Dog food is, simply put, food that is intended for consumption by canines. Pet owners spend billions every year on dog food, so it becomes imperative to talk about the importance of a wholesome, nutritious diet for your loyal, four-legged companion. Although a majority of people opt for commercial dog food, the organic revolution, consumer awareness, and the startling revelations about some of the ingredients used in several dog food brands have made people sit up, take notice, and choose to create their own dog meals made from all-natural, free-range ingredients.
About commercial dog food
Commercial dog food is available in the form of kibble or dry food, semi-moist food, and wet food. As their names suggest, dry food, semi-moist food, and wet food contain negligible, adequate, and abundant moisture respectively. Since dry food is the cheapest of the lot, a majority of dog owners veer toward this variety and often toggle between feeding their pets both dry and fresh food during the day.
Wet food is usually available in canned form, and though it has a higher fat and protein content than kibble, owners need to be picky, because fillers like gluten are used in most instances to make artificial chunks of ‘meat’ and offer no significant nutritional value.
Commercial pet food has been in the limelight for wrong reasons over the past few years because numerous brands use harmful fillers, toxic chemicals, and animal by-products in their food. Many animal by-products like innards, spinal cords, bone meals, etc. are derived from sick, diseased, or disabled livestock and often make up most of the weight in such dog foods instead of healthy meat. There have been innumerable cases of pets falling sick, suffering from critical illnesses, and even dying in extreme cases due to the harmful nature of these diets.
As such, brands that claim to offer ‘premium’, ‘natural’, and ‘complete and balanced’ food for dogs are required to adhere to Association of American Food Control Officials (AAFCO) labeling and nutrition standards in order to minimize deceptive practices. Other acts like the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act have also been introduced to curb unethical practices by commercial dog food manufacturers.
Your best bet as a dog lover or owner is to give your four-legged companion the nutrition it deserves. Fortunately, there are a few reliable organic dog food manufacturers that only source their ingredients from free range animals that have been treated humanely. Additionally, they also avoid using preservatives, antibiotics, additives, fillers like gluten, corn, and soy, and hormone growth compounds in their products. However, it is a must to read the labels thoroughly prior to purchasing such foods to ensure that these brands indeed live up to their claims.
Take due note
Last but not least, you must know about the everyday ‘human foods’ that must never be fed to dogs in any form whatsoever. These include garlic, grapes, green tomatoes, chocolate, and macadamia nuts. Although these are deemed healthy and beneficial for humans, they contain compounds that are toxic for dogs and can seriously endanger a canine’s health.
Jessie from Next Level Canine’s note:
Dogs are a reflection of their owner, if you eat organic food you would probably like to put your pet on an organic diet as well. Just keep in mind that we would like to find a dog food that not only fits in your pet’s diet, but also within your budget. “The Talking Dog Method” is not only a training method it is a way of life. This being said, remember that your dogs health is just as important as its training. A healthy dog is a happy dog and a happy dog is an east dog to train.
Jessie Suarez, the creator of " Talking Dog Complete DVD Training Series"