In this guide, we list some common factors that might impact the quality of ingredients in commercial dog food products and formulas.
This guide is complementary to this guide where we outline some of the general considerations to take into account with dog food, or this guide where we outline what different vets have said about dog food.
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
Common Factors That Might Impact The Quality Of Ingredients In Dog Food
Some of these factors might include:
1. Where The Ingredients Are Sourced
Different countries have different regulations on what can be used as pet food ingredients.
Making sure the ingredients are sourced from a country with higher standards for ingredients can mean they are higher quality – such as having higher quality meats and proteins, and so on.
2. How The Food Is Processed, Manufactured & Packed
Once ingredients have been sourced, the dog food needs to be processed, manufactured and packed.
Different dog foods might be cooked, processed and packed in different kitchens and facilities, and to different standards.
A food with higher processing and manufacturing standards for hygiene, safety and quality might be better.
Some think that dog foods processed to human grade standard are a good start (as opposed to those foods that use feed grade ingredients).
3. How The Company Develops Their Formula/Food
There has to be a basis for why a company develops and produces their food in a certain way and composition.
It can help if the company employs people qualified to determine what might be a nutritionally adequate and balanced formula – such as vets, and pet food nutritional experts and scientists.
This information might be obtained by the company website, or from customer service.
4. The Macronutrients & Micronutrients In The Food
A good quality dog food should ideally have the right balance and quantities of protein, carbs, fats, and vitamins and minerals.
Different foods may have different macro and micronutrient profiles.
The guaranteed nutritional analysis on the label, as well as the individual ingredients on the ingredient list, can provide a good starting point for know what.
5. The Amount Of Artificial Additives, Preservatives Etc. In The Food
Some sources indicate that fresh foods, and foods containing more whole natural ingredients might be better than heavily chemically altered foods when it comes to quality.
6. Whether Ingredients Linked To Dog Health Conditions Are Included
The less of these ingredients in a dog food, the better it might be.
7. Whether The Dog Food Suits An Individual/Specific Dog
Different dogs at different life stages, and with different health considerations, may each have different factors that determine what is a ‘quality’ food for them.
A vet can give an owner a professional opinion on the food and diet that might suit an individual dog.
Further Notes On Dog Food
An important consideration with dog food is that companies might be able to make foods cheaper to low income groups by sourcing certain ingredients, or substituting different ingredients in their formulas. If standards and ingredient quality is raised, the question this raises is if it also raises price – higher quality foods tend to cost more.
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