Today’s pet food market is larger and more diverse than ever before.  While this offers a large number of choices in various types of pet food, it also presents a dilemma in choosing the healthiest food for your dog. 

  • Are generic or store brands suitable for a dog? 
  • What about familiar name brands like Pedigree and Eukanaba? 
  • Are the pricier brands that advertise specially formulated like Royal Canin really living up to their claims and worth the extra money? 

All of these are valid questions that loving dog owners deserve to have answered.

Dog Food Considerations

 There are several factors to consider when choosing the right food for your dog.  Different dogs have different nutritional needs at different stages in their lives.  Some things to consider when selecting the food you’ll give your dog follow.

 ALWAYS Check the Ingredient label       

 No matter what the glossy advertisements with the healthy pooches happily bouncing around say, you should always look at the ingredients list.

 Ok you looked. SO what should you find?

 For that list to make sense it is vital that, we as consumers, know how to read a pet food label. So before picking up a bag of dog food, no matter what your vet or the pet shop or the “breeder” says, pause for a moment and consider these factors while reading the label.

 First ingredient

As per regulations, all dog foods brands list the ingredients of the dog food in order of weight. The first ingredient is the most important because there is more of that than any other ingredient that follows. It’s always good to see rich ingredients like Deboned chicken, Organic chicken, Chicken meal, Lamb meal , Fish meal, Duck, Duck meal as opposed to Ground whole corn, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, meat and bone meal. A good rule of thumb is to look for a good source of protein in the dog food.

 Top ingredients

The top 10 ingredients usually comprise 80% or more of a dry pet foods entire formula! So scan through the list.

 Different names of same ingredients

Some brands name their contents in different ways. For ex: ground corn, corn gluten, corn barn. If you were to group all of the corn ingredients as one, they might far out-weigh the amount of meat in that food, and be the first listed ingredient.

 So what should you see in your dog food label?

 Here are a few basic ingredients you should look for.

  • Real Protein meat such as chicken, chicken meal, fish, fish meal, lamb or lamb meal, is a source of high-quality, highly digestible protein.
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, barley and oats supply complex carbohydrates and healthy fibre not found in most processed grains
  • Veggies and fruits such as carrots, potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, papaya, mango, and apples provide essential phytonutrients, antioxidants and enzymes, plus natural vitamins, minerals and fibres that promote and maintain health and wellness.

 To get you started, given below is a side by side comparison of the top five ingredients of puppy dog food brands available in India. Red is an indication of meat. So more red is more meat and hence better!

 Take a look and chose for yourselves.

  

Product               →
Parameters       ↓
Drools Puppy Chicken & Egg Focus Puppy Food Pedigree Puppy Chicken & Milk Royal Canin  Labrador Junior Cibau Puppy Formula All Breed  Ecopet Junior Formula More Puppy Food   N&D Chicken & Pomegranate puppy Purepet Puppy Food Goodness MULTI-MEAT Grain Free  N&D Chicken & Pomegranate puppy Grain Free
Ingredient 1 Chicken Real Chicken(>40%) Cereals and cereal by-products Rice Dehydrated chicken meat (36%) Dehydrated chicken meat Chicken Meal (23%) Fresh boneless chicken (20%) Chicken & chicken by products Chicken Fresh boneless chicken
Ingredient 2 Whole Dried Eggs Whole Dried Eggs meat and meat by-products dehydrated poultry protein Rice (25%) Corn Fresh Chicken (23%) Dehydrated chicken meat (20%) Cereals and cereal by products Turkey & Salmon Dehydrated chicken meat
Ingredient 3 Corn Long Grain Rice chicken and chicken by-products Maize Corn (15%) Wheat meal Rice Spelt (10%) Vegetables & vegetable by products Sweet Potato potatoes
Ingredient 4 Rice Oatmeal vegetables and vegetable by-products Vegetable protein isolate Chicken fat (14%) Chicken fat Maize Oats (10%) Vegetable oils Potato chicken fat
Ingredient 5 Wheat Flax Seed Oil vegetable oils Maize Gluten Dehydrated fish Rice Beet Pulp Chicken fat Salt  Beet Pulp dehydrated whole eggs
Price Per KG  ₹         183.33  ₹     375.00  ₹          178.33  ₹    548.67  ₹   463.00  ₹   416.00  ₹   487.00  ₹      656.00  ₹   116.00  ₹     795.00  ₹           681.00

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