How to Choose Pet Food (Top 5 Tips!)
You’ve all been there: you’re in the pet-food aisle, completely overwhelmed at the all the different types of pet food.
You’re wondering: Has this brand been recalled? Why does this food have so many ingredients? We’re here to help!
To start, homemade food is best, but for an easier approach, you can supplement a home diet with commercial /
store bought food – you can make a home diet a few days per week, and feed commercial food on the in-between days.
Top 5 Easy Tips for Choosing Pet Food
- Make sure animal protein is the first ingredient.
- Avoid generic or store brands. These may be repackaged rejects from the big manufacturers, and generally contain cheaper and poorer quality ingredients.
- If possible, look for foods with essential fatty acids added – they are highly important for allergies, arthritis and cancer prevention. It can (and should) be added as a supplement to your pet’s diet, if it’s not present in the food.
- Avoid any pet foods with excessive unnecessary fillers such as corn, soy or wheat.
- Avoid foods that list by-products. If possible, avoid meat, bone, fish and chicken meal – although many good quality foods do contain these. It’s not possible to tell from the label the type and source of ‘meal’ products, but contact the company if in doubt.
Mix it up! Especially if you’re making homemade food – not only can this help ensure they’re getting a balanced diet with a variety of nutrients, your pet won’t get bored. (I know I don’t want to eat the same thing everyday, twice a day!)
Canned food is usually recommended – it’s higher in hydration, and normally has a much higher protein profile. Wet food is often tastier, has less carbohydrates, and can often be more wallet-friendly. We understand that some pets don’t love eating wet food though, so do what is best for your pet!
It’s also important to understand your pet’s needs – such as if they’re a large or small breed, active or less active, if they need to lose or gain weight. This can help narrow down your choices.
Recently, there have been a variety of new companies creating (and delivering to your door!) prepared homemade meals for pets, with excellent ingredients. A few of them include: Nom Nom, The Farmer’s Dog, Ollie, FreshPet, Pet Plate, House of Canines, and Pet Plate (please note, most of these are for delivery in the US only).
Here are a few other commercial brands I would feel comfortable giving to my pets. I am not affiliated with any pet food company, these are just a few of the brands that would meet my criteria for choosing a good commercial food:
(The) Honest Kitchen
Petcurean Pet Nutrition