Finding the perfect food for your pet can certainly be overwhelming, given a wide selection of brands.
Your pet looks to you for a well-balanced healthy food filled with ingredients that their bodies can thrive on. Any veterinarian can tell you how important quality food is for your pet. And according to most experts, the best food is cooked with observance of healthy diet rules.
If you want to pamper your pooch or kitty with exquisite and wholesome homemade food, cook yourself!
Choosing The Right Pet Food
There are lots of tried-and-tested recipes out there shared by other caring pet owners. You can try some of them or figure out your own recipes.
To make the process even more fun, you can use a dedicated online menu maker to come up with more healthy recipes for your DIY pet food.
Still, if you’re in a position where you can only feed your cat or dog dry food, today’s post is definitely for you.
Let’s go over what to look for in a good kibble brand so you can give your four-legged buddies the best of the best.
1. Nutritional Value
One of the first things to pay special attention to when looking for a bag of kibble is the nutritional adequacy statement.
This is essentially what confirms that your chosen food is complete and balanced and you won’t have to worry about the missing nutrients.
There are three common ones to look out for:
- Growth and development – which is for the puppy and kitten life stages
- Adult maintenance – which is for your adult quadruped friend
- All life stages – which can be fed to pets at any age
If you don’t see any of these on the package, this means it may be missing important nutrients, which can be especially dangerous for growing pets.
Well, who established these so-called essential nutrients? This brings us to the next thing to look out for.
2. Standards Compliance
Sometimes, the wording on the bag label can trick you.
So, if the label is suggesting it’s a balanced food, you need to make sure it’s meeting a reputable established nutrient guideline. That’s where dedicated organizations like AAFCO or FEDIAF come in.
They have established nutritional standards for livestock and pet food. And in reality, you will see many foods stating they are meeting the minimum requirements set by these organizations, even if they’re a lower quality food.
So, if you want to go a step further for your pet, look for labels stating they meet or exceed these requirements.
As a responsible and caring pet owner, you know that minimum requirements mean your kibble contains the bare minimum of ingredients for the pet to live an adequate life.
So, the foods that go beyond these standards will surely provide your pet with all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it might need.
It’s not a secret that cats are carnivores. This means their body needs to receive nutrients from animal-based foods to function properly and maintain health.
The same goes for dogs. That being said, unlike their feline counterparts, they do have the ability to benefit from the amounts of plant-based food, as well.
The quality of your dog treats is important as well, and we can highly recommend Chippin Pet Dog Treats.
The Cricket Protein Training Treat pictured above is one example of a healthy treat that’s good for both dogs and the earth.
Crickets take a lot fewer resources to produce, especially when compared to beef and chicken, and they’re great for a dog’s gut.
Carbs In Kibble
The major problem with kibble might be that it’s often very high in starchy carbohydrates like rice, wheat, corn, and legumes.
Despite their being a great source of energy for us humans, pets don’t rely on these ingredients for energy so much. Excess carbs are fraught with such negative consequences as elevated blood glucose levels.
What’s more, carbs are considered major contributors to obesity in animals. Despite this, carbohydrates are necessary for kibble. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to extrude and shape it.
But you can still do your best to minimize the potential risk to your pet’s life.
When looking at the ingredients list, you want to see at least the first three being animal-based ingredients.
The point is the ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. So, the first few are very important to pay attention to.
When perusing your ingredients list, look for things like beef or chicken, along with the ingredients like egg, heart, liver, tripe, or kidney.
As for such things are chicken meal or chicken byproducts, which are commonly listed among the major ingredients of kibble.
They might contain poor quality parts holding little nutrients, including:
So, ideally, you should refrain from purchasing foods that list chicken meals or byproducts as their major ingredients.
If you want to spare your pet a visit to a vet, you want to look for omega-3s (commonly found in fish good for dogs) added to your kibble. Dry skin and itchiness are common problems in both cats and dogs.