Feeding your dog a high-quality well-balanced food is one of the best things that you, as a pet owner, can do to keep your dog healthy. A good food will keep your dog’s hair coat shiny and sleek. It will strengthen his immune system. It will keep his digestive system in good health. But when it comes to choosing a dog food, the options seem almost endless.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has established guidelines for regulators to govern claims a pet food company can make on its label.
Look at the list of ingredients. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed by weight. Ingredients that contain large amounts of moisture (such as beef, poultry, chicken, or fish) are likely to be at the top of the list because of the moisture content. Ingredients further down the list may offer even more key nutrients such as protein but may weigh less because the water has already been removed for a dry pet food.
Look for Adequacy
You’ll also want to check the pet food label for a nutritional adequacy statement. This statement will read something like “This food is complete and balanced for all life stages,” “This food is complete and balanced for adult maintenance” or “This food is complete and balanced for growth and reproduction.”
Do Homework on Your Brand
Information on sourcing and quality control in manufacturing is not required on pet food labels. You may be able to find the information on the company’s website but if not, call their consumer relations department and ask where its ingredients are sourced. Any reputable company with a quality product will be happy to engage with its consumers.
Next, see if the company manufactures in its own facility rather than outsourcing. This provides better control and safer food for your pup!