If you’re a new paw parent, you may wonder how pro dog owners choose which to buy for their pets.
Here are some helpful dog food shopping tips you can keep in mind as you sort through your options.
1 – Stay Away From Kibble
Don’t fall for the nutrition benefits their label claims to have. Based on veterinary science, kibbles’ ingredients will do more harm than good to your pet.
2 – Watch Out for Preservatives
Plenty of dog foods in the market — especially cheap ones — are loaded with preservatives. Preservatives can cause problems in dogs’ digestive tract. Look for dog food options that don’t contain numerous preservatives and fillers.
3 – The Less Processed, the Better
Just like our food, the more whole the ingredients are, the better. In the case of vegetable ingredients, the less processing they undergo, the more nutrients are retained.
4 – Your Dog Loves It
Mealtimes should be enjoyable. Does your dog look forward to feeding time? If yes, take it as a sign that you’ve found a good dog food worth sticking with.
5 – Their Stomach Agrees with It
Aside from palatibility, also check if your dog’s stomach likes the dog food. The state of their poop is a telltale sign.
A healthy dog poop is moist but firm and holds its form when you scoop it up. If it’s runny or has an unusual look or odor, it may be a sign that a dog food doesn’t sit well with your pet’s stomach.
But if you’ve just introduced your dog to a new dog food product, it’s natural to see changes in their stool during the first few feeds.
6 – Look for the AAFCO Statement
One way to be sure you’re buying dog food that meets your pet’s nutritional needs is to check what AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials) says about it.
Whether you have a puppy, an adult dog, a nursing dog, or an aged dog, make sure you choose a dog food that is suited to their exact life stage.
7 – Wet Food vs. Dry Food
Dry food is popular because it’s easy to store and can last long periods. Letting your dogs nibble on kibbles or pellets can also improve your dog’s teeth.
Wet food, on the other hand, is ideal for dogs who have difficulty chewing (like aged dogs). Some experts also say wet food is more palatable than dry dog food. However, once opened, it needs to be consumed right away.
8 – Expensive Is Not Always Best
Some people think the most expensive dog food is the best choice. Sure, high-quality ingredients come with a price. But is it the right food for your dog? Not always.
Rather than the price tag, pay attention to the label and ingredients.
On the flip side, be wary of cheap dog food products. They are most likely made up of mostly of extenders and ingredients that won’t nourish your dog.