By Hal Williams
All natural dog food – there is a lot of talk about it but how do you go about getting the best dog food for your dog?
All natural dog food specifically states the type of ingredients and where they come from, allowing the purchaser to make an informed decision about what they are buying. For these reasons many consider all natural food to be the best dog food available on the market. The advantages of buying all natural dog food include:
By disclosing all the ingredients in the feed, consumers are empowered through being able to make an effective choice; the feed is made from good quality, natural ingredients; and it is free from artificial additives such as colors, preservatives and flavors.
With so many feeds on the market it can be difficult to narrow down which is the best dog food for your animal. Here are some key points to look for when deciding which all natural food to buy:
Pay more – you’ve heard of the saying ‘you get what you pay for’? Well, this is certainly true of dog feed. The best dog food does tend to be more expensive however shopping around on line, buying in bulk and collecting coupons are all ways of reducing the costs. Consider this – buying good quality dog food now could result in fewer visits to the veterinarian in the longer term. Buying all natural dog food may therefore be considered to be an investment in your dog’s health.
Avoid bone meal and beef meal based dog foods -These are popular fillers found in cheaper dog foods. Foods containing these fillers can contain a lot of gristle and bone that a dog may find very hard to digest. Chicken, Turkey and Lamb based dog foods are much better for your dog and try to avoid any dog food which says ‘meal’ or ‘by product’.
Dog food should be corn free – corn is very hard for dogs to digest and some dogs may be allergic to corn and corn-based products. Cheaper foods use this as a cheap filler. Whole ground grains such as rice and barley are much better and easier to digest for your dog.
Avoid feeds with too much animal fat included – ‘animal fat’ is a generic term and includes a variety of fatty tissues from a variety of sources. Feed which states where the fat comes from such as chicken fat, salmon oil or flaxseed oil tend to be much better feeds for your dog. As a general rule, avoid feeds with vague, generic ingredient names as a manufacturer that lists all the ingredients in detail is likely to be a manufacturer that is proud about the ingredients in its food and is therefore more likely to make better food for your dog.
Look out for hidden chemical preservatives – an ingredient list which includes BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), or Ethoxuquin as ingredients should be avoided, and these ingredients have been banned in several countries. Natural preservatives such as sage and rosemary extract are much safer for your dog.
So to summarize, many consider all natural feed to be the best dog food. One of the key positive aspects about all natural food is that these feeds clearly state all the ingredients in the food on the label. All natural feed may generally be a little bit more expensive but it has no bone meal, does not contain corn, does not have a large amount of animal fat and does not use chemical preservatives. Ultimately the decision is the dog owner’s (in consultation with the veterinarian) but all natural food has some qualities that make it a popular choice for dog owners and their dogs alike.