Did you know? What “fillers” In your dog food means?
A colleague of mine who is the proud new owner of a Golden Retriever puppy, recently commented that being a new dog owner was comparable to being a new mother or father. This was because there is an overwhelming amount of information available and most of it conflicting. Here at Puppy Gang Fresh Foods we provide dog owners with clear nutritional information to help you sift through some of the noise. We strive to support you in providing your dog with the best quality food to promote health and longevity based on his or her individual needs.
Our first “Did you know?” topic is fillers. We often hear this buzz word thrown around in the pet food industry but most dog owners are unclear as to what it actually means. Here at Puppy Gang Fresh Foods when we use the word “fillers” we are referring to products that have little to no nutritional value that are used to bulk up dog food for the purpose of lowering the production cost for pet food manufacturers. These tend to be starchy and carb heavy in nature.
Some common fillers used by other brands are “enriched” pasta, corn, cereal by-products, white rice, soy, oats and other processed grains that are lacking in nutritional value.
In Canada, it is a legal requirement to list ingredients in order of volume in the food. Therefore, if you see one of the fillers above as one of the first ingredients in your dog food, you can assume that the dog food is lacking in nutritional value. Furthermore, you will likely see a long list of synthetic vitamins you cannot pronounce in the list of ingredients. This is a further indicator that your dog food includes fillers. Meat, fresh fruit and veggies contain a variety of natural micronutrients and if your dog food includes them, it won't need to be supplemented artificially with fillers or synthetic vitamins.
To add to this issue, research has shown only 10% of dogs actually need grains and these tend to be larger breed dogs with higher activity levels. Though healthy grains such as quinoa and buckwheat can be beneficial to these dogs, there is no need for processed fillers and refined grains such as pasta in your dog’s diet. If you see these ingredients you can assume your dog food provider is sacrificing optimum nutrition to lower their cost of production.
Selecting food for your pet is similar to choosing an optimal diet for a human. Look for high levels of high quality protein, fresh fruits, veggies, and carbohydrates in the form of root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots or legumes. If it is absolutely necessary to feed your dog a grain based diet, ensure you are selecting food that contains only whole unrefined grains and does not list your carb as the top ingredient.
Take a look at our dog food and you'll see we only include antibiotic and hormone free meats and our meals are free from fillers, artificial and processed ingredients.