Understanding Dog Food Ingredients  

In addition to the love and care that goes into making healthy dog food, there’s one vital part that brings these things together: the ingredients. 

Dogs have different dietary needs to people, so their food must be specially formulated to meet those needs. The food must be balanced, meaning it contains all the nutrients your pet needs without being too high in one nutrient or too low in another.

Each ingredient included in Pets Love Fresh products plays a specific role in your dog's diet and health. For example, protein is essential for building muscle and maintaining energy levels, while vitamins A and C help support immunity and overall health. To make sure each ingredient is appropriate for your dog's diet and lifestyle, careful consideration is needed.

Every dog is different and may need a diet tailored to its needs. So, before changing your dog’s diet, consult your vet to ensure he or she will receive the right amount of vitamins and minerals they need.

How To Read Dog Food Ingredients

 It’s important to put your usual dog food under the microscope to see what’s included. When you’re reading the ingredients list on a dog food package, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

The first is the quality of ingredients. You want to make sure that your dog's food has high-quality ingredients to provide them with the nutrients they need to stay healthy. We have a rule of thumb at Pets Love Fresh - if you wouldn’t eat it, your dog shouldn’t either! That’s why we make sure our ingredients are farm fresh and all-natural.

The second thing to consider is how much of each ingredient is in the food. The ingredient list may say it contains meat, but look closer to see how much meat is actually included. Usually, this will be shown as a percentage. In the 6 years we spent putting regular dog food to the test, we found that even the organic ones aren’t always that clear about their meat content and some brands only had a meat content of 4% (getting around labelling requirements by using statements like “with chicken meat” or “beef dinner”!

 This is compared to our 70% human-grade chicken meat in our Simply Chicken Dog Food Taster pack https://petslovefresh.com/products/2kg-simply-chicken-dog-food-taster , that’s a lot of protein your dog could be missing out on.

What Are The Main Ingredients In Dog Food? 

The main ingredients in dog food come from various sources, including meat, vegetables, grains and other proteins and ‘meals’. Grains make up the bulk of most dog foods, with some products also containing fruits and proteins. The most common types of meat used to make dog food are beef, chicken and fish. 

Some pet owners feed their dogs homemade diets made mainly of fresh foods, which provide a balance of fruits, vegetables, grains and meat.

What Are Bad Ingredients In Dog Food?  

If you’re wondering what dog food ingredients to avoid, you’ll find a lot of them in most leading brand dog food. Common ingredients that can cause problems include grains, animal processing  by-products, artificial colours and flavours, and toxic preservatives, many of which can be hard to digest or harmful to your pet.

Preservatives are particularly harmful. They are toxic and not easily digested by your dog. By choosing a good quality dog food that only includes natural ingredients, you can help ensure that your pet gets the best possible nutrition. Look for products that are gentle on your dog’s digestive system, especially organic brown rice, which is an important source of fibre that promotes a healthy gut.

What Are The Ingredients To Look For In Dog Food?

 There are a few key ingredients to look for in dog food, including:

  • Real meat that isn’t overly processed and from a reputable source. Meat is the most crucial ingredient in a dog's diet. It provides the protein needed to build muscle and support the dog's body function. The type of meat your dog eats can make a big difference to their health. Our research shows that meat should be 70 - 80% of a dog’s diet.

We go the extra mile and include:

  • Eggs - contain riboflavin and selenium to boost healthy brain development.
  • Cranberries - filled with Vitamin C and antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation in dogs.
  • Seaweed - which brings a shine to your dog’s coat with DHA. 

pets love fresh simply chicken ingredients

Finding The Healthiest Dog Food 

What is the best way to find the healthiest dog food? 

First, look for food made with fresh ingredients from sources you know. Our meat all comes from British farms and would normally be headed to supermarket shelves.  

Second, make sure to choose a food that isn’t overly processed. Unfortunately, the cheaper the food, the more likely it is to be highly processed. The best way to cover up cheaper ingredients is to cook them and process them into little biscuits or stick them in a tin.

Third, try avoid the marketing fads. Many leading brands add things like ‘rosemary’ or other vegetables to give the impression their food is wholesome and nutritious. The reality is, they are just marketing gimmicks. By reading the label and seeing where each ingredient sits in the ordering you can get an idea of how much it makes up in the food.

pedigree chum claiming to have chicken but just 4% chicken meat

To really get an idea of this, imagine eating dry and non-nutritional biscuits every day for three meals a day - you definitely wouldn’t feel your best!

At Pets Love Fresh, we make sure your dog food has the highest nutritional content possible in two ways:

  1. We slowly cook our ingredients to ensure all the nutrients stay where they need to be: in your dog’s food.
  2. We keep the food fresh by freezing your dog’s food: without any toxic preservatives needed.

 Complete Natural Nutrition For Puppies

If you want to feed your dog a diet made of fresh, human-grade ingredients specifically tailored to meet their nutritional needs, then try one of our Pets Love Fresh taster packs. It includes high-quality proteins and essential vitamins and minerals, as well as probiotics and antioxidants to promote healthy growth and development. 

puppy taster pack
Click here to order your Pets Love Fresh puppy taster pack.