Dog food may be misleading owners by not listing ingredients

Last updated at 06:10
Dog eatingGetty Images

Dogs are part of the family and good owners want to make sure that they're well fed, but a new report into dog food suggests that owners are being 'misled' by unclear packaging labels.

The report found that a majority of dog food brands don't properly list every ingredient in their products, instead opting for more vague terms like 'meat derivatives', which can include beaks, hooves, and feathers.


The research conducted by Paws involved testing the ingredients of over 1000 different dog foods.

Caroline Allen from the animal welfare organisation RSPCA said: "Giving our pets a balanced diet is really important for their health and wellbeing and ensuring they have regular exercise is key in making sure our pets are happy and healthy."

But how can you make sure your dog is getting the right food?

Dogs' diets should be different to ours
Dog looking up at human food on a high table.Getty Images

Dogs should eat a mixture of meat, plants, and carbohydrates. They get most of their nutrients from meat, but benefit from a well balanced diet including vegetables and some grains.

Lots of things that humans like are actually dangerous for dogs to eat, including chocolate, onions, and garlic. If your dog gets hold of any of these foods, let a grown up know so they can contact the vet.

What not to feed them
Border collie puppy with 'puppy dog eyes'Getty Images

No matter how cute their puppy dog eyes are, keeping treats in the cupboard might be best for your dog. It's tempting to reward every cute behaviour with a tasty snack, but that can lead to them gaining weight or ignoring their proper food in favour of something less healthy.

If your dog doesn't get a well balanced diet they can end up with health problems including obesity and diabetes. Roughly half of the dogs in the UK are overweight, which can be dangerous to their health and affect the quality of their lives.

Read the labels
Dog foodGetty Images

Although the study suggest it could be difficult, it's important to know what's in your dog's food.

Speak to your vet to find out exactly what your dog should be eating, and then make sure the food fits that advice. It's also important to weigh or measure their food so you can be sure they're getting the right amount.

It depends on the dog
PugGetty Images

Bad diets are harmful for every dog, but certain breeds can be affected more than others. Dogs with flatter faces like pugs and bulldogs can have breathing difficulties, which are made worse if the dog is overweight. If you have a flat-faced dog, vet Daniella has some tips on how to keep them healthy.

Other dogs like dachshunds are more likely to become overweight, which can cause long-term health problems including hip problems.

Things like age, lifestyle, and health need to be taken into account when choosing a food for your dog.


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  • View all (6)
  • Comment number 6. Posted by U17262482

    24 Feb 2019 10:02
    Poor Dogs!
  • Comment number 5. Posted by U17262482

    24 Feb 2019 10:02
    Cute Dogs!
  • Comment number 4. Posted by U17523460

    23 Feb 2019 17:27
    I hope it can be solved soon. No dog should be eating those things
  • Comment number 3. Posted by U17523460

    23 Feb 2019 17:27
    Hooves, beaks and feathers! I wouldn't want to be the dog eating that
  • Comment number 2. Posted by GreenCarrotPenguin

    22 Feb 2019 10:27
    Feathers in dog's food!
  • Comment number 1. Posted by U17486616

    20 Feb 2019 9:04
    That is shocking! I can't believe that things like hooves and beaks are in dog food! I hope thta some dog owners will find out which brands are doing this, and sue them!