Best Food For My Dog? (Part 2)

"What's the best food for our dog?", that was our perennial question, especially in the wake of the US pet food recalls. Latte was just a puppy back then and we were really worried because we had just nursed him back to health from a serious bout of pneumonia. We studied his dog food labels and sought advice...
Our Dog's Food: Manufactured of Home cooked?
We heard American vets would usually recommend kibble that is supposed to be scientifically formulated while European vets would prefer to advise a natural diet.

Looking at the ingredient labels of kibble, one thing is for sure. These manufactured dog food would probably provide holistic nutrition for your dog through nutritional additives, which might be chemical in nature. These dog food whether canned, dry or semi-moist are often laden with artificial preservatives and maybe even flavoring. Please check your labels!
(We looked at ours, and couldn't bear the idea that Latte was wolfing down chemicals and preservatives. How can he live a healthy long life eating like that?)
Most dog owners may agree that a natural home-cooked diet is the best for their dogs, but a big group may not have the time to go through this tedious daily ritual of cooking for their dogs.

Reading the Label
From the kibble label, you would know which ingredient forms the bulk of the kibble as they would be displayed in sequence by order of decreasing proportion. For example, if the label reads, “Oatmeal, chicken meal, brown rice, beef meal.” We would know that oatmeal forms the bulk of the kibble, followed by chicken meal and so forth.

An unsavoury fact: meat meal often added to bulk up the protein content may include heads, legs, innards etc ground up together with muscle meats.

If you feed kibble to your dog, it’s still possible to choose better ones. Kibble with the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) label indicates that the food would at least meet your dog’s basic nutritional requirements. However, this label is a stamp that endorses the kibble formula and not the tonnes of actual ingredients that goes into its daily manufacture. Simply put, the AAFCO is an approval of the recipe but not an endorsement of the ingredients’ quality.
Browsing at your pet food store, you may chance upon food or treats that proudly displays the label “Human Grade Ingredients”. Please note that this is a marketing and advertising lingo. The label is not regulated nor do authorities audit the processes. It is a claim, one that ultimately depends on your trust in the manufacturer.
Sabine Contreras (2004-2007) The Dog Food Project. [reviewed in Jan 2008]
Richard H. Pitcairn (2005) Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.


billy wiseman said...

try this food i use it for my new dog sense menu foods Killed My Buddy

aokisan said...

Hi Bill, checked out the site - seems like it's promising quite a natural diet, but we'll still stick with preparing home-cooked meals for our dog. Thanks and cheers :)