Choose the Right Dog Food

 

 

dogfood

Graphic by: Shelby Wallace

Shelby Wallace
Graphic Designer

Being a Dog Food Advisor has opened my eyes to how uninformed the general public is when it comes to dog food. In a society surrounded by large companies selling cheap “quality” food, it’s hard to find the right product for your pet.

Choosing a quality dog food is not only important but could be life-saving to your pet. When looking at dog food, it is crucial to look at reviews of the brand, the ingredients, the price and if it is fit for your dog’s age, weight and health status.

Otherwise, your pooch could suffer from life-threatening problems such as allergic reactions, digestive issues, or a lower quality of life. Macie Rhodes, a Computer Management and Information Systems major at Lewis and Clark Community College, states that “feeding dogs a higher quality food is important because the dogs’ energy levels could be regulated and weight gain/loss could be controlled, making the dogs overall, healthier and increasing their life expectancy. I use Blue for my dogs and I noticed a significant difference in energy and weight control in switching from Purina.”

The first step to choosing the right dog food is to look at reviews and ratings of the brand. You may think if the brand is popular, then the food must be quality. However, this is false. Some of the best selling brands in dog food have been rated the worst.

DogFoodAdvisor.com, a reputable website that looks at the overall makeup of dog foods, rated Purina One dog food a two-star food while rating Wellness Core dog food a five-star food.

They state, “Purina One dry dog food is a grain-based kibble using only a modest amount of poultry or fish as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand 2 stars.”

While stating that, “Wellness Core dry dog food is a grain-free, meat-based dry dog food using a notable amount of poultry, lamb and named fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.”

When purchasing food for ourselves, it is easy to justify buying fast food or buying organic because we have the choice of exactly what we put into our bodies. However, our pets do not have this luxury. They eat what we feed them, and whatever quality of food we chose, directly impacts their overall health and well-being.

That is why it is crucial to look at the ingredients of the food we are choosing for them. Meat and grain-related allergies are among the most common problem that plagues the canine species.

When looking at dog food, you should look at the first ingredient. High-quality dog food will have meat as the first ingredient, but you must make sure that your pet is not allergic to this meat.

Grains, such as corn, wheat, or soy are a source of carbohydrates; however, many canines are allergic to them. Grains are mostly used as a “filler” because they are not only cheap but have no major nutritional value. A better alternative for carbs in your pet’s diet is a food that includes potatoes instead.

Finding a high-quality dog food may seem expensive, but what many people don’t realize is that when you are feeding a higher quality food, you may not have to feed your dog as much. So most of the time a higher priced bag of food will last you longer than a cheap bag of food due to the fact that the dog doesn’t need as much of it to get all of their nutritional requirements. A good way to compare is to look at the feeding charts of different dog foods.

While some people may believe that all high-quality dog foods are insanely overpriced, finding a higher quality dog food for the same price as those of lesser quality isn’t impossible. For example, a 30-pound bag of Whole Earth Farms is around $40 compared to a 20-pound bag of Purina Pro Plan for $37.

Lastly, always make sure you are looking at the weight and age requirements when picking out dog food. You certainly wouldn’t want to be feeding large breed senior food to a Chihuahua puppy. The main difference between large breed and small breed dog foods are the size of the kibble, while the main difference between puppy and senior foods are the nutrients added.

Choosing the right dog food may seem challenging, but by following these guidelines and suggestions, you should be able to get a higher quality food that works for your pet, without breaking the bank. Jessica Glunt, a manager at the Petco in Alton, states “Knowing what is in your dog food can make a huge difference in your dogs’ everyday behaviors. As a pet parent, it is important to make the right decisions for your dog because they count on you to keep them happy and healthy!”

To find out the best food for your pet, visit dogfoodadvisor.com for dog food reviews and ratings.

shjwallace@lc.edu