Dog food ingredients 101

Now learn about dog food ingredients. In your search for the best dog food for your furry friend this is the extra info you need when you're in the shop deciphering dog food labels.

Main functions of food ingredients

Food, whether it's dog food or your food, should provide the following:

Ingredient choices in dog food

As the dog food companies exist to make profit they will try to cut down costs and to increase revenues. This can't be a big surprise to you as this is true for most, if not all, commercial companies.

Dog food comes in different price ranges and hence in different qualities. Consumer behavior, so YOUR behavior, dictates to large extent what is being produced. As we see that pet owners care deeply for their furry friends we see an increase of the premium and super premium dog food range. As a consequence more niche products are developed that compete on quality statements and not price reductions.

woman hugs her dog

In an environment like this YOU must learn to identify the best dog food and buy that for your pet, so the industry will recognize that you care for quality.

The AAFCO defines certain, but not all, dog food ingredients. This is because they say some ingredients are so commonly used in feed that they do not require any definition. Examples of these are salt, sugar, water, corn and oats.

So only uncommon or not well understood ingredients are explicitly defined by the AAFCO.

As there are so many substances that can and are put in dog food it would become quite a long list to display on one page. So I chose to group the ingredients into logical categories.

I'm starting with meat, though as you've probably noticed when you've already examined a few dog food labels: this often is NOT the first ingredient on the list unless you're buying a high quality dog food.

Ingredient categories

Rumors about some dubious-to-illegal choices

Is this really in our pet food?

  • Cats and dogs in dog food.
  • 4 D animals (Dead, Dying, Diseased, Disabled).

Rumors say these "protein sources" are also used in dog food in some parts of the world, though conclusive evidence is lacking. But, I bet you want to know how the rumor got started!

Read about pentobarbital in dog food to find out and/or watch the video by Andrew Lewis below.

This is the video about those 4 D's in dog food by Andrew Lewis

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Find the top 9 best dog food brands

Confidential Dog Food Report This ebook is part
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The "Confidential Dog Food Report" is an e-book written by Andrew Lewis. Now for those of you who know him, you know that he doesn't think highly of commercial dog food. In fact he likes homemade dog food diets. But commercial dog food is not always bad of course.

You just need to find the best food for YOUR pet. Andrew has listed the top 9 dog food brands that are just better-than-good, which is a good starting place for you. After all homecooking can be nice on occasion, but commercial dog food is very convenient. Just find the right one!

Find out more about this list of ultra-healthy top dog food brands »

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