Giving your dog quality dry food helps to ensure good health, but also a beautiful coat and skin without problems.
But how do you make the right choice?
To choose your dog’s croquettes correctly, you will have to start by deciphering the labels!
To find out if the dog food you give your pet is suitable for him, there are 2 methods you can apply one after the other.
The conclusions you draw from this should not be contradictory.
Observe your dog to discover his energy level. Is his coat soft and shiny? Is his skin in good condition?
Are his stools compact, small in size and not very fragrant? Is he full of energy?
If you have any doubts, look at the list of ingredients on his kibble bag!
Decode the labels on dry dog food packages
Namely: the ingredients indicated on dog food packages are generally listed in order of importance in the food.
The first cited represent the “heart of the product”. Cereals are often at the top of the list on the packaging of many cheap products.
But be careful, a position in a lower rank does not necessarily indicate higher quality.
Some manufacturers “split” the “cereals” item into different subheadings (rice, maize, wheat, etc.) so that they don’t appear at the top of the list.
Be careful also with their shape by preferring “complete” to overly refined flours.
What is a “by-product” in dog food?
This term can refer to any part of the animal: liver, kidneys, nerves, lungs, skin, mammary glands, intestines, blood, and sometimes hooves and hair, etc., except prime cuts of meat (muscles).
The by-products appear on the packaging under the name “meat and bone meal” and “dehydrated poultry protein”.
A high protein level is not an absolute sign of quality. It all depends precisely on the quality of these.
In general, animal sources are superior to plant sources. Be careful if the word “maize” or the expression “maize flour” appear at the top of the list! This may mean that a cheap source of vegetable protein has been substituted for good meat….
Remove additives without nutritional or with toxic value
Preservatives are added to foods to delay lipid oxidation (rancidity) and extend the shelf life of the product.
The fats contained in processed food are treated with preservatives such as ethoxyquin, BHA (
These agents can slow down the formation of white blood cells, weaken the immune system and cause skin problem for dogs.
Some of these preservatives (
Natural antioxidants can be used instead of chemical preservatives, but they are more expensive and do not last as long. Examples: ascorbic acid from vitamin C, tocopherols from vitamin E.
The color additives are added to please the masters and have no interest for the dog: the yellow E110, E102, red E129, etc.
Croquettes often contain cellulosic gum to bind ingredients together. This emulsifier has no nutritional value and should not be present in a good quality product.
Beware of the term “Natural”
Choose from products that claim their natural character.
The term “natural” is not infallible asset, but it does in principle guarantee that chemical additives are clearly indicated on the packaging.
It is even better if the ingredients are of organic, farm-grown origin (without antibiotics or hormones for meat) or also approved for human consumption.