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Nutritional Pet Food


PROTEINS: Protein can come from a variety of sources, from chicken and beef to salmon and rabbit. Some commercial dog foods are made from meat "meal," which is either the original fresh meat product dried to remove moisture, or ground-up animal parts, such as hearts, livers, bones and feet. It should not be thought of as inferior to the fresh meat component. When identifying the protein in your dog's food, be sure to check the ingredients list. The most nutritious kinds of dog food will have the name of the meat as the first ingredient and then list it again before it lists the fat source.

 

CARBOHYDRATES AND GRAINS: Although some dogs can have an allergy to certain carbohydrates and grains, some commercial dog foods include it as a minor ingredient in their product. Typically, this comes in the form of soy, beans, rice, oats, corn, barley and wheat. Grains are used to help improve digestibility in your dog's diet. They are also a good source of energy.

 

OILS AND FAT: Fat sometimes gets a bad rap, but it is absolutely necessary in your dog's diet. Dogs require a balance of certain fatty acids. These provide energy and flavor, and encourage vitamin absorption. They can also help your dog keep a pretty, healthy coat. The most common fats used in dog foods include chicken fat, pork fat, cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, fish oil and more. If you can find a dog food that offers omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, this indicates that it is a high-quality dog food.

 

VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Vitamins and minerals must be included in your dog's food to maintain good health. They help with metabolic, digestive and immune system processes, as well as helping to keep nerves and blood cells healthy. B-vitamins should come at the top of the list in the form of biotin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is important for your dog's skin and coat. Vitamin E helps your dog's immune system.

 

PRESERVATIVES: When looking at a dog food label, look for natural preservatives like tocopherols and ascorbic acid. They are added to dog's food to improve the taste of the food and make it less likely to spoil.

 

Avoid "dog food that contains artificial preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), tert-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), propyl gallate, and ethoxyquin, in favor of products made with natural preservatives, such as tocopherols (vitamin E), citric acid (vitamin C), and rosemary extract."


WATER: Water is one of the most important elements to a dog's diet, and many commercial dog foods include a high percentage of moisture. Even though dog food includes water as an ingredient, you should always provide fresh water for your pet at all times.

Ingredients

 

Chicken- by product Meal: Chicken- by product meal is made from whole chicken that's cooked to remove the water and fat, leaving a dry, highly concentrated source of high-quality protein (from flesh) and essential minerals, such as calcium (from bone). It also provides a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin (from cartilage). It is a meat protein, providing essential amino acids and fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals for muscle development and energy. Any true nutritionist will tell you, if marketing is removed from the conversation, that this is the best protein ingredient source. Many people believe this is the chicken feet, beaks and the unwanted parts of the chicken.  The feet are one of the most profitable parts of the chicken. They are washed; freeze-dried and shipped overseas to certain cultures that consider them as delicacies. They are not in pet food.  Chicken-by product meal also provides a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin (from cartilage). It is a meat protein, providing essential amino acids and fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals for muscle development and energy. It is naturally stabilized with mixed tocopherols and rosemary to preserve freshness.

Pork Meat and Bone Meal:  from any source will be the meat that is not mechanically removed and bone. This will have high ash content and is a protein source.  A quality grade meat meal can actually be a more abundant source of protein than the whole meat from which it was made.  Meat meal is a dried end product of the cooking process known as rendering. Rendering is a lot like making stew — except that this stew is intentionally over-cooked.  With rendering, you start with a meat stew, cook away the water and bake the residue.  Moreover, you end up with a highly concentrated protein powder — or meat meal.

 

Brown Rice: Brown rice is an easily digestible, nutrient-rich grain. A natural whole grain rice that is associated with natural health foods. Brown rice provides balanced nutrition for your pet in the form of energy.  The bran portion provides essential B vitamins, minerals and fiber. Brown rice is an excellent, high–quality complex carbohydrate source for energy and fiber for colon health.


Rice Flour:  Rice flour is finely ground meal from the milling of rice, which consists primarily of the starch and gluten fractions. Extra grinding aids in the cooking and the breakdown of the carbohydrates to make them more usable for the pet. Rice flour provides an excellent source of highly digestible carbohydrates for quick energy.

