The Best Organic Dog Food: Castor & Pollux Organic Food
Castor & Pollux offers a high standard of organic pet food available in the states. This company produces what it calls purposeful pet food, sourcing its ingredients responsibly and formulating its recipes for safety, quality, and nutrition.
In addition to most of its formulas being 100% organic, its recipes are non-GMO and its seafood ingredients are certified sustainable.
Ingredients In Quality Dog Good
The ingredients you find in healthy dog food varies from brand to brand, but just as with the easy tips above, there are certain things to look for when picking a high quality dog food. Pay special attention to the first five or six ingredients as they are the most abundant in that food. A really healthy ingredient listed as number 13 or 14 shouldnt be that impressive to you as that means they really didnt add much of it, they just wanted it on the label. There are some exceptions to that advice including vitamins and minerals that only require small amounts.
Focus on the first ingredients. The main protein should be first and an actual meat source like chicken, duck or lamb. The second ingredient should be another meat source, generally a clearly labeled meal such as lamb meal or duck meal. What you dont want to see is something ambiguous like chicken meal by product or animal meal, as they are considered low quality and include a lot of useless or unhealthy ingredients. Keep in mind that raw meat ingredient you are hoping to be first is weighed before it becomes dehydrated . Once it gets dried out, it will be much lighter. So, if you see grains in the number two or three position, your dog food will not be as high protein as you probably assumed.
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Featured image via Flickr/BuzzFarmers
Common Dog Food Ingredients
The dog foods you find at feed stores and supermarkets share a number ofcommon ingredients, which can include:
- Cereals, which are basic carbohydrates like grain, rice bran, and beet pulp
- Fish, which provide both protein and calcium
- Fats and oils, a source for vitamins, as well as the energy that dogs need to survive
- Sodium and chloride
Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not entirely carnivorous, Indeed, they require regularly consuming non-meat foods.
Dog owners of all types debate the merits of serving their hounds fresh food versus typical dog food. Although both approaches have their merits, many dog owners tend to opt for the latter on the basis of convenience alone. While fresh food offers a greater amount of diet control to the owner, it can be very difficult to constantly provide a balanced diet with the use of fresh food. Your dogs breed, preferences, and purpose may affect what kind of food is ultimately best for them.
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The Switch To Adult Food
A medium-breed puppy reaches adult weight by about 12 months. You can begin feeding an adult dog food at this time, such as IAMS ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks. Your dog might not welcome the change at first, but don’t worry. You can help ease the transition by gradually introducing the adult food. Try mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of his puppy food, then gradually change the proportions over the next three days until he’s eating 100% adult food.
Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms Adult recipe is one of 2 kibble recipes included in our review of the Whole Earth Farms product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Small breed, turkey, salmon, pork, beef, puppy and more
- Price: $
- See both available recipes
This Whole Earth Farms product derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken and turkey meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 16% fat and 47% estimated carbs which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
A quality yet affordable, grain-inclusive kibble made by Merrick. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewI recently switched to this food due to the recent controversy over Grain Free. This was the only affordable food I found with quality ingredients listed. My dogs love it and it will be the only food I fees from now on.
This Holistic Select formula derives most of its meat protein from fresh salmon, as well as anchovy and sardine meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 16% fat and 44% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
An exceptional grain-free dog food offering numerous recipe and flavor options. Highly recommended.
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What Is The Difference Between Chicken Meal And Chicken By
In the list of some dog foods, you may come across chicken or poultry by-products as another one of the protein ingredients. Some people assume that chicken meal and a chicken by-product is the same thing. Chicken meal is from chicken by-product meal as the latter comes with few benefits. By-products consist of feet, beaks, entrails, feathers, and chicken heads, which provide very little protein content to the dog food formula.
Dog Food Ingredients To Always Avoid
When it comes to choosing the best foods for dogs, there are some dog food ingredients that should be immediate deal breakers. These dog food ingredients cause digestive issues, provide no nutritional value, and make be harmful to the health of your dog. If you are considering a dog food for your pup and see these dog food ingredients on the label, you should put that dog food down and move on to something better. Here are the dog food ingredients that you should always avoid:
Is Chicken Meal Safe For The Dog
Just as it is beneficial to the dogs, chicken meal is also one of the safest ingredients to have in a quality dogs formula. It does not cause allergies or any health issues, and many of the reputable brands for pet food use the ingredient in their recipes. The processing of the meal is under high temperatures, which makes it free from any bacteria. The high protein levels of chicken meal provide the dog with more energy than deboned chicken meat.
