All too often the only thing pet owners look at when buying pet food is the price. Typically cheap pet food contains cheap ingredients. When you are buying can food or dog food the main thing to look at is the ingredients list. This article is primarily about buying dry pet food for cats and dogs.
Cats are true carnivores, they need meat in their diet, so why is it that so many cats foods load up with corn and wheat?
Dogs are considered to be carnivores too but they can actually tolerate an omnivore type of diet, however corn should not be a main ingredient in their food either as it is hard to digest. In fact corn, wheat, soy, beef, and pork, are often noted for causing skin and ear problems in some dogs.
If you notice “by-products” anywhere on the ingredient list that is a give away that the food is poor quality. If you notice BHT and/or BHA on the ingredient list you need to be aware that these are cheap preservatives linked to causing health problems in pets, also a sign of a low quality food.
Any food that contains food coloring is not doing it for the benefit of the pets (cants and dogs are color blind to red) but are doing it as a gimmick to the consumers. Also note that color dyes have been linked to some behavioral problems in pets, just as they have in children.
A cat’s food should always contain a true meat source as the first ingredient, such as chicken, or even chicken meal.
For male cats you want to pay close attention to the magnesium level and want it as low as possible as magnesium is linked to urinary tract concerns which are more common in male cats than in females.
Note, typically grocery stores and department type stores (such as Walmart) do not carry good quality pet foods, although recently some grocery stores have started producing their own pet food of good quality.
Note that veterinarians are not pet nutritionists. Some of the food they sell is not good quality, they sell it because they are paid to sell and promote the food. Read the label yourself to determine if a pet’s food is good or mostly cheap filler.
When you buy good food your pet eats less and poops less too, and should have fewer health problems later in life.