Dog/Cat Food: Does the Brand Matter?
Does it matter which brand you choose when buying dog or cat food? The answer is absolutely, YES! Your pet’s nutrition is just as important as yours, and not all dog and cat food is created equal. Some pet food is very poorly made with no quality ingredients in sight. Many pet foods are tailored to be appealing to the human eye, as well. Some dog food bags, for example, are colorful and covered in meat and vegetables making the human think the contents inside the bag will be just as good. If you’ve fallen for this, you’re being deceived. Many pet foods are full of fillers with no real nutritional value. Many also dye their foods in a variety of colors to appeal to the human eye, when really the food itself just isn’t good for your pet.
Take these two types of food pictured below. The one on the left is obviously targeted to appeal to the human eye. Your dog or cat certainly doesn't care if their food is colored like the rainbow or not. It's "pretty" which encourages you to buy it regardless of what the actual nutritional value is. The one on the right, not so pretty, but we'd be willing to bet it's a better quality food. Of course color isn't the only deciding factor for your pet's food. You also want to take a look at the ingredients.
Pet foods list their ingredients somewhere on the bag. Take a look at them, particularly the first few ingredients. What do you see? If you see ingredients like ground yellow corn, bone meal, soy, meat/poultry by-products and animal fat you should think about getting a different food for your pet. If you see ingredients like chicken, beef, rice, oatmeal or actual vegetables listed you’re on the right track!
Denying your pet proper nutrition by feeding them a low quality food can impact their health. They could develop allergies or skin and coat issues. They may have a decreased energy level and young pets may not grow and develop properly. Your pet will also have to eat more of a low quality food than they would a high quality food. Because of the fillers and lack of nutritional ingredients in low quality foods, your pet will get rid of most it resulting in a large quantity of waste that is often loose / too soft.
There’s also the issue of cost. Yes, the better quality pet foods will cost more than the low quality foods. But you need to ask yourself, is your pet’s health worth the risk?