What makes a dog food the best?

  1. Quality ingredients. Just like humans, dogs will be healthier and more energetic if you feed them the best dog food, the better nutrition that they get the healthier they are. If we eat fast food and chips every day, we will continue to live but the quality of our life will not be the same as if we fed our bodies more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The same is true with dog food. Have you ever wondered what some of the ingredients are in most dog food, look below in INGREDIENTS to learn what animal by-products are, that would include chicken heads, beaks, feathers and even hair and intestines.
  2. Fresh. The longer any food sits the more nutrition it loses over time. The best dog food will be fresh and made in small batches. Many dog foods are produced, then sit at the factory or on warehouse shelves for months, then are shipped to pet food distributors where it sits on their warehouse shelves and then the dog food ships once again to the pet store and sits on their shelves until someone purchases the dog food, this can be many months to a couple of years old. Your dog and cat will get more nutrition and better taste from fresh dog food and cat food produced in small batches and delivered right to your door. And to top it off the convenience of having the best dog food delivered to your front door is an added bonus as opposed to lugging it home from the pet store.  Wherever you choose to purchase your dog food or cat food make sure that there is a "best eaten by" date on the food bag, that way you know how fresh the food is.
  3. American Made. America has some of the stringest measures for the safety and handling of food. No need to worry about pesticides that are allowed in other countries but not deemed safe in the US. And another great reason to buy American made is that you are supporting American workers and their families.
  4. No Pet Food Recall, EVER. Do you remember the huge pet food recall of 2007? Over 100 brands of dog food and cat food were pulled from retailer shelves because of tainted ingredients.  The FDA reported over 17,000 reports of sick animals. The pet food carried on this site has never been recalled, it's simply the best dog food and cat food you can buy. Sometimes small is good, some of the best dog food brands come from smaller companies that concentrate on the quality of the ingredients, the process to make the dog food and cat food, how the ingredients work together and quick delivery.
  5. Isn't the best dog food expensive? The best dog food has higher levels of nutrients and no fillers, so your dog should be fed smaller quantities of the dog food. Why? Since the food is concentrated, there is more value with less food consumed. Typically a dog should be fed about 25% less of a premium natural dog food as opposed to one with many fillers and excessive grains. This will also translate to less stool (what a nice benefit) and less odor. And as we stated earlier, a premium natural dog food will give you a healthier dog, that means less money spent at the veterinarian; just like a healthier diet for humans means less visits to the doctor. You will see the difference in your pet's health, skin, coat, energy level and quality of life once they start a nutritious healthy diet. When comparing cost of dog food look at the recommended feeding and price per cup as opposed to the weight of the bag. You'll be surprised just how economical the best dog food can be.
  6. Pet Food Ingredients:
  • Animal by-products. Don't buy a dog food or cat food with these by-products which include chicken heads, chicken feet, duck heads and beaks, feathers, fish heads, hair, hides, intestines even road kill. Yuck.
  • Chicken or chicken meal, which is better? Believe it or not it's the chicken meal which has 300% more protein than whole chicken because all of the water has been removed.  Meal means reduced in size. The best dog food uses cooked meat, most of the water is removed and then the meal is reduced in size (ground). This process concentrates the protein and allows for a dog food and cat food with a higher protein content per serving. 
  • Organic chicken. It sounds nice but isn't practical. The supply for organic meats to the pet industry is very limited and is not available in enough quantity to keep up with demand. As more organic meat is grown you will see more premium pet food companies using it. It is possible to put one organic chicken in 50 tons of food and legally say it's organic. Some manufacturers take this option, Life's Abundance chooses not to.
  • Rice. Brown rice is a highly digestible and nutritious grain. White rice lacks in nutrition compared to brown rice, check your label for which rice is being used. Life's Abundance uses ground brown rice.
  • Corn. Typically not used in premium dog food because it is a harder grain to digest. Also many dogs are allergic to corn. Corn is also susceptible to mold so the longer the dog food containing corn sits, the likelier that it can start to mold. Cats have a digestive system that better utilizes corn and supplies important diet benefits so you may find corn in some premium cat food.
  • Flax. The different proteins in flax provide a high proportion base of unsaturated essential fatty acids and dietary fiber. Flax is recognized for its potential in reducing the risk of some chronic diseases; it helps impove thickness and sheen of the hair coat.
  • Vitamins and minerals. Chelated vitamins and minerals are bonded wtih amino acids (protein) and are highly effective in providing metabolic absorption. Chelated minerals are proven to be 40% more bio available. Minerals are very important as without them the animals cannot utilize vitamins properly and enzyme activity suffers.
  • AAFCO regulations. Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) set nutrient profiles, premium dog foods and cat foods will not only meet these guidelines but will exceed them.
  • Probiotics. Mainly known as "friendly bacteria", probiotics aid in the digestive process. Probiotics and the fiber to feed them is imperative for the overall health of the animal. Very few manufacturers use probiotics and of the few that do many spray them on the outside of the kibble after the food is cooked. Friendly bacteria are very sensitive to air and high temperatures so the friendly bacteria can't survive the long storage of most foods.  That's why micro encapsulated probiotics are the best because they guarantee the friendly bacterial cultures to be alive in the food after manufacture. The food also needs digestible fiber to feed the probiotics in the digestive tract. Life's Abundance uses the micro encapsulated probiotics and beet pulp for the fiber.
  • Beet Pulp. This ingredient is controvertial only because it is misunderstood. Life's Abundance beet pulp comes from a small grey beet, it is only the fiber and does not cause an increase of excess sugar in the animals system. All sugar is removed and Life's Abundance only uses the fiber. Not only does it feed the bacteria but it provides a medium to produce a nicely segmented stool. Beet pulp has also been shown in studies to increase the immune cells of the intestinal wall that support better immune protection for the animal.
  • Vitamins A, C, E. It's hard to understate the importance of antioxidants in promoting and maintaining good health. And some of the most effective antioxidants are vitamins A, C, and E. Ample evidence supports that dog food should contain guaranteed amounts of vitamins A, C and E to ensure the adequate antioxidant intake needed for wellness.
  • Animal Fat Vs. Chicken Fat. Dogs derive significant nutrition from animal fats. While vegetable oil may sound healthier to consumers, canines actually need the nutrients found in fats from animal sources. These specific nutritional components are not found in vegetable fats.  Additionally, there's great variation in the quality of animal fats so be sure to verify that the source is species specific (meaning "chicken fat" as opposed to just "animal fat").  Animal fat is lard, it is hard to the touch and difficult to digest. Chicken fat on the other hand is soft and easily digested.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The benefits of dietary fatty acids are well known, as omega-3's are some of the most extensively researched, naturally occuring, nutritious ingredients in the world. Not only should dog foods feature omega-3 fatty acids, they should include a guaranteed amount. And for optimal benefit, omega-3 fatty acids need to be scientifically balanced with omega-6 fatty acids. Not only will the perfect balance support healthy skin and shiny coats, these fatty acids also help maintain overall health.
  • Vegetables. The best dog food should contain a selection of vegetables because they each have unique, health promoting properties. The color of the skin and flesh of each vegetable contains a vital array of nutrients, including phytonutrients, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
  • Fruits. Just as vegetables are vital to the success of a dog food so are fruits. They play a similar role as the vegetables in that the fruit provides phytonutrients, essential vitamins, minerals, anitoxidants and fiber.
  • Diverse Proteins. Protein is the cornerstone of any diet, but all proteins are not created equal. In fact, every protein source contains a unique complement of amino acids, which are "building blocks" of the body. Ideally, a dog food should contain at least 3 different protein sources to provide a wide array of amino acids.