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
|10 Lesser-Known All-American Dog Breeds||6 Places That Are Bad for Dog Socialization||8 Reasons to Switch Your Dog’s Food||5 Natural Remedies to Help Your Itchy Dog||9 Human Medications That Are Safe for Sick Pets|
|5 Tips to Keep Your Pet Slim this Winter||5 Ways to Make Every Day Green With Your Dog||Flea Infestation Guide: How to Kill and Get Rid of Fleas||Ten Facts About Rabies||5 Things Your Puppy Can't Live Without|
|6 Reasons Your Kitten Is Crying||Can Flea & Tick Preventives for Dogs Be Used on Cats?||5 Nutritional Reasons That Cats Aren’t Just Small Dogs||How Did My Cat Get Fleas or Ticks?||Top Ten Tips on How to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean|