Good nutrition is just as important for dogs as it is humans. And while owners want to serve their pets the best dog food they can afford, a lot of the products on the market have been created based on market demand rather than what’s best for dogs.
To combat these marketing gimmicks, owners must educate themselves on what their dog needs to eat by using a quality dog food guide. That can help you learn more about good versus bad dog food ingredients, industry terminology, and other aspects of a healthy dog’s diet. It’s also crucial to realize dog food isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. You need to consider your dog’s life stages. Dog nutrition needs change as your dog ages. What’s suitable for your puppy, isn’t good for your senior dog.
Pet food quality unregulated in the U.S.
For starters, pet owners should thoroughly review labels on packaging, specifically scrutinizing the nutritional adequacy statement from the AAFCO – an industry watchdog. This information can offer owners peace of mind that the formula they are buying meets their pup’s basic diet requirements.
Because the AAFCO is not a governmental agency, however, there’s nothing that stops brands from manufacturing pet food that doesn’t meet these guidelines. Furthermore, because there is little regulation of commercial pet food in the U.S., no organization is concerned with the source or quality of the ingredients found in these foods.
Ultimately, meeting basic health requirements and providing the highest-quality ingredients with species-specific nutrition are two different things that can drastically affect the longevity and quality of your pet’s life. Learn to read dog food labels the same way you study your food labels and look at the nutrient profiles. You want to provide your dog with complete and balanced nutrition, whether you use wet dog food or dry dog food.
If you’re looking for hypoallergenic dog food options, we’d recommend this excellent guide.
One of the biggest marketing ploys utilized by pet food makers is the use of vague terms like “natural,” “organic,” and “holistic.”
The truth is, these words aren’t universally defined within the industry or regulated by the FDA, and can mean whatever the manufacturer wants.
Remember, how can anything in a can or bag be 100% natural or organic when the food is mass-manufactured and processed?
Use a dog food guide to choose what’s best for your dog
Like anything else you buy or put into your body, research can make all the difference. If you don’t want to be fooled by all these “new” formulas coming to market, then you’ll need to know what to look for to ensure you buy the best dog food brands.
So far, the best dog food guide we’ve found has come out of our friends at Dog Food Genius.
Check out their helpful infographic to see a comprehensive list of factors that make pet food healthy for pups.