“What should I feed my pets?”
“What brand of food is the best?”
These are two of the most common concerns pet parents ask about and, unfortunately, can involve a complex response. There are literally hundreds of brands of commercial pet food. Here are a few guidelines to help narrow the selection and keep in mind that your pet may enjoy and benefit from feeding a variety of brands over time (3-4 brands per year). Just remember to keep the transition between brands gradual. We recommend slowly increasing the new food over 7-10 days.
Here are a couple guidelines for buying pet food:
Pet grade by-products can include organs or other parts that are not desired for or do not meet the standards for human consumption. These can include bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, heads, feet, and feathers.
Let Animal Protein Top the List
Ingredients are listed by weight, so look for quality animal protein at the top of the list, particularly the top two or more ingredients. Also a named protein (chicken, lamb, beef, etc.) rather than a generic term (meat meal, animal by-product meal, etc.) is preferable. If your pet has skin or stomach issues (diarrhea/vomiting), try a single source protein food.
Avoid Sweeteners & Artificial Colors
Artificial colors are added to foods to make them more appealing to pet owners not pets. Sweeteners, while enjoyable for your pet, effectively persuade many dogs to eat foods comprised mainly of grain fragments (and containing little healthy animal protein).
Grading your dog food is a great way to identify where your current brand stands with other comparable options. Follow this link for more information about the Food Grading Scale.
If you are looking for more information about navigating commercial pet foods, browse The Whole Dog Journal, which has a lot of resources online