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How To Spot Bad Dog Food

Just what exactly is "bad dog food" anyway? The term is widely used in online circles while a debate rages on as to which brands or ingredients are best, but what constitutes "bad" for dogs for some people may actually be acceptable to others.

However, one thing can usually be agreed upon by pet owners everywhere: meat byproducts, those non-specified sources of meat, that we as humans would not consume, should not be given to our pets either.

After animals like cows or chickens are slaughtered for human consumption, the prime pieces are used while the rest are discarded and sent to a rendering plant with other waste parts like beaks, feathers, claws, teeth, and organs, all of which will eventually make its way into bad dog food with the label "meat byproduct" or something similar.

Some other cheap, and unhealthy, fillers and ingredients commonly found in bad or low quality dog foods include corn fillers, which could be things such as corn meal, corn gluten meal and corn syrup for flavor. The need for and use of artificial flavorings and colors to make the food more palatable to dogs is noteworthy in and of itself as dogs are opportunistic scavengers meaning they will eat just about anything they can find.

Artificial preservatives are always used to extend the shelf life of bad dog foods. Specifically, those to be on the look out for include BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytolulene), propylene glycol, and ethoxyquin. Some are used in products like antifreeze and all are potentially carcinogenic (cancer causing) agents that you would never knowingly want to feed to your pet.

The list of unhealthy side effects from ingesting these chemicals and toxic materials on a regular basis is expansive and may include everything from minor dental issues or skin allergies to serious bone and joint problems or heart or kidney disease.

Final Comments

When searching for a quality dog food, reading and understanding the list of ingredients is absolutely imperative. Regardless of the fancy packaging, catchy jingles, or cute mascots, what really matters most when it comes to dog food are the ingredients used and in what quantities.

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