The poor quality of many commercial dog foods is surprising.
They often contain poor quality ingredients, they are over processed, and
they include excessive quantities of chemicals and preservatives. One of
the main dietary needs of your dog is protein. This protein, however, needs
to be in a digestible form. Many dog foods are made of meat meal and by-products
that can't be digested properly. In turn, this can cause liver problems
due to the large amount of poor quality protein that the dog's system has
to process. Soy protein in particular is not digested well by dogs. Certain
breeds such as Labradors, Dobermans, Akitas, and German Shepherds have
an especially difficult time digesting soy proteins. This is often evidenced
by skin and coat problems. In serious cases it can cause vomiting, loss
of appetite and uremic poisoning.
Another problem with many commercial foods is that they contain the lowest
quality of meat and grain products. Most people would not even consider
these ingredients a food source. As such, this causes the dog to digest
materials that do not provide nutritional value, while taxing their digestive
system. These foods lack quality ingredients, and they also contain excessive
preservatives and chemicals that are suspected in long-term health problems
Finally, poor quality foods clearly don't provide many of the essential
elements that help keep dogs healthy, such as enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins,
and antioxidants. Symptoms again tend to be skin conditions and allergic-like
reactions, but more serious problems can occur, sometimes compromising
the autoimmune system. Supplements can help provide essential ingredients
that dog food lacks. A quality diet also remedies these potentially serious
problems. There are several premium dog foods to choose from. When reading
dog food labels check the dietary requirements and the source and quality
of the ingredients. Also observe what types of preservatives are used.
Natural preservatives such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and tocopherol
(vitamin E) are preferable to chemical preservatives. Also consider supplements
if you feel your dog's diet is lacking essential nutrients.