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Choosing the right food for your pet

11 Aug, 2022
Dogs

When choosing the right food for your pet it’s hard to know where to begin. Just like us, each animal is unique. If you ask a room of people what they ate that day, every time you’ll get a different answer. It would be rather strange to have the exact same diet as your neighbour!

Based on this, we recommend feeding the dog in front of you. This means using their body condition, energy levels, skin, coat and stool quality as guides that cannot lie. This is a visual demonstration of what works and what doesn’t and shows how much food your pet needs. Animals have different preferences, allergies, sensitives and needs informed by hormonal and environmental factors. You can work with your vet to determine the best, personalised diet for your pet.

Moving to the food itself, we have five suggestions on how to choose the correct pet food.

  1. The best thing to look for is the first five ingredients. Legally, this must be listed in order of weight. A quality recipe is fixed and does not change based on ingredient market price so you get the same ingredients every time, despite what is cheapest at the time of manufacture. A hot tip is to look out for ‘food splitting’ which is the creative practice of dividing inferior ingredients into multiple line items so they take up less percentage of the recipe. E.g., 30% rice could become – 10% white rice, 10% brown rice and 10% jasmine rice.
  2. Step two is to look for digestible proteins – the healthiest and most agreeable ingredients to your dog. Digestible proteins have good bioavailability, which means they can be easily absorbed. The key is to avoid ambiguous ingredients like “meat” which features on cheaper brands and could be any ‘protein.’ We also advise to avoid common allergens such as corn and wheat which can be used to bump up the protein percentage on labels. Make sure you ask if the meat is human grade or knackery which could come from one of the 4D’s (dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals). It’s also important to find out if the food is fresh or if there have been any issues with cleanliness or recalls.
  3. Use the feeding guide to figure out whether the food is nutrient dense. if so, you will need to adjust your portions to a smaller size to appropriately hit nutrient requirements.
  4. Check stool quantity and quality. Yes, stool score is a thing! A nutritious meal will result is a smaller stool size and less flatulence as most nutrients can be absorbed by the animal’s body.
  5. Compare apples with apples. This means when looking at different brands of dog food compare ‘Guaranteed Analysis’ against ‘Guaranteed Analysis’ not ‘Typical Analysis’ or ‘Dry Matter Basis (DMB).’ The latter is very different and removes water content for purposes of accurate comparison.

Article Supplied By: Prime 100

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