Food Deliveries are the Best!
Before you make a switch, keep in mind that picking a food for your Fido should be just that--what's best for Bowser. This is not a selection of which food makes YOU salivate!
What to look for on the label:
- Where to shop: Busy independent pet supply stores often have more knowledgeable staff. If you're like me and the closest such establishment is not inside your stomping grounds, you'll have two alternatives that can offer good choices--pet specialty chain stores, both online and the brick-and-mortar variety. Start at the latter until you have made an initial selection, to allow you to read the entire label according to the tips below.
- Locate the ingredients panel and guaranteed analysis to compare protein and fat to your dog's current meal choice.
- Always check the Best By date or Date of Production; the former is required, while the latter is provided on the label by some manufacturers.
- Now find the AAFCO statement that states how the maker met the requirements of a "complete and balanced " diet. Manufacturers have a choice of (1) meeting required nutrient profiles or (2) completing a feeding trial.
- A Named animal protein at the top of the list. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight; the bottom half of the list is generally vitamins and minerals.
- Specific animal protein (ex: chicken, beef, etc.) is not as questionable as "meat". Animal protein meals should also be specific to the animal: choose "chicken meal" over a more vague "poultry meal" for clarity and generally healthier handling. If a fresh meat is first on the ingredient list, an animal protein meal should supplement this due to excessive moisture in fresh meat. Protein meal will help assure adequate protein.
- Whole vegetable, fruits and grains, assuming you're not looking at grain-free foods.
- That 6-month out Best By date would be even better if 10-11 months away. Dates as much as 2 years away may suggest synthetic preservatives.
- Meat and poultry by-products are not stored as carefully as better ingredients, meaning more potential for trouble.
- Animal fats should be specifically named to be traceable. Don't buy food including poultry fat or meat fat; choose chicken fat or beef fat instead.
- Added sweeteners are enjoyed by dogs just as by us, and just like us, they don't need them. These ingredients can encourage eating challenges.
- Steer clear of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. The latter will generally be listed as BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin. Choose products with natural preservatives like mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), Vitamin C or rosemary extract.
rep that they ask for by name when they contact the company. It's always nice to talk to a familiar person when you need help making a selection. Customer service is an important part of the brand you choose.