A CAMPAIGN urging pet owners to assess what is in their dog’s diet has been launched.

Just as parents avoid ‘nasties’ in their children’s food, dog owners are being encouraged to do the same for their beloved four-legged friends.

The Pet Food Pledge is backed by research highlighting that 85 per cent of UK dog owners are unsure of the ingredients in today’s dog food, with less than a fifth surveyed (19%) reading the ingredients in their pet’s food.

Forthglade, a natural dog food company, is behind the ‘Dump the Junk’ initiative, along with support from famous farmer, and renowned dog owner, Adam Henson.

Dump the Junk aims to educate dog owners about the nasties that can be a hidden part of pet’s diets and the potential effects these can have on pet health and behaviour.

The campaign will see pet owners pledge to improve their own dog’s nutrition and help spread the word across the UK to ‘dump the junk’. By arming dog owners with the knowledge, they will be able to spot a nutritionally balanced dog food from a poor quality counterpart.

Adam explained: “We all want what’s best for our dogs, but we lead such busy lives, we often don’t have the time to stop and decipher confusing dog food labels. We put too much trust in what we see on packs and tins; clever packaging and vague phrasing make it all too easy to assume you’re getting something you’re not.

“Dump the Junk is an important campaign set to lift the lid on the real contents of poor quality dog food and help pet owners make informed decisions about what they feed their canine companions.

“Good nutrition is at the heart of what makes a happy, healthy dog, which is why I am asking UK pet owners to make their pledge today for the benefit of dogs nationwide.”

The campaign has published a Dog Food Nasties Watch-List, which identifies exactly what pet owners should be watching out for and why when searching for a nourishing dog food. Potential health horrors include vague non-specific protein sources listed as ‘meat’, ‘meat by-products’, or ‘meat and animal derivatives’. ‘Corn or wheat gluten’ are also listed as ingredients to avoid.

Pet foods containing artificial flavourings or sugars are also being named and shamed as these can lead to problems ranging from a lack-lustre coat, bad breath and upset stomach through to hyperactivity or even lethargy.

Information on how dog owners can Dump The Junk from their pet’s diet and sign the pledge can be found at www.forthglade.com/dump-the-junk.