Pet Food Ingredients That Can Really Hurt Your Pet

Ok, so I am an animal lover, through and through. I love all types of animals. I think they are awesome. Now in my life recently, I have been on a mission to eat better. I have also been on the same mission for my pets.

If you have ever went to the store to buy dog food or cat food and wondered about the pet food ingredients, then you should read this article. If you have ever looked at the list of ingredients in your dog food or cat food and wondered if they were healthy or even safe for them to eat, then this article is for you. If you have ever found yourself looking at a list of recalled pet food or have been frustrated at the regulations in the pet food industry, this article is also for you. Why? Because it can give you some peace of mind, if anything it can give you a little bit of control over what you feed your pet. Especially if you love and care about your four legged friend(s) like I do.

Below is a great list of what to look for, and what to look out for in pet foods. It is one of the best lists so far I have found and I thought I would pass it on to all of you. You can also always make your own organic natural dog food with the book below The Good Food Cookbook For Dogs.

the best pet food ingredients

What Does It Mean When The Package Says Complete and Balanced

If your dog or cat food packages says complete and balanced it means that the food contains all of the nutrients pets need as determined by scientific feeding tests. You really do want to be seeing complete and balanced on the bag because it confirms that the food has at least been tested and that your dog and/or cat is getting the proper nutrition he or she needs. That doesn’t however mean that it is the only thing you should be feeding your pet. To find out the best balanced diet for your pet you should consider consulting your vet.

What If The Label Says “Weight Management”

Be careful. Do not overfeed your pet. It is common place for pet owners to mistake weight management to mean it is low cal. If you do not have the phrase weight management on your pet food also be aware. Pay attention to what is recommended on the bag on how much to feed your pet. Don’t simply eyeball a measurement.

The First Ingredient In Your Pet Food Is Meat, Poultry Or Fish

If you have one of these three proteins listed first in your pet food ingredients than you have made a good choice when choosing your dog food or cat food. Protein plays a major role in building and maintaining muscle mass in your pets. It helps your pet grow, heal from injury, maintain their coats, nails and connective tissue. If your dog food does not have a protein listed first consider passing on it. It is recommended that dog food contain at least 27% protein and for cat food, 25%.

Does Your Dog Food or Cat Food Contain Chemical Preservatives?

You should be keeping an eye out for chemical preservatives like BHA, BHT or propyl gallate. These three preservatives are considered suspected carcinogens and ethoxyquin is currently used as a pesticide. Now, does your bag contain tocopherols? Then that’s good. Tocopherols are natural preservatives derived from vitamin E. Other natural preservatives are ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and rosemary extract. If your pet food doesn’t have tocopherol, however, then it probably contains chemical preservatives like I mentioned above. The dog food brand, Wellness, is a great example of a natural dog food who has all the right ingredients.

Does It Say All-Natural Or Gourmet On The Bag?

Now here is one thing I learned from a vet I went to. There are no standardized definitions of natural in the pet-food industry. There is also no regulations for such a claim. So for right now, the way the pet-food industry is monitored, all-natural and gourmet is nothing more than a marketing term. So there is no added nutritional benefits in pet foods labeled all-natural or gourmet. It’s best to look at the list above and choose based on those guidelines when making your next purchase.

A Better Option

If you are looking for a dog food that has all of the above in it then I suggest Wellness Dog Food. All ingredients are natural, plus (and most important of all), when you look at the ingredients list you know all the words. They also make great cat food. You can get this pet food at a specialty stores like Tractor Supply or Whole Foods or you can order it on

best pet food(click on the picture to see the ingredients)

Also if you click the picture above it will send you to an Amazon page with a TON of information about this product (scroll down to see it). It shows all the ingredients in the food, how to transition your pet to this new food, all the health benefits for your dog, and all the different recipes they have. Plus you will get loads of customer reviews about Wellness.

What to look for in dog and cat food (More Info)

For more information about pet foods consider visiting, the site offers free nutrition ratings. You can also join, which costs about $18 a year, but it gives you in depth reviews of more than 2,500 foods and treats.

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