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Dog Food Comparison - For the Love of Your Dog

As veterinarians report more and more diet-related problems in dogs, owners are doing their own dog food comparisons, to see if what they are feeding is actually a "good" food, or merely adequate.

Many of the "brand" names in dog foods fall into the adequate category, and are sufficient for young to middle-aged dogs to do relatively well on, despite the fact that they are often loaded with chemicals as preservatives, and supplements to replace ingredients lost in the processing.

A good dog food review, will list the entire contents of the various brands of kibble, so that you can see for yourself, what is going into your dog's dish. In a lot of cases, the terminology on food bags can be misleading, such as when a food lists "wheat flour" which basically means white flour.

Reviews will also show you which foods have higher meat content. The average brand name kibble runs at about 25-30% meat or meat products, which can mean by-products such as organ and muscle tissue, as well as bone. And while an all meat diet would be a big mistake since dogs in the wild are not total carnivores, a diet with too little meat, is lacking some of the nutrients and proteins their body needs.

The majority of commercial kibble found in grocery stores will carry stamps or notations that they meet a certain set of standards for nutrition, but what they won't say, is that the fillers in the food, cause it to pass through the dog, before its system has a chance to absorb what it needs. Nor does it mention that things such as essential amino acids that went into the food, were destroyed by heat, during the processing.

Dog food ratings may have polar opposite responses on the same foods, depending on whether they are done by consumers, or by unbiased analysis through laboratories. They can also vary because of the different emphasis applied to certain foods by their makers. For example, Bil-Jac's focuses on the meat content, which is largely by-product in nature. The Nature's Variety Chow claims their kibble is 40% meat or organs. And SoJo's, which is not a complete kibble, but rather a base in which to mix your own selection of raw meat, states that their food lasts twice as long as others.

If you want to do your own dog food comparison, take note of the ingredients in what you're feeding now, including the artificial items, and the chemicals. Then take that list to the store with you, and read the bags of other leading manufacturers. You may be surprised to find that what looked good in the dog food ads, is not that good in your dog's bowl.

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About the Author: Betty Sleep is a freelance writer/editor from New Brunswick, Canada, whose work has appeared in print and other media, for almost 30 years. Her specialties are humor and historical material. She is the author of "Ten Minute Trivia" and the Purrlock Holmes children's novels and is a contributing author to an online resource for the best dog supplies and accessories available online.


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