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LuvDogz

Good Dog Food Guide

Luv Dogz Ltd is only interested in selling Hypoallergenic Super Premium Dog Food and this is why........

 

"Why can't we feed just any kind of dog food to our dogs?"

 

Dog food has been an important part of life with my dogs.  From puppies to adults I was always concerned with their weight, growth, coats, health and their general well being.  For me rearing and keeping dogs is mainly about food, health and exercise.  I like a dog to look full of life and be ready for anything.  A dog that is happy and well tempered and a pleasure to have around.  Feeding them a decent dog food is a good basis for achieving this.

Do your homework on dog food.  I cannot emphasise this enough.  The key to buying the right food for your dog is to look at the labels on the bags to find out what the ingredients are inside the bags.  Know what you are going to feed your dog according to its life stage.  A puppy will require a different nutritional balance to an adult or senior dog.

Examine the label to find out what ingredients are included or excluded.  Many of us assume that consumers have preferences in what they want to feed their dog.  But I am always shocked by the number of people who have no idea what they are feeding their dogs.  They have never actually bothered to read the labelling on the back of the bag!

Labelling can be misleading.  Just because a dog food meets statutory requirements it doesn’t mean that it is the best food for your dog. For example when a label says meat and animal derivatives (4% chicken) the 4% declaration is the legal labelling requirement representing the minimum percentage content of the characterising ingredient guaranteed to be present by the manufacturer. In other words that is the least amount of meat content they can get away with. So it is wise to check the label and see which brands are declaring the minimum content of meat.  They may well be high profile brands and not necessarily the cheapest dog food.

Another thing to remember is that feeding guidelines are just that - guidelines.  So when feeding your dog you should watch its weight and condition and be prepared to increase or decrease the amount of food as necessary.  Don’t just stick to the amount given on the back of the bag.  Like people, dogs can all be different.  They may have a very active life style or a more sedentary one or they need more food if the weather is cold or too hot. 

When changing your dog’s food, do it gradually over several days introducing the new food with the old.  Variety is good for your dog and I have always added a little meat, raw chicken wings or tripe in with the dry food to keep them interested.  That is what I do with my dogs and I have never found any evidence of an imbalanced diet affecting them.

Feeding a quality dog food means your dog will be healthier from the inside – out.  Nutritionally balanced dogs get sick less often and feeding a quality food can make for a better behaved dog .  It can also mean you don’t have to feed as much as a cheaper food and you may even find a bag of super premium food lasts longer than a bag of cheaper food of the same weight.  The other advantage of feeding a better quality food is that less comes out the other end and is firmer and easier to pick up and dispose of when out on walks.......part of the routine for us dog owners!

 

So what is Hypoallergenic Super Premium Dog Food?

 

Super Premium Dog Food is a general description for dog food that is of a higher quality due its content and digestability.  It’s more expensive but still affordable because you are feeding a lesser amount in order to get the necessary nutrition your dog needs.  Buying cheaper brands can be a false economy.  You have to feed more and often what comes out at the other end is not necessarily great for you or your dog! 

Hypoallergenic dog food avoids the ingredients which are most likely to cause allergic reactions in dogs. They are formulated without beef, pork, wheat, wheat gluten, dairy or egg.  Basically anything that might upset your dog.

When buying a bag of dog food ALWAYS look carefully at the labels on the bag.  Reading the labels is the best way to find out what you are feeding your dog.  Harmful and unspecified ingredients can shorten the lifespan of your dog and may cause illness and allergies.

These are ingredients to AVOID in your dog’s food!

 

Derivatives/Meat By-Products

These are generic terms for animal proteins.  It’s a low quality protein because it usually comes from parts of the animal like feet, heads and guts. Meat by-products are what is left after all the meat has been stripped off the bones.  You could best describe it as ‘slaughterhouse waste’.

The carcasses are from animals that are not graded as fit for human consumption.  They are not necessarily pigs, cattle, sheep or chickens.  They can include zoo animals, road kill and 4-D livestock (dead, diseased, disabled, dying).  In some countries carcasses of dogs and cats end up in pet food including the chemicals injected into to them when they were euthanized.

Why use these animal proteins?  Primarily because they are cheaper and manufacturers can seek out the cheapest options available from a variety of sources.

Unnamed Cereals

‘Cereals’ is a general description for all types of grain. By putting this description on their labels it means manufacturers can source whatever grains are cheapest to buy at the time.  The cereals are likely to be of the poorest quality.  Using the general term ‘cereals’ means that manufacturers can use different grains which then creates inconsistency in the product. For dogs with allergies this is a particular concern as it is impossible to avoid those allergens when no one knows what ‘cereals’ are in the product.

