscrupulous companies accountable, you have to protect your pup yourself. Case in point: You’ll have to determine which foods and ingredients can make your pet sick.
We’ll help you be a smarter shopper in the pet food aisle. Use these guidelines to feed your dog healthy foods instead of over-processed chow, which can lower your pup’s lifespan.
1. Avoid preservatives
Preservatives are supposed to protect food by preventing mold and bacteria growth. That’s all well and good for humans — but it’s a different story for dogs. Their unique biology makes them highly sensitive to chemical preservatives that shoppers never consider.
Take ethoxyquin, for example. It’s a mouthful — and some veterinarians link it to the development of cancer in dogs. According to CNBC, this preservative is still allowed by the FDA, despite the concern from animal welfare activists.
Bottom line: Your dog’s food may be packed with harmful preservatives. You can call the pet food company and ask how long your pet food will stay fresh. If they tell you the food is suitable for 25 years or longer, take that as a red flag.
2. Certain fillers can make your pet sick
What are you feeding your dog? Chances are, even if it’s premium or organic dog food, it contains 50% to 64% processed cereal byproducts with little nutritional value.
Pet food companies love to cut corners. They may throw in fillers like corn, grain or soy. Generally speaking, “fillers” refers to unhealthy ingredients in dog food that lack nutritional value.
They aren’t a good biological fit for your pet. It’s best to feed your dog the kind of food it would eat in the wild. Think of salmon, turkey or duck, for example.
3. Meat byproducts can be pretty harmful, too
First, let’s answer the question, “What are meat byproducts in dog food?” This term explains leftovers from the meat industry. When butchers remove meat from an animal carcass, they leave behind undesirable body parts, like:
- Meat trimmings.
Some dog foods even have bone fragments, according to Truth about Pet Food. This can cause constipation, severe bleeding and even peritonitis, a bacterial abdomen infection.
Although some meat byproducts can give your dog nutrition, others go overboard and do more harm than good. It’s best to give your dog actual meat instead of pet foods packed with unwanted leftovers. They aren’t ideal for your dog’s health.
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