A Better Understanding of a good dog food label
Understanding labels is an important part which helps consumer to distinguish a good pet food with the rest of the lot.

A good diet includes all natural and human grade ingredients, with no by products, fillers and additives.

FDA requires the pet food manufacturers to list the ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight. A good rule of thumb when checking pet food labels is often the first five ingredients make 80% of the food. A good dog food will have at least two animal protein listed as the first two ingredients like chicken , turkey , chicken meal , lamb meal etc. Animal proteins are always better than proteins derived from grains or vegetables for dogs ( exceptions can be in the case of weight loss formulas). The quality of meats should be free from antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides. They should be free from artificial agents , chemical preservatives , additives , by- products or fillers of any kind.

Ingredients from best to worse are rated here. However there are a few tips a pet food consumer should bear in mind before the purchase.

Look for a named meat meal ("Lamb Meal" or "Chicken Meal") as the first ingredient.
Lamb Meal or Chicken contains less percentage of water than fresh chicken or Lamb as it contains more meat than the fresh ones and therefore expensive.
While purchase price shouldn't be a 100% determinant of which food you buy, but also keep in mind if the price is low, the quality of ingredients probably is too. You get what you pay for!
Watch out for abundance of grains in the ingredient list. This normally depicts a higher percentage of fillers.
A good pet food will never be found in a grocery store shelf or mass retailers but in a pet speciality store. The makers of these quality pet foods want it to processed quickly and in small quantities. Please check the expiration date before you buy.
The more expensive the food costs less to feed in the long run. By using good quality ingredients with less filler, the nutrition and calories per cup is higher and lowers consumption and less waste and clean up in the end. All this saves the costly trips to the vet. You get what you pay for!
For transiting from a previous pet food to a new pet food.
  Day 1 - 25% New Brand , 75% Current Brand
  Day 2 - 50% New Brand , 50% Current Brand
  Day 3 - 75% New Brand , 25% Current Brand
  Day 4 - 100% New Brand

The above chart should not be followed strictly if the pet is resisting its current pet food brand. It can be done more gradually may be a spread over of 7-10 days as well so not as to upset the digestive system.

Things you should never give to your dog includes chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, mushrooms, garlic , macadamia nuts, raw fish especially salmon or trout, fatty meats especially turkey skin or ham fat, bread or bread dough, sugary sweets especially those containing sweetener “Xylito”. Dog pig ears or raw hide cause blockages. Cooked bones can splinter and are bad for dogs. The dog like it but might turn harmful for them.
 Guaranteed Analysis
The guaranteed Analysis on a label of a dog food bag lists minimum level of crude protein and fat and the maximum levels of fibre and water. Too much protein and too less protein levels are not recommended 25 to 32% of protein is considered optimum depending on the life stage. If the amount of protein is less then it will not help in the build up of bones in case of puppy and will not cure daily wear and tear , if the protein is too high then it will put pressure on kidney and might lead to kidney failure. However this aspect is still under debate.
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