There is a lot of controversy with dog owners about the best dog food. Some people have no idea what makes good dog food. They buy the most expensive brand because they assume it’s premium dog food. Others think that dog foods are dog foods and if their dog seems to be healthy, they see no reason to spend more money for a higher-quality brand.
Before considering the costs of dog food, let’s start with what makes good dog food. A quality dog food depends on the quality of the ingredients and the nutritional power of the food. It should offer a balanced diet and contain higher protein sources among the first two ingredients. This may include whole fresh meat or meat-based meals from a single source, such as a chicken meal (rather than a poultry meal). Premium dog foods would also contain whole grain unprocessed as well as vegetables and even fruits. It would have a few loads such as corn, soybeans, brewer’s rice, and wheat bran. It would use natural preservatives instead of chemicals like propylene glycol and BHT or BHT.
Supermarket Dog Foods vs. Premium Brands: What is the best value for money?
Some people are shocked when they compare the price of high-quality dog food to an economy brand. Many supermarket dog foods are so-called economic brands that, surprisingly, are more expensive to feed your dog than high-quality dog foods. Why? Because “inexpensive” dog foods tend to contain fewer nutrients than high-quality foods and you need to feed them more to get the same nutritional punch as a more expensive luxury brand. For example, the recommended feed instructions for a supermarket brand indicate that you should feed about 6 cups per day for a 35 to 50 lb dog. The label of an ultra-premium dog food recommends about 1 ¾ to 2 cups a day. That’s about three times more standard dog food compared to higher quality food. So now, which is cheaper? And think of the amount of poo you will need to pick up if you feed your dog six cups a day! Some low-end dog food manufacturers have even reduced the amount of food recommended for their food to look more economical.
Bottom-end dog foods typically contain cornmeal as one of the main ingredients (an acceptable source of protein, but may cause allergies in some dogs), as well as chicken or animal by-products. or meat/poultry melted. By-products are pieces of carcasses of animals or poultry slaughtered, milled and rendered, and may include the head, feet, neck, and viscera. These are less nutritious but are often used in inferior dog foods because they are much cheaper than turkey, chicken or whole meat. Rendering is often called “by-product meal” and means leftover cooked and processed leftovers in the processing of meat and poultry. Yuck!
What should you look for in dog food?
Learn to read the label. The best dog foods are made from whole products, such as chicken, turkey, and lamb. Also check the label to see if the protein source is free of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. Chicken fat is a very good source of linoleic acid, which helps make dogs’ coats healthy and shiny. Also, check the fiber content. Three to four percent of fiber is recommended for stool solids. Avoid dog foods that have rendered meat, poultry or fats, animal by-products, added growth hormones, brain or vertebral tissue, artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives and dogs likely to have allergies, avoid corn, soy, wheat, and eggs.