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The Top 15 Dog Food Ingredients to Avoid 

As a dog owner, you want your furry friend to have the best diet possible. But how can you make sure their food is up to par? Knowing which ingredients you should avoid when choosing dog food is critical. Here are the top fifteen ingredients you should look for in your pup’s food.

15 Dog Food Ingredients That Pose Risks to Your Pet

By-Products

Byproducts are the leftover parts of animals like feet, beaks, feathers, and internal organs that cannot be used for human consumption. While it might seem like this could provide a good source of protein for your pup, there’s no way to tell what kind of animal these parts come from or if they are contaminated with bacteria or other toxins.

Corn Gluten Meal

Corn has been proven to be an inadequate source of nutrition for dogs, and it can cause digestive issues due to its high starch content. Furthermore, corn gluten meal can contain toxins that can lead to dog health problems.

BHA/BHT

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are preservatives linked to cancer in some studies and organ damage in dogs over time.

Artificial Flavors

Artificial flavors may sound appetizing, but they offer your pup zero nutritional value and can even cause digestive distress due to their synthetic nature.

Ethoxyquin

This is another chemical preservative known for being potentially toxic when ingested by dogs over long periods, so it’s best avoided entirely if possible when selecting dog food options.

Soy

Dogs don’t digest soy very well, which can also lead to thyroid problems in some cases, so it’s best avoided altogether unless specifically recommended by a vet or nutritionist for your particular pup’s needs.  

Wheat Gluten

Wheat gluten is another allergen that some dogs may react poorly to and has no nutritional value, so it’s best avoided when selecting dog food options.

Sugars & Sweeteners

These ingredients offer no nutritional benefit and can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay in dogs over time, so they should be avoided whenever possible when picking out kibble or canned foods for your furry friend!   

Animal Digest

Animal digest combines various meat sources cooked down into a flavoring agent for pet foods. Still, unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing what type of animals were included in the process, making this ingredient one that should be skipped if possible.

Salt

Too much salt can lead to dehydration and increased thirst in pups. Hence, it’s essential to watch out for high levels of sodium chloride listed on labels and for any other form, such as sea salt, which often comes up as an ingredient added to many brands’ recipes.

Refined Grains 

Refined grains like white flour, white rice, or wheat flour offer little nutritional benefits while contributing empty calories, which could lead to weight gain over time if consumed regularly.

Preservatives BHA/BHT 

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are chemical preservatives found commonly in pet foods but have been linked with cancer risks and organ damage after long-term exposure.

Artificial Colors 

While bright colors may make kibble more attractive visually, these artificial dyes offer zero nutritional benefits, so look out for them on labels when choosing pet foods!

Fillers

Fillers such as cellulose powder or cornstarch add bulk without providing any natural nutrients, so steer clear from these when scanning ingredient lists while looking at potential pet food options!

Meat & Bone Meal/Meat By-products 

Meat & bone meal or meat by-products are precisely what they sound like—leftover pieces of animal carcasses ground down into a powdery substance that offers little nutritional value while running the risk of contamination from bacteria or toxins!

Conclusion

When choosing dog food, carefully reading labels is critical to ensure your pup isn’t consuming anything unhealthy or unnecessary! Avoiding the above fifteen ingredients will help ensure that whatever brand you choose has quality nutrition written all over it! 

Researching different brands will also help ensure credibility since not all companies prioritize quality ingredients equally! With careful shopping, you’ll find the perfect option for your furry friend’s dietary needs!

Tags
First Time Pet Parents, Food, Health, Safety, Tips
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