Picking a Diet for your Dog or Cat
Walking down the food isle of the pet store can be a daunting task.
So many brands, what is going to be best for my dog of cat?
Here are some eye opening highlights of the dog food industry...
- All pet food should have an AAFCO label on the bag. If it does not, then it is not a complete diet.
- Pets that are over 1 year should not eat a puppy food. If your AAFCO label states that the food is good for all life stages, that includes puppies/kittens up to geriatric pets. Adult pets should have food that is formulated specifically for them.
- Any food labeled as weight loss, must also include the words "light" or "lite".
- The majority of dog food companies do not have "fixed formulations". This means that they can change the ingredients of the dog food for up to 6 months without reporting it. For example... the beef flavored food may actually have chicken or fish.
- The labeled ingredients are listed by weight. The meat is often the heaviest because it has the most moisture. THIS MEANS THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE FOOD MAY NOT BE MEAT JUST BECAUSE IT IS LISTED FIRST.
- Corn is high in vitamins and minerals. It is also easily digested.
- All pets should have their food measured. They should receive 1 cup per 20lbs. That amount is based upon their ideal weight.
Remember that pet food manufacturers decorate food bags to be colorful and eye catching. This creates the misconception that the food is nutritionally balanced. As you walk through the grocery store and read the food labels, don't forget to read your pets' food label!