Have you been searching long and hard for best quality dog food to feed your pooch, but can’t seem to find a kibble that meets your expectations – and your canine’s expectations? You would think with so many dog food brands on the market that finding one would be easy. Just the opposite is true, actually.
With so many to choose from, the process of deciding what goes in the dog food bowl each morning and evening is more difficult than ever. Even after doing hours of research on the topic, you still might feel at a loss when it comes to what goes in your dog’s belly. To make things a bit easier, consider these 5 must-have traits of dog food next time you go shopping for your pup’s dinner.
Ingredients Should be 100% Documented and Approved
The very first thing to look for in dog food is an ingredient list that is 100% approved. This means that each and every ingredient needs to be approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). An even bigger perk is when the dog food manufacturer has partnered with a team of animal dieticians and a variety of pet companies. This means that the company is doing everything necessary to put a high-quality, nutritious product on the shelves.
Elimination of Allergenic Ingredients
When was the last time your dog had an allergy test? Probably never, as allergy tests in animals are extremely rare. This means your dog might have an allergy or food sensitivity and you don’t even know it. Allergies and food sensitivities in dogs come in many forms; it could come in the form of shedding, itching, digestion problems, even bad breath.
If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms or more, it’s time to try a new dog food. Top brands take food allergens into account when they create their recipes. The most common allergens used in dog food are chicken, corn, wheat gluten, soy, and potatoes. Look for a dog food brand that has eliminated these ingredients, or at least use them very minimally. Grain-free dog food is the best option for dogs with a food allergy, so give it a try.
Remember that a Dog Needs a Balanced Diet
Unlike carnivorous cats, dogs are omnivores. This means that they should consume both animal and plant products for optimal health. Many pet owners feel that a dog should survive solely on meat products, which is why some people have turned to feeding their dogs raw or slightly cooked meats, and nothing else. Opting for a meat-only diet is actually not a beneficial practice, for you or the dog. First of all, it can be very expensive, and it’s not likely that your pet is dishing over any cash to chip in for dog food. Secondly, studies show that a dog should have a complete balance of meat and plant products to live a healthy life. Eliminating grains is still a good idea since grains are riddled with allergens, but look for dog food with a combination of meat, veggies, and legumes.