Dogs have specific nutritional needs and it’s easy to think that all dog food sold will satisfy those needs. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true so it’s important to have a keen eye when sourcing the best food for your beloved pooch. Generally, most dog food marketing is based on what consumers want which means it isn’t all created to be the best possible food for your dog.
If a dog is labelled as organic or natural, it’s important to remember that those words come with a vague meaning when it comes to advertising standards.
You will see these terms on many pet foods, unaware that the marketing bodies behind the packaging of the food are simply trying to appeal to your natural habit of looking for foods that would be good for you. In our heads, it’s a case of ‘if it’s good for me, it’s good for my dog’. That’s not to say the food isn’t good for your dog, it’s just important to remember that the claims may just be marketing and may not necessarily mean the food is the best choice for your particular pooch.
Try To Avoid Worry
Lots of pet food marketing is based around the fact you will naturally worry, you’re not giving your dog the best. So if one brand seems to be more ‘natural’ than another, it’s likely you’ll on some level feel bad for not giving your dog ‘the best’. This is marketing at its best and it can be difficult not to get sucked in. Remember, just because the branding and advertising claims the food is better for your dog, this is not necessarily the truth.
Be A Smart Dog Food Shopper
It’s a really good idea to avoid all labelling claims on the dog food you consider. Ignore the claims of certain ingredients, making your dog’s coat more glossy, or that are more natural or higher quality than in comparable products. Stick to the facts and ignore the claims, this will help you avoid making an emotional purchase.
Although you might be impressed with a long list of great sounding ingredients in your dog’s food, this is actually a bad thing. Think of it in the same way you think about your own food. If it has a short list of whole food ingredients, this would seem much healthier than a long list of ingredients you have never heard of – it’s the same with dog food. The shorter the list of ingredients, generally the better quality it is.
Dry & Wet Food
In dry and wet dog food you’re looking for high levels of meat. Carbohydrates like grains are the cheapest parts of the food, so the more grains you see, the less meat there is which isn’t a good thing. You’re looking for minimum grain, maximum meat. It is also important to recognise in both dry and wet dog food (and even any human food) the ingredients that are in the food in the highest amounts are top of the list, so you will want to see the meat descriptions at the top of the ingredients list. Ingredients listed as general ‘meat’ or ‘poultry’ rather than identifying the animal source should be avoided. After the meat you’ll be looking for vegetables or fruits that aren’t fillers (corn, wheat, etc) and a whole grain source like rice.
No-No’s With Dry & Wet Dog Food
- Avoid pet foods containing corn or soya, these are cheap fillers and soya is generally not great for dogs.
- You should avoid by-products, especially when you don’t know what they are.
- Avoid colouring, sweeteners, flavourings and preservatives where possible.
- Avoid food where water is listed as the first ingredient.
Remember, it might seem really difficult to spend the time reading through dog food ingredients lists, but it really is beneficial to your dog. With the right diet, they have healthy bodies, are full of energy and feel at their happiest – just like us. The ideal would be feeding your dog a completely homemade healthy diet, but most of us simply do not have the cash or the time to do that. If you do worry, you won’t have time to browse dog food ingredients in the supermarket, consider buying dog food online. That way you will know exactly what you are buying, can sit and browse labels and order in your PJ’s avoiding peak time supermarket crowds, you get to take advantage of special offers running on the website and you will know exactly when you’re getting a delivery so you can rest assured your dog is getting the right food as and when they need it.