Here's a brief list of some ingredients that should be avoided
Proteins: Hey, protein is great for a growing pup, but there are some unbelievable ingredients used to inflate the protein percentage and aren't a good part of dog food nutrition.
- Bone Meal - Ground up bones, from what animal? We don't know, and they aren't required to tell
- Blood Meal - Dried, clean blood. Again, from what animal though.
- Chicken byproduct meal - Everything left over from the chicken, MINUS the meat
Now here's an important detail. Any ingredient listed that doesn't specify the animal it comes from can, and often is, from the 4Ds; Dead, diseased, dying or disabled animals, regardless of what animal. The ingredients can even be from euthanized shelter animals! I don't know about you but I'm not comfortable with my dog eating animals that died of desease. I'm also pretty sure I don't want my dog eating other dogs, that just isn't right.
Binders, these are cheap fillers, avoid corn and wheat gluten. Good dog food nutrition does not include these.
Food coloring. Avoid yellow-6, this was shown to cause tumors in animals, avoid this and find some natural dog foods.
Fats. Once again the pet food industry is NOT required to disclose the animal source, if the animal isn't listed if's probably from the 4Ds, once again, not good dog food nutrition.
Fiber. More inexpensive fillers such as corn bran, oat hulls, rice hulls, peanut hulls, soybean and wheat mill run, this is also known as floor sweepings. The big no-no is cellulose which is dried bleached and powdered wood, definetly not part of natural dog food.
Flavorings. If you see animal digest on the label than this is made from the enzymatic hydrolysis of clean, un decomposed animal tissue, again, if the animal isn't listed it's probably from the 4Ds, do your little friend a favor and get some natural dog food.
Fruits. Grapes are bad for dogs, avoid dog foods with grape pomace as an ingredient. Good dog food nutrition does NOT include bad things like grapes.
Preservatives. Avoid BHA and BHT, they are banned in most countries but we still allow it. The worst is ethoxyquin, which was originally developed as a rubber stabilizer. This has been linked to so many dog deseases that I couldn't list them all here. A good, natural dog food will NOT contain this!
Other supplements. Salt should be minimal, yeast is also added to boost flavor of low quality dog foods. Mineral oil is also sometimes added as a laxative. If you see this on the label the dog food is garbage, don't buy it. Find some good natural dog food instead.
Sweeteners. There shouldn't be any sweeteners at all. A dog can actually become addicted to it and refuse to eat anything but treats! Dog food nutrition isn't a pile of treats!
This is a shortened list, but the theme here is once you see some of these dog food ingredients listed it's a safe bet the product is of low quality.
Here's a great book for your kindle that you can download right now and learn more, it's under $3 (free if you're a prime member) and very highly rated. Healthy Dog Food Buyers Guide.
I would also suggest reading dog food reviews on such sites as ConsumerSearch and DogFoodAnalysis, they can give you honest dog food reviews to help you find the best natural dog food for your dog, after all, doesn't the little pup deserve the best dog food nutrition?