Have you ever tried to decipher the meaning of the ingredients listed in dog food? For example, what does “meat” mean? Dog Food ingredients are overseen by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. There are many problems, however, with pet food manufacturers using misleading labels to describe their food. The goal is to make you believe their food is really healthy for your dog.
Many vets recommend choosing a high quality dog food, despite the high price tag. Better quality foods will contain more easily digestible proteins. The easier the ingredients are to digest, the better for your dog’s health. High quality foods will have meat, chicken or fish listed as one of the first three ingredients. Lower quality foods will be vegetable-based and have ingredients that are far more difficult for your dog to digest. For example, oats, wheat and corn are harder to digest than egg whites, muscle meats and organ meats.
Dog food ingredients are listed according to the weight of the ingredient in descending order. Some manufacturers will use “ingredient splitting.” This means that even though corn may be the main ingredient, it will be broken up into 4 different types of ingredients that are related to corn. This way they can appear further down on the list and it may mislead the consumer to believe a healthier ingredient is more prominent in the food.