How To Make Wiser Decisions On Dog Food Ingredient Form and Sources?

Dog food manufacturers have their choice of many ingredient forms and sources when formulating a product. Decisions can be made on cost, availability, nutritive value and other factors.

One important choice is reflected in the preservative system. We strongly prefer a vitamin-based ingredient preservative system. Studies have shown that using vitamins E and C are effective as dog food preservatives. Better quality foods all use a vitamin-based rather than a chemical preservative system. More and more mid-level quality foods are replacing BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin and other chemical preservatives with a vitamin preservative system.

A vitamin preservative can be more expensive, and may not provide the same duration of shelf life. But it eliminates any of the controversy associated with the chemical ingredient form, and do you really need an 18 month shelf life on a bag of food? It is getting more difficult to find Ethoxyquin and other chemical preservatives on the shelf these days- a welcome sign of progress.

Another indication of a better quality food is reflected in the mineral listing. You’ll find the mineral listing about 2/3 of the way towards the bottom of the ingredient panel- it contains all those long words that are difficult to pronounce. Take a look at what follows the lettered Vitamin listings and see if you can find any words followed by “chelate”. This indicates the presence of chelated minerals. Chelated minerals are more readily absorbed by your pet, and are therefore a preferred ingredient source.

How To Make Wiser Decisions On Dog Food Ingredient Form and Sources?

Like vitamin preservatives, more and more of the better quality foods are now using chelated minerals. These are just two additional keys to watch for as you scan the ingredient label for quality hints.

First five ingredients, splitting, preservatives, and chelation.