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Your dog needs to eat nutritious food that will provide it with all the essential nutrients it needs. Therefore, when buying dog food, you should be keen to ensure that you get only the high-quality food that will meet the nutritional needs of your dog. Many dog foods have additives and ingredients that are not necessary for a dog’s diet.
Here are four things you should look for when buying dog food.
As you pay attention to these, always make sure you buy from credible sellers such as Virbac, where you will get top quality products for your dog.
Check for the AAFCO Statement
The AAFCO statement signifies that the formulation of the dog food meets the established nutritional levels. When buying dog food, check to see that it has the AAFCO statement.
However, remember the statement only implies that the food meets the minimum nutritional requirements. This may not necessarily mean that the food is the best for your dog since the association doesn’t concern itself with the ingredients that manufacturers use.
Besides, AAFCO leaves words such as organic, natural and holistic to the mercies of manufacturers, and so it may not necessarily mean that the food is good for your dog.
Therefore, you need to look further if you want the best food for your feline friend.
Check the Ingredients
Ingredients are listed on the dog food depending on how much they weigh. The ones that appear on the top of the list have the highest weight. In most cases, you will find meat meals and meats on the first spot due to their high water content.
Dogs are omnivorous and should be fed mostly on meat. Therefore, look for dog food that has the top ingredients being meat or meat meals.
Meat meals comprise of cooked animal tissue that has been dried and ground, and therefore it is in concentrated form.
Avoid foods that list their first ingredients as being vegetables, grains or tubers since they don’t have the nutritional value that a dog needs. For instance, corn has low mineral content, vitamin, and proteins.
Look For the Dog Food Jargon
Different words signify the percentage of proteins in the dog food. Look for these words to note how much protein the food has. For instance, ‘chicken dog food’ or ‘beef dog food’ means that the food contains 95% of the said protein in dry foods. If the water content is added, the protein comprises 70%.
Also, if there is ‘dinner’ on the label, it means there is only 25% of the protein such as in the case of ‘Beef stew dinner’ or ‘chicken stew dinner’.
If the food is said to be with anything, such as ‘with salmon’ or ‘with cheese’ then there is only 3% of that ingredient. Therefore ‘Beef Dinner for Dogs with salmon’ means that there is 25% beef and 3% salmon on the food.
If you come across that has a certain flavor, let’s say ‘chicken flavor’ or ‘beef flavor’, then that food only has a trace of the said protein.
Look for the appropriate food depending on the wording on the label and your dog’s nutritional needs.
Look For Best by Date
You don’t want to feed your dog on stale food. Therefore, always look for the ‘best by date’. For dry food, the one that is 10 months away is the best. Canned food can go for two years provided it is not opened. Foods with preservatives can last longer. Always go for food with natural preservatives such as vitamin C, E and rosemary extracts instead of artificial preservatives such as BHT and BHA.
Fresh foods have an expiration date.