When I was growing up, my parents didn’t give much thought to what they fed our golden retrievers. I remember we just bought whatever was on sale, and that’s what the dogs would eat until the bag ran empty. Then it would be onto the next sale brand and so forth. No one examined the ingredients list or anything like that. I guess we just didn’t think that such a thing as quality dog food existed, so we didn’t bother looking.
These days, however, there is much more information out there about what’s good for our pets. Research shows that paying attention to your pet’s diet and serving quality dog food instead of the cheap stuff can help your beloved companion live a longer, healthier life. That’s because dogs don’t benefit from the additives, filler, and animal byproducts that are usually found in generic brands. Those sub-par materials can cause a variety of health problems ranging from digestive issues to something very serious such as heart disease. Obviously there’s no guarantee that switching to quality dog food will absolutely prevent these problems, but the odds will likely swing in your favor.
So how can you tell what is quality dog food and what is not? The best way is by reading the label. A quick look at the label on a low-cost bag of kibble will probably have corn as its first ingredient. You might not even find any identifiable meats on the list, but instead some vague references to “poultry”. You’d think if the manufacturer used real chicken or turkey in making the product, they would list those. The fact that they simply say “poultry” should give you some concern. Instead, pass on the corn (which just fills your pet’s belly without providing much nutritional value) and poultry, and look for ingredient labels that list actual meat products first. That’s how you’ll know you’ve come across a quality dog food.
This exercise might prove a bit surprising to some of you. Some brands that you would have considered to be a quality dog food will come up very short when put to this ingredient test. At the same time, other brands that you might have dismissed too quickly might end up being better than expected. In addition to the options you can find at the grocery store, be sure to check the Internet as well. Online shopping has made it easier to get hold of offerings from smaller brands that don’t have a national presence. One of these might suit you perfectly.
Now that I know better, I only buy quality dog food for my pet. Yes, it costs a few dollars extra per bag, but it’s worth it. If you’re an animal lover too, I’m sure you’ll agree.