Knowing what to feed your dog can be challenging, especially with so many different dog foods on the market. You can easily be swayed by great branding, but do you actually know what is in the ingredients? The range in price when it comes to dog food is quite extreme, there are some very cheap products but also some very pricey options. Here is some key information to help you decide what dog food to go for.
Ingredients Are Listed by Weight/Quantity
When you look at the label the ingredients will be listed in order, with the biggest ingredients first. Many people will look for dog food that has food containing protein listed as its main ingredient. If your dog’s food lists cereals first then that will be the biggest ingredient.
Less Expensive Usually Means Less Protein
When it comes to dog food the general rule is the cheaper the food the less protein it will contain. More expensive brands will also contain higher quality protein such as fresh meat whereas cheaper brands might contain more vegetable protein. Have a look at the percentage of protein on dog food labels to see how much they contain. How much protein your dog requires depends on what you feel comfortable feeding them. Generally, anything over 30% should contain a good amount of protein. The premium brands tend to contain between 60 to 80%.
Wet Dog Foods Contain A Lot Of Water
When you buy wet dog foods bare in mind that they are mainly made up of water. Some can contain up to 80% water. It may seem like good value for money but what you are paying for is only 20% of the product. Obviously different products vary and some contain less water, just make sure you check the label. A lot of dogs are very happy having wet dog food as part of a balanced diet.
Open Formula Is Not Specific
If ingredients are listed as ‘open formula’ then this means that they do not list specific ingredients. For example, a dog food might list cereals as an ingredient but this does not tell you what type of cereals are used. Open formula foods can contain large amounts of cereal and animal derivatives as the core ingredients.
Fixed Formula Show Individual Ingredients
Fixed formula dogs foods will have individual ingredients listed such as salmon, chicken, rice and maize. With these ingredients you know exactly what you are getting for your money.
Complete Dog Food Has Everything They Need
If a dog food is labelled ‘complete’ then this means that it contains all the necessary nutrients your dog needs to survive. It’s best to go for a complete dog food because then you know you are getting the balance of nutrients correct. However, be aware that complete dog foods can have varying amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat, so you still need to look at the ingredients in detail to determine quality. The main nutrients dog’s need include water, protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals.