Do you want to give your dog the healthiest and nutritious food you can to ensure your best friend stays in good condition and is as happy and healthy as possible?
.. but how do we know what makes good quality dog food...?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dog food but there is no approval however, FDA ensures that the ingredients used in pet food are safe and have an appropriate function in the pet food. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.
Food Nutrient Profiles
In order for a dog food to be marketed as “complete and balanced”, it must meet the nutritional standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
In order for any dog food company to claim a product is “complete and balanced” for a specific life stage, that claim must first have been validated in Laboratory analysis plus actual feeding trials
A guaranteed analysis gives you a lot of information about what is inside the bag of pet food. Once you understand how to read it, you will be better equipped to compare different varieties of pet food.
By AAFCO regulations, the guaranteed analysis is only required to list four nutrients: crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber and moisture.
1. Crude protein
Crude protein is a measurement of the guaranteed minimum level of protein in the food. By AAFCO regulations, a diet that states a guarantee of 21% protein may have no less than 20.4% protein. The protein is typically within 2% of the target. So a 21% protein formula would range from 21% to 23%, but would most often be right at 21% or slightly higher. Your dog will benefit from a food that has protein from animal protein sources. After you check the level of protein, look at the ingredient listing to see where that protein is coming from. Look for a crude protein amount of 15 - 30% for a normal adult dog.
2. Crude fat
This is also a minimum guarantee, with a 10% allowed variance. So, if the guaranteed minimum fat content is 15%, the minimum allowed by AAFCO would be 13.5%. Most foods very closely target the fat level, so expect very little variance in this nutrient. Look for a crude fat amount of 10 - 20% for a normal adult dog. Performance dogs will required more fat content.
3. Crude fiber
Crude fiber content is typically about 2–4%. In hairball formulas for cats and weight loss formulas, you will usually see a higher level of fiber, usually 6–8%. Higher fiber formulas will result in larger stools than low fiber formulas.
Moisture guarantee. In dry formulas, this is typically 8–12% maximum.
What make a quality dog food
1. Lots of animal protein
Lots of animal protein at the top of the ingredients list. Ingredients are listed by weight, so you want to see a lot of top quality animal protein at the top of the list; the first ingredient should be a “named” animal protein source (see next bullet).
2. A named animal protein
A named animal protein – chicken, beef, lamb, and so on. “Meat” is an example of a low-quality protein of which we should be questioning the origin. Animal protein “meal” should also be from named species (look for “beef meal” but avoid “meat meal”).
3. An animal protein meal
Look for an animal protein meal to support fresh meat on the ingredient list. Fresh (or frozen) meat contains a lot of water, and water is heavy, so if a fresh meat is first on the list, another source of animal protein should be listed in the top three or so ingredients. Fresh or frozen meats do not contain enough protein to be used as the sole animal protein source in a dry food; they contain as much as 65 to 75 percent water and only 15 to 25 percent protein. In contrast, animal protein “meals” – meat, bone, skin, and connective tissue that’s been rendered and dried – contain only about 10 percent moisture, and as much as 65 percent protein.
4. Whole vegetables and fruits
Whole vegetables, fruits. Fresh, unprocessed food ingredients contain nutrients in all their natural, complex glory, with their fragile vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants intact.
5. Best By date of 6 months away
A “best by” date that’s at least six months away. A best by date that’s 10 or 11 months away is ideal; it means the food was made very recently. Note: Foods made with synthetic preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin) may have a “best by” date that is as much as two years past the date of manufacture.
What products to avoid in your dog food?
1. Meat by-products
Meat by-products or poultry by-products. Higher-value ingredients are processed and stored more carefully (kept clean and cold) than lower-cost ingredients (such as by-products) by the processors.
2. Generic fat source
A “generic” fat source – such as “animal fat.” This can literally be any fat of animal origin, including used restaurant grease and fats derived from roadkill. “Poultry” fat is not quite as suspect as “animal fat,” but “chicken fat” or “duck fat” is better (and traceable).
Dogs, like humans, enjoy the taste of sweet foods. Sweeteners effectively persuade many dogs to eat foods comprised mainly of grain fragments.
4. Artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
The color of the food doesn’t matter to your dog. And it should be flavored well enough to be enticing with healthy meats and fats. Natural preservatives, such as tocopherols (forms of vitamin E), vitamin C, and rosemary extract, can be used instead. Note that natural preservatives do not preserve foods as long as artificial preservatives, so owners should always check the “best by” date on the label and look for relatively fresh products.
Is too much Protein bad for your dog?
