Dog Food Ingredients: Looking Past the First 5 Ingredients
There is an old saying that you can assess a dog food’s quality by looking at the first five ingredients in the list. The rationale for this rule is that once you get past the first five, the remaining ingredients each individually contribute very small proportions of the food’s total composition, thus, the first five ingredients tell the majority of the story.
Overall, this rule makes sense, but it is a one size fits all approach that can sometimes be deceptive. The dogfoodproject.com provides an alternative rule: “.. look for the first named source of fat in the ingredient list. Anything listed before that, and including it, make up the main portion of the food, other items are present in much smaller amounts to add flavor, function as preservatives or because of their dietary benefits (e.g. probiotics, vitamins and minerals).”
However, in this day and age, we can do better. Why would you want to look past the first 5 ingredients, or past the first named fat? For starters to see if the food contains artificial ingredients and colorings. You will never see these listed near the front of the list, so using either of those two rules will not tell you if the food is laden with artificial and often unhealthy ingredients such as Ethoxyquin, Propylene glycol or Blue #2.
As you know, the SlimDoggy app and widget both provide full ingredient lists for some 2,000 dog foods and treats so there is no reason NOT to dig deeper into the ingredients. In the App, you can even run searches based on ingredients. For example, if you want to look for foods that don’t contain Ethoxyquin (or corn, or by products, etc.) but do contain Chicken or Salmon, it is easy to do so. We encourage you to use our technology and data to make better dog food choices (or at least re-confirm your food choices). Your dog will thank you for it.