What should I feed my dog?
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.
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.
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.
|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|