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Best Dry Dog Food: The Ingredients You Don't Want to See in Your Pet's Food

By    |   Wednesday, 07 Jan 2015 01:29 PM

When seeking the best dry dog food, pet owners can easily be confused by labeling that is not required to be very specific.

The only real requirement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for dog food is that ingredients meet a certain basic nutritional standard to earn the "complete and balanced" label.

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That designation indicates the food contains nutrients that meet a minimum standard of health set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Those standards are simply minimums, though, leaving many products in the markets which are less than top quality. If you are looking for the best dry dog food, here are some ingredients that reviewers advise you avoid:

Unidentified meat: Any meat that cannot be easily identified is a red flag. The Dog Food Analysis group points to words like "animal" or "poultry" as bad signs that the meat is not of good quality. Meats which cannot be specifically identified are likely of low-quality. Reviewers say that if information about meat type is not readily available, that "meat" could be anything from a diseased animal to road kill.

Animal by-products: Animal by-products should also not be in your dog's dry food. According to Pet Food Ratings, the word "by-product" is going to likely refer to things humans would not want. Blood, beaks, and other organs could be included under the by-product label.

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Artificial flavors or colors: Some dog foods contain colorings which are known to cause cancer. These colorings are actually banned from human food, but Dog Food Analysis reviewers warn there are rules don’t keep them out of dog foods. According to Dog Food Analysis, words and abbreviations to look out for on the ingredient list include BHT, BHA, Ethoxyquin, and Propyl Gallate.

Animal digest and beef tallow: According to Pet Food Ratings, the terms animal digest and beef tallow refer to things most humans would "rather just not know about." It could include skin, the contents of an animal’s stomach, and pure fat with no meat attached.

Salt and Sugar: Pet Food Ratings says that added salt and sugar are an indication that the other ingredients are barely tolerable to a pet. Salt in the dry dog foods indicates the food is "missing something else." Just like in human food, those ingredients are there to make the food easier to eat, but it doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

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When seeking the best dry dog food, pet owners can easily be confused by labeling that's not very specific. The only real requirement from the Food and Drug Administration is that dog food ingredients meet a certain basic nutritional standard to earn a "complete and balanced" label.
best dry dog food, ingredients, healthy, pets, meat, grains
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2015-29-07
Wednesday, 07 Jan 2015 01:29 PM
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