Nov 01 , 2019
What makes a dog food "healthy" is a hot topic at the moment and with good reason. Just like we've all become more aware of making ourselves healthier, the same attitude should be applied to our furry, four-legged friends too.
Let's set the scene, you're in your local supermarket doing your weekly shop and you've arrived at the pet food aisle. Slightly daunting, isn't it? With shelves of pet food claiming to be the best option for your pup, it's easy to gravitate towards the cheapest brand with the cutest packaging and call it a day. However, this isn't always the best strategy when it comes to ensuring your dog is getting a well-balanced and healthy diet.
That's precisely why the lovely team at Jurassic Bark are here to break it down in simple, digestible (pardon the pun) chunks, so you can come away from this blog post knowing what you should (and shouldn't) be feeding your dog.
Let's begin with what type of dog food is out there. You'll be able to get your hands on both wet and dry foods in all pet shops and supermarkets. Dry food will come in either biscuit, pellet or kibble form, whereas wet food will most commonly come in a gravy sauce or jelly chunks, (which we know doesn't sound too appealing, but your dog loves it!) You'll also be able to find raw dog food, which often comes frozen and has a high meat content. It's not a case of whether wet or dry food is healthier, but in terms of your dogs' enjoyment, wet food tends to be more palatable and the excess water can keep them hydrated, which is a bonus. However, if you're on the hunt for something a little less messy, opt for dry food. You also get more bang for your buck, too.
Now we've defined the different types of dog food on the market and we're about to answer the golden question 'what should be in your dog's food?' We'd recommend looking for food with high meat content. Of course, high protein levels can also be achieved through plant sources, but the healthiest option is to ensure your dog food has a mixture of animal and plant protein when buying commercially prepared dog food.
Another handy tip when it comes to spotting excellent dog food is to make sure you're looking for the words "complete and balanced" on the packaging. If you spot this, it indicates the food should be providing all the nutrients your pet needs in healthy amounts. Beware though, as 'holistic' doesn't mean the same thing, it's just a crafty marketing trick.
If you can't find "complete and balanced" anywhere on the packaging, fear not. Get your reading glasses out, because it's time to read the small print. Have a look for the AAFCO adequacy statement (which stands for Association of American Feed Controls) on the packaging, as these clever people specialise in providing nutritional advice for pet owners. If the food is marked "intermittent or supplemental", then it probably isn't ideal.
We also want to point out that although the contents of what's in your pet's food is important, portion sizes are just as vital in ensuring your pet is healthy. Canine obesity is experiencing an epidemic at the minute, so make sure you aren't overfeeding your dog. Manufacturers will include recommended serving sizes on the packaging, and it will vary from brand to brand, so make sure you give it a read and measure the food out.
Our last tip when it comes to ensuring your pet has the healthiest diet possible is check in with your vet, especially if you're thinking of making adjustments to what your dog eats. Your vet will know your pup really well and will be aware of their unique needs so will be able to recommend brands best suited to your dog.
Jurassic Barks top healthy picks for your dog:
- Barking Heads
Of course, if you have any questions about the dog food we sell, drop us a message on social media or pop into one of our stores for a chat.