Deb D’Andrea, Nederland. I would like to thank everyone for your vote in the “Shape your paper” survey, with my Mountain Critters column coming in third with 60% readership. Thank you! I sincerely appreciate it and hope you continue to enjoy my articles!
There’s been much ta-do regarding food, food sources and what exactly is in your pets’ food. Reading labels has become a way of life for many, for their food and their pet’s food. We scour the labels looking to see exactly what is in our pet’s food and try to feed the best food possible. It can be a bit overwhelming when reading the labels as many of the ingredients listed are long, scientific words or names of ingredients we are not familiar with.
For example, Propylene Glycol (PG) is a derivative of ethylene glycol (EG), better known by many as antifreeze. While PG is supposed to be fine for your pet to consume, I’m thinking I’d rather not have them ingesting it. There are some ingredients used in pet food that are illegal to use in human foods. An example of that is ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is a chemical preservative used in pet food. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) are two more chemicals used for preserving food. BHA and BHT are listed as known carcinogens and reproductive toxicants; and have been shown to result in kidney and liver damage in test rats given BHT.
Making food look good using dyes is common practice, but can also introduce unwanted chemicals in to our pet’s food. Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellow 5 and 6 have been linked to behavior issues, allergies and even cancer. There are also those gross acceptable levels of rodent, roach or bird excreta permitted which can lead to a host of issues.
I’ve only listed a few of the items to be aware of when reading pet food ingredients. I’m guessing most know that sugar, high fructose syrup or any variation thereof shouldn’t be in our pet food. Trust me, dogs don’t need sugar in their diets.
So, what are some of the good things to look for then? Vitamin C/E are natural preservatives used in many pet foods instead of the chemical alternatives. Made in the USA is ideal, not only to support US companies, but also because our guidelines can be stricter than other countries. If you can feed human-grade ingredient foods, that is the best to help ensure your pet is getting the highest grade food available. So the next time you reach for a scoop of that dry dog food, take a look at the label and think to yourself…would I eat this?
Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and visits your home or Vet to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2017 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order. For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.