How to choose the right pet food

When looking at the pet food label, most consumers first read the guaranteed analysis panel. Here manufacturers report the minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fad and the maximum percentages of moisture and crude fiber. Consumers should be aware that these percentages do not represent actual amounts protein and fat and that using these percentages to compare different products or brands can be misleading.

The ingredient list can tell consumers the principal components of the pet food and whether the components are from plant or animal sources. If an animal-source ingredient is listed first or second in a canned pet food or within the first three ingredients of a dry food, the food can usually be assumed to contain animal products as its principal protein source. However, the ingredient list does not provide information about the quality of the ingredients.

TIP: If different forms of the same ingredient are listed separately (e.g., kibbled wheat, ground wheat, wheat flour, flaked wheat, wheat middlings, wheat bran), consumers should be aware that the collective ”wheat” content may be very high and actually make up a large percentage of the food’s content.

Also, there are two primary types of canned pet foods - those that provide complete and balanced nutrition and those that do not. Complete and balanced canned foods contain vitamins and minerals in addition to muscle meats, poultry or fish by-products, cereal grains, and/or texturized vegetable protein (TVP). Foods that are not complete and balanced do not contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals and should be considered as a dietary supplement only. Consumers should make sure they read the labels to determine if a canned food is complete and balanced for a pet’s life stage and lifestyle. Imbalanced food can lead to malnutrition and/or obesity.

CAUTION: feeding cats one type of ”Gourmet” cat food exclusively may result in the cat’s refusal to eat any other type or flavor of food. Because these ”Gourmet” foods may or may not be nutritionally complete, nutrient imbalances may occur. When feeding a cat canned food, complete and balanced rations that contain more than one principal ingredient should be fed.

We also recommend this natural balanced real-meat dog food and natural dietary supplement.

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