Feeding your dog is a vital duty of yours if you have chosen to have one these loyal friend pets.
To provide shelter, water and food are the three fundamental tasks of all owners (managers) of dogs and cats of course. A dog should be fed every day of his life (really every day?) For at least a decade.
Today, advances in food specialized in feeding pets (pet food) allow to adopt a dog without asking any technical question like “but how will I feed this animal? “
Industrial give you the answer on a plate, even many trays! The supply of pet food is simply daunting. Dry food, wet food, “premium“, “ultra premium” for sterilized dogs or for dog sports, you can find everything in very good as very bad.
If the offer is currently very diverse and undeniably, it remains heavily towards dry food, croquettes.
These croquettes are the result of major technological advances in pet food (cooking - extrusion, coating, drying …), and they are truly the ones who have the monopole feed pets ..
Crackers: market leader in food
8 out of 10 owners use dry kibble to feed their dog. It is an indisputable fact, that is the source of a huge market of over 2.5 billion € in France only!
The croquettes are practical, all garden centers offer, supermarkets, gas stations, offices and grooming the course veterinary clinics.
For the price, it’s like everything, there is the first prize especially in supermarkets and garden centers and high-end or “premium” in veterinary clinics. Each owner decides by himself, or through your veterinarian, who will serve the croquettes meals to its Medoro loved.
At the apparent cacophony of brands of kibble, only 3 large multinational share more than 70% market share. Mars Petcare, Nestlé Purina Petcare and Affinity have the most well-known brands such as Royal Canin, Friskies, Fido, and Affinity Advance Brekkies or Cesar Canigou and both owned by Mars Petcare.
Faced with stalls filled with packets of kibble, so do not be fooled, these international companies seek above all profit, even beyond the actual well-being of your animals.
That is why it should be as vigilant as possible in the selection of these croquettes. It is imperative for the health of your pet, to know all the tricks used by manufacturers of kibble, handling with great skill the texts of European and French legislation on the subject.
So I suggest you discover the 5 golden rules that you should always apply before buying any package of kibble. Even if your vet will recommend them, do not buy until you have passed the test of kibble 5 rules.
You will discover later in this article what are the healthy alternative to crackers, and why it is necessary to have a healthy even against the advice of his veterinarian doubt.
5 golden rules for choosing the right croquettes
I remind you, do not buy your cakes before they pass this test. I guarantee you that you might fail a number of candidates, and direct you to other brands, other manufacturers.
The rules are not edited in ascending order of importance, they are all equal.
1st rule: “The more protein and minimal carbs”
9 times out of 10 you will never find the amount of carbohydrates (or sugars) contained in the kibble. Why? EU law simply does not require manufacturers to mention.
This is all the more interesting for manufacturers of pet food because dogs have so far been no need for carbohydrates. In other words, dogs can live very well without carbohydrate intake, but with intakes of protein and sufficient fat.
So there is no point for you, the owners, to know this amount is generally high in kibble.
Unfortunately for us, the manufacturers do not make life easier to discover the actual amounts of protein and carbohydrates contained in the kibble. That’s why I urge you to download this Excel sheet that you will instantly dry matter intake and calorie intake of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Download the Excel sheet
Just know the rate of protein and crude fat, moisture (if it is not mentioned, it is estimated at 10%) and ash (ashes or in English, and if they they are not mentioned are estimated at 8%).
At the protein level, caloric intake should be as close as possible to 56%, while carbohydrate calorie intake should approach 14%.
On your first calculations and comparisons of your first, you may be horrified by the amounts of carbohydrates, often around 45%. Please bear in mind that 25% of carbohydrates is an excellent score for kibble. Approaching closer to the figures.
2nd rule: “A maximum of animal protein”
If you‘re not yet convinced, dogs are carnivores. Carnivores with great morphological, anatomical and physiological arsenal to devour and digest live prey.
Although domestic dogs now have incontrovertible evidence of adaptation to humans, and higher sugar diet, they should be getting mainly proteins from the animal kingdom.
This is why you must calculate the share of animal protein with those of vegetable protein to choose those that provide the most animal products.
To do this, you must beware of all vegetable protein intake including all gluten grains (corn, wheat mainly) that provide only proteins and serve to increase total protein intake.
Of course, the ingredients that you will take into account in these calculations must imperatively follow the rules.
3rd rule: “Choose good quality animal protein, avoid the worst”
This rule complements the previous one. Beyond the amount of animal protein, which will be taken to find the nuggets with the maximum possible quality of protein is essential.
Rather old scientific studies have demonstrated the important role of quality animal protein quantity. In other words, it is better to have less animal protein in kibble, but better quality.
To find good quality animal protein, just read the label. Here is the ranking of animal protein premium to the worst:
Fresh chicken (or beef, poultry, pork), dehydrated poultry meat, dehydrated poultry proteins, poultry by-products.
An important note to this rule: some very clever manufacturers have clearly understood now that consumers read labels and seek those famous right ingredients. Therefore, some nuggets appear in first place ingredients “fresh chicken”, which has the effect of relieving the consumer and phish, while following ingredients is absolutely not recommended. This trap is classic, so beware and read the entire label.
