Every pet owner knows that their pet will eat almost anything, but when buying pet food and faced with a complex ingredient list, it can be difficult to tell if what’s in it is good for them or not. Not all foods are created equal and if you want the best for your pet, it’s worth knowing what’s going into their food – especially considering that the advertising of pet food in Australia is largely unregulated.
Here’s what you should be looking out for:
Certain pet food brands will claim their food is ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and even ‘paleo’. Because there are no agreed-upon legal definitions for these terms in the industry, manufacturers are free to put whatever they want in them and the wording is no guarantee of authenticity. Look at the actual ingredient list instead.
Look for the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA) badge to ensure that your pet’s food meets their minimum nutritional requirements. However, don’t stop there. After all, you don’t want to feed them the bare minimum quality. Be prepared to fork out a little more than you usually would for a truly nutritious product that goes the extra mile.
A quality pet food should contain quality muscle meat protein, moderate levels of animal fat and little grains and starches. It should have a high moisture and EPA/DHA content with a few fruits and veggies as well. Remember that even though your pets have been domesticated for years, they still have the stomachs of carnivores.
Much like with human food, if a label contains a long list of unpronounceable ingredients, it’s likely not your best option. Meat should appear at the top of the list, with the actual species named. The next few ingredients should be fruits and vegetables and possibly wholegrains for non-nutritive binding purposes. Avoid corn- and soy-based products and those with added colours, flavours, sweeteners and preservatives. This will probably mean your pet food has a shorter shelf life and will need to be purchased more often, but it’s a small price to pay for a healthier pet.
If you’re in doubt and find shopping for your pet’s food overwhelming, contact us today so we can recommend you something suited to your pet.
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