Generally, higher protein levels in pet foods is safe for your dog unless your pet is suffering from some kidney or liver diseases. Quality protein provides the necessary amino acids for your pet to remain in a healthy, lean body condition. When dogs are overfed, they become overweight, just like people. Protein can help to maintain your dogs weight, body mass and keep him lean and healthy. You can still overfeed these foods, so if your dog is gaining weight, make sure to reduce the amount that you are feeding.
What are Probiotics in dog food?
Like humans, dogs and cats have both “good” and “bad” bacteria in their digestive systems. Probiotics, or good bacteria, help to restore balance in the digestive system by suppressing bad bacteria. Probiotics help to maintain balance in the digestive system by suppressing bad bacteria and helping the body break down food and distribute nutrients more efficiently. They also help support a healthy immune system.
What is the best dry dog food on the market?
There are a few really good dog foods on the market and I recommend getting the best quality that you can afford. This will ensure that your dog lives a long, healthy and happy life. So, I think the best dry dog food on the market is....
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food produces premium, grain-free pet formulas that are based on your pet’s ancestral diet. All of our formulas rely on ingredients like quality meats and probiotics that maximize the nutritional health benefits for your pets.
Taste of the Wild come in a variety of flavours and varieties for adult dogs, small breed dogs and puppies
Taste of the Wild - Puppy
Taste of the Wild - Adult
Taste of the Wild - Small Breed
A taste of the wild is the balanced diet that nature intended.
- Made with real roasted meats
- Supplemented with fruits and vegetables
- Delivers natural antioxidants to protect
- Grain-free dog food for all life stages
- With lean bison and venison meat, roasted for great flavor
- Packed with highly digestible protein and antioxidents
- Supports healthy immune system
Taste of the Wild nutrition and standards
Taste of the Wild produces premium, grain-free pet formulas that are based on your pet’s ancestral diet. All of our formulas rely on ingredients like quality meats and probiotics that maximize the nutritional health benefits for your pets.
Taste of the Wild produce only the highest quality and nutrition dog food that meets FDA and AAFCO standards.
Taste of the Wild dry dog food guaranteed analysis varies slightly for each variety and flavour. The individual guaranteed analysis can be found at the Taste of the Wild website. To give you an indication, below is the range across the different varieties and flavours showing the quantities of each nutritional value.
- Crude Protein 28 - 32% minimum
- Crude Fat 15 - 18% minimum
- Crude Fiber 4.0 - 5.0% maximum
- Moisture 10% maximum
- Zinc 150 mg/kg minimum
- Selenium 0.3 mg/kg minimum
- Vitamin E 150 IU/kg minimum
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids 2.4 - 2.8% minimum
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids 0.3% minimum
- Total Microorganisms (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium animalis, Lactobacillus reuteri) not less that 1,000,000 CFU/lb
In order to be the best dry dog food on the market it is important to use the best ingredients. Each variety of Taste of the wild dry dog food varies slightly due to the meat, fruit and vegetable combination. Below are a few of the ingredients and benefits to the common ingredients.
- Meat. Although it is a quality item, raw meat contains up to 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight. After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product. Meats used in Tate of the Wild include lamb boar, salmon, fowl, venison and bison.
- Lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
- Sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
- Egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
- Pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable. Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat. And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
- Peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber. However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
- Potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
- Canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed. Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source ofessential omega-3 fatty acids. In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
- Tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup. Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler. Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
- Flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber. However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
- Salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans. Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
- Chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers. Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
- Chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Always talk to your vet about your dog’s ideal body condition. Feed the amount of food that keeps your dog lean and fit. This may not be the amount that is listed on the package. If you find that you are feeding significantly more or less than what is recommended on the package for your dog’s age and weight, consult your veterinarian.
Remember that each dog is different. Just as people have different metabolic rates and so do dogs. They also have different activity levels. Feeding guides on pet food packaging designed for adult dogs of a moderate activity level. Obviously active dogs will need more food than the norm and some dogs will need less food.
Puppies have a much higher energy requirement per pound of body weight than adult dogs do. Very young puppies need more calories than older puppies as well. A 10-week-old puppy will need to be fed more food than the 10-month-old puppy.
Taste of the Wild Feeding guide for puppies
Taste of the Wild Feeding Guide for Adult Dogs
Which Taste of the Wild Variety shall I give to my dog?
Taste of the Wild has different flavors and formulas. The also do varieties for adult dogs, puppies, and small breeds. The quality, variety, and selection make Taste of the Wild the best dry dog food on the market.
This would be one of my all time favourite funny dog video's..!! Seems appropriate to watch this one again while we are talking about dog food.