4th rule: “The animal and plant species used to appear”
This rule again appeal to the current legislation. Manufacturers of kibble does not have the obligation to indicate the species (beef, poultry, pork) or vegetable (wheat, corn, barley, etc.) used.
From that moment, and if you read a list of ingredient ‘animal fat’ or or ‘grain flours “” dehydrated animal proteins, “I advise you to reset immediately and systematically croquettes in question.
Until proven otherwise, if the manufacturer does not want to know what species he uses, it’s either he simply does not know what there is in these croquettes, or that it wants you knowledge. In both cases, the risk of falling on the raw materials of inferior quality and very high.
Knowing this, beware of ingredients whose species is unknown.
5th Rule: “Grain is to minimize”
In canine nutrition, you should know that cereals are under heavy controversy. First, grains are first cheap manufacturers croquettes materials, on the other hand these grains provide lots of calories as carbohydrates (starches) in the diet, which greatly increases the energy value of kibble.
Unfortunately, grains have never been part of the diet of dogs, wild or tame (by today proportions). Only with the advent of modern croquettes that came heavily in grain feeding dogs.
Technically, the grain is very unattractive for the dog because they provide only carbohydrates (remember that the needs of the dog are equal to 0), very few nutrients and vitamins and greatly fatigued the dog’s digestive system, especially through the pancreas amylase synthesis.
It’s not for nothing that the fashionable alternatives croquettes are guaranteed without grains.
How to choose the kibble for his dog?
From theory to practice
In the light of these rules, you now understand why you have to compare them carefully croquettes. Go home and lay flat all the pros and cons of your candidates before you buy.
I admit that the task is not easy, especially at the start when we discover that face hidden nuggets with all that that implies.
That is why I propose a practical study of three croquettes (A, B and C) very different, which do exist on the market. These croquettes, there is a very bad lot, an intermediate and a final batch well above the others. It’s up to you to analyze and give your results by comment!
I do not want to influence anyone to a brand of kibble in particular, croquettes remain anonymous.
Cereals, meat and animal by-products (10%) *, vegetable protein extracts, oils and fats, derivatives of vegetable origin, sugars, minerals
Crude Protein: 22%; crude fat: 11%; Crude ash: 8%
Fresh Chicken (22.1%), dehydrated poultry meat and grease (14.7%), sweet potatoes, potatoes, fresh salmon (7.4%), dehydrated and defatted salmon (7.4%), fresh white fish (3.7%), small peas, powdered eggs (3%), chicken fat (3%), alfalfa, chicken sauce (2.6%), duck fat (0.8%), minerals, fiber peas, vitamins, yeast
Crude Protein: 31%; crude fat: 16%; Crude ash: 9%; Moisture: 8.5%
Chicken (20%), wheat, maize gluten, dehydrated poultry protein, rice (8%), animal fat, corn, autolysate, dried beet pulp, minerals, egg powder, fish oil, colostrum (0 , 1%)
Crude Protein: 30%; crude fat content: 19%; Crude ash: 7%; Moisture: 8.5%
It’s up to you. For more hesitant, I suggest you read an analysis I made on my blog.
It is important to point out that choosing wrong type of food can disturb your dog’s stomach substantially and as a result it may cause excessive diarrhea or even vomiting. In case such scenario plays out, it would be best if you have trusted HeroCleaners at your side to help you manage this.
Of course, there are alternatives to traditional cakes. Alternating current offer of dog food in the most appropriate manner possible. The (very known as the BARF for Biologically Adapted Raw Food) diet based on raw frozen preparation or whole prey tries to recreate the diet of wild dogs, mainly meat meat, offal, bones and a very small proportion of vegetables (often pre-digested) and fruit (often spoiled).
Of course, these alternative diets are not in the good graces of the workplace, and are frequently demonized by veterinarians and faculty as I show in my survey of French veterinary schools.
Far be it from me to give you a demonstration of these modes of power, I just want to point out that there are other ways that the “whole cake” and that many owners have successfully tested these transitions you will find all necessary information on the web.
To be complete, you also have the option to direct you to a so-called domestic supply, which has those advantages and disadvantages, in which you cook (cook understand) feed your dog.
Who am I to talk about canine nutrition?
I am forced to write this paragraph because not a pipe, who am I to talk about canine nutrition and marketings pitfalls of agro-pet food?
I like me rarely self-flagellate, but I am nothing. Or a professional canine health or a veterinarian or a veterinarian, much less a student of a veterinary assistant school.
I am a young blogger passionate about human and animal nutrition which investigates below what is on our plates and in bowls of our dogs. I recently published a book on my personal blog, Hard to Swallow, in which I explain thoroughly all the conflicts of interest between veterinarians and pet food industry.
The evidence is public, and many can not awaken in you a healthy doubt, but systematically to the advice of your veterinarian in nutrition, and to all manufacturers of kibble, even if they are the best in the world.