 

Premium Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols): Provides essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, for skin and coat health. It also serves as a concentrated source of energy and flavor.   Preserved naturally with mixed tocopherols and rosemary to preseve freshness. Tocopherols is an excellent source of Vitamin E. A powerful antioxidant to protect against cell damage from free radicals (cancer causing agents). Helps maintain normal heart and joint function.

 

Ground Yellow Corn:  Grains are used to help improve digestibility in your dog's diet. They are also a good source of energy.  It provides a good source of Carbohydrates, Fiber, and some Proteins.  It also provides a NATURAL SOURCE of Vitamin A, E, K, B6, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin and Folate; Minerals Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium

 

Ground Wheat: Ground wheat is made from grinding wheat grain. It is a natural source of energy and fiber.  The main reason for this ingredient in our pet food is to be able to reduce the amount of fiber source without jeopardizing stool quality and replace it with something that does have nutritional value.  Wheat will provide a good source of Carbohydrates, Fiber and some Proteins.  It also provides a NATURAL SOURCE of Vitamin A, E, K, B6, B12, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, folate, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Betaine; Minerals: Iron, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Cooper, Manganese, Selenium, Tryptophan and Magnesium.

 

Fish Meal: Fish meal is made from fish that is cooked to remove the water and fat. This process leaves a dry, highly concentrated source of high-quality protein (from flesh) and essential minerals, such as calcium (from bone). It is a rich source of highly digestible protein and unsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids), which support skin and coat health, immune health, cognitive function and joint health.  This helps provide DHA and EPA.

 

Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed):  Beet Pulp, the isolated fibrous material from sugar beets, is a very gentle, beneficial source of fiber that is not only generally very well tolerated, but also has specific properties that make it suitable as a source of nutrition for the beneficial bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract.  Beet pulp aids in healthy digestion and a promotes consistent stool quality, enhances the growth of “good” bacteria in the gut and helps stabilize glucose blood levels, a fiber source.


 Liver Digest: Liver is a high-quality source of protein that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps promote strong muscles, aids in tissue repair, provides energy and helps support a healthy immune system.  Extreme Dog Fuel uses a dried chicken liver digest in the products. This is a potent palatability enhancer, which makes the food more palatable for the pet to eat. This is extremely important with sick animals that do not want to eat. It also adds flavor to the food.

Potassium Chloride: Potassium chloride is a source of potassium, which is a mineral that is essential for the correct functioning of cells in the body. It is responsible for maintaining the acid-base balance in the body.

 

Lecithin: Lecithin is a naturally occurring phospholipid and is an excellent source of choline. Choline is a vitamin that works to build cell membranes.

 

Salt (Sodium Chloride): Salt is a combination of the two minerals sodium and chloride. Sodium is essential for healthy functioning of cells and maintains the acid base balance in the body with potassium. Chloride has a role in maintaining the fluid balance in the body and helps maintain acid base balance.

 

Flax Seed: Flax seed meal is ground whole seeds from the flax plant. Flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) for a healthy hair coat. It also provides a good source of fiber for digestive health.

 

Canola Oil: Obtained by extracting the oil from canola seeds, providing calories for energy and Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for a healthy coat.

 

Dried Egg Product: Dried egg product is dried egg that is free of shells. Egg provides one of the highest-quality proteins in a highly digestible form. Eggs also provide a good source of antioxidants, such as lutein, the pigment that provides yellow color to the yolk.

Rice Bran: The outer husk and germ of the rice grain that is a good fiber source, as well as one of the richest sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Brewers Dried Yeast:  Brewers dried yeast is a protein source that adds additional flavor. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps promote strong muscles, aids in tissue repair, provides energy and helps support a healthy immune system.

 

Rosemary and Rosemary Extract: Rosemary is a natural herb that enhances the flavor of foods.  An excellent and natural preservative that is also know to help protect against cancer.

 

Garlic: Garlic flavor adds to the tastiness of our products.  A natural antioxidant that can help thin the blood; helps strengthen the heart and maintain good circulation; has natural antibiotic properties from allicin.

 

 

Vitamins: Vitamins are organic nutrients that are vital to pets in small amounts. Many vitamins help in the metabolic processes of the body and some act as antioxidants.

 

Choline Chloride: Choline chloride is a source of choline, a vitamin that works to build cell membranes.  Choline Chloride protects nerve function and maintains fat metabolism. In addition, helps regulate the liver and helps maintain acid and water balance.