Some cereals are more digestible than others and these are likely to be the most expensive ones.  The less expensive cereals have little or no nutritional value and these cereals tend to be used to bulk out the product.  Wheat is known to be a main cause of dog allergies.  Corn is also known to cause dog allergies and is difficult to digest. Some dry dog foods can contain up to 80% cereals!

Animal Fats

‘Animal fats’ is a general description for all types of fats.  Rendered animal fats comes from meat by-products cooked in huge vats at high temperatures. The mixture is spun at high speed allowing the grease commonly known as ‘tallow’ to rise to the top. This grease is removed and then becomes the source of animal fat in pet foods. You need to look for named fats on the label like poultry, turkey or lamb fat which is naturally preserved and identified.

These animal fats are not suitable for dogs with food intolerances because you don’t know what animals are part of the food blend.  They usually have a low Omega 6 content which can effect a dogs’s coat and skin.

Sugar

Too much sugar is obviously bad for your dog’s health.  Some manufacturers will put sugar in their product to make it more palatable for dogs to eat.

Additives

Artificial additives have no nutritional value. Some manufacturers use natural additives in their products but these tend to be more expensive.

Artificial Flavourings   These are used to make the dog food more palatable for your dog. If they were using quality ingredients and single protein meats or fish than they wouldn’t   need to artificially flavour their product.

Artificial Colourings  Why make kibble of many different colours?  Quality dry dog foods don’t sell multi-coloured kibble.  In fact many of these E colourings that are used in dog foods in the UK have been banned by other countries.  They are known to cause all sorts of health, behavioural and allergy problems so why do manufacturers continue to add them to the cheaper ranges of dog food?

Artificial Preservatives and Antioxidants  These are put in dog food to give them shelf life. EC permitted antioxidants such as:             E320 Butylated Hydroxyanisole  (BHA)

                                                                     E321 Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

                                                                     E324 Ethoxyquin

But these antioxidants are associated with cancer if fed in large quantities. They may not be harmful at the level contained in a bag of dog food but why add them to dog food?  Because they are very effective at prolonging the shelf life of dog food!

Dog food can be preserved naturally with tocopherals which are made up of vitamins E and C. They are extracted from vegetable oil and often blended with rosemary which is a natural antioxidant. You can find these in some quality dog foods as they are more expensive than artificial preservatives.

 

These are ingredients to WELCOME in your dog’s food!

 

Meat/Fish

Look for named single protein sources  eg salmon meal, chicken, lamb, turkey, duck meal, salmon, etc  with % content.  Meal is the same as fresh but with the water removed. It has a higher protein content for the same amount of meat in weight. 

Beef  Not as digestible as chicken, turkey and lamb and can cause intolerances in some dogs. But it is a good source of protein.

Lamb Meal   Used in many hypoallergenic dog foods.  It’s a good source of protein, rich in calcium and a good source of zinc.

Chicken    An excellent source of protein which is highly digestable.

Turkey    A good quality protein source full of vitamins and minerals and very tasty.

Duck    A good source of high quality protein which is highly nutritious and tasty.

Salmon    Well known as a good source of Omega 3 fattys acids. These support the immune system and can be beneficial for skin and coats.  There is also growing support that it may benefit dogs with allergies.

Salmon Oil    Excellent for improving the coat and skin. Contains Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids and supports the immune system.

Potato     A real energy provider and an excellent source of highly digestible carbohydrates.

Peas   An excellent source of protein and fibre.

Alfalfa    A valuable antioxidant which could contribute towards strong bones and a healthy heart.

Brown Rice   High in fibre and rich in antioxidants.  Can also promote weight loss.

White Rice     Has less protein than other cereals but it is an excellent source of nutrients and easily digestible for dogs.

Oats   A naturally gluten free food, oats are high in fibre, high in grain protein and are tasty. They may help in reducing cholesterol and boosting the immune system.

Linseed   Good source of Omega 3 which strengthens the immune system and helps maintain healthy skin, bones, tendons and organs.

Barley   Cooked barley is easily digested by dogs.  It provides abundant fibre and micronutrients including selenium and copper.

Chondroitin  Some research suggests it is beneficial in preventing stress injuries to joints as well as helping to repair them. Could be helpful for older dogs with arthritis.

Glucosamine  This is found naturally in animal bones and bone marrow so it is probably present in all meat-based dog foods.  Some dog foods have added glucosamine to provide additional support for joints, especially in large breed and senior dog foods.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)   This is found in many food sources including raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  It is also abundant in sea kelp.  Also recommended for reducing pain and stiffness in joints.

Brewers Yeast   Contains high levels of Vitamin B Complex.  Helps to provide the body with energy.  It also supports the nervous system, digestive muscles and keeps coats, mouth, eyes and liver healthy.