How To Choose The Right Food For Your Dog

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of your dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s session is about Dog Food. We have Mark Whitney a certified canine nutritionist, who is going to share his nowledge of dog food and explain how to pick the right food for your dog. Mark heads West Chester Canine Nutrition. Using his 25 years of experience, Mark helps his clients provide the best food for the needs of their dogs.

How To Choose the Right Food For Your Dog

Ask ten people what the best thing to feed your dog is and you’ll probably get ten different answers. I must get this question a hundred times a week “What is the best dog food I can buy” Some people believe that dogs are dogs and eating the $20 for 40 lb bag of dog food from the discount store is perfectly fine. Others argue that if you are not feeding your dog raw food your dogs gonna die a long painful death..

The truth is somewhere in between. Your approach to finding the best dog food for your dog is to be as educated as possible and that means reading what is listed in the ingredients on the back of
the bag, rather than paying attention to the marketing that went into the front of the bag. Here are some steps that may help.

  1. Locate the first source of fat in the ingredient list (chicken fat, salmon oil, etc. the phrase “preserved with mixed tocopherols” usually follows it ). Everything that is listed prior to the first source of fat, including that fat, make up the majority of the dog food. Food A is clearrly the winner here.. Note that the examples are for traditional foods, Limited Ingredient / Allergy Foods are critiqued differently.
    1. ex. Food AFresh deboned wild boar*, fresh deboned lamb*, fresh beef liver*, fresh deboned pork*, lamb meal, peas, salmon meal, russet potato, herring meal, fresh whole eggs*, fresh deboned bison*, potato starch, fresh deboned salmon*, pacific whitefish meal, fresh deboned walleye*, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols) = 80% Meat
    2. ex. Food B –  Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, peas, potatoes, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols) = 20%-30% Meat
  2. When choosing a dog food, it makes good sense to favor products lower in carbohydrates (in my opinion, under 40%). Do you know how many carbs your dog should have on a daily basis to sustain life? Go ahead…Guess!! Zero!!! That’s right Zero, that’s how many carbohydrates are required by a dog to sustain life. According to the National Research Council and compared to the other two major nutrients — protein and fat — no carbs are considered essential for a healthy canine diet. Don’t get me wrong…carbohydrates aren’t bad for dogs in reasonable amounts…The problem lies in their quantity. The list of problems that to many carbs can cause for your dog is worthy of another blog. How to calculate carbs in your dogs food:

1. Here is a typical adult dry food

Minimum percentage of crude protein 26%
Minimum percentage of crude fat 15%
Maximum percentage of crude fiber 4% (Fiber is a carb..so you don’t need to subtract it out)

Maximum percentage of moisture 10%

Take 100% protein% fat% moisture% ash% (usually not listed, I avg. 8%) = Carbohydrate Using the Guaranteed analysis example above: 

Carbohydrate = 100% 26% protein 15% Fat 10% moisture 8% ash = 43% carbohydrate.

Basically that means 43% of that bag is sugar!!

2. Here is another adult dry food

Minimum percentage of crude protein 38%
Minimum percentage of crude fat 18%
Maximum percentage of crude fiber 3% (Fiber is a carb..so you don’t need to subtract it out)
Maximum percentage of moisture 10%

Take 100% protein% fat% moisture% ash% (usually not listed, I avg. 8%) = Carbohydrate Using the Guaranteed analysis example above: 

Carbohydrate = 100% 38% protein 18% Fat 10% moisture 8% ash = 26% carbohydrate.

That means 26% of that bag is sugar!!

3. A list of some ingredients to AVOID!!!

Unnamed Meat and Meat Bone Meal, Meat By-Products, Poultry By-Products, Unnamed Fish Meal, Beef Tallow, Corn or Wheat Gluten Meal, Brewers Rice, Soybean Meal, BHA, Ethoxyquin,

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Salt

With these steps you are off to a good start at making a better choice for your dog. Do not rely on anyone’s information without doing your own research including consultation with a trusted veterinarian. (although when speaking to a veterinarian about nutrition this is the response I got “I am a veterinarian and I tell folks to feed any commercial diet they like. I don’t think there is a “bad” dog food on the market, though I do think that some are better than others. In general you get what you pay for, especially if you are sticking with the mainstream brands. In terms of bang-for-the-buck the Costco Kirkland brands are actually pretty impressive.”) scary huh!?!?  So be an educated consumer and a rabid advocate for your dog’s health.

 

Footnote

  1. National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats”, 2006 Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC

 

Thank you Mark. Hopfully this sesion has given you some insight on how to buy the best dog food for your dog. Mark can be contacted at info@dubcpet.com or you can call 610-314-6124. Mark’s company is West Chester Canine Nutrition.

Don’t forget to like Daisy’s Rescue Face Book Page .   facebook.com/Daisysrescue

We want to hear your thoughts.