Homemade doesn't work for everyone. If you need regular, dry dog food, here are 4 tests you should put your dog food through.
- Ken Tudor DVM
At Hearthstone Homemade we are all about homemade dog food. For optimum health, we feel that it is the best alternative. But making homemade dog food doesn’t fit everybody’s lifestyle and we get that. So if you need to buy regular, dry dog food, we want to help you make the best decision for the health of your dog. Here are 4 tests you should put your dog food through.
The Best Dog Food
The guaranteed analysis on the dog food package is the only information you have for judging dog food. Unfortunately in doesn’t give you any way to judge the quality of the ingredients. But we have a formula that helps you pick the “best house in the worst neighborhood.” By using this method you are maximizing ingredient choices that make the best of the slaughterhouse meat scraps used for making regular dry dog food
1) Protein- Look for dry dog food brands that have at least 31% protein in the guaranteed analysis. 35-45% is better, but these foods tend to be a bit more expensive. Protein does not cause kidney disease, so don’t worry about the higher protein level. Only 10% of old dogs have chronic kidney disease. In fact, as dogs age they lose muscle just like us and a higher protein diet slows that process so they enjoy a longer, active life.
Plant protein should not be a major source in the ingredient list. Dogs do not digest and absorb plant proteins as well as animal based protein. Many of the “grain–free” dog foods are heavy in plant protein and needlessly expensive for their nutritional value to your dog. Any legume, like pea, soybean, beans or nuts listed in the first 5 ingredients is a tip that the food has high plant protein content.
2) Fat- Fat should be at least 17-20%. Fat is extremely important for skin and fur health. But it is even more important for the immune system that protects your dog from infection every day. Fat in the diet does not cause weight gain, calories cause weight gain. Don’t sacrifice your dog’s health by choosing a low fat diet as they age. Just feed them appropriately. Low calorie, low fat diets are a marketing ploy for you to spend more for an inferior food.
3) Fiber- Pick a food that has no more than 5% fiber in the guaranteed analysis. Dogs do not need as much daily fiber as we do and excess fiber actually interferes with the digestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals and fats from the intestines. Grain-free diets tend to be very high in fiber due to their legume, beet and other plant content.
4) Water- A dry, kibbled food should contain no more than 10% water. Any more than that, you are wasting good money buying water.
Few regular dry dog foods meet these standards, especially grocery and discount store brands. If you have trouble finding a food that passes these tests, contact usfor our picks for the best regular dry dog food.