Choosing The Best Dog Food
The best dog food for your dog is ultimately up to you to decide. As an owner, you are the one who sees your dog on a regular basis. If your dog produces firm, healthy stool, is active and fit, and has a healthy appetite, then your dog food is probably working just fine.
Your veterinarian is a valuable resource to you during this process. They know more about pet nutrition than the average owner, and they also have access to research and resources that owners do not have. Your vet can help you narrow down your options and should be more than happy to help you find the answers to your questions about your dogs food.
AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale.
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Not All Brands Are Equal
Everyone claims to be the best, right? From Artemis to Zignature, youll find a different brand for every letter. You can look at a list of the top 10 dog food brands out there, but the truth is, one brand can differ from flavor to flavor. For example, when comparing Natures Variety Prairie Holistic Duck & Oatmeal to Natures Variety Prairie Lamb & Oatmeal, you get many of the same ingredients that are wholesome for your dog. The main difference is that the duck version has duck and the lamb version has lamb. But, the lamb version includes brown rice, where the duck version does not. This is not going to be a problem unless your dog has trouble digesting rice. When you learn how to read labels, you can pick the right food for your dogs needs. Thats why we will only be covering the best dog food ingredients. That way, you can make your own informed decision about which dog food to purchase for your furry family member.
Which Dog Food Ingredients Cause Allergies
An allergy happens when the body mounts an immune response to something that it shouldnt need to. In dogs, this can be to the environment, pollen, insects, or food. Although food gets blamed for a lot of allergies, only about 1 in 100 dogs are thought to be allergic to ingredients in their diet.
Dogs are usually allergic to proteins beef is the most common allergen, but pork, fish, and chicken are also known allergens in dogs. Gluten allergies in dogs are not as common as the gluten-free marketing companies would have you believe, with corn allergy affecting around 1 in 1,000 dogs, and the other cereals less. You can read more in our article four common allergies in dogs and what you can do about them.You should also take care, as hypoallergenic doesnt have a legal definition in pet food and manufacturers like to apply it as a marketing ploy. In addition, just because a product lists beef and fish as the proteins in the ingredients list doesnt mean it doesnt have microscopic amounts of other proteins. These tiny amounts are enough to set off your dogs allergy, so its important to only use a well-respected brand if your pet has allergies.
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Puppy Basics Nutrition For Medium Breeds
Your puppy is changing in so many ways. In fact, the most rapid growth will take place in these first months of his life. His immune system is developing. Bones are growing. Muscles are getting stronger. All of this requires a nutrient-dense diet, formulated to support a medium-breed puppy’s rate of development. To make sure your puppy is getting optimal nutrition to protect and maintain health and well-being, here are some key points to keep in mind.
Why The First Five Ingredients Matter In Dog Food
Charmaine GriffinOctober 10, 2020
If youve ever walked down the dog food aisle of your local pet store, youve probably felt a little overwhelmed by all the beautiful packaging promising quality ingredients.
From cows grazing in fields, fish flying over beautiful rivers or an array of healthy vegetables everything looks great, but how do you know the ingredients match the marketing?
It may sound strange at first, but its actually important to read the back of your dogs food label.
According to the FDA, food ingredients are listed in order of weight. Ingredients that are highest in quantity are listed first, followed by the remaining ingredients listed in descending order.
This means if your dogs food claims to have tons of protein, but the first ingredient is a carbohydrate, its fair to question the claim.
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Hypoallergenic Dog Food: Faq
Have any more questions or concerns about what makes dog food hypoallergenic? Feel free to check out our handy Frequently Asked Questions section for more details. If in doubt about your pets allergy treatment, always ask your vet for advice.
What are the benefits of hypoallergenic dog food?
Hypoallergenic dog food can significantly reduce the risk of further allergic reactions for your dog. This means less itching, sneezing, hair loss, and discomfort for your furry friend. Many hypoallergenic diets also come with ingredients that help to restore the skin and coat after bouts of itching and hair loss, including oils and Omega-3 fatty acids. Speak to your vet about the benefits of hypoallergenic dog food if your dog has a food allergy!
How are dog food allergies treated?How long does it take for hypoallergenic dog food to work?
