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What Dogs Need to Eat

Ingredients In Dog Food

If we take an average dog food from the local super market, just to look at the ingredients we see a list with words like “corn meal, whole grain sorghum, chondroitin, glucosamine, chicken or meat by-product, whole grain barely, beet pulp, dried egg product, flax meal, etc“. Just to name a few key ingredients, these can be listed in various orders on the dog food bag. Usually the first ingredient listed is found in the highest quantity and the list goes on to the ingredient of least amount in the product.

Making Sense of It All

Corn Meal Some pet food brands say corn is “easily digestible”. But corn is actually wrapped in a thick cellulose shell. Dogs can not digest cellulose of any kind, especially corn because that cellulose is thicker than cellulose found in other foods such as peas. The other reason corn is hard on the dogs digestive system is that it is high on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a tool used by dieticians and nutritionists to measure the sugar released in foods when they are metabolized. Scoring high on the glycemic index means other organs that aid in digestion, such as the pancreas, have to secrete more insulin to counter act the higher sugar levels. On occasion, this is OK, but keeping the body under constant stress of releasing all that insulin to combat that much sugar after every meal, in the long term can lead to the insulin becoming insufficient in breaking down the sugar and therefore can lead to diabetes in your dog.

Whole Grain Sorghum Low nutritional value, similar to corn. Whole grain sorghum is grown as a feed grain, to feed livestock. it’s easy to grow lots, fast and affordably. Food sources that are fast, grown in mass quantities and affordable are not synonymous with quality.

Chondroitin & Glucosamine Both of these supplements are known to help with inflammation and prevent damage to joints caused by osteoarthritis. These are natural substances that help repair cartilage and provide some Omega 3 fatty acid benefits. Good to have in your dog’s food, especially larger, more active breeds. But any breed can benefit.

Chicken By-Product Meal Any by-product meal is really what’s left over at the slaughter house. There are various levels of marketable meat products. There are products that are “edible”, “not intended for human consumption”, and “unfit for human consumption”. The various levels determine how the meat is treated after the slaughter, basically in regards to cleaning and refrigeration. What this means is your dog eats the left overs which contain chicken feet, livers, lungs, spleen, stomach, heads, undeveloped eggs, intestine, etc. All the parts left over from animals after the most nutritious parts have been used for humans. When the meal is animal-specific, for example, chicken meal, turkey meal, beef meal, it is better than non-specific meals such as meat meal, meat and bone meal, or animal by-product meal. You want to avoid non-specific animal by-product meals at all costs. Chicken meal, beef meal, turkey meal are medium grade protein supplements. The best, top quality proteins are just plain simple, chicken, turkey, beef, etc.

Whole Grain BarelyThis is a good source of grains.

Beet Pulp Used as a filler. Like corn, beet pulp is high on the glycemic scale, and should not be used constantly and long term.

Dried Egg Product An affordable protein waste product left over from the egg industry. Composed of non-shelled egg left overs. Similar to animal by-product meal.

Flax meal An affordable way to press the flax oil out of the seeds. Sounds like it provides the high fiber benefits of flax seeds but does not provide the quality and is a poor source of fatty acids.

In conclusion, let’s relate back to our discussion on amino acids briefly. When manufactures cut corners to provide low quality meat products they deprive our dogs of good quality protein. As a result of poor nutrient value they add synthetic supplements. You will notice a lot of “L” ingredients on the end of the list. Synthetic supplements like “L-Lysine, and L-Tryptophan”. These are affordable ways for manufactures to bulk up low quality food with the essential amino acids not achieved in the poor quality meat. A dog food with good quality meat does not have to supplement amino acids and provides a well balanced diet with a variety of hardy fruits and vegetables.

It’s up to you to choose a brand that’s best for your dog. I hope that this information will be helpful as you make a choice. Staff should be knowledgeable about the brands that they sell and should be able to help you with the needs of your dog depending on breed, age and activity level. Your dog is depending on to provide the best nutrition you can for a healthy, long life.

Source by Yuliss Saint Pierre

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