Many pet parents want the best for their pet dogs, and this includes giving them premium food. Read more about pet food on this page here. A balanced diet can make them live healthier, and this can affect their long-term wellbeing for the best. Naturally, you will want to make the right choice when it comes to choosing the right food. So, how to choose among various competing brands and thousands of options in the market?
From the time that they were born, or you’ve brought a new puppy home, you may have probably heard the term premium food in many websites, labels, and printed ads. Even the veterinary doctor may recommend this to you to jumpstart the growth of your pet. But, what do they even mean with the term “premium”?
It may be surprising to know, but this term does not have a regulatory or legal definition. In many pet communities, this is the term that’s not commonly found in the household or popular store brands. Know that they are not necessarily connected with the number of nutrients and vitamins that a dog food package contains.
You may need to do some research and a little detective work to ensure that what you’re buying is worth it. Fortunately, you can get ready to choose if you have knowledge of what to look for. An informed choice of going with the Hungry Bark instead of getting the first pack that you see on the aisle is beneficial if you know what to look for. Other pieces of information that you may need are found below.
Choosing an Excellent Food Brand
The first thing that you need to know is what is a brand exactly? Store or generic brands have the name of the shop where you usually buy them. An example of this package is Kirkland. There are also private labels that aim to look fancier, like the Ol’Roy or Wal-Mart’s. Some large-scale manufacturers produce household brands.
A gray area comes in in private household brands that are often known to manufacture the products. The ones that are not household names or generics are considered premium. They are less expensive, more familiar, and owned by essentially the same conglomerate in the industry. The ones with the Nutro Max are owned by Mars. Of course, many pet parents can go with the vanity brands where labels are produced by familiar manufacturers like unique blends of chef this or that.
Another thing that you may consider is prescription dog food. They are entirely another category. They are formulated for canines with a specific medical condition, and you can only purchase them in a veterinary clinic or facility that your pet’s doctor recommends.
The premium status does not necessarily mean more nutrition and higher-quality ingredients. Although in some legitimate brands, you can usually discover that this is typically the case. However, know that some ingredients take time to acquire, and there are production costs that need to be covered, so this is why they cost more.
Premium Brands Can Legitimately Offer More Nutrients
A guide that can adequately help you is reading the AAFCO nutrient profile, and it’s fine if you want a less flashy food as long as it can give your dog the nutrient he needs. The ones that are a better choice for your canine are something that can match their environment, temperament, activity level, physical makeup, and age. Look for the food that will fit more into your pet’s overall wellness and the environment where they are in.
Some may market more than what their products contain. However, a legitimate company has higher sources of protein. Look for ones with plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, and no artificial dyes in the mix. The best ingredients are easily digestible and contribute to the overall health of your pet.
Nutritional values per kibble are usually higher than the ones in the economical brands. Some can offer you certificates from laboratory tests to ensure that what you read on the label is something that you’ll get. Getting nutritious food with premium ingredients will also mean that they will eat less than what they need in other brands. It can be less waste that you need to dispose of.
Before buying, it’s best if you compare some of the guides you see in other brands. This is usually seen in the black and white sides of the label. It can be surprising that it’s actually cheaper to buy premium, plus they offer more nutrients.
What to Look For
You need to do a nutrient analysis whenever possible. This analysis is found at the side of the package, where you’ll find information like the fat content, fiber, and protein levels in a single diet. Carefully examine the ingredients. Know that proteins often come in poultry, meat, and even plant matters.
The economy brands may include glute, wheat, corn, bone, meat, and soy. However, these are considered by some as not enough sources of protein, and there may be a need to supplement these with vitamins. Learn more why protein is essential here: https://www.petguide.com/health/dog/why-is-protein-essential-in-a-dogs-diet/. The list of ingredients is usually written in percentage, from the most abundant to the least. Look for diets that have meat in them at least four out of six of the listed ingredients.
Few Things to Pick for your Pet’s Food
Know that preservatives like BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin are often added to many pet products. However, it’s best to avoid the chemical ones and look for more organic and natural preservatives like spices, cloves, and rosemary. Naturally, they will not provide a longer shelf life, but they can be safer in terms of consumption.
The antioxidants help with a dog’s immune system, and they are considered additional supplements. Their presence can be regarded as a deterrence to many conditions like heart and kidney diseases.
Some may contain artificial dyes to make the food more attractive to dogs, but the ingredients may not be suitable for them. Know that these are unnecessary, and they can even be linked to various medical conditions if you’re not careful.