Dog food – how to choose the right one

With so many options available it can be a challenge to choose your pet's food.

With so many options available it can be a challenge to choose your pet’s food.

We all know that to avoid conflict, there are certain topics that are better to just avoid. Lately, the question of what is best to feed our pets has become one of those topics – hardly surprising considering the huge variety available! The choice of what to feed is ultimately yours, but there are guidelines to lead you in the right direction.

So many choices!

Our pets have very specific nutritional requirements to keep them healthy – so much so that cats will not do well on dog food and vice versa. According to PFISA, brands are not all made equal and it is the different permutations of ingredients plus the different quality of ingredients used in their composition that sets them apart. Better quality food often means that the nutritional composition is more concentrated per gram. As a result, the quantity of food that should be served to your pet each day differs per brand, so following the instructions and guidelines displayed on the packaging is vital. And the differences in the food intake quantity is seen in the output – more premium brands boast the benefit of smaller stools, as feeding smaller quantities are required yet offer the same nutritional value.

 Peace of mind

Price is generally synonymous with quality – the higher the price, the better the quality of the ingredients that go into the food. However, one should not fall into the trap of choosing a pet food brand based on price alone, as it is not unheard of for reprobate manufacturers to use low quality products and hike up prices to give the illusion of quality, while only lining their own pockets. To avoid this, rather choose a brand that is a member of the PFI – a brand that has publicly committed to putting the wellbeing of your pet first. The PFI also busies itself policing the market, to uncover deceptive brands, doing random tests to ensure that what it says on the bag is in fact what is found in the bag.

What to look out for

Consider the following five points when choosing your pet’s food:

  1. Ensure the pet food has been registered – look for the ‘V’ number on the packaging followed by ‘Act 36 of 1947’.
  2. Ensure the pet food brand is a member of the PFI – look for the PFI logo on the packaging or check online for a full list of members.
  3. If your pet has a medical or health ailment that can be addressed with diet, purchase a pet food that has been formulated to treat the issue (chat to your vet for guidance).
  4. Purchase a pet food brand that suits your budget, opting for the best quality that you can afford.
  5. If your pet is not performing optimally on a specific brand, or is reluctant to eat it, shop around – you are, after all, spoilt for choice. Just ensure that you make gradual changes over a week or two so as not to upset your pet’s tummy.

What about human food?

Can your pet benefit from foods you have in your kitchen? Get advice here.

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