Researching natural dog food nutrition might not seem like a daunting task. But as soon as someone starts browsing the endless options of dog food brands, the situation can quickly become overwhelming. There is a lot of controversy going around about the proper nutrition for canines, like whether a diet comprised strictly of meat or one containing all-natural kibble is better.
To fully understand canine nutrition, the very first step is to consider the dog in question. Not all dogs are the same, which is made obvious simply by walking down the street. While meandering along the sidewalk with your Saint Bernard on a leash, another owner might walk by with a Chihuahua. When comparing these two dog breeds, it’s more obvious than ever that no two dogs are the same.
Because of this, it is essential to consider the breed, age, weight, dietary restrictions, and energy level of your dog before deciding on a dog food brand. Keeping track of these details can be difficult, so feel free to write it all down and ask the experts at your local pet store for advice based on the specifications you have provided.
If you choose to go at it alone, there are a few things you should know as a responsible pet owner before purchasing your next bag of kibble.
The words “natural” and “organic” can be deceiving
Nowadays, companies specializing in the manufacturing of all kinds of products are throwing around words like natural and organic. No matter what you’re buying, whether it is foundation makeup or dog food, be weary of these words. They can be very deceiving, and even saying that something is natural does not mean it comes entirely from nature.
A dog food brand labeling its ingredients as natural can simply mean that natural ingredients are present, not that all the present ingredients are natural. The same goes for the word organic, and it may mean that a small percentage of ingredients come from organic sources. In other words, don’t just throw a bag of kibble in the cart because it is labeled as a natural or organic product.
Check for artificial ingredients
This tip goes along with the whole natural debate we just covered. Although a pet owner should be wary of natural labeling, there is a way to ensure that the product does in fact come from natural sources. This is simply done by reading labels. PetMD says that “the use of the term ‘natural’ on the label is false and misleading if any chemically synthesized ingredients are present in the product.”
It is up to a pet owner to understand the difference between natural and artificial (or synthetic) ingredients. A few common synthetic ingredients found in pet foods include propylene glycol and butylated hydroxyanisole.
If a pet food brand claims to be natural, but the label shows the presence of these ingredients, the company is flat out lying to its customers. Consumers are more responsible than ever for what they buy, and unfortunately it isn’t always possible to trust major dog food corporations.