Discovering the Best Dog Food
Here is a phrase that is searched on Google literally thousands of times a month – What is the best dog food? With around ten million dogs in the UK, it is not surprising that conscientious pet owners want access to the best hypoallergenic, grain free dog foods on the market, but how do you find them? If you search the internet using the term ‘best dog food’ you will certainly be met with an answer. In actual fact, you will be met with 2,110,000,000 answers, so what should you do?
First of all, don’t necessarily go straight for those ranked at the top of the search. More often than not, these are big corporates that spend millions on marketing and search engine optimisation. Instead, you may wish to look for a brand with an informative website, a wholesome approach and one that offers support, transparency and excellent customer service. Choosing a dog food brand is a very personal thing. Your dog is going to be in your life for many years to come and will inevitably be a central part of your family, so your faith in the brand you choose is of fundamental importance. After all, you only get out what you put in and your dog’s nutrition is the most important decision you will ever make for them.
Secondly, take to social media! Once you have found a couple of brands of interest and have trawled their websites, check out their social media, look at their customer reviews and wherever possible make contact with other customers. The dog community is one of the most supportive communities you are ever likely to come across, so get out there and talk to people, look at comments and reviews and perhaps even direct message the companies themselves with any questions you may have.
Finally, and here is arguably the most important bit of the whole process, learn to read the ingredients labels! You need to know what a premium dog food ingredient list should look like. Just because a vet or a breeder has recommended a food doesn’t make it ‘the best’ for your dog. In fact, if you want a bias free opinion on diet, you may be better off asking your dog trainer or another canine professional: someone that is not aligned or sponsored by any particular brand. Whether you are looking for the best dry dog food, the best raw dog food or the best semi-moist dog food, look beyond the ads, beyond the packaging and beyond the gimmicks. In short, look for the following:
IN KIBBLE / SEMI MOIST
- Are the first four ingredients clearly stated with percentages?
- Is there fresh protein in the first four ingredients? How much?
- What (if any) preservatives are used? Chemical / Natural?
- What types of carbohydrates are used? Are they complex and therefore more digestible?
- How is the kibble cooked? What temperature? (High temperatures deplete nutrients)
- Is it grain free? (Free from: Maize, Wheat, Gluten etc?)
- Does it include Omegas and important Vitamins?
- Is a Prebiotic included?
- Is it fully traceable?
- Are the ingredients clearly stated?
- Is it a complete or do you need to add to it?
- Where is the protein sourced from?
- Is the protein grass or corn fed – free run or caged?
- Is it perfectly balanced for your dog’s age range and activity levels?
- How is the meat processed? Processed while frozen or defrosted and refrozen?
- Is it fully traceable?
Finding the right food for your dog can be a bit of a minefield but we hope that by giving you this information we have helped you along in your journey to finding a dog food that is balanced, nutritious and appropriate for your dog’s life stage and activity levels.