Finding a Top Quality Dog Food

This last summer I took a puppy class at Paws Abilities @ at Joyce's Dog Obedience Services Ink. they both talked about choosing a dog food and reading the label. Joyce had as part of her class a handout. this is part of the article.

Finding a top quality food: What's in this stuff?

To pick a highly nutritious food, take a look at the ingredient list on the bag. Any dog food can say it's "nutritious" or "healthy"but the truths in the recipe. Here are some specifics to look for in the ingredient list, taken from "The Whole Dog Journal."

When looking for a good dog food:

* Make sure the first ingredient is meat (for example' chicken or lamb).

Ingredients are listed by weight, so listing meat first should mean that there is more of it than any other ingredient. Some companies will try to fool you with "ingredient splitting". That's when a grain is listed more than once to make it look like there is less of it. For example, chicken might be listed first, but if it is followed by corn, corn meal, and corn grits, what your getting is a whole lot of corn!

*Once the food is mainly meat, make sure it's meat you recognize, such as chicken or lamb, and not a "by product" or a generic term "meat." "Meat" can be anything, including rendered companion animals. Protein "meal" is fine though (for example, chicken meal or lamb meal). "Meal" just means some of the moisture has been taken out, resulting in a higher percentage of protein. If you see chicken and chicken meal in the first % ingredients, that's okay as long as the total protein percentage isn't too high. (over about 26%).

* Avoid artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors, and preservatives (e.g., BHA, BHT, ethoxyguin).

* As with proteins, avoid generic fats. For example, choose chicken fat over "animal" fat.

An excellent reference book is Dog Health and Nutrition for Dummies by Christine Zink DVM, Ph.D.

Some Good Brands

New dog foods are coming out all the time, so this list may not cover all the quality food out there. Again, reading the ingredient list, consulting dog nutrition books, or asking a knowledgeable person at an independently-owned pet supply store can all help direct you to the right food.

* Innova * Pinnacle * Spot Stew * Flint River Ranch, Dry Water * Wellness *Petguard Lifespan * Canidae * Precise (especially the new Precise Plus)

* Natural Balance * California Natural * Wysong * Limited Diets Duck & Potato

I'm thinking the site should maybe be more educational than just naming a couple foods. Maybe Joyce could be contacted and asked if we could use her hand out on our site or part of it. I know some of you probably read The Whole Dog Journal. and knew this info.

I've been feeding Pinnacle to my BC's and a combo of Pinnacle & one of the Timberwolf Oeganics to my Papillons

Maybe this would be more info than we would want on the site or maybe it could be used as a handout to our adopters.

Just food for thought.