What is the real difference with between the $10 bag of food and a $40 bag of the same size? Actually, there can be lots of differences between the two bags. From the price tag to long term health issues, making and knowing how to make a good choice about your dog’s food is very important.
Where to begin As a rule of thumb, the cheaper dog foods tend to contain “filler” ingredients, or ingredients that have no or low nutritional value and are only included to cut costs.
Unfortunately, feeding a dog a low quality dog food can lead to short and long term health problems. That is why choosing a good, high quality dog food is one of the most important decisions you can make for your dog.
If you do not know about dog food manufacturers, take a couple of minutes to do some research. Start by looking at brands carried by PetCo, PetSmart, and any other reputable pet store you know.
Looking at a dog food bag Knowing what to look for on a dog food label is the most useful bit of information for making an informed decision.
When you are looking at a dog food bag, turn it over so you are looking at the back. This is where all of the important information is kept. Unfortunately, this is also the most confusing step.
The first area of the label to look for is the Ingredient list. All ingredient lists are arranged in descending order by weight, starting with the heaviest. Make sure one of the first ingredients is a healthy protein (meat) such as chicken or lamb.
Look out for “filler” ingredients such as corn, wheat, or soy. Also keep in mind that the main ingredient may not be the first ingredient since they are listed by weight.
The second piece of information you are looking for is the Nutritional Adequacy Statement. The statement will tell you if the food provides complete and balanced nutrition and will also indicate if the formula is intended for a specific life stage.
The third section you are looking for is the Guaranteed Analysis. This area of the label must include the minimum guarantees of protein and fat as well as the maximum guarantees of moisture and fiber.
Other tips Make sure to note the feeding directions on the label as well. These directions should be taken as a guideline and may not be right for your dog. If you have any concerns or questions, consult your veterinarian.
About the author:
Kayleigh has always loved animals and has spent time volunteering at the local dog shelter. The love of her life is her four year old Rottweiler, Lizzie. She enjoys writing for YeePet.com since it combines her love of animals with one of her favor...
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