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19th May 2020

5 things to look for & avoid in dog food

Navigating your way as a new or exsiting pet parent

by Vicky Bassett

So, proud new pooch owner. You have just extended your family, be it by rescue or from a breeder your new 4-legged friend is now part of the gang and you want to get everything just so. The dog’s bed is in place, with toys of all shapes and sizes for them to fetch, chew or hide, and 2 new bowls – one for the daily beverage and the other for food, hmm what to choose?

These days this simple question can send you into tizzy. With shop’s shelves bulging with choice all trying to grab your attention and all claiming to be the best, you can find yourself in a right pickle.

As members of your family you want what’s best for your dog and although they won’t be at the table tucking in with a knife and fork, you want them to be getting a natural dog food they will enjoy but will be nutritious and keep them happy and healthy.

Here are some tips in what to look for in a food for your dog and those ingredients to avoid.

5 things to look for in dog food

  1. ‘Complete food’ as this means it can be fed on its own and your pooch gets all the nutrition they need
  2. Low recommended feeding amounts – this indicates the food is a highly digestible and a good quality
  3. Hypoallergenic food, as this means it is less likely to cause your dog upset and means avoiding ingredients that can commonly cause this such as wheat, dairy and soy
  4. Simple recipe with a single protein source
  5. Natural ingredients – this means no nasties like chemicals or bulking agents

Some dogs may have different dietary needs, for example a puppy will need a different diet to an adult dog. Or if your dog has a health problem you may need to consider other factors.

5 things to avoid

  1. Dog food with a long ingredients list that reads like a chapter of a book
  2. The word derivatives– if it is stating meat derivatives this means that although you might buy the same bag with the same cute picture on the front, what is inside the bag can be different each time you buy it
  3. High protein and fat levels, your new 4-legged friend  will not be running daily marathons and chances are, they might just have to retrieve a few balls, sniff out the odd treat, and accompany you on your daily stroll. So, feeding foods high in these can cause unwanted behaviours, obesity and other health issues
  4. Artificial colours, artificial additives and artificial preservatives – just not healthy choices!
  5. A recipe list or composition that is NOT easy to understand. If unsure about the ingredients, then best to avoid

Once you have picked a food then remember, check feeding amounts and slowly introduce new food in to the current food.

If you are still unsure, please contact our nutrition helpline. It is free and we are always happy to help. Call 0800 083696 or contact us on live chat or e-mail.

Our aim; happy healthy pets.

Simple, natural recipes

Our best selling product which ticks all the boxes on what to look for in a food is Burns Original Chicken and Brown Rice a favourite of happy, healthy pets for over 27 years and going strong. We also do this variety for puppies.

Shop Burns Original Chicken
Shop Burns Original Chicken Shop Burns Original Chicken
by Vicky Bassett

I started in Burns in 2007 and I have worked in various areas of the company. I have been on the nutrition team for 4 years and I love helping people with their nutritional queries, being office based has also given me time to do several courses such as Canine Anatomy and Physiology.