Imagine… by the end of this article you’re able to consistently identify a superior dog food… all because you’ve learned a simple rule that can narrow an extraordinarily long list of ingredients (sometimes containing a hundred items… or more) down to just five.
Now, not to be overly dramatic… but these items are probably the most important ones you’ll ever find on any dog food ingredients list.
Want to know what they are?
Easy. They’re simply the first five items on every list. That’s it.
You see, dog food manufactures are required by federal law to list all of a product’s ingredients in descending order of their pre-cooking weights.
And that automatically… and mathematically… makes the first few the most abundant items anywhere in a product.
Now, since companies rarely divulge the actual amount of each ingredient in a dog food, the consumer is left to try to figure out the proportional break-down for herself.
And I can assure you… that’s no easy thing to do!
Trying to make heads or tails of a dog food’s proportional content is nothing less than a game… a game of odds and probabilities.
Why Five… and Not Six?
I already know what you’re thinking. Why the first five items? Why not the first six… or seven?
When looking for an answer to this question, one of the more intriguing ideas I found suggested that all the initial ingredients up to and including the first added fat be considered “the main ingredients”.
I must congratulate Sabine Contreras of The Dog Food Project for this original and thoughtful idea.
So, don’t get hung up on the number “five”.
When evaluating any dog food… you’re always looking for a high quality, digestible meat-based protein… as close to the top of the list as possible.
So, if you haven’t found quality protein in those first few ingredients… whatever the number… it’s game over for that dog food.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Valuable Ingredient… or Nutritional Window Dressing
With the possible exception of nutritional additives… like vitamins and minerals… the further down the list you find an ingredient… the less it contributes to the overall quality of the food.
For example, when you see sweet potatoes at position #12… don’t be too impressed. From a nutritional standpoint, items located that far down a list should probably be considered little more than “window dressing”.
To keep things simple, here’s a rule of thumb that can help you more consistently identify superior dog food…
The first few items on any dog food ingredients list tend to be the most important
To learn more about using these priority ingredients to screen for quality be sure to read my article… The One Crucial Piece of Information Dog Food Companies Willfully Conceal.