Ensure an AAFCO label.
This is the regulator of pet foods to ensure that the food is complete and balanced ie not missing nutrients.
Check Life Stage
Diets are broken down by life stages for pets: *Puppy and kitten food is needed until 10-12 months of age *Whelping and lacting dogs eat puppy food or all life stage food * It is not ideal to feed a dog all life stages as it has too much calcium/phosphorus for adult dogs (made for puppies)
* Senior dogs should be feed based on their specific internal needs
* Over the counter senior diets do not have any set standards (just marketing)
Don’t be fooled by Marketing Strategies
“Grain free” or “exotic diets”- shown to cause heart disease
“Natural” diets – no standardize definition
“Hollistic” diets- no standardize definition
“Senior” diets- no standardized definition
Diets to Avoid
* Raw and freeze dried diets: thought to be more “natural” Please note “nautral” dogs don’t live as long as our companions. They also are just as suspectable to meat contamination as people. These diets have recently been shown to be a source resistent bacteria and they are not often complete and balanced, meaning bones and meats do not contain the essential vitamins and minerals for health.
* Grain free diets: There is only 0.3% of dogs shown to have a gluten sensitivity. The majority of food allergens is not to the grain. These diets have been shown to cause heart disease.