Food Values that your Pet Food Must Contain

Cane Corso Dog Breed

Maybe we have to start with another question. How to choose the right diet?

Croquettes with or without cereals, cheap or holistic food expensive, raw meat diet with or without supplement, household ration—difficult to make a choice when you are not an expert will you say! And even the experts cannot find consensus: veterinarians, agronomists, food consultants in specialty shops, everyone has a different opinion and everyone has good arguments. So, let’s try to dissect all that and being objective, even if I am human and I also have my cognitive biases!

Your Dog’s Diet = the Basis of Good Health

One thing that the world is beginning to be aware of and that all dog professionals are all about is that good nutrition is the key to good health (as in humans). Yes it is worthwhile to look into the question, but how to know what is a good diet?

The goal here is not a kibble debate versus a raw meat diet. We will only focus on kibble and only on Cane Corso Dog Breed!

Is the Dog Carnivorous or Omnivorous?

The dog, Canis lupus familiaris, is part of the mammalian family, and of the order of carnivores.

The shape of its jaw, the prominent canines, the absence of flat molars, the length of its intestine (very short: about 2 meters), the musculature of the cheeks, neck and mouth are characteristic of carnivores. Saliva, free from amylase (essential for the digestion of starches) or cellulase (which allows the digestion of plant cellulose), is not that of herbivores or even omnivores.

However, the pancreas can still make amylase, allowing it to digest more or less starches, and fruits and vegetables once crushed can be digested and assimilated.

But can we say that the dog is carnivorous with omnivorous tendency, or opportunistic carnivore? One thing is certain! A dog is not a chicken and carbohydrates or starches should not be the main ingredients of his diet even if he is able to digest them (partly and making his pancreas work hard, and yet, the majority of croquettes are stuffed!

Dog Food with or without Cereals?

As you will have understood since the dog is carnivorous (or opportunistic carnivore), its diet should consist mainly of meat or meat products (meat, bones, offal) and the least possible carbohydrates.

Fashion is molded “without cereals” or “without grain”, but do not be fooled by the label: cereals are necessarily replaced by legumes, sweet potatoes or potatoes. What, themselves, contain starch, and a glycemic index higher or lower!

What you need to Look for to Choose the Mold of your Dog:

The quality of these ingredients in terms of digestibility, nutritional intake and glycemic intake must also be taken into account. Is not it better to have oats than potatoes?

We like: The sweet potato for its low glycemic index and its satiating side.

Avoid (like the plague): corn, wheat, soybeans and potatoes.

The amount of ingredients is important too: Choose croquettes with the most meat possible, even if there are cereals rather than a recipe without cereals, but with a majority of potatoes and legumes and very little meat.

The AAFCO standards do not require it, but the majority of brands indicate the ingredients in order of quantity. If your feed begins with corn flour or wheat gluten, save yourself running!

Pay attention to the separation of ingredients which allows placing the meat in first position!

An example of what could be read on a bag of dog food: 25% chicken, 15% corn flour, 14% corn gluten, 9% wheat gluten, 8% rice, etc.

We have the chicken first ingredient, we say, “Good meat is in greater quantity so it’s a good kibble! “Nay! Count the cereals: 29% of corn products (so finally the first ingredient) and the rest … More cereals! Here I put the percentages, but in Canada they are not indicated (in Europe yes as well as in some other countries).

Commercial meal: Meat, Meat Meal and By-products?

  1. Choose meat (muscles) rather than by-products (what remains once the meat is extracted: bones, offal, tendons).

  2. Regarding the meat or meat meal debate, the line is less clear cut: the fresh meat contains 70 to 80% of water so once cooked it loses 2/3 of its weight and can be a first ingredient in the second or third after cooking unlike the meat meal. However it is more cooked and processed and may have lost nutrients.

You will find all the definitions concerning meat, flours, poultry, by-products on the AAFCO website.

Guaranteed Analysis of Kibble for Dogs

What does a dog need to be healthy? Water, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals but no carbohydrates! So now for buying dog products the options are perfect for you. We are therefore looking for a good percentage of proteins and fats, which are the main source of energy for our mutts.