I get so disgusted when I walk into grocery stores and see naive people putting low grade dog food into their cart. I try not to be too hard on them, as I was once one of these consumers. Growing up my pets consumed foods like these, so when I moved out and got my own pet I was about to offer him the same. Although this time I did some research first, and was shocked at what I found!
Did you know that according to dogfoodadvisor.com brands like Beneful, Alpo, Kibbles and bits, Ol’ Roy, and Purina only get ONE star out of FIVE? I don’t want to bad mouth these brands too much, but please check your bag and check reviews before you purchase a dog food for your four legged babies. You can click an easy link and see comparisons of brands at wellnesscheckyourbag.com. For the basics in checking your dog food bag, check the first five ingredients.
If the first five ingredients include the following items, perhaps grab a different bag.
- Corn products or Brewers Rice- Both have little benefit other than to provide energy, which if unused will turn to fat. Also many animals do not favor well with a diet filled with grains.
- Beef and bone meal or “meat” by-products and Animal digest- this is not meat in my opinion, this is what is left of the animal after the butcher has taken his prime pieces. For example, tissues, blood, hooves, hair…. Do I need to continue? Be even more concerned if it is just listed as “meat”, because who knows it could be rats that fell into the vat, animals they found dead on the way to work, or picked up from the vets batch of euthanized animals… Oh the joy in a good mystery!
- Chemical preservatives
- Artificial coloring. It has no benefit and your dog does not really care what color the food is. I thought dogs are color blind?
- Artificial flavoring or preservatives
I also want to note that just because your Veterinarian carries it does not mean it is the best. They are paid to carry a particular brand, so do your research here as well. Now, if your pet has a particular issue with urinary infection or diet issue, by all means, do what your veterinarian orders to fix your animal’s temporary aliment.
So what SHOULD you be looking for?
Higher end foods like Wellness carry the following:
- A specified meat should always be ingredient number one. Some meats are easier to digest then others, and will depend on what your dog likes and can handle. Remember your pets a carnivore by nature.
- Whole fruits and vegetables
- Highly palatable proteins from a quality source
- Prebiotics and Probiotics to aid in digestion and promote a healthy intestinal tract
- Omega 6 and 3’s and fatty acids help in gaining a beautiful and healthy coat
- Vitamins and minerals- designed for cellular health, immunity and disease resistance
- Also an added bonus is brands that test regularly for safety and quality, come with a guarantee and are not owned by a huge conglomerate.
Overall, doesn’t the second list sound more like what YOU would want to eat? Although these 4-5 star dog foods carry a higher price tag, you will notice your pet will eat less, as the ingredients are more nutritionally beneficial for your pet. It is like eating a steak vs. a bag of cheese balls. Plus your pet will be happier and healthier, (and leave less messes in the yard), which is the real end goal, right!? For more information, helpful tips and potential savings check out the Naturally Well Pet Community or their fun Facebook page. Find store locations and online retailers at wellnesspetfood.com.
Thank you to Wellness pet food for sponsoring this post, all opinions are my own.