Please excuse the construction!

Talking about Dog Food...

By 10:34 AM , ,

The days of treating our pets like "pets" are over. Pets are members of the family now. 

This means that more pet owners are choosing to closely examine what they choose to feed their dog. Dog food choices can be very controversial and I've seen some very heated arguments. We all want the best for our dogs and sometimes we don't have the budget for "the Best" and even if we did, no one can agree on what the best actually is. Some recommend premium dog food brands that others recommend avoiding, some recommend raw feeding...

DogFoodAdvisor is a great place to start to find out a little more about various dog foods and what's in them. When I first looked on DogFoodAdvisor, I was horrified. I wasn't feeding Harper the cheapy stuff to begin with...they put what in the mid-range dog food? As a pet owner, I felt that by choosing to buy the mid-level dog food for my pup, I was getting her a pretty good food: nutritious, safe, etc. But I was very wrong. I felt sick when I learned the things I had been feeding her. 

I transitioned to a different food, which Harper loved. She only seemed to like her other food. Her new food she seemed to love. It was the premium food now offered by the company that I felt kind of attached to, since we had always used this brand. However, this new food clocked in at $1.98/pound. Ouch. And it still contained one ingredient that I really didn't like. I found a new dog food that is just over $1/pound and contains no ingredients that concern me. It's also manufactured by a company that, after reading much literature, has gained my trust and respect. Harper has been on this food for a few months now, and it seems to be doing great. I am so excited that I am providing a good food for my dog. Harper's food is rated 4 stars (out of five) on DogFoodAdvisor, and is fairly inexpensive. DogFoodAdvisor is notoriously difficult on dog foods, so I consider a 4 star rating to be excellent...they consider this food to be "highly recommended." 

Besides ingredients, you also have to worry about exactly who manufactures the food. Just because your dog food is Sally's Most Premium Dog Food, that doesn't mean that the company that owns Sally's Most Premium Dog Food chooses to make the food they put their name on. They could simply come up with a recipe and hire another company, like Discount Dog Food, Inc., to manufacture this food. And Discount Dog Food, Inc. might be notorious for the number of recalls they have due to poor food safety within their plants. You might think that Sally's Most Premium Dog Food sounds great and that Sally's Most Premium Dog Food is a good company...but that doesn't matter if Sally's Most Premium Dog Food isn't making that dog food themselves. They contract out others to cheaply manufacture their food, knowing that a particular company isn't known for good quality, safe work. They've contracted it out and shifted the blame if something does go wrong. And these companies usually choose multiple manufacturers so if something does go wrong, it looks isolated, even if the event could've been prevented. Several premium dog food companies do this.

I'm not going to name any names or beat anyone up because it can be painful for a pet owner to realize that they're not providing the best for their dog—because maybe they cannot afford the best. And what's best: a dog food with good ingredients manufactured by a untrustworthy manufacturer or a dog food with questionable ingredients manufactured by a dog food company that's pretty trustworthy? Neither are great, but it can be difficult for a pet owner to choose to transition to a new dog food when they are leery about a company's practices.

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information out there on dog food, and even that on DogFoodAdvisor, which allows users to comment on the different dog foods. You will see absolutely every brand roasted by different users, because like people, dogs all react differently to different foods. Some dogs do not react well to rice-based foods. Some may have a wheat intolerance. Some dog food owners may not properly transition their dogs onto a new food and when their dog gets sick from beginning the new food, they may blame the food, although it's really not the food's fault.

I think that the most important thing for dog owners to do is be aware and do what they feel is right for their dogs.

You Might Also Like