How to Choose the Best Dog Food
If you feel like we do at Androscoggin Animal Hospital, you want to give your dog the absolute best of everything. Pet food is no exception. But how do you know how to choose the very best dog food? Don’t worry, we will help you decide?
Knowing Your Pup
When starting to deliberate the choices of pet foods out on the shelf, it is important to clarify what you actually need in a dog food. Even the healthiest vet-recommended dog food isn’t the best for every animal.
- Your dog’s breed
- Reproductive status
- Weight maintenance needs
- Taste and texture preference
- Medical needs and diagnoses
- Your budget
- Where you prefer to shop for pet food
What to Look For in Food
While the things that each pet may need from their food may differ, there are some variables of a good diet that are consistent. When trying to select the best dog food, be sure to assess:
- That there is an AAFCO statement on the packaging identifying that the food is a complete diet (verses for intermittent feeding)
- That the AAFCO statement identifies what life stage(s) the food is most appropriate for (in general, the less broad, the better)
- The diet has been developed by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist or someone with a PhD in animal nutrition
- That the diet’s manufacturing is not outsourced to a third party
- That there is contact information readily available for customer service
There is a lot of media about ingredients and their quality, but the reality is that this information can be difficult to decipher. Many advertising words such as “holistic” and “human-grade” have no legal definition and ingredient lists are easy to manipulate to look more appealing to consumers. You can rest assured that if you have done your homework and selected a diet formulated by a professional, each ingredient on the list is there for a very good reason.
The Best Dog Food
When it comes down to bare bones (see what we did there?), there is no one “best” dog food. The best dog food is one that provides proper nutrition for your pet, addresses any specific medical needs, is one your pet likes, and that is affordable for your family.
Our team is here to help you to best determine your pet’s needs and guide you on your quest to select the best dog food. Make an appointment for a nutritional consultation so that we can help you sort through the options. Pet nutrition can be confusing, but lucky for you, you have experts at your disposal!