Dog food can be tricky business, and particularly because there are not a lot of rigid rules about the wording used on packaging. All natural, wholesome, healthy…these are things we all want in our pet’s food bowl, and yet that wording may not be as accurate or honest as we might like. That is why we are going to cue you in on the terms and things you can use or do to figure out the very highest quality dog food for your furry friends.
Understand simple terms – If the dog food says that it is a single ingredient, it must be at least 95% that specified ingredient (without including water). When the food label says something like entrée or dinner, it needs to only feature around 25% of the ingredient in the “flavor”. So, that beef dinner has 25% beef, and if there is the word “with” before that, i.e., with beef, it only needs 3% beef.
Listed by weight – Ingredients appear in order of weight, which means meats like chicken or fish (high in water) are usually first. Those things further down offer nutrient content but can be fillers.
Grains, glutens ,and by-products – In a word, try to avoid them. If they do show up on the label, they must NOT be in the first five ingredients ,and they MUST appear AFTER any meats and meals. We recommend going for no by-products because their origins are questionable.
Consider your dog’s needs and issues – It is impossible to point anyone towards the ideal dog food for their dog based on generalizations. You must also look at your dog’s needs. Is the dog elderly and infirm? Is the dog active? What about the dog’s age? If it is a pup or still growing, you have to take such factors into account. Determine things like caloric needs and use that also to help you choose the ideal food.
Also remember that “food” can mean wet canned foods, dry kibble, freeze-dried foods and more. You can also supplement with high-quality meats and vegetables cooked at home. The point is to find out just what any food contains and avoid the options packed with cheap and low-quality fillers, by-products and artificial ingredients.
Dogs can live happily on simple flavors and high-quality protein, and once you find good options, you’ll want to stick with them. If you are in the Jacksonville area, Earth Pets is a trusted source for all natural and premium pet foods.