When only the best for your pet matters, start with the right dog food. Proper nutrition is important to keep your pet healthy. A well-balanced meal is one way to protect your pet from common sickness. The right pet food contributes to a shiny coat and healthy body weight of your furry friend too. But because there are thousands of pet food brands out there, we outlined ways to determine which ones are the best for your canine companion:
Reach the Label
We cannot stress this enough, always read the label. You need to know what ingredients go into the dog food. Go for high-quality pet foods that list down the ingredients clearly. Choose pet foods that contain at least 95% of the main ingredient, not including water. For example, if a pet food is made from beef, the main ingredient should make up 95% of the product. Note that pet food with phrases like entrée, platter, and dinner only contains 25% of the main ingredients. On the other hand, pet foods advertised as “specific flavors” contain a detectable amount of the main ingredient.
Analyzing the Ingredients
Look at the list of ingredients and check for the percentage of beef, poultry, chicken, or fish. Usually, these ingredients contain a lot of moisture, which is what you should be looking for. Go for pet foods that contain higher levels of moisture. Look further into the list of nutrients that contain less water such as fiber and protein.
Checking for Allergens
Gluten is a compound derived from grains. Just like human beings, some dogs are sensitive or downright intolerant to gluten. If your dog is allergic to gluten then it makes sense to avoid pet foods that contain grains. The same thing goes if your pet is allergic to certain meats, like chicken or fish. Do note that grains aren’t strictly bad for your pet. Grains convert to carbohydrates, which is converted into fuel. Without carbohydrates, your pooch will suffer from fatigue. Removing grains from your pet’s diet could lead to sporadic dips in energy level.
Look for Byproducts
It is untrue that meat byproducts – such as liver and lungs – are unfit for human consumption. And no, ingredients labeled as “meat byproduct” are not grounded up horns, hooves, or hair! However, low-quality pet foods contain ingredients that are not at par with the industry standard. If you want to opt for high-quality pet food, always choose a reputable pet food company. Do your own research to determine which pet food brand contain quality meat byproducts.
Checking the Nutrient Content
Premium grade pet food should be made from nutrient-rich ingredients. You want to look for statements that read something like “this product contains complete and balanced nutrients for all life stages” or “This pet food contains complete and balanced nutrients for development and growth.”
Ask for Your Vet’s Recommendations
If you are unsure what premium pet foods to get for your beloved pooch, ask for your vet’s recommendations. The vet knows your pet’s health state, what ingredient the pet is sensitive to, and nutritional needs. Quite simply, your vet is the best person to ask what dog food brands to consider.