How Suitable Is Limited Ingredient Dog Food?

How Suitable Is Limited Ingredient Dog Food?

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There are many buzzwords in the dog food industry these days. Many dog food brands make sky-high promises that they struggle to keep. Each packet and brand of dog food claims to be better for your pet's health than the other. However, only a few reputed brands, such as Hill’s Science Diet and Prescription Diet, are worth their salt.

We can all admit that the dog food industry has grown remarkably from what it used to be 40 years ago. It is because people are requesting better food for their dogs. However, we as pet owners need to remember that sometimes, food manufacturers and marketing heads can use clever gimmicks and buzzwords to sell you the idea of their food. It might not always be true.

What Is Limited Ingredient Dog Food?

Simply put, all it means is that dog food has just one protein and one carbohydrate. They were invented and modified for dogs with allergic reactions to normal ingredients in their diet. This way, if a vet wants to keep the dog on a limited ingredient diet, this is what the owner would turn to. The main idea was to get rid of unnecessary ingredients in your dog's food and only feed him what's necessary. This diet would also help eliminate the allergen responsible for causing all these problems. Once the allergen is completely gone from your dog's system, you can try introducing new foods to him again, little by little, to try and figure out what exactly is causing the allergic reactions.

What Should You Look For When Buying A Limited Ingredient Dog Food?

There are some important words that you should look for in dog food that claims to be a limited ingredient. These words are complete and balanced. The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) requires the food to be labeled as "have the total nutrition to sustain your pet at his given life stage." To put that in layman's terms would be to say that even though the food is a limited ingredient, it still has all the minerals and nutrients, both micro and macro, necessary for sustaining a dog's health. If it has those exact words, you won't have to worry about whether it will sustain your pet with all the necessary nutrients and minerals. For instance, Nature's Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Real Turkey Cat Food uses only a few ingredients to provide optimal nutrition. The majority of limited ingredient diets are labeled under grain-free dog food which is also considered good for dogs having food allergies.

Is Limited Ingredient Dog Food Right For Your Pet?

It's difficult to know exactly which limited ingredient dog food to choose from with all the different dog foods that are filling the dog food aisles. The best thing to do is talk to your vet about this. The chances are that he's well learned in this area and can prescribe you the best-limited ingredient food for your dog. Sometimes, you may not even need a limited-ingredients dog food. Your vet may know what is causing his allergic reactions by looking at his stool samples. The most important thing to do before opting for a limited ingredient diet, such as the Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato And Fish is to talk to your vet about it.

The Pet Food Buzzwords You Should Know About

Buzzwords are pretty common in the dog food industry. They are usually the words marketing executives and product promoters use to reel you to buy certain products. Buzzwords are powerful techniques the pet food industry uses to lure customers in.

What Are Buzzwords? 

If you've ever studied advertising or marketing in detail, you've come across this word at least a dozen times. You would know the many buzzwords they can use to lure people into a product's plan. The mountain of buzzwords and clever techniques advertisers and marketing executives use to promote their products also applies to the pet food industry.

Buzzwords To Watch Out For:


– this word is a catchy example of the ideal buzzword that draws your attention. By 'reformulated,' marketers mean that their product has been redesigned to replace artificial ingredients and colorants with natural ingredients or a Natural Balance dog food product.

'Quality protein'

– many reformulated pet foods claim to include higher levels of protein, but that isn't technically true. Sure they can get additional amounts of chicken to the ingredients list, like the Redbarn chicken dog food roll. But 70% of chicken is just water.


– in most cases, the word refers to the meat in the pet food that has been dried and pulverized. All moisture has been removed from the meat, making it the so-called 'dry stuff' in pet foods. Blue Buffalo dog food brand has a variety of meals to choose from which contains red meat ingredients.


– the word is usually used to indicate that the dog food is made with all-natural ingredients. Although these foods are technically clean, to make up for the artificial ingredients, lesser quality animal meat is used to make them. Are these kinds of foods worth the title of 'clean'? However, brands like Natural Balance are still reliable names that maintain the tag for ‘clean’ in their dog food ingredients.

What Do These Buzzwords Mean For You, The Customer?

There is a list of items on 'reformulated' pet foods. One of these items will likely be a 'named animal protein.' The animal protein can come from different animals ranging from lamb to chicken, like the Nature’s Recipe dog food that usually are grain-free and contains more animal protein. These animal proteins would be the first to be listed on the ingredients list. Remember that the listed weight of the product is the weight before the water has been removed from the meat. Since the pet food company is not required to disclose the quality or type of meat involved in the 'meal,' browsing through the ingredients list is not worth the trouble.

What Should You Do?

Check whether grains are a key ingredient. It is not a good thing. The first, second, and sometimes even third ingredients are supposed to be some kind of animal meat or 'meal.' If it is a grain, then you're buying an unfulfilling product of low quality. Set high standards for your pet. It is, after all, your pet's well-being that you're concerned about. Quality is always better than quantity.

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