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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Community > Blogs > Jcardello > Ingredient Story Should Meat Be The First Ingredient

Ingredient Story: Should Meat Be the First Ingredient?

October 27, 2011 -

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz about the importance of meat listed as the main ingredient in dog and cat food. There is some truth to this. As carnivores, dogs and cats need a diet consisting primarily of meat. However, because a balanced diet is the largest concern for your household pets, there are a few things to consider when searching for the perfect balance of meat, grain, and vegetables in your pet’s food.

Many dog and cat food brands now boast meat as the first ingredient, but there’s more to the story than just what the ingredient list displays. Raw meat in dog food can contain substantial amounts of water. When this water is extracted from the feed, it can leave only a small portion of actual meat and protein for your pet.

To be sure cats and dogs are getting the proper amount of protein in their diet, stay clear of food brands with meat by-products as their main form of protein. These won’t provide adequate nutrition for your pets. Look for brands that name specific meats in their products such as natural and premium pet foods like Simply Nourish.

While by-products are a tell tale sign of poor quality pet food, brands that name grain as their first ingredient should stand as an even bigger warning sign for Pet Parents. Although it is true grains are a great source of energy for dogs and cats, they are often difficult for pets to digest and should come secondary to meat protein. A diet made up entirely up grain provides an excess of carbohydrates, and ultimately leaves pets needing to eat more food in order to make up for the lack of nutrients.

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