In general, we as a herding society, are easily influenced by outside forces, such social media, the news, and advertisements that tell us why their product is better than the other guy’s product. Sometimes its difficult to choose the best pet food for our dogs and cats, but products that are produced for our pets have a special place in the media since they are made to protect, nurture, and provide them with the proper nutrition to thrive.
When we think about the things that we eat, it may vary from day to day. We wake up, open the refrigerator door, and make choices. We choose to make a smoothie with delicious, healthy ingredients that we know will help our bodies to be strong and energetic and make it through the day or we grab a doughnut, with glaze or stuffed with sugary, creamy filling. This is completely void of any nutritional value, and we know it. Our pets cannot choose what they eat (well, usually), and we know this, which adds to our feeling of guilt when we see a pet food commercial that tells us we shouldn’t be feeding our pets by-products, etc. Let’s use by-products as our example, shall we?
Chicken by-products are parts of the chicken we do not consider edible, at least in this country. This pretty much includes the whole chicken; beaks, feet, etc. (okay, we will feed our dogs ears, hooves, antlers, but not chicken feet? Come on, think about it….). These parts of the chicken are actually very dense in nutrients that our pets need to be healthy. Don’t let a pet food manufacturer tell you otherwise. We have all seen that advertisement where the owner of a pet is mortified that they have been feeding their pet chicken by-products for all these years. Pets require different nutrients than we do. This is why vets got very scared when the big recalls on pet foods happened and everyone started feeding their pets homemade diets. These diets cannot provide everything pets need unless you consulted with a pet food nutrition expert first.
The Best Pet Food for Dogs & Cats
Trust the pet food manufacturers that have been around for many years. For the most part, They have done their research and are not going to sell you food that will jeopardize your precious pet’s life. They want to be sure THEY are the best, and that you continue to buy their products. Check on your pet food label and be sure your pet food company has done feeding trials. This means they have actually fed it to pets for at least six months and done testing to be sure it provides adequate nutrition. Many brands do not do this. It isn’t actually required by AAFCO, the organization that was founded to provide guidelines for pet foods.
Also check your label to see if your pet food has been tested for your pet’s specific life stage. Some pet foods are tested for all life stages. This means you may be feeding your thirteen year-old dog a food that has way too much or too little of certain nutrients that may be more appropriate for an eight week old puppy. If your pet food brand has taken the time to separate the life stages, it will say so on your bag. Puppy or kitten, adult, and seniors all require different nutrients.
Also, be aware that most of our companion animals are not hunting or sporting animals and don’t require high calories or high fat and protein. If you feed them these things in excess, you may have consequences medically that may cost a lot to fix (if it is fixable) such as obesity, urinary issues, diabetes, joint/bone disease, or organ failure.
I’m not saying these newer companies are no good, I’m sure most of them provide adequate nutrition as well, however, I’m going to stick with tried and true. I’m also not saying that every pet food manufacturer that has been around for many years offer the best pet food. I hate to name names, but we usually recommend products like Purina, Pedigree, Iams and Science Diet. Usually a moderately priced dog food will provide great nutrition and may be the best pet food for your dog or cat.
If you are concerned about what the best pet food is for your pet or if you need some guidance, please contact us. We will be happy to help you. That’s what we are here for.