It can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks for symptoms of food allergies to clear up. So, it can take this long for a hypoallergenic food to offer obvious benefits for your dog. Until then, your dog will benefit from helpful additives like coconut oil and Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to restore shine to the coat and moisture to the skin!
How quickly do food allergies show up in dogs?How do I know what my dog is allergic to?
Is Limited Ingredient Dog Food Right For Your Dog
If you suspect your dog has health issues, first consult with your vet to ensure there is no serious underlying condition. Keep in mind that foods cause less than 10% of dog allergies, yet they are frequently the first source held responsible for skin and other issues. Allergies usually result from environmental causes, such as pollen, grass, dust, soaps, cleaners, cigarette smoke, perfumes, shampoos or pests such as mites and fleas. However, a limited ingredient diet of sustainably raised protein and carbs can often soothe skin and digestive irritations and possibly pre-empt some health problems.
Thank You! the Animal Wellness Top Health Tips eBook
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Blue Buffalo Wet Dog Food Ingredients
Reward Your Pet With Something Great With The Best Dog Treats These popular treats can be found almost anywhere dog food is sold.
are made from top of the line ingredients as youve come to expect from Blue Buffalo. The small size and the chewy texture.
Are You thinking about switching Your Dog’s Food to Blue Buffalo? What are the Quality of Ingredients used? We have ALL the Information You Need.
Blue Buffalo issued the recall for its BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs.
WHOLESOME INGREDIENTS: BLUE wet dog food contains NO chicken by-product meals, NO corn, wheat or soy, and NO artificial flavors or preservatives Contains one 12.5-oz can of BLUE Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Wet Dog Food, Lamb
Satisfy the spirit of the wolf inside your puppy with meat-rich BLUE Wilderness canned food. This delicious recipe starts with high-protein turkey and chicken and features DHA, an important fatty acid found in mothers milk, to aid cognitive and retinal function. Grain-free. NO chicken by-product meals.
WHOLESOME INGREDIENTS: BLUE wet dog food contains NO chicken by-product meals, NO corn, wheat or soy, and NO artificial flavors or preservatives Contains one 12.5-oz can of BLUE Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Wet Dog Food, Chicken
It’s great that lots of doggie parents are well-informed about this now than years before when information on ingredients and their nutritional value was hard.
Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food & Treats.
What Are All Those Chemical
Preservatives, artificial colors, and stabilizers in pet food must be eitherapproved by the FDA or be generally recognized as safe, a category thatincludes everything from high fructose corn syrup to benzoyl peroxide, used tobleach flours and cheese. Manufacturers must list the preservatives theyadd, but they do not always list preservatives in ingredients such as fish mealor chicken that are processed elsewhere.
Some pet owners don’t want to buy food that contains the syntheticpreservatives BHA , BHT ,or ethoxyquin. These preservatives stop fats from turning rancid and can keepdry dog food fresh for about a year, but their safety has been questioned bysome consumers and scientists. But the FDA says theyre safe at the levelused in dog food.
There is a debate about whether there is a need to avoid artificialingredients like these, as conventional safety testing says theyre fine, saysSusan Wynn, DVM, AHG, a nutritionist for Georgia Veterinary Specialists in theAtlanta area and a clinical resident in small animal nutrition with theUniversity of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. I wouldnt want themin my diet every day though, and I try to avoid them in my dogs dailydiet.
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Dont Write Off Grains
While there could be some evidence that gluten and grain are allergy-causing foods, many pets thrive on a combination of whole meats, whole fruits and veggies, and complex grains to keep up energy. Just ensure that grains are not anywhere in the top five ingredients to ensure the proper amount of protein.
Complex grains in dog food provide good sources of fiber and ensure that your dog can maintain energy levels. If you suspect your dog is allergic to certain ingredients, such as grains, talk to your veterinarian about what to do.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken and Rice is one of 23 kibble recipes included in our review of the Blue Buffalo Life Protection product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Puppy, large breed, small breed, senior, lamb, fish and more
- Price: $
This Life Protection example derives the majority of its animal protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat and 50% estimated carbs creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
A top-rated, grain-inclusive kibble. One of The Advisors most popular recommendations.
Sample buyer reviewMy dog is a very picky eater with a sensitive stomach and this food has done wonders for him. Hes finally eating as much as he should without stomach issues and its made him almost a brand new dog. I tried a few different foods with him but this seemed to give me the best results
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