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11 Bad Dog Food Ingredients to Ditch Right Now

May 25,2024 | Petbobi

Owning a pet is a beautiful way to enjoy life. You get the warm affection you need after a long day of work and a cuddle buddy whenever you want to curl up and turn on your favorite streaming show.

To ensure you get as many rewarding years as possible with your pooch, you need to consider what you’re feeding it. Pet nutrition guidelines vary widely based on the size, breed, activity level, age, and availability of food in your area.

The point is, you want to deliver as quality a diet as possible, and that means avoiding bad food for dogs. To complement our recent article on Meat That Dogs Can’t Eat, we’ve put together a quick list of ingredients you should avoid in the future.



Why Pet Diets are Crucial to Health

Nutrition is just like exercise and rest. It is the key foundation for a healthier pup. You want a quality and balanced pet diet to ensure healthier skin and coat, strong bones and muscles, strong digestion, and immune systems, and all the energy in the world to go on hikes or take a quick walk around the block.

When you choose not to follow accepted pet nutrition guidelines, you run the risk of common ailments and stressors on your dog’s body. That can shorten their quality of life and increase veterinarian bills.

While you don’t need to stick to a 100% natural diet from only the most refined producers, there are some key ingredients you should probably avoid. Let’s examine our list from our experts at Petbobi.



Top Bad Foods for Dogs to Avoid

1. White Flour

Flour, especially bleached or white flour, isn’t necessary for a dog's diet. In fact, it can lead to unknown allergies that may upset your dog’s stomach, giving you endless nights of cleaning up your home.

If you do want to use flour of some sort in your pet's food (perhaps for baked treats), you should stick to a gluten-free alternative like coconut flour. This also has a significant amount of vitamin B6, C, calcium, and potassium.


2. Artificial Colors

While the FDA may approve some artificial coloring for dogs, it has no nutritional value. Those bright-colored treats may look fantastic to you, but your dog sees differently, and they rely on their smell much more than their eyesight anyway. Avoid dyes like Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 2, and Yellow 6.

It is better to stick to naturally made colors made from insects, seeds, or safe sugars. These are often found in organic dog treats and baked goods.


3. Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a sweetener derived from corn. It isn’t toxic to dogs, but it does add way too much sugar to their current diets, which can lead to issues like diabetes, obesity, and hyperactivity.

Honey and other natural sweeteners provide all the sweetness your doggo may want to enjoy, but don’t spike the blood sugar as much as corn syrup.


4. Farmed Salmon

The appeal of farmed salmon is that it grows quickly and helps infuse the food supply with much-needed protein. While salmon is fantastic for your pup, farmed salmon often comes with growth hormones and chemicals in the water that can be passed onto your favorite four-legged friend.

You want to seek out freshly caught seafood or items you can trace to their origins. These are simple pet nutrition guidelines you can usually find on the packaging or at the local seafood market.


5. Xylitol & Other Sugar Alcohols

Xylitol is highly toxic to your pet. Even a tiny amount can cause all kinds of issues, from seizures to liver failure to hypoglycemia and even, in rare cases, death. Many vet hospitals consider xylitol to be a poison for dogs.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener. Avoid it altogether by choosing safe and readily available sweeteners you would find in the natural world.


6. Propylene Glycol

Poor quality dog food contains propylene glycol. This is designed to be a preservative, but is more commonly found in antifreeze, lubricants, and plastic products. This is known as a poison to dogs and often requires medical treatment.

If you’re worried about preserving the foods you have for your pet's diet, stick to items like handmade jerkies or animal parts without added chemicals or preservatives.


7. Chocolate

You’ve probably heard the rumor that chocolate is bad for dogs, and it is. Chocolate's theobromine content makes it incredibly hard to metabolize. When ingested in large quantities (like the Easter candy you left out on the counter), it can lead to all kinds of intestinal issues, illnesses, and even death.

There is a chocolate substitute in the pet nutrition marketplace called Carob that may be okay, but you’re better off using peanut butter mixed with safe and organic food as a treat.


8. Onions, Garlic & Grapes

Onions and garlic are fantastic for your Italian meal, but they are bad food for dogs because of the sulfoxides and disulfides inside them. These sulfoxides and disulfides damage red blood cells, causing anemia, and should be avoided. In addition, grapes lead to kidney damage and potential choking hazards (depending on the size of your dog).

You’re better off using cut-up sweet potatoes as treats. These are often relied upon for training and rewarding your pup after a positive action.


9. Rendered Fats

Rendered fats are those bits and pieces left over from chicken, beef, turkey, fish, and other meats. They can be a source of some harmful toxins or microorganisms and also tend to go bad really quickly.

If you want some good old-fashioned fatty acids, you may want to try fish oil, flaxseed oil, or even a dash of olive oil in your pet diet.


10. Vegetable Oil

Speaking of oils, vegetable oils are technically safe for your pet. However, we’re including them on this list of bad food for dogs because they don’t have nearly as many vitamins, minerals, or fatty acids as other alternatives.

Instead of rendered fats, stick to fish oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, or olive oil. Remember to use these in moderation so you don’t overdo the fat content of your Pet Nutrition Guidelines.


11. Pea Protein

Pea protein is a little controversial. Many popular organic and wheat-free dog foods rely on pea protein as an alternative to ensure your pup gets a full dose of much-needed nutrients. However, many pet nutrition experts are shying away from pea protein because it has been loosely tied to cardiac issues.

You want to lean into animal-based proteins like chicken, beef, lamb, fish, or even boar. These offer your pet complete protein with all the essential amino acids your dog needs for a healthier, happier life.



Wrapping Up

As a leading provider of incredible pet accessories and toys, our Team at Petbobi wants to ensure you have as many fantastic experiences with your doggo as possible. That means finding a wonderful pet diet, following current nutritional guidelines, and avoiding bad foods for dogs.

This comprehensive list should give you a good starting point in crafting your optimal pet diet. Always speak with your trusted veterinarian to ensure your dog is getting as well-rounded a diet as possible. Here’s to many years of playing, walking, napping, and enjoying wonderful and healthy times with your furry friends!