Most dog owners will tell you that their dog is a part of their family. They would fight for their dog and take care of them when they are sick and of course, feed them every day. Make sure you are not feeding your beloved pet bad dog food. There are many things that can make a food bad for your dog. These are some of the ingredients that you should watch out for when trying to avoid feeding your pet a bad dog food.
4 Bad Dog Food Ideas
By-Product and Meal…Sometimes!
You should always try and avoid dog foods that contain a lot of unnamed meat and bone byproduct. These are words that can truly incorporate just about any part of the animal. It’s what is left over after all the good stuff is used: bone, teeth, hair, blood, guts- you name it, it could be in there! There are a few exceptions to this rule. Reputable companies that use pet-food grade by-product further down the list to add extra protein AND list the source of the by-product (chicken by-product versus a generic meat by-product) are acceptable. Not the highest quality, but acceptable.
What about “Meal?”
The word “meal” is one that causes a ton of confusion for us pet parents! It can refer to just about anything, from byproduct to a protein-packed quality ingredient. The process of making meal itself is started with a stew, then cooked in a way that removes the water and waste. The “meal” remains. That’s over-simplified, but the gist. Whether or not it’s “good” meal depends on just what the starting stew consists of. If it’s high-quality meat, the meal isn’t necessarily bad dog food. As with by-product, you want to look for foods that list the source of the meal. Chicken meal, for example, versus animal meal or meat meal. If a food contains mysterious, generic meal AND by-product, put it back on the shelf.
If that isn’t confusing enough, there’s “meat and bone meal,” which isn’t exactly the same as plain meal. We discuss MBM in more detail in our article, Feed Your Dog This, Not That! In short, though, avoid products that list “meat and bone meal” or “MBM” as an ingredient.
Animal Fat and Tallow
These fatty products are occasionally added for fat content numbers and also to boost flavor but in many cases are just reused restaurant oils and rancid vegetable oils that are no longer fit for consumption by humans. If you are seeing fats labeled in your dog’s food they should type that are named and preserved; this will ensure they are a proper, healthy, source of fat for your furry loved ones.
Wheat and Corn Gluten Meal
Wheat and Corn Gluten Meal is just a ground up powder that is made from the leftover parts of the corn and wheat after the corn and wheat have been taken out. Most often this product is used as a filler or a binder for the dog food. It does not serve any great purpose in the food and provides no needed nutritional value to your pup’s food.
This may seem like common sense, but feeding dogs table scraps is a bad idea. To make sure that they are getting all of the necessary nutritional elements they need to grow and be healthy, table scraps should be avoided. They make a bad dog food and can ultimately do more harm than good. Keep your dog healthy and happy by providing them with a quality kibble or wet food that supports their specific needs. Even good food for humans can be a bad dog food, feed them food that is intended for their specific needs!
I hope this list has helped you to determine types of ingredients that make for a bad dog food. All of these things individually and on a small scale may not harm your pet but combined and fed in moderate amounts over their entire lifespan can be a different story.
I know it can be a bit confusing, especially where the meals and by-products are concerned. When choosing a good dog food, do your research. Look up the company, read the ratings on a few different sites to get the full picture. Learn about their practices, recalls and so on. Help keep your dog healthy and happy by avoiding these bad dog foods!
Do you have any thoughts on these bad dog food ingredients? Feel we missed the mark on anything? Know of an exception to a rule? Share your thoughts in the comments!