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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What things (good or bad) should I look out for when picking out dog/cat food? I do know to look out for meat byproducts and (for cats at least) ground corn, but what else should I look out for? Thanks. :) (Just wanting to know the basics)
 

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I'm absolutely crazy about reading nutrition and ingredients labels... it started when I was reading about dog and cat nutrition needs and learning things about different ingredients in kibble. Eventually, it progressed to full on near-obsession, since I have multiple GI diseases and one severe food allergy... so I need to read on everything I put inside me as well. I typically read an entire label...

First thing to look for - you want protein or a protein meal (or multiple) as the first ingredient(s). I tend to prefer whole proteins instead of meals. However, it is said that protein meals have higher protein content than whole meats (the only reason I'm skeptical is the fact that if something is cooked, it loses nutritional value - and meat meals are essentially overcooked meat).

I tend to stay away from grains on principle, as it helps me keep in a rhythm with both my brother's Siberian's grain allergy as well as my own intolerance. The only grain items I would allow my dog to eat in a kibble would be oatmeal, barley, brown rice, or rye flour. Other good sources of carbohydrates other than grain are potatoes, sweet potatoes, and peas.

You want to stay away from anything containing "miscellaneous" ingredients such as byproducts of any kind, animal fat, and a special little thing called animal digest. Just the words sound disgusting, but the FDA discovered that it contains pentobarbital (the drug used to euthanize). There have also been findings of dog and cat collars caught in the machinery used to process animal digest. I am not one to follow conspiracies or whatever, but I'd rather be safe than sorry... considering that pentobarbital has been confirmed (a client of mine concretely confirmed this for me, as she works with the FDA).

The same can be said for cat foods. You have to be especially careful about canned/wet foods. Lower quality brands will contain more water than meat, which doesn't help with nutrition. I tend to avoid cat foods that contain carrageenan; it's a controversial ingredient with mixed study results, but again I don't like taking chances. Some studies showed that it contributed to cancer and other problems in cats. And cats are weird... if they're dying from the inside out because of food, external symptoms show up when it's very far along...
 

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What things (good or bad) should I look out for when picking out dog/cat food? I do know to look out for meat byproducts and (for cats at least) ground corn, but what else should I look out for? Thanks. :) (Just wanting to know the basics)
Here is a complete list that explains why you don't want certain things in your pet food
The Dog Food Project - Ingredients to avoid

Compare these two foods and you will see immediately why one is a better food.
Kibbles 'n Bits
Ingredients: Corn, soybean meal, beef and bone meal, ground wheat, animal fat (BHA used as preservative), corn syrup, wheat middlings, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, caramel color, peas, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), choline chloride, calcium sulfate, wheat flour, carrots, green beans, titanium dioxide (color), yellow 5, yellow 6, red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), blue 1, dl-methionine

OK the bone meal may contain lead, BHA causes cancer,dyes cause seizures. Not to mention all the other absolute junk in this food.

Orijen
Boneless chicken,* chicken meal, chicken liver,* whole herring,* boneless turkey,* turkey meal, turkey liver,* whole eggs,* boneless walleye,* whole salmon,* chicken heart,* chicken cartilage,* herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, yams,* chickpeas, pumpkin,* butternut squash,* spinach greens,* carrots,* Red Delicious apples,* Bartlett pears,* cranberries,* blueberries,* kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium + vitamins and minerals

Real food real ingredients
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, cool. Somebody please quiz me. Give me two dog foods to choose from so I can name which one is healthier. I want to see what I can figure out :)
 

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Fromm Classic Adult:

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, White Rice, Chicken Fat, Menhaden Fish Meal, Dried Whole Egg, Beet Pulp, Cheese, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Calcium Sulfate, DL-Methionine, L-Tryptophan, Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sodium Selenite, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals, Probiotics.

Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice:

Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, peas, cracked pearled barley, pea flour, chicken fat, dried beet pulp, egg product, natural flavor, fish meal, flaxseed, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, quinoa, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, beta carotene, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm. Well, both seem to start off with good stuff, but Diamond Naturals has a lot of very specific vitamins and minerals an probiotics, while Classic Adult has less specific.It just says "minerals and probiotics" and that's it. Plus CA has a lot if random stuff in the middle I don't known what is.
So is Diamond Naturals better?
 
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