You probably have some concerns about your diet and the diet of your family: you opt for healthy and fresh food, avoid processed food, refined sugar, fried food, and you always try to include vegetables and fruits. Do you do the same when it comes to your pet’s food? After all, your cat or dog is also part of the family.
This does not mean that you have to exclusively buy expensive high-quality dog food all the time for your Corgi. But paying extra attention to the pet food labels and making a few small changes can be very beneficial for your pet’s health in the medium to long term.
Keep in mind that there are also some unhealthy pet food ingredients that increase the risk of your pet developing diseases such as obesity, diabetes, circulatory problems, cancer, and heart disease, among others.
These are the 7 pet food ingredients you should avoid to keep your pet healthy!
1. Artificial color additives
Surely, you have noticed that there are several different pet treats and food in different colors. As you know, these colors do not occur naturally during the food production process.
They are obtained by using additives, often artificial. After some problems in the past due to the health problems caused by the use of additives (cancer, food poisoning, etc.), they are now heavily regulated by public health authorities.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration regulates all artificial food dyes in both human and animal foods. Because they have to be approved and are constantly under review, they should be safe for human and animal consumption.
However, there’s not enough evidence to prove that these additives don’t cause any adverse effects on cat and dog health. Therefore, and taking into account that these additives are only an aesthetic artifice to please the eye of the pet owner and have no nutritional value, it is best to avoid them.
Preservatives are used to extend the shelf life of products. The vast majority of these substances are completely safe for consumption, but there are some chemical preservatives present in pet food that can be extremely dangerous.
Your pet shouldn’t eat any foods that contain Ethoxyquin, Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA).
BHA and BHT are chemicals added to fats that are listed as known carcinogens and reproductive toxicants by some health entities. Ethoxyquin is another chemical preservative that despite being illegal to use in human foods, can be used in pet food. Read the labels and avoid products that contain any of these aforementioned substances!
3. Rendered fat
This type of food is produced with a variety of raw materials from various sources through a high-temperature process that enhances the flavor.
The problem is that this production method might use leftover meats from diseased animals and is breeding ground for bacteria such as salmonella. Toxins such as heavy metals are also used during the process.
You should always prefer pet food that identifies clearly the by-products – beef fat, chicken fat, or salmon oil, for example.
Your pet doesn’t need to consume food with artificial sweeteners. Period. So, you shouldn’t give them any human food that contains aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose as these substances may cause seizures, liver failure, and hypoglycemia. Additionally, you should also avoid buying dog food with corn syrup.
5. Propylene Glycol
This is a moistening agent that also enhances flavor used in many dog treats. It is mostly used in cheap dog and cat food to disguise its low quality.
Propylene Glycol is derived from Ethylene Glycol, a substance that is known to be extremely toxic for pets. Some experts claim that when consumed in abundance, this substance can cause body anemia in cats and seizures and other neurological issues in dogs.
In general, your dog can eat corn in moderation without any problem. There are only two things that you must consider.
First, you should know that although it is not very common, some dogs are allergic to corn. This allergic reaction triggers noticeable symptoms like skin irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, obsessive licking, and biting of the paws. If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
In addition, you also need to be careful about how much corn your dog eats. On the food label, corn ingredients may appear several times listed according to its type – kibbled corn, flaked corn, ground corn, etc. If you don’t pay attention to this, you will make your dog’s diet unhealthy which may cause them to gain weight.
7. Chicken and Angus beef
These two foods are not exactly bad for your dog’s health. But there are good reasons to avoid them.
If you want to feed chicken to your pet, you should always opt for chicken meals. The later offers a lot more nutritional value than regular baked chicken. This, of course, assuming that your pet is not allergic to chicken (it is among the five most common food allergies).
On the other hand, you shouldn’t feed Angus beef (or any other cattle breed for that matter) to your pet for environmental reasons. As you know, livestock farming is one of the most polluting industries in the world.
For that reason, we should try to reduce our meat consumption as much as possible. Furthermore, brands place these types of products on the market to appeal to the pet owners and not to the pet themselves – those don’t even find beef tastier than other environmentally friendly products.
Before getting a pet, you should do a lot of research to make sure that you have all the conditions to take good care of them and provide everything they need. This should include intensive research about the diet.
Different pets and breeds have different needs with regard to food. Finally, we also recommend that you seriously consider having health insurance for your pet. This will carry some weight in the family budget, but it may be crucial in the future and save you a lot of money and trouble.