When choosing the best foods for your German Shepherd, it is important to read the labels. When confronted with a sea of dog food bags and cans, the task can be a little daunting to say the least. There is no pet food manufacturer that we’ve seen that doesn’t try to make their food appear healthy, tasty, and packed with nutrition, so it’s up to you – the consumer to understand what your dog will actually be eating before you scoop up that kibble or open the can.
By no means is this an exhaustive list of all possible dog food ingredients, but it will give you a great starting point.
Dangerous Dog Food Ingredients
Take the Pet Food challenge and read the label on your dog’s food and see if it contains any of these ingredients:
- Salt-may cause heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Sugar, sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin, corn syrup-Contributes to obesity, diabetes, digestive problems, yeast and more.
- Soybean Oil-may cause digestive upset.
- Artificial colors or Artificial Flavors-Some are a carcinogenic.
- By-products that do NOT identify what the source of the meat is or are generic (not food grade by-products)-Generic by-products can include road kill, tumors from animals, discarded meats, and dead, diseased, disabled and dying animals (the 4 D’s). Often labeled as meat meal, bone meal, animal by-product meal.
- Fish or fish meal-Not identified by the source of the meat.
- Gluten-Cheap filler, meat substitute, contributes to allergies, may contribute to diabetes.
- Egg Product-as opposed to whole eggs. Waste from the egg industry.
- Dried Animal Digest-flavor enhancer rendered from animal tissues.
- BHA/BHT- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) or Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)-chemical preservatives used to prolong the shelf life of dog food. They cause cancer (per The World Health Organization), the cause of allergic reactions, and may harm healthy liver and kidney function.
- Sodium Nitrate-Enhances the appearance of dog food for humans. Causes cancer, arthritis symptoms, and immune system disorders.
- Ethoxyquin-A preservative that is also a pesticide that destroys liver function. Banned from use in human food. Often found in dog foods that contain fish but can be found in any pet food.
- Starch-a cheap filler that may cause diabetes and weight gain.
- Tetra sodium pyrophosphate-a preservative used as a rust stain remover and cleaning product (TSP) that causes digestive upset.
- Animal Fat/Tallow-Rendered animal fat that has been treated to kill bacteria, viruses, molds and mildews from old tissues.
- Meat and Bone Meal (MBM)-a mix of meat and bone meal made from outdated supermarket meat, diseased livestock, and restaurant waste.
- Corn Products-Used as a source of energy (another word for calories) and filler in lieu of high-quality protein. May cause allergies, contribute to diabetes, or contain molds.
- Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)-a fat preservative that is also used in varnishes and lacquer that can cause cancer.
- Propyl Gallate-preservative that contains hormones that negatively affect reproductive health.
- Whole grains or Whole Grain Meal-Cheap filler made from wheat, rice, corn, rye, that should not be at the top of the ingredient list, if contained in the food. May contribute to allergies, digestive upset, or contain toxic molds.
How did your dog food compare to this list? Give us your feedback!