Part VI – What Other Ingredients Should You Look for in Pet Food?

Welcome back to our final blog post in our series of “Do You Know What You Are Feeding Your Pets?” Our goal with this series of posts was to help pet owners understand the importance of knowing what ingredients are in your pet’s food; so, you can pick a food that will help you pet live a long and happy life! Just to recap, the topics we have covered so far are:

That brings us to our final topic, so far, we have covered a lot of things that should be avoided, so for this article, I thought it would be to cover the ingredients that are good for your pet, so let’s get started!

Organic Ingredients

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has very strict guidelines on what food ingredients can be labeled as Organic. Basically, organic items are those that are produced without:

  • Genetic Engineering
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Leaving organic items as those that only contain natural substances and no synthetic ingredients of any type.

So, do the health benefits of organic pet food make a difference? In short, the answer is yes, they do. Organic pet food has been shown to have the following effects:

  • Reduces skin ailments and allergies
  • Causes fewer digestive issues
  • Provides better overall health and helps strengthen the immune system
  • Better quality of life and longevity.

Overall, eating organic, whether it’s us or our pets, makes sense. By not consuming foods that contain chemicals or have been genetically modified, we are getting the true nutritional value of that food.


Pro-biotics are good bacteria and live yeast cultures that help improve overall health by aiding in the digestive system of humans and pets alike. Though people usually associate bacteria with sickness, the truth is our pet’s bodies (just like our own) are made up of millions and millions of good bacteria that help keep the body’s natural order.

In the pet food industry, specifically including pro-biotics in pet food is a relatively new trend. Approximately 80% of your pet’s immune system is based on their digestive system, it only makes since then to provide this system the essential boost that it needs to operate in peak condition. Studies have shown that pets that eat food containing pro-biotics have been shown to have less digestive issues and overall improved health.

Fruits and Vegetables

“You better eat your fruits and veggies!” I am sure that we have all heard that phrase during our childhood, for some of us all too often! The truth is, eating a balanced diet that contains a good mix of fruits and veggies is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The same is true for our pets. Though our pets are primarily carnivores, they too need to eat a balanced diet.

Fruits and Vegetables help provide a range of proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fiber that your pet does not get from eating meat alone. It is important to note that ingredients like corn, white potatoes, and soy do not count as vegetables in this since.

Though by no means should vegetables make up a large portion of your pet’s diet, looking for pet foods that contain these great ingredients is always a plus!


A lot of pets suffer from a zinc deficiency, especially those that live in more northern and colder climates. A deficiency in zinc has been tied to skin disorders such as a loss of hair, excessive shedding, and dry itchy skin. Though Zinc is an essential mineral that can be naturally found in many different ingredients commonly used in pet food it is not easily absorbed by your pet’s digestive system and thus many pet foods are supplemented with additional zinc. In some cases, it may also be necessary to give your pet a zinc supplement directly in addition to what is found in their food.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the ingredients that you should look for in your pet’s food. Some others that we did not cover in detail in this post include:

  • Barley
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Oats and Oat Meal
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin

I really do hope that you have enjoyed this series of posts! If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like to see a specific topic covered in detail, leave us a comment below and we will be happy to take a look!

Stay tuned for our next series of posts!