We are all rightly concerned about what goes into our bodies, so it’s only right and proper that we take some care about what our dog eats as well. There is a vast array of dog foods available today and the great majority of them are very highly processed. They are the dog food equivalents of junk food and unhealthy snacks.
Amusingly or sadly enough, whereas a packet of crisps merely lists its ingredients a commercial dog food product must be able to show on the packet that it contains all the ingredients necessary for the animal. So the lesson here is that we should carefully read and understand the label before buying the dog food from eBay or anywhere else.
Get the Ratios Right
The ideal ratio of ingredients in nutritious dog food is 50 per cent each of meat and vegetables, without any wheat or grain or any other cheap fillers being added in merely to bulk the product out. So when buying dog food on eBay the owner should be looking at the label to get as close to this ideal as possible.
When looking at the list of ingredients in quality dog foods, make sure that the actual sources of the meat meal protein are positioned near the top. This meal essentially constitutes the pre-cooked meat element, ensuring that during the cooking it cannot be degraded anymore.
When preparing dog foods sold on eBay and elsewhere, five pounds of the meat from the source animal goes to make every pound of the final meat meal that is bought to feed the dog. Look for anywhere between three and five of the label ingredients as the type of protein, such as lamb meal, venison meal or chicken meal.
Beware the Grains
Although grains can be a valuable source of long-term energy for dogs, as well as being used in the body for energy storage, companies frequently use them simply as an inexpensive filler to boost the percentage of protein in the meal and ‘bulk up’ the content. When buying feed grain make sure that it is in the whole form and can therefore supply much-needed vitamins, minerals and fibre. When used in the appropriate percentages in nutritious dog meals, the best forms of grain are barley, millet, quinoa, rolled oats and brown rice.
Sometimes on the lower-quality dog foods the meats are listed first, followed by fillers and by-products. Often here there turn out to be more fillers than meat ingredients when you examine the small print carefully.
Although all dogs are by their very nature carnivores, they can in fact live quite happily on a well-planned diet of vegetables. But most experts are in agreement that dogs require animal protein and that although they would have no problem with surviving on a vegetarian diet they would almost certainly not thrive on one.
As with food consumed by humans, dog foods sold on eBay are laced with preservatives, which are necessary to keep the product edible for a longer period than it would last without them. However, some preservatives are better than others, in that they are far less likely to cause cancer. In particular, owners should try to avoid dog food containing Ethoxyquin, BHT and BHA. Vitamin E and Vitamin C are, by contrast, natural preservatives and much healthier for the animal.
Preservatives to avoid
Ethoxyquin, BHT, BHA
Good natural preservatives
Vitamin C, Vitamin E
Holistc Dog Foods
Holistic dog foods on eBay are completely natural and nutritious and use no artificial additives or preservatives at all. The ingredients they contain are human-grade and the food has to be run through a complex series of trials to attain this status. The dog food must pass all of the tests in the series, and if it fails even one the coveted ‘human grade’ label cannot be used on the bag.
Dogs Are Not Humans
As a general rule of thumb an owner should think that if, in terms of added animal fat, sugar and salt, a type of food that they would not eat should not be offered to their dog either. At the same time, there are many foods like chocolate that are fine for humans but not for dogs. So it has to be remembered that all food suitable for humans is not necessarily suitable for a dog.
As a pet dog gets older, different types of food and different amounts of food will be needed to feed it with. A growing number of dog food brands selling on eBay recognise the importance of ageing in the dog world by offering special products for puppies and others for more senior dogs.
Dogs should in general be fed with puppy food until they achieve adult status, which for a dog weighing less than 12 pounds will usually happen at about nine months of age. Very big dogs may not reach their final size for two years or even more.
High quality, nutritious dog foods tend to cost a bit more, but the ingredients are usually better, although a few brands charge more simply for having their label on the packet. A vet can recommend the best food to buy for a dog of a particular breed and condition. The best dog foods are those that specify a particular form of meat in their first ingredients, such as chicken or turkey.
Animal by-products are included in some types of dog food, these being the various parts of animals which cannot by law be used as ingredients in food meant for humans. They include the likes of fur and bones, and owners should be aware that such ingredients can make their dog smell bad. However, and much more seriously, they can also be the cause of health issues such as digestive problems and shorten the dog’s natural life.
The term ‘meal’ usually indicates that by-products have been included, as it is indicative of a random mix of ground animal parts being used to make the dog food. Foods that have been labelled as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on eBay will be much more nutritious and of a higher quality.
Different breeds of dog can greatly benefit from eating different types of dog food from eBay. Dogs that shed, for example, will need different quantities of amino acids in their food than ones which don’t. Equally, heavier breeds will require different amounts of minerals than lighter ones because their bones will have a different set of nutritional needs. Some brands of dog food sold on eBay produce different products for different types of dog.
Supplements can be used for a variety of reasons, from adding Vaseline to dog food to improve the coat’s shine to enzymes for helping with digestion. The latter is a common requirement in older dogs, where arthritic pain can also be alleviated by some supplements.
Certain breeds of dog are prone to particular types of illness. Some of these ailments can be addressed by providing the dog with food which contains additional supplements and nutrients. A dog with Cushing’s disease, for instance, will be on a diet with the following characteristics:
- High protein content
- Low fat content
- Low purine content
- Low fibre content
A dog’s diet is as important to its health and wellbeing as a human’s is, and on eBay you can find a vast range of dog foods on offer. It can often be difficult negotiating all the different brands, supplements and other products available and trying to decide what is best for a particular breed and individual dog, but hopefully the guidelines supplied here have been of some assistance in the matter.
In the final analysis, nothing beats bonding with the dog and being able to understand its various moods and health issues. Although a dog is unable to talk directly to its owner there is a multitude of signs it displays and which, when properly interpreted, can be as good as conversation. That, along with some advice from a professional vet, should ensure that any dog with a responsible and caring owner can lead a happy and healthy life.
The dog foods sold on eBay are a representative cross-section of what’s available, from natural, organic and holistic products for grown dogs to specialist puppy foods required by the younger ones. With such a wealth of products to browse through and consider, eBay offers the perfect and most convenient source for all a grown dog or puppy’s daily needs, available at competitive prices directly from the site.