 

Natural-Source Vitamin E Supplement: Vitamin E supplement is a source of vitamin E activity, which is an important antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals.  Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps to improve circulation and cardiac output.

 

Vitamin A Supplement: Vitamin A supplement is a source of vitamin A, which is required for healthy vision.  Vitamin A is essential for healthy bones, teeth, hair, skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. It is an oil soluble vitamin and is important to the immune system especially for respiratory infections. It is a building block of rhodopsin, a compound in the retina responsible for sight in partial darkness.

 

Vitamin D3 Supplement: Vitamin D3 supplement is a source of vitamin D3 activity. It plays a role in optimizing calcium incorporation into bone and reduces calcium and phosphorus loss in urine.  Vitamin D promotes healthy skin, bone, connective tissue and heart. It is necessary for the proper absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus.

 

Niacin: Niacin is a B vitamin that protects the skin by promoting the synthesis of skin fats to help limit skin dehydration.  Vitamin B3 is also called Nicotinic Acid or Nicotinamide. It is essential for healthy nerves and skin. It is important in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and reduces cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Important for the proper health of the central nervous and GI systems.

 

Calcium Pantothenate: Calcium pantothenate is a source of pantothenic acid, a B vitamin that is involved in almost every metabolic process in the body.  One of the B vitamins, it acts as a coenzyme in the conversion of amino acids and is important for healthy skin. It also promotes normal growth and development and aids in the release of energy from foods.

 

Thiamine Mononitrate: Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is a B vitamin that is involved in many complex biochemical reactions that help generate energy for cells.  Vitamin B1 is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein. It is also important for a healthy nervous system, keeps mucous membranes healthy, and maintains normal function of the nervous system, muscles, and heart. Also, promotes normal growth and development.


Folic Acid: Folic acid is a B vitamin that is involved in the development of tissues of the nervous system.  A water soluble B-vitamin that plays an important role in various cellular functions.

 

Biotin: Biotin is one of the B vitamins. It is one of the most important vitamins for a shiny coat and healthy skin. Biotin also is directly involved in the healthy functioning of the nervous system.  Also known as Vitamin H, it is active in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and protein, and the formation of fatty acids. It promotes normal health of sweat glands, nerve tissue, bone marrow, blood cells, skin, and hair. It is essential for growth and well-being.

 

Vitamin B12 Supplement: Vitamin B12 supplement is a source of vitamin B12 activity, also known as cobalamin. It plays a role in the synthesis of protein in the body and the production of red blood cells.  Vitamin B12 is a coenzyme in nucleic acid, protein, and lipid synthesis. It is necessary for growth. Necessary for normal processing of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in the body.

 

Glucosamine Hydrochloride: Glucosamine helps maintain healthy joints and supports mobility.  Glucosamine has been known to prevent arthritis and to maintain connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.


Yucca Schidigera Extract:  Yucca Schidigera is a natural extract made entirely form the stem of the Yucca Schidigera Schidiger plant. Supports anti-inflammatory processes in tendons and joint cartilage.


Minerals: Minerals are inorganic nutrients that animals need to stay healthy. Minerals are important in many body functions, including skeletal health, making hormones and heart function.

 

Kelp: Kelp is an ocean plant that is rich in iodine. Kelp is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals (including iodine). Iodine is needed for proper thyroid function, which regulates growth, development, and metabolic rate.  It is a good antioxidant and has been known to be beneficial in helping to protect against cancer.

 

Polysaccharide Complexes of Zinc: Zinc polysaccharide complex is the product resulting from complexing of Zinc with a polysaccharide solution, as defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).  Zinc is an essential trace mineral for all stages of production throughout the animal’s life.  It is an animal feed supplement formulated to prevent and/or correct Zinc deficiency in animals.

 

Iron: Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen.  Iron is an essential mineral for preventing anemia, stimulating bone-marrow production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the red-blood cell pigment that carries oxygen to body cells and forms part of several enzymes and proteins.

 

Manganese: Manganese is a mineral that has a vital role in the proper function of cells within the body. It is necessary for the formation of bone and joint cartilage and neurological function.  Manganese is an essential mineral for normal growth and development, aids in carbohydrate metabolism, promotes nerve functions, aids in formation of connective tissue and is involved in the antioxidation process.

 

Copper: Copper is a mineral that has many roles, including reducing cellular damage caused by free radicals, synthesis of hemoglobin and the synthesis of collagen.  Copper promotes normal red blood cell formation, acts as a catalyst in storage and release of iron to form hemoglobin for red blood cells, assists in the production of several enzymes involved in respiration, promotes connective-tissue formation and central nervous system function and promotes normal insulin function. Copper is an essential mineral for preventing anemia.

 

Zinc Sulfate: Zinc is a fundamental element involved in skin and coat health and wound healing.  Zinc is an essential mineral important in helping to support healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes. It has antioxidant properties, helps maintain normal taste and sense of smell, aids in healing and promoting a healthy immune system, helps synthesize DNA and RNA and promotes normal growth and development.

 

Copper Sulfate: Copper sulfate is a source of copper, which is a mineral that has many roles, including reducing cellular damage caused by free radicals, synthesis of hemoglobin and the synthesis of collagen.

 

Manganous Sulfate: Manganous sulfate is a source of manganese. Manganese is a mineral that has a vital role in the proper function of cells within the body. It is necessary for the formation of bone and joint cartilage and neurological function.

 

Calcium Iodate: Calcium iodate is a source of calcium and iodine. Both are essential nutrients. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. Iodine is needed for proper thyroid function, which regulates growth, development and metabolic rate.

 

Cobalt Carbonate: A potent antioxidant that helps to thin the blood, strengthen the heart and maintain good circulation. It contains a natural antibiotic and antiseptic called allicin and is known to help fight cancer.

 

Sodium Selenite: Sodium Selenite is a source of sodium and selenium. Sodium is essential for healthy functioning cells and maintains acid-base balance in the body with potassium. Selenium plays a vital role in reducing cellular damage caused by free radicals and a supportive role in immune response.  Selenium is important to healthy muscles and nerves. It is also important in fertility and enhances the antioxidant characteristics of Vitamin E.

Chondroitin Sulfate: Chondroitin helps maintain healthy joints and supports mobility.  A naturally occurring compound believed to be helpful in the maintenance and rebuilding of joint cartilage.

Zinc Oxide:  Zinc oxide is a source of zinc, which is a fundamental element involved in skin and coat health and wound healing.


Read Ingredients

Next, look at the list of ingredients. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed by weight. Ingredients that contain large amounts of moisture (such as beef, poultry, chicken, or fish) are likely to be at the top of the list because of the moisture content. Ingredients further down the list may offer even more key nutrients such as protein but may weigh less because the water has already been removed for a dry pet food.

 

Take Glutens and Grains into Consideration

Some of the controversies that surround pet foods include the use of grains, glutens and by-products. Grains are used in many pet foods and provide an excellent source of carbohydrates. Dogs can easily metabolize these carbohydrates and use them as an energy source. However, some people prefer to avoid grains in their dog’s food. Avoiding grains for those dogs that are allergic to them is a valid choice. However, allergies to other ingredients, including meats, are much more common than allergies to grains.

 

Gluten allergies are common in people and many pet owners choose a gluten-free food for their dog believing that the same is true for the canine species. However, gluten allergies are actually very rare in dogs.

 

Check the Facts on By-products

Pet food ingredients labeled by-products include highly digestible and nutritious organs, such as the liver and lungs. They do NOT include things like hair, horns or hooves, as advertising gimmicks would have you believe. It is a misconception that by-products are “unfit” for human consumption, though it is true that they are less popular ingredients for human food in the U.S. Most of the meat that we eat is derived from skeletal muscle rather than organ meats and other by-products.

 

Reputable dog food companies choose quality by-products to include in their foods so choose a company you can trust.

 

Consider the Guaranteed Analysis

A guaranteed analysis lists the minimum amount of protein and fat by percentage and the maximum amount of fiber and moisture, also by percentage. Moisture can skew the comparison, though, so look for one converted to a dry matter basis, especially if you’re looking to compare dry food to wet food.

Consideration

Guaranteed Analysis

 

Crude Protein: The crude protein refers to an estimate of the total amount of protein, based on how much nitrogen it contains. Protein helps maintain muscle structure and a source that naturally provides each of the essential amino acids.

 

Sodium: Sodium is essential for healthy functioning cells and maintains acid base balance in the body with potassium.

