Ingredients To Avoid In Dog Food

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Before I got a furry friend of my own, I would go to the pet store to grab things for my hamsters. The section for hamsters was passed the dog food aisle, and there was always at least one person there lifting the heavy bags of food like it didn’t weigh a thousand pounds just to read the ingredients. Why were they reading the ingredients list? As I figured out, they were looking at these ingredients to avoid in dog food.

Why do dog owners read the ingredients list of dry and wet dog food? They are looking at these ingredients to avoid in dog food.

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

What Ingredients To Avoid In Dry Dog Food

Sometimes I would just stand there in awe and admire how these people could lift these massive bags of dog food. I just stood there like someone looking into an animal enclosure at a zoo. The only two explanations I could come up with are dog owners were the descendants of Hercules, or they’ve undergone specific conditioning to lift bags of dog food effortlessly like they were feathers.

The best part about watching these dog-owners lifting this dog food is that they would lift them and just stand there reading the ingredients like reading a book. There was no fatigue on their arms at all. I was wondering why it was super important to read the ingredients on the label. I thought to myself, “don’t dogs eat anything you put on the floor, anyway?”

It wasn’t until I owned a dog myself that I become one of these people. I became someone who stood there and looked through the ingredients. One of the people I used to watch from the outside was necessary because there were a couple of things I needed to look out for. What ingredients to avoid in dry dog food?

Artificial Coloring

Artificial coloring is already something humans should avoid themselves, so why give it to dogs? If they could talk, they’d probably ask you to shop for their dry food at local organic non-GMO markets. It’s not like the dogs can see the artificial colors anyway, they’re more for human visual pleasure. Still, no person is eating dry dog food anyway, right?


Going gluten-free isn’t just a buzzword for people to use when they don’t even know what gluten is. I’m starting to think people just like hearing themselves say the “non-” prefix or “-free” suffix and think they’ll automatically live longer. However, there is at least some benefit to cutting gluten out of you and your dog’s lives. That’s because dogs can suffer from digestive issues or allergies from gluten. Going gluten-free (at least for dogs) can help them lose weight and improve their digestive health. I’d like to try it myself, but that would mean I’d have to give up refined carbohydrates, which would cut tasty spaghetti out of my life. That’s asking for too much.


Nitrates are the stuff you find in ballpark hotdogs. (That’s not the cool hotdogs like dachshunds!)  They’re the stuff that makes these horrid abominations of mixed meats into the weirdly cancerous processed food no one can stop eating. Fortunately, your dog’s self-control is better than someone who waves down the hotdog guy at a baseball game to pay for overpriced meat in cheap buns.


Hypertension (some know as high blood pressure) is not a buzzword used by doctors to tell you to stop eating delicious-tasting salt. Many dog food manufacturers add ridiculous amounts of salt to their dry food because they don’t think they suffer from issues like cardiovascular disease or stroke. Your dog doesn’t need a flavor-enhancer, they can eat anything. They’re like a vacuum that doesn’t require electricity.

Final Thoughts on What Ingredients Should You Avoid In Dog Food

The next time you’re at a pet store, then gently lift a bag of dry dog food to flex on non-dog owners while you read the ingredients. Maybe they will see what I saw from the outside to convince them to be a dog-owner someday if only to gain unimaginable strength. And if you are looking for dog food with awesome, all-natural ingredients, look no further than “i and love and you” (hint: get the coupon code)!

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