As humans, we think about our nutrition and diet often. What are we putting into our bodies through the foods we eat; is it healthy, organic, dairy-free, gluten-free? Will it give me gas? Is it packed with the latest superfood? It’s common to see people checking out ingredients on the packaging of their grocery list items before tossing them into the basket or cart, so shouldn’t we be doing the same for our furry friends?
We know there are a ton of different food types and specific diets depending on your dog’s breed, energy level and age. Choosing an optimal diet for your pooch should be a discussion you have with your vet, but there are some ingredients that should be avoided full stop!
Here are the ingredients to look for, and avoid in your dog’s food:
This can be derivative of any meat or fish and consists of the internal remains of the animal which more often than not include diseased or compromised tissues and organs.
Corn is a very inexpensive filler that is commonly used and is very susceptible to mold or fungus growth. Also, there are 142 different types of genetically modified corn, the most of any plant species! Corn syrup is used to ‘sweeten’ and like the effects of too much sugar, this can result in excess weight gain, diabetes as well as kidney and liver damage.
This is a preservative found in most dog foods. This is scary: it was originally developed as a herbicide, yikes! This ingredient has been linked to, and is associated with kidney and liver damage, not to mention immune system issues and some cancers.
Butylated-hydroxyanisole (BHA) or butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) these are two more harmful preservatives that can even be found in our food as well. Both BHA and BHT are added by pet food manufacturers to help prevent spoiling. These ingredients have been linked to the same damaging effects as Ethoxyquin, like kidney and liver damage and some cancers.
AKA anti-freeze! Yes, this is found in auto care products too. Propylene Glycol is typically added to pet foods to help control moisture and reduce bacteria growth, and while it’s a common ingredient across a lot of consumer products it just begs the question: should we be feeding dogs something that goes into making anti-freeze, bearing in mind that dogs tend to eat the same food for each meal, day after day, month after month, even year after year.
This is also a great resource if you want to do a bit more digging: The Dog Food Advisor and check out our previous post on the top toxic foods for dogs.