 

Crude Fat: Dogs need fat to aid in the absorption, storage and transport of fat-soluble vitamins and provide them with vital fatty acids. Crude fat content is measured by dissolving the ingredients in a solvent, evaporating the solvent and analyzing the leftovers. Crude fat is an estimate of the amount of fat in the dog’s diet before they metabolize the food -- the fat portion of the energy they are about to burn.

 

Zinc: Zinc is a fundamental element involved in skin and coat health and wound healing.  Zinc is an essential mineral important in helping to support healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes. It has antioxidant properties, helps maintain normal taste and sense of smell, aids in healing and promoting a healthy immune system, helps synthesize DNA and RNA and promotes normal growth and development.

 

Crude Fiber: Fiber helps the gastrointestinal health and is defined as edible parts of plants or similar carbohydrates that resist digestion and absorption in the small intestine and ferment in the large intestine.  Fiber is important to your dog's health, providing bulk to move food through his intestinal tract. Some types of fiber can be fermented (broken down by bacteria) in the intestinal tract. This process creates short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are a key energy source for the cells lining the intestinal tract.

 

Vitamin A: Vitamin A is involved in immune function, vision, reproduction, normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs. Vitamin A, which is required for healthy vision.  Vitamin A is essential for healthy bones, teeth, hair, skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. It is an oil soluble vitamin and is important to the immune system especially for respiratory infections. It is a building block of rhodopsin, a compound in the retina responsible for sight in partial darkness.  Low levels can cause night blindness and Vitamin A deficiency is the top cause of preventable blindness.

 

Moisture: Water is injected to about 18 to 20% in the cooking process. Without water the food would not cook as well and would not be as usable for the pet. The moisture is then dried down below 10% to prevent mold. To dry of a product is also a concern for not being as palatable to the pet.  Water is the most important nutrient. Essential to life, water accounts for between 60 to 70 percent of an adult pet’s body weight.

 

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is very important in healthy and proper skin care, helps regulates vitamin A in the body. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps to improve circulation and cardiac output.  Useful in treating or help preventing menstrual pain, low sperm count, inflammation of eye tissues, cataracts, muscle cramping, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis to name some of the benefits. This is one of Extreme Dog Fuel’s most favorite vitamins.

 

Linoleic Acid: Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid for dogs.  Fats are the most concentrated form of food energy, providing your pet with more than twice the energy of proteins or carbohydrates. Fats are essential in the structure of cells and are needed for the production of some hormones. They are required for absorption and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins. Fats provide the body insulation and protection for internal organs. Essential fatty acids must be provided in a pet’s diet because they cannot be synthesized by a dog in sufficient amounts.

 

Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Omega-6 fatty acid (from sources such as sunflower oil, soybean oil and chicken) and B vitamins (like niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and riboflavin) combine to promote healthy skin and a soft, shiny coat.

 

Ash: Ash is what is left over after any food has been completely incinerated. It is the final product of food combustion.  In other words, if you were to completely incinerate a can of dog food, all three major nutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates) would burn away, leaving just the food’s minerals behind.  Mineral nutrients (like calcium, phosphorous, zinc, iron, etc.) make up ash, the ultimate residue of food combustion.

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty help support central nervous system development, vision and a healthy heart.  In addition to drastic improvements to skin and coat, high levels of Omega-3s improve cardiovascular health, fight inflammatory diseases, retard development of certain cancer cells, inhibit progression of kidney disease, enhance the immune system, reduce the symptoms of allergic dermatitis and reduce joint stiffness, which is especially beneficial for older dogs.

 

Calcium: Calcium is vital for the formation of strong bones and teeth. Also promotes healthy muscle and tissue growth.  The right ratio of Calcium and Phosphorous is huge for large breed pets or pets known to have hip dysplasia problems.

 

Glucosamine:   Glucosamine and chondroitin, from natural sources such as chicken meats and meat meals, help support cartilage and joint health. Glucosamine has been known to prevent arthritis and to maintain connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.

 

Chondroitin: Chondroitin is a naturally occurring compound believed to be helpful in the maintenance and rebuilding of joint cartilage.

 

Phosphorous: Calcium and phosphorous work together in the body to maintain the growth and structure of the skeletal system.

 

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles.

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