There are numerous pet foods on the market. WSAVA has set certain standards and recommendations when it comes to pet food. It is highly recommended to only use pet foods that are manufactured by companies in compliance with the recommendations set by WSAVA for animal feed companies. Do read on to find out how to find answers for the all-important question of which dog food is best.
A few things to look for when you start wondering as to which dog food is best. Ensuring that you only go for healthy food for dogs is the responsibility of every dog owner.
Table of Contents
- Manufacturer’s reputation
- Credentials of persons formulating the dog food
- Objective information provided by the brand
- Product testing
- Sources and amounts of nutrients
- Life stage of your dog
- Quality control measures
- Control over manufacturing
- Detailed nutrient analysis
- Caloric value
- Ongoing peer-reviewed research
- Nutrient-sensitive disorders
- Diet-induced disorders
- Testimonials and reviews
- Other considerations
Check the manufacturer’s reputation as a petfood maker.
Credentials of persons formulating the dog food
- Check who formulates their foods and what are their credentials?
- Look for brands that employ board-certified veterinary nutritionists to formulate their recipes.
- Also check whether these nutritionists are available for consultation and questions.
Objective information provided by the brand
Check to see as to what objective information do they provide about their foods to assist evaluation? This does not include testimonials.
Check if their products are tested using AAFCO procedures and by nutrient analysis. AAFCO procedures for testing animal feeds substantiate that the given feed provides complete and balanced nutrition for a certain life stage for that animal.
Sources and amounts of nutrients
Consider sources and amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals in the specific dog food vis-a-vis the nutrition needs of your specific dog.
Life stage of your dog
US FDA recommends feeding your pet a diet that was specifically formulated for their life stage (puppy, dog, senior, etc). Ideally, it is not good to go for dog food that has been formulated “for all life stages”.
Quality control measures
Check if they employ proper quality control measures for maintaining the consistency and quality of their product line.
Control over manufacturing
Ideally, go for brands that have full control over the manufacturing or processing plants where their foods are produced and manufactured, and allow visitors.
Detailed nutrient analysis
Check if the label / package provides detailed nutrient analysis for the dogfood product you are interested in, including digestibility values.
Check if the caloric value per gram, can, and/or cup is provided on the label / package.
Ongoing peer-reviewed research
Check if the company conducts ongoing research on their products. If so, check if the results are published in peer-reviewed journals.
Internationally speaking, Hills, Purina, Iams/Eukanuba and Royal Canin are some pet food companies that are known to comply with all of these recommendations. Please check the label to be sure
Also pay attention to any nutrient-sensitive disorders including intolerances, allergies, and organ-specific diseases that your dog may have. Dogfood choices for such dogs should be restricted to the ones specifically formulated to meet the disease-associated nutritional limitations of the specific dog.
Besides, if your dog suffers from any diet-induced disorders including nutrient imbalances, spoilage, contamination, adulteration etc, you may try sticking to a diet that you know to be appropriate for the dog from experience.
Testimonials and reviews
You may also need to pay attention to specific recipe, preparation, storage, recipe rotation or substitution.