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Is the Food Your Dog Likes, Good Food for Your Dog?

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Many people think if their dog likes its food, then it must be the best food for the dog. Generally dogs like food that tastes good even if it is not good for them. My dog loves his dog food but people say it is not a good brand, should I switch my dogs

Many people think if their dog likes its food, then it must be the best food for the dog. Is this a true assumption, and if not, how do we know a dog food is good for a dog?

In many countries, including the United States, the standards for pet food quality, and ingredients used in many commercially available dog foods are poor. Pet Foods can legally contain things like cancerous tumors, chickens feet, feathers, dogs collars, and other nasty ingredients, (you may note that foods that say "Human Grade" ingredients cannot use such things).

Although dogs are not as dependent on meat in their diets as cats are, most low quality dog foods contain so little meat, and quality ingredients, that dogs have to eat a lot of food to get their full needs for nutrition met and to feel full. The lower quality a food is, the more your pet has to eat, also, the more they will poop, but more importantly, the more food you have to buy!

You might wonder why does your dog like food that is riddled with such nasty ingredients? The reason is simple, dogs love the taste of fat. Who doesn't? Would bacon be so popular if it was not for the fatty parts? Fat adds flavor. Steak with fat rippled through it is the most tasty meat of all. Health conscious humans trim the fat off, but those who don't care soon get the taste for fat, or even deep fried fatty foods.

dogs from photos8

photo from photos8.com

Pet food companies are not stupid, if they only used cheap ingredients such as corn, and did not add the fat, few dogs would touch the stuff, so while they cheap out on quality ingredients they get the pets addicted to the food by making it smell and taste delicious by adding fat, and other flavorings. To go even further many dog food companies take advantage of innocent pet owners further, and make things like “gravy” for the owner to add to a dog who is too fussy to eat the food. Of course these “gravies” have no nutritional value and are often fatty themselves.

Think if it this way, the reason our pets like certain foods is because they taste great, and are addictive. Who of us if offered donuts or beans wouldn't pick the donuts? Or French Fries with gravy? But when fed only donuts, or fries and gravy, we would become addicted to them, and would soon would not want vegetables of any kind. This does happen to people who eat poorly, eating mostly greasy or fried foods, when offered healthy foods they refuse, and it takes quite a while before they can make a switch to the healthy diet because of their addition to junk foods.

As such the same thing happens to our dogs, when fed these low quality foods over time they become addicted to them, and when offered a healthy food, one that actually contains real meat, they turn up their noses. When they do get adjusted to a new food they will often not want to go back to corn based one because they prefer the taste of real meat, but it is harder to switch a pet from a low quality (fat filled) food to a good quality one, than the other way around.

from photos8

photo from photos8.com

Your dog does not know how to read an ingredient list, you do. Avoid feeding a food that contains by-products, these are lower quality of whatever they represent (chicken by-products can be beaks, feet, and feathers) and to make matters worse, by-products are preserved with a nasty chemical pesticide, Ethoxyquin. Avoid foods that contain mystery meat (unspecified meat sources, such as meat meal rather than chicken meal), mystery meat can be any dead animal and as such the food may be very inconsistent bag to bag. Avoid foods with corn as a main ingredient. A sure sign of a low quality food is also their use of “flavorings” which is pretty much a give away that they don't have a lot of real nutrition adding taste to their food.

It should be noted that not all dog foods cheat when it comes to ingredients. Typically those dog foods with lots of commercials are putting money into advertising and NOT ingredients. I encourage you to learn more about dog food, and dog food ingredients. Also be aware that your veterinarian is not a pet nutritionist, many suggest, and sell foods, because the food companies promote, and pay them too.

Related Reading for Concerned Pet Owners

Why is my Dog Itchy?

Dog Food Allergies and Dog Food Ingredients

How to Get a Fussy Dog to Eat its Food

How to Switch My Dog's Food

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Anuradha Ramkumar
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