We often want the best for our children and pets. However, it isn’t enough to have words like “best,” “high quality,” or “blue ribbon” stamped on the package. High-quality products must meet performance specifications that you can quantify and have benefits you can appreciate. Here’s what you need to know when choosing a quality dog food.
The nutritional profile of the dog food
Your dog’s nutritional needs vary over time. Puppies and mature dogs have different nutritional profiles. This is why the best dog food brands offer dog food tailored to each life stage. Hund24 identifies what they consider to be the best dog food in Sweden in different cases, such as when your dog needs grain-free food. Compare the nutritional value per serving to other dog foods in the same class. In general, you should choose the food with the greatest nutritional content per serving.
Most of us know never to give our dogs chocolate. Did you know that your dogs shouldn’t eat anything in the shallot family, either? This family includes leeks, chives, and scallions. It also means that you should avoid dog food that contains garlic and onion. It can cause anemia in dogs, especially if they’re very young.
Don’t buy dog food that contains food dyes. They’re added to make veggie-rich foods fit your expectations, not for the benefit of your pet. Your dog doesn’t need these food dyes. It is fine if the dog food is brown and beige. You may want to switch to dye-free foods if your dog is suffering from hyperactivity, anxiety, and inattention. It could be due to the food dyes that can cause similar problems in children. Sugar alcohols like xylitol can cause liver disease and hypoglycemia in dogs. But fiber is good for your dog, and they may eat grass if they aren’t getting enough of it.
Gluten-free has become popular among people. A lot of people avoid gluten because they mistakenly think that it is bad for them in general. While that isn’t true about most people, it is true for dogs. Dogs are carnivores, and their digestive tracts are not designed to handle grains. This is why corn-based dog food is linked to stomach problems for dogs. Soy should be off-limits for the same reason. Consider having your dog tested for food allergies if switching to a purely meat-based dog food eliminates their stomach troubles.
On the other hand, it may not be enough that the dog food only contains meat. If the label says “meat by-products,” this is a potential concern. The meat by-products are generally organs from the carcass that people don’t want to eat. In worse case scenarios, they come from animals people wouldn’t eat. This raises the risk that your pet will be exposed to bacteria when they eat it. Rendered fat is almost as bad. It could be from anything and contain everything from traces of roadkill to plastic. Fish meal is a label used to hide the term ethoxyquin. This substance can cause kidney and liver damage in dogs.
The best dog foods sold in the United States meet the nutritional levels set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials or AAFCO. The next best thing is a nutritional adequacy statement. This statement is along the lines of “this dog food is complete and balanced for growth and reproduction.”
The dog food may say it adequately meets the needs of puppies or dogs of all life stages. Generic labels like “world-class” or “blue ribbon” don’t matter. Ethical food labeling matters to you, but not your dog. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if the corn or soy in the dog food is GMO-free.