Best Dog Food: One that's worth your money
Picking out food at a good price is important for humans and their dogs. However, the dog food should at least should meet all minimum nutritional requirements in order for the dog to be healthyy.
All the options available on the market can be overwhelming for a first-time dog owner, or for someone who’s thinking about changing the type of food his/her pet eats. Below, you can learn what types of dog food are the most inexpensive without putting your dog’s health in danger.
Factors to consider when choosing your dog’s food
Thislist can help you go over some factors you should consider when buying a new food:
- Your dog’s age. He’ll be considered a puppy until the age of one year. The next age range is adults (1-7 years) and seniors (8 years and up).
- The breed of your dog, or his size if you don’t know what it is. This factor determines your pet’s weight, which is very important. Small dogs tend to weigh an average 10 kilos, while medium dogs can weight up to 25 kilos, and large dogs up to 40 kilos.
- The level of daily physical activity of your dog. This influences his metabolism and the number of nutrients he needs to survive.
- The environment. The needs of a Siberian Husky living in Norway won’t be the same as a Greyhound living in Mexico. Temperatures and terrain influence you many calories a dog can burn.
Due to all of these factors, and the fact that dogs are omnivorous animals, you should pick out a type of food that has a balanced amount of nutrients and suits your pet’s basic needs.
How to choose the right food
The Organization of Consumers and Users, more commonly known as the OCU, published a report in mid-2017 detailing the exact composition of healthy dog food and the importance that different ingredients can have on your pet’s health.
To find out if the food covers a healthy dog’s basic needs, the report established the following guidelines related to the food’s composition:
- The energy density, or the number of calories it provides. That number is important to know when deciding how much food to feed your dog.
- Carbohydrates, which are very common in extruded dog food. This type of food goes through a heating and pascalization, and humidification process in order to homogenize nutrients and make them more digestible. Carbohydrates provide fiber that is necessary for intestinal transit. However, certain brands add too many carbohydrates, and they end up substituting most of the meat they contain.
- Proteins. Especially when it comes to their quantity and quality. Low-quality food usually uses flour that mix offal, pulverized bones, vegetable proteins, and collagen. Food that uses fresh or dehydrated meat is always better.
- Fat. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids can help maintain the skin’s pH and the shininess of your dog’s fur. The quality of fats that the food contains is important for preventing obesity.
- Vitamins and minerals. Your dog’s food should contain a balanced portion of them, and a combination that facilitates vitamin absorption. For example, calcium and phosphorus should be combined.
- The quality of the raw materials (if it contains raw meat, and if it does, how much) is another important factor when picking out a dog food.
Brands: Best value for your money
The daily cost of feeding an animal, while providing the minimum amount of nutrients necessary for its survival, will also influence the decision you make of picking out a dog food. Dog Food Advisor has published a list of foods that meet those requirements and are affordable for owners.
Some of the best ones are:
- Purina Pro Plan Optihealth small & mini adult (1-10 kg). Costs 7.1 euros per kilo.
- Affinity Ultima Nature Medium Maxi (+10 kg.) Adult. Costs 5.01 euros per kilo.
- Acana Prairie Poultry. Adult Dog. Costs 8.1 euros per kilo.
Contact your veterinarian or check the list published by the Dog Food Advisor for further information.