Choosing a Dog Food

We all know there is a connection between our diet and health, the same applies to dogs.

Understanding Protein
Dog food protein contents usually range from 20% - 35% but don’t be fooled, a pair of old leather boots can have a 20% - 35% protein content, the difference is its indigestible and therefore no use.

Always look for the digestible protein content and where its derived from, try to pick a feed with specifically named human grade meat protein sources, such as chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, etc.

The problem is that many cheaper pet food manufacturers have to keep their costs as low as possible to stay competitive, as such they will use lower grades of protein usually labeled as animal derivatives these can be Feathers, Tongue, Esophagus, Heart, Nerves, Blood vessels, Entrails, Skin & Other organ tissue, these cheaper forms of protein are far less digestible than better quality meat proteins.

It's estimated that around 15% to 20% of the protein found in many pet foods are made up of the lower grade animal derivatives proteins and as such are partially indigestible.

Chemical preservatives
Its also worth remembering lower grade proteins usually need chemical preservatives to stabilize them in order to have a longer shelf life.

Added colours or flavourings
If a food contains sufficient, high quality meat, there really is no need to add extra flavourings to it, colouring is added for our benefit, to make the little meat-shaped pieces look more like meat, and the veggie-shaped pieces look more like veggies, dogs don't care, and many of these colourings can be harmful when ingested over an extended period of time. Just like chemical preservatives, in small quantities, they are relatively (not completely!) harmless, but when fed over the course of a lifetime, they can build up to toxic levels.

Grain products are usually added to your dog food to make your dog feel fuller for longer but can also be beneficial to your dog’s health when fed in the appropriate quantities, rice, corn, wheat and oats are all grains and offer some nutritional benefit to dogs. However, highly processed grains should be avoided, as grains that are broken down into their component parts before adding to the food may well have limited nutritional benefit. As with humans there is a benefit to eating whole grains, and the same is true for dogs.

Also Remember

Never change your dog's diet abruptly (unless under the direction of your vet). If you want to change its diet, do it gradually over a period of a few days to a week.


Puppies grow 20 times faster than adult dogs and so require a special diet to aid their physical development. A specially formulated growth food is recommended which needs to be fed at evenly spaced intervals to avoid over stretching their small stomachs