Dog foods do vary in quality. So do
the companies that make the foods. To
some companies quality is only a word.
To others, it's a way of life.
Ultimately, the quality of a dog
food is best measured by your dog.
How your dog performs on the food,
how he looks, feels and acts are the
best measures of the quality of any
food. At least 30 per cent of my clients
that report behavioural problems find
that a change of food changes the
No matter what a food company claims
unless your dog has bright eyes, silky
hair and supple skin, and is not overweight,
then the food is not right for him.
Not all dogs do well on a particular
brand of food, some dogs simply do
better than others.
Most foods are categorised as Economy,
Regular, Premium, Super Premium and
Performance. Regular and Premium foods
are not formulated like a Super Premium
or Performance food.
Dogs have simple stomachs and short
digestive tracts for digesting meat.
They also lack the saliva enzyme amylase,
which is necessary for pre-digesting
starch. Dogs have adapted to foods
with high vegetable protein levels,
however they perform better when fed
foods high in meat protein and animal
Checking the label of a Super Premium
or Performance food an animal protein
will be listed as the first or second
major ingredient. These should include
either chicken, or turkey meat, or
poultry by products meals, meat or
pork meals or other animal by products.
A least two sources of fat or oil
should be included for adequate energy
and essential fatty acids.
Fat in food is the dog's source of
energy. Animal fat contains essential
and non-essential fatty acids as well
as provides a highly digestible and
easily metabolised energy source.
Generally, poultry, turkey or chicken
fat are higher in quality because
they have more unsaturated fatty acids
and are more digestible than animal
Vegetable oils, such as soybean oil,
lecithin corn oil, wheat germ oil,
sesame seed oil or linseed oil all
contain high levels of linoleic acid,
an essential fatty acid for dogs.
These should be combined with animal
fats for the best long-term results
of a glossy haircoat and soft pliable
Carbohydrates are the third most
important nutrient and ingredient
class in modern Super Premium and
Performance foods. Simple carbohydrates
in dog food come from quality sources
like rice, oatmeal, corn or wheat.
These are easily digested when properly
Fibre, a complex carbohydrate is
essential for proper digestion and
stool formation. Beet pulp and tomato
promace are both high in fibre. Other
sources of fibre include rice, soy
hulls, oat hulls, wheat bran and peanut
hulls. All these come from the external
portion of the seed coat. These sources
except peanut hulls have microscopic
sharp edges, which can cause small
cuts in the intestine. This reduces
the intestine's effectiveness in nutrient
digestion. Peanut hulls on the other
hand, have the potential of being
contaminated with aflatoxins and should
never be used in a quality dog or
Vitamin and mineral fortification
is an absolute necessity in nutritionally
balancing any food for dogs. While
the vitamins and minerals generally,
make up less than 2% of the total
food by weight, they provide some
of the most crucial nutrients. These
include 12 to 16 vitamins and 15 to
25 minerals. Often the list of these
micro nutrients is much longer than
the list of major ingredients. Expect
this list in all dog foods. Super
Premium usually feature more than
one source for each vitamin and mineral.
The ingredient list will be longer
compared to non-premium foods.
It is not recommended that you add
anything by way of food supplement,
or vitamin to Super Premium Foods.
To sum it all up lets us compare
Regular/Economic foods to Regular
Petrol, then compare a Premium food
to a Premium petrol, and of course
Super Premium food to a Super Premium
petrol. That is a simple example and
indication. By the way I would not
put diesel in my car, it would not
run, it needs super premium petrol.
Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.