4 ways to tell if your dog food is worth the price
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for the Right Price
We all want to save money by spending less on many things but is it alright to compromise on your dog’s food? Compromising on the dog’s food is one of the most unfair things to do to your loyal pet. Your dog is a good friend and member of your family, who deserves healthy meals so that he remains healthy for years. The question is – how do you know that the dog food you’re feeding him is worth the price?
High Quality and Balanced Nutrients
According to Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD – a Professor in Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the OSUVMC (OhioStateUniversityVeterinaryMedicalCenter) – all animals need water as well as energy from carbohydrates, fat and protein sources. As long as it provides enough and balanced nutrients for absorption, whatever the brand of dog food it is becomes irrelevant for your pet’s health.
Balanced nutrients are essential because they improve metabolism, according to Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD – The University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine Professor. In dog foods without enough carbohydrates but high levels of protein will result in some of the protein stores being used as source of energy. It is important that a balance of nutrients is achieved in your dog’s diet. This is why manufacturers of good quality pet foods hire experienced and knowledgeable veterinary nutritionists so that ingredients are selected to provide a complete food for your dog.
Qualified Nutritionists’ Formulation
It is not easy to formulate high quality dog food and it takes a qualified nutritionist to make the formulation right. Making sure that the balance of nutritional values is achieved through the proper selection of ingredients is essential. It doesn’t matter whether it will take more than 50 ingredients if that’s what it is necessary to achieve this balance and maintaining the dog’s health should be the priority. Manufacturing companies will also submit their products for feeding trials before releasing their product onto the market.
Manufactured with Strict QC (Quality Control)
For pet food manufacturers, the quality and safety of their pet food are their main concerns and some manufacturing companies have their own facility where they manufacture their products in order to tightly control the quality of their product. On-site manufacturing allows for better QC or quality control since they have complete control of the sources of ingredients and the processes involved in manufacture.
For instance, dog foods manufactured on-site can be stored at the factory until the results of trials confirm that they have met the safety guidelines before releasing to the market. This will lessen the likelihood of recalling the pet food from the market due to contamination of Salmonella or Aflatoxin.
You can read the product label of your dog’s food and look for the term manufactured “by” instead of “for” or “distributed by.” If you think that there is a quality or safety problem with the dog food you are using, stop feeding your dog with it and get in touch immediately with the manufacturer as well as your vet so that the problem can be reported.
Specific and Appropriate
When we talk about specific and appropriate, the dog food must be based on the activity level, age, breed, and weight and health condition of the dog being fed the food. For instance, the “all life stage” food is formulated to meet the nutritional guidelines implemented by AAFCO Pet Food Nutrient Profiles. It may seem appropriate for all dogs in all life stages but there are some older dogs that will receive higher nutrients than necessary, which may result in health issues.
All of this can be overwhelming especially with the many pet foods that you can choose from. If it seems confusing, don’t just guess, seek the opinion of the breeder and/or your veterinarian. Your vet can help you find a dog food that is appropriate for your dog if they have any special nutritional requirements. Getting high quality dog food now will save you a lot of money from health expenses later on.
If you have any tips or advise for the dog community please let us know in the comments below