Being responsible for how healthy and how long your dog lives is only a matter of knowing what to do. A longer life means proper exercise, good hygiene and good dog food for your dog.
Most people make sure their dog gets enough exercise, is brushed often, checked for ticks and fleas but in most cases they are misinformed about exactly what their dog needs to eat in order to live longer and healthier life(while cutting down on the vet's bill, by staying out of the office as much).
The first key ingredient- the meat
In order to find out exactly what is in your dog's food, start by reading the ingredients listed on the bag. The first ingredient we want to see listed to make sure we have some very good dog food is the meat that supplies the protein. You should see fish, chicken, lamb, or turkey and you want to see this meat listed as the very first ingredient. Whatever ingredient is listed first is the main ingredient, so it is important that a meat (not a turkey, chicken, fish, lamb, or beef by-product) is listed first.
Avoid by product foods as much as you can. They usually don't provide good protein for your dog, and you really don't know what part of the animal your dog is going to get, so by product meat should be avoided.
The second key ingredient is the preservatives.
Avoid BHA, BHT, Propyl, Gallate or Ethoxiquin in your dog’s food as a preservative. Ethoxiquin has been allegedly linked to liver damage in dogs, so be extremely careful here.
Good food has vitamin e (Tocopherols) which allows your dog's food to be preserved a more natural way.
The third key ingredient you want to take into consideration is the grains.
Good grains includes oatmeal and rice as ingredients. These grains are easy for your dog to digest and chances are they won't be allergic to either one.
Avoid corn or wheat as the grain, you may want to find another source of food for your dog. A lot of dogs have trouble with corn and in some cases wheat. So, don't consider the dog food good if it has one of these used as the grain. If your dog is known to be allergic to grains, there is grain free food available as an option for your dog.
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