Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.
5 Ways to Know Your Dog Food is Worth the Money
Saving money makes sense for certain items, but not when you're talking about skimping on pet food and getting the "cheap" brand. Your pet is wonderful companion and deserves a diet that will help keep him or her healthy for many years to come. How do you know if your pet food is worth it? Let's look a few key factors.
1. Where was the Pet Food Made?
Quality and safety is a concern for all pet food manufacturers, but some companies take particular pride manufacturing the food at their own facilities (versus co-manufacturing or manufacturing off-site) in order to uphold these two principles. According to Mindy Bough, CVT, vice president of operations for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and head of the ASPCA’s Pet Nutrition Services, manufacturing pet foods onsite allows for better quality control as it relates to ingredient sources and processes. Look for a statement on your pet’s food that says it is “manufactured by” the pet food company rather than “manufactured for” or “distributed by.”
2. Who Makes the Pet Food?
Formulating your pet’s food is not easy. In fact, quality pet food manufacturers employ nutritionists who must properly balance key ingredients in the diets (sometimes numbering more than 50 nutrients ) as well as individual nutrients and minerals to help maintain your pet at optimal health.
3. Does it have Artificial Flavors, Additives or Preservatives?
Premium pet foods use natural ingredients instead of artificial flavors, additives or preservatives that are often the source of "empty" or non-nutritious calories. Some preservatives are even known to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in humans such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
4. Has the Pet Food Undergone Feeding Trials?
According to Ashley Gallagher, DVM at Friendship Hospital for Animals, AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) feeding trials are the gold standard when it comes to feeding trials for pet foods. Diets that have been substantiated via this type of feeding trial have been fed to pets under strict guidelines and found to provide proper nutrition. Look for a statement on your pet’s food label that reads: “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that [Name of Pet Food Company] provides complete and balanced nutrition."
5. Does it have an AAFCO Statement?
Also called a "nutrition claim," the "AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy or purpose" is a statement that indicates the food is complete and balanced for a particular life stage, such as growth, reproduction, adult maintenance or all life stage..
Additional SlideshowsWhat's New Dog Cat
|6 Tips for Treating Your Dog’s Dry Winter Skin||7 Ways Having A Pet Keeps You Young||7 Cat Toy Dangers You Should Know||7 Common Skin Problems in Cats||7 Reasons Your Vet Needs to Examine Your New Dog|
|5 Steps to Prep Your Dog for the Kennel||7 Dangers of Not Socializing Your Dog||6 Tips for Treating Your Dog’s Dry Winter Skin||10 Lost Pets That Found Their Way Home||Top 10 Holiday Gifts Your Vet Would Approve Of|
|Three Nutrients Your Cat Needs to Stay Energized||4 Must-Read Tips Before Buying a Food-Dispensing Cat Toy||Top Ten Holiday Gifts for Cats||How to Read a Cat Food Label||Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Pet (and You)|