Saturday, March 20, 2010

Natural Dog Food - Choose Carefully

Since we choose for our dogs what they get to eat, we should know what exactly is in that can of dog food we bought from the grocery. Since we all believe that the key to a good life is a healthy diet, then that should also go for your dog. And natural dog foods may be the way to ensure their well-being.

There are a lot of nutritionists today who tell people that a lot of their health problems come from processed foods: transfats, bad cholesterol, an excess of sugar or carbohydrates. The same applies to the so-called food that we feed our dogs: today, a lot of the contents in a can of dog food aren't necessarily good for your dog, and may give him health problems.

An example that can be found in many ingredient bales is "meat byproducts." These are "clean parts other than meat" that are rendered from "slaughtered animals," the parts being, specifically "lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, stomachs and intestines," according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Now as if that weren't bad enough, there is currently no strict control over where these by products come from. The AAFCO doesn't specify exactly what animals are used in he extraction process, and there are many horror stories about these sources, most of them documented: roadkill, 4D farm animals (Dead, Diseased, Dying, Disabled), and even euthanized dogs and cats from pounds!

That last ingredient isn't so common these days, thankfully, but there are still places that process them. If you'd really like to avoid that, just avoid meat byproducts altogether by switching to a brand of natural dog food. There are brands out there, such as Flint River dog food and Lifes Abundance dog food, that use only the finest sources for their whole meats: chicken and range-fed lamb, and menhaden pulled from the waters of the North Atlantic.

Because you're not feeding your dog junk, switching to natural dog foods means your dog will require less per meal. This not only makes up for the higher price point, but also consider: less food means less scooping up after your dog!

Buying natural dog food is an investment in your dog's well-being: brands like Lifes Abundance dog food and Flint river dog food are made of high quality ingredients like meat from chicken, lamb and fish, instead of the highly-dubious "meat byproducts" that cheaper brands use. These premium brands also have only the essential ingredients, not fillers and preservatives that make the common grocery brands so cheap, but also unhealthy.

-Melinda Smith



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