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The pet food labeling system is a labyrinth, yet most pet owners just want what’s best for their animals.  It’s not hard to get confused when you try to determine which components are good for your dog and which ones could be harmful. In some cases, you can tell which dog food ingredients are high-quality just by looking at the label; in others, the writing is either too small or you just don’t understand what should be there. When your pup needs a doc, choosing the right food can be part of their wellness plan.

We briefly discuss “good” components and then go over eight things that shouldn’t be in dog food.

Bone and Meat Meal

The type of ingredient depends on the food item you’re purchasing. A higher grade of dog kibble will typically have a higher quality meal. Cheap dog food, on the other hand, sometimes contains ingredients of lower quality. Whole meat, which is commonly used to produce dog food, loses much of its water content when it’s cooked. By removing water before cooking, meals have a much higher protein concentration. Consider getting a dog recipe that contains additional glucosamine for dogs as they get older so they can keep their joints healthy.

But there’s no way to know if low-quality dog food with the generic names “meat meal” or “bone meal” is any good. Even without knowing what was in them, meat and bone dishes don’t reveal which animals they were sourced from. In the end, it’s usually safe to feed your dog high-quality dog food that contains poultry or a named meal. But if you see the words “unspecified meat meal” or “bone meal” on a label, stay away from that dish.

Meat By-Products

Adding identified by-products to your dog’s food, such as chicken by-products, is usually a good idea. These are simply the leftovers from an animal after the meat has been taken out. The nutrients your dog needs can be found in these, which may include organ meats, bones, and tendons—things that don’t sound very tasty to us.

You have no idea what you’re receiving when the label simply says “meat by-product” or “animal by-product” instead of the actual name of the by-product. This is particularly true in cases when no other entire meats are mentioned. Because of this, you shouldn’t assume that these by-products are feeding your dog properly.


Just like it does to us, dogs can be affected by sugar in pet food. Dogs shouldn’t eat sugar since it might harm their teeth, make them fat, and even induce diabetes. In a nutshell, it’s unhealthy for your canine. But it adds flavor, so you’ll find it in a lot of dog treats and meals.  Many companies use different names for sugar when they put it on dog food packages. Additional names for sugar are Corn syrup with added fructose, Caramel, Sugar cane, Dextrose, and Muscovite syrup.

Xylitol is a sweetener that can be used in place of sugar. But dogs that consume this run the risk of hypoglycemia, a dangerously low blood sugar level. Seizures, comatose gait, and collapse are all possible outcomes. Puppy kidney and liver damage can be caused by xylitol in high amounts.


Even though it’s not an ingredient, this is a discussion around ingredients. Dog food firms may be importing ingredients from low-cost producers overseas if they are not forthcoming about their ingredient sourcing practices.

Choose food that is grown or caught close to your location. Not only are you helping out local farmers, but you’re also likely to be getting your dog food made with better ingredients. In other words, look for a dog food that specifies the origin of its ingredients if the one you’re using doesn’t.

Meat Not Included Among the First Ingredients

Meat is one of the first few ingredients in high-quality dog food. The weight of each ingredient is indicated by its order of appearance in the recipe. The dish might not be of high quality if it has grains or carbohydrates listed as the main ingredient. Meat that appears later in the ingredient list but is otherwise surrounded by carbohydrates indicates that the carbs provide more nourishment to the food than the meat.


You shouldn’t worry about avoiding any particular components while buying pet food that has been approved by the FDA. Your canine’s food will only contain components that have been approved for use in canine diets and are completely safe for him to eat. Consult your doctor for advice on what products are best for your pet if you’re still unsure.



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8 Ingredients To Avoid In Dog Food

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