Picking the right pet food

By January 29, 2015 Guides, News

I’m often asked if the pet food that the breeder or pet store recommended is OK for a particular dog or cat.

If you have a new puppy or kitten or just want to try a new food you can use the following guidelines to help you.  No matter which brand you choose, be sure to pick a food appropriate for your pet’s life stage (puppy/kitten, maintenance food, senior food) and breed.

Questions you can ask the pet food manufacturer (call the # on the bag/can):

  1. Do they have a full time nutritionist?
  2. Do they have a research and development department?
  3. Do they have their own manufacturing plant?
  4. How do they insure quality control (Ingredients, end product, shelf life, accountability)?
  5. Do they have feeding trials?

You can also look at the Label:

  1. Does the label say it is a complete and balanced diet?  And what is the basis of this claim (feeding trial is best, “formulated to meet standard” isn’t as good).
  2. Label should state that the food meets the nutritional requirements established by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).
  3. Is the “life stage” correct for your dog (puppy/growth, maintenance, senior, large breed vs. small breed).
  4. If the label says it follows AAFCO guidelines for “natural” it means there are no chemically synthesized ingredients except vitamins, if they are listed on label.
  5. The terms “organic”, “holistic”, and “premium” have no definition and, therefore, can mean anything the manufacturer wants them to mean.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Eric Grunder

Disclosure: If your pet has a medical condition and your veterinarian has recommended a specific food, please use that.