Labrador Retriever - Commercial Dog FoodsDog food sales in the US are a huge business with tremendous com¬petition among manufacturers. Dog owners should understand that, as a big business, these companies’ goals include making a profit. Although advertising may show a dog and owner in a warm and fuzzy, heart-tugging moment, the nutrition your dog might get from the food being advertised has nothing to do with that heart-tugging moment. It’s all about getting you to buy the food.
Dog owners must be wise consumers, and we cannot let the pet food recall of 2008 fade into memory. Read the dog food labels, check out the manufacturers’ Web sites, check the recall lists, and talk to dog food experts, including your vet¬erinarian if they have a background in nutrition.
A good-quality food is necessary for your Labrador Retrievers health. Dog foods vary in quality, from the very good to the terrible. To make sure you are using a high-quality food, read the labels on the packages. Make sure the food offers the levels of protein, carbohydrates, and fats recom¬mended earlier in this chapter.
Read the list of ingredients, too. If one of the first ingredients listed is by-prod¬ucts, be leery of the food. By-products are the parts of slaughtered animals that are not muscle meat—lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, fatty tissue, stomach, and intestines. Dog food manufacturers can meet protein requirements by including by-products, but they are inferior forms of protein that do not metab¬olize as completely in the dog’s body.
Labrador Retrievers do well on a dog food that uses a muscle meat as the first ingredient. Muscle meats are listed on the label simply as beef, chicken, fish, and so on. Steer away from foods with a lot of soy or soy products, as these are thought to contribute to stomach gas, which can lead to bloat
Many Labrador Retrievers have sensitivity to the grains used in many com¬mercial dog foods. Cereal grains, such as rice, wheat, corn, and barley, are used in commercial dog foods because they are inexpensive. However, many dogs, including many Labrador Retriever puppies, will develop a behavior problem when eating these foods. Cereal grains have a high glycemic index—they raise the dog’s blood sugar. Sensitive dogs will then become fidgety, wiggly, and have a hard time concentrating and learn¬ing. These Labs would do better eating a food with carbohydrates from potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, or bananas, because these foods help maintain a stable blood sugar level with no spikes or valleys, and   these   foods   are   more   easily

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