How To Choose A New Dog Food

  • 26/07/2018
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Your perfect pet deserves the perfect food. But picking the right one can make you feel a lot like Goldie Locks – this one’s too wet, this one’s too dry, this one’s too pricey. With a seemingly endless array of options, it can be difficult to know what should make the cut.

Sniffing around for a new dog food that’s just right? Avoid a costly trial and error. Make your selection based on these suggestions. 

  1. Ask your vet. If you want to make a switch, but just aren’t sure what to put on the menu, always best to ask a professional. Your veterinarian likely has a particular brand that’s been vetted (pun intended). Sometimes they even carry these specifically in the clinic. If so, it’ll save you a trip to the pet store where you’re likely to find well-meaning employee’s who’ve been only coached by convincing brand reps.

  2. Take things like age reproductive health into account. Your dog’s activity level is likely to change as they get older. In the beginning, puppies and new mamas need extra calories. As they slow down, leveraging lean proteins and curbing carb counts is key. Some dog food brands also offer small bites for little mouths, which can be important depending on what type of breed you have.

  3. Consider grain-free options. As for allergies and food intolerances, the best prevention is your attention. While you may expect reactions to be obvious, vomiting and diarrhoea aren’t the only signs of trouble. Constant paw licking or red ears can also indicate a potential problem. Once your pup has a full-blown skin infection it means the irritation has passed all the way through their digestive tract. Grain-free dog food certainly has its place in the food bowl. But it’s important to remember that some popular proteins like chicken and beef can also cause digestive upset.

  4. Read the label. There’s no substitute for your own discernment. Before you take a dog food to the checkout counter, flip it over, and give it a read through. The ingredient list is ranked based on weight. Your protein of choice should always occupy that first slot. Make sure to look out for keywords like “dinner,” “formula,” or “flavour” which can make the marketing copy sound good, but really just indicate varying minimum protein percentages.

  5. Look for the AAFCO stamp of approval. Pet food companies are legally obligated to follow national industry standards put in place by The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). While the department does not conduct individual tests or certify specific brands, each one is required to place their logo on the label after it meets their minimum requirements.

  6. Do your own research. Consult 3rd party sources like Dog Food Advisor and The Pet God for an unbiased look at different kibble. Each score dog food brands and gives a detailed breakdown of their health metrics. Labels are mostly for marketing, so these sites have emerged to give consumers an impartial inside look.

In the end, while there are some nutritional non-negotiables, every pup is ultimately different. Whether your fur child has a special needs doggie diet or you simply need to be budget conscious, with a bit of research, you can fill the bowl with a high-quality kibble that helps your pup happily ever after. 

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