How to Choose a Healthier Pet Food
THE GOAL: Choosing the right food for your pet is vital to its health, happiness and safety. Always look for natural ingredients that are highly palatable in a mix that offers 100% of the nutrition that every pet needs.
How can you choose your pet’s food?
- Compare the ingredients of your dog’s food with the ingredients of food’s that have been approved by The Whole Dog Journal.
- Be prepared to pay more for top-quality foods. Pay for good food now, or the vet later.
- Allow your dog to be the ultimate judge of “what’s best” for him- don’t force your dog to eat his food. Try several foods and and observe your dog for signs that his diet is or is not agreeing with him. No one food is best for “all dogs”, just as no food is best for all humans.
- Switch foods regularly- Switching your dog’s food will not upset their stomach. But if fed the same food over very long periods of time switching the food may then cause an upset stomach. It is recommended to switch up your dog’s food regularly as you would do in a human diet. When switching your dog’s food do it gradually over a 2-3 days. Start with about 75% or the original food and 25% of the new food. Gradually increase the amount of the new food over the next few day until it is just the new food that you are feeding your dog.
- Another thing to look for on the label of the food is the animal protein. It should be (Chicken, beef, lamb, etc.) Not “Meat” and “animal protein” these are example of low quality protein sources.
- Avoid foods that contain meat by-products or poultry by-products
|Named meat or fish(chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, herring, salmon, etc.)Concentrated named meat proteins
(chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, herring meal, salmon meal, etc.)
|Protein (1st ingredients)||UFI’s: Unnamed food ingredients
(poultry by-products, meat and bone meal)Protein fillers(corn gluten meal, wheat gluten)
|Whole grains(rice, barley, oatmeal)Fruits and vegetables
(potatoes, carrots, peas, tomatoes, alfalfa, apples, etc.)
|Grains and Veggies||Grain remnants & fractions(highly processed flours, mill runs)|
|Named fats from quality sources(chicken fat, lamb fat, sunflower oil, herring oil, etc.)Natural preservatives
(mixed tocopherols, Vitamin E)
|Fats, Oils||Fats from non-specific sources(animal fat, poultry fat, vegetable oil)Synthetic preservatives
(BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin)
|Antioxidants(Vitamin A, C and E)Chelated minerals
(iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, etc.)
|Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements||Coloring(caramel color, FD&C colors)|
AAFCO – SEEK
AAFCO-(Association American Feed Control Officials). Their profiles are Protocol testing and are the recognized industry authority on dog and cat nutrition for the purpose of substantiation of nutritional adequacy in commercial pet foods.