Dog Food Ingredients That Get A Bad Rap

Should We Shun these Ingredients in Dog Food?

You want to provide the right food for your pet. Often dog owners worry more about their dog’s diet than their own, mainly because the dog cannot choose its food. You are entirely responsible for your dog’s nutrition, and with all the conflicting information and myths out there, along with confusing reviews of different types of dog food and different opinions of dog food ingredients, it would be a wonder if you’re not stumped.

These dog food reviews in particular can be quite misleading as they are nothing but marketing strategies by competing manufacturers. While many ingredients in dog food are falsely promoted as being essential to the health of the dog, certain perfectly healthy ones are given a bad rap. Here are some dog food ingredients that have received flak quite undeservedly. And here’s the plain truth about them, so that you can judge for yourself.

Some Dog Food Ingredients To Be On The Look For

Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil in the ingredients list of dog foods may scare away some dog owners.  They might have heard that avocado is bad for dogs. Yes, the skin of the avocado fruit, as well as the pit inside, is toxic, as are the leaves, wood and bark of this tree. But avocado oil is extracted from the fleshy edible pulp of the fat-rich fruit. Unless your dog has a specific allergy to avocados, though it is rarely seen, you need to avoid dog food containing the oil.  But otherwise, avocado oil is nutritious and there’s no reason to shun dog food containing it. But you should never give your dog access to avocado fruit or avocado trees.

Beet Pulp

Beet pulp is often used as one of the fillers in dog foods, but it scares off some pet owners because it’s falsely implicated in allergies and ear infections. Dogs are known to develop many infections and allergies, some of them food-based. But there has never been any evidence to suggest that beet pulp in dog food causes any of them.

Beet pulp is an excellent source of fiber, specially favored for its beneficial effect on the intestinal flora. Beet contains substances that promote the growth of beneficial microbes in the dogs’ gut. The high sugar content in beets need not be a concern; it is removed prior to adding the pulp to dog food.  It does not normally irritate the stomach lining or cause vomiting, unlike certain other fillers.  And if you’ve heard the myth that beet will color the dog’s coat red, it is just that: a myth.

Wheat and Corn

Wheat and Corn

You might have come across this common myth that wheat and corn are bad for dogs. These grains are falsely accused of doing damage to their digestive system. They do no more damage than other grains as long as the dog is not specifically allergic to these grains. Rice is comparatively more digestible than other grains, but the undigested part of grains adds bulk to the food in the digestive tract and eases it along the way, making bowel movement easy and regular.

It is quite another matter if your dog has gluten intolerance that makes wheat and its derivatives unsuitable for it. If you suspect any food allergy, get the dog checked by the veterinarian. You’ll be advised special diet if the dog requires it, but otherwise, there’s no reason to forego the nutritional benefits of wheat and corn.


White Rice

White rice is avoided by some dog owners on the premise that it processed, and hence bad for the dog. Brown rice is more wholesome, no doubt, and may be best for some dogs.  But white rice is not harmful in any way; in fact, it is more easily digested and absorbed than the wholegrain version. Dogs with a weak digestive system may actually benefit from white rice in their food. One need not reject good quality dog food just because it has white rice instead of brown.

You can see that these ingredients in the dog food get a bad rap not because they are bad in any way. The competing dog food manufacturers make claims and counter claims to make their products, often with marked up prices, more attractive to customers. If you use your knowledge about the dogs’ nutritional requirements, and your own critical judgment, when it comes to buying dog food, you can avoid shelling out more for products that simple ride on food fads.