Canned dog food, also known as wet dog food, is quickly gaining ground over dry kibble and semi-moist dog food in the world of canine nutrition and the reasons are not far-fetched: better tasting, easily digestible, and nutrient-packed food. Its dry counterpart is also very popular because they are more affordable and make a great choice for dog parents who have bigger dogs.
Qualities of High-Quality Canned Dog Food
When scouting food stores for the best canned food for your dog’s diet, it is important to take note of some qualities that make the canned food a top-quality chow. These include;
Check the food label for a meat source, written as the first ingredient. This shows that the blend has more of that specified meat source than any other ingredient written on the label.
Check for the presence of vegetables and whole grains.
Check to see if there is the inclusion of by-products likemeat, vegetables, and grains are limited.
AAFCO certification: Pet foods that have undergone the AAFCO feeding trial and met the requirements of the Nutrient Profiles criteria are usually awarded the title of a “Complete and Balanced Dog Food.”
Must-Have Ingredients in Your Dog’s Canned Food
It is true that it will be impossible to get a dog food that it is paradisiac. But, it is important to know that some parameters can be used to judge if the canned food you are about to pick from that shelf on the aisle is the best thing since sliced bread and ultimately best for your dog’s health.
We are talking about ingredients to look out for when shopping for canned food. These are the main ingredients you should search for before purchasing any canned chow for your canine.
The first ingredient on the list should be a protein source, and the animal from which this protein comes from must be named. The protein source can either be lamb, beef, chicken, or fish.
Grains in this context refers strictly to wholesome, unprocessed grains. It is entirely accurate that starches and grains are not very important in canned dog food, but it is hard to do away with them entirely. The best whole grains out there are wild rice and brown rice. Steer clear of allergenic grains like wheat gluten, which many manufacturers use as binders. Also, you should avoid grains like white rice and cornstarch if possible.
The most frequently used vegetables in canned dog chow are sweet potatoes and potatoes, which acts as thickeners. Adding such veggies to the blend does not pose a problem; however, it is best to list them as the 6th ingredient. The same goes for other sources of vegetables like potato starch and tomato paste. Understand that you and your canine are in luck if you happen to stumble upon a canned dog food that contains non-starch vegetables like alfalfa, apples, or even carrots which provide a source of vitamins and minerals. They are the best type of veggies needed in every pet food.
Ingredients to Avoid in Canned Foods
While it is imperative to be watchful about the ingredients that need to be included in canned pet foods, it is also advisable to watch out for non-healthy ingredients that may have found their way into pet foods. Some of these ingredients include the following:
It is quite heartbreaking to know that, as pet owners, there is little we can do to stop manufacturers from adding by-products in our dog’s food. These by-products come in virtually all food groups, which range from grains, meat, or even veggies. One of the most common types of by-products listed on canned dog food labels is “meat by-product.” If you ever see the phrase “modified beef,” slapped on the back of a dog food can, pass over it. Such products are usually highly processed and of low quality.
Canned dog food with a high percentage of processed meats usually requires binders to make them stay together. These binders usually come from edible gums like guar, carrageenan or, in most cases, binders like wheat gluten are used as the bonding agent. Avoid such at all cost.
To improve the taste of canned pet food for the picky eaters, some companies add artificial sweeteners like molasses or sugar. Try to reduce your dog’s consumption of these. Also, avoid pet foods that have corn syrup in them.
Thankfully, preservatives are uncommon in canned dog foods because canning stops rancidity.
Best Canned Food for Dogs
Sometimes, it is usually difficult to find the best canned food that will meet the nutrient requirements of our canine pals. To assist you in making well-informed choices from the sea of options you have been provided with, below is a compilation of the list of best wet dog foods that supplies an adequate diet to your furry pal. Also, they are suitable for all ages of dogs.
The rule of thumb to be taken into consideration when given your dog wet dog food is to calculate the dry matter basis of the food.