- Does it have a high meat content? It is logical that your dog's diet should be based on meat. However, many brands actually contain little meat. Look for a brand that firstly has a named meat (such as chicken, lamb or fish) as the first listed ingredient on the label. That is a start. However, that doesn't necessarily mean there is more meat than anything else in the food. Preferably, ensure the food has meat in "meal" form as it means the meat is much more concentrated than "ordinary" meat.
Also, avoid beef. This is one of the major causes of allergies in dogs.
Both Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic use named meat meals as the first ingredient, ensuring there is a high amount of real meat in the food. Not only is it better for the dog, but they love the taste too. And there is no beef or beef derivatives used in any of the formulas.
- What is the protein content and source? Dogs need a decent amount of protein. Make sure the food contains at least 23% protein. However, it is equally important that the protein comes from a quality source - meat. Many companies boost the protein content using inferior sources such as by-products (which are the parts of the animal "unfit for human consumption").
Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic both have high protein content sources, well above the recommended minimums. And there are no by-products - the protein comes from real human-grade meat.
- Are the ingredients natural? If you want a healthy and problem-free dog, you must feed it foods that it is designed to eat naturally. Unfortunately, many companies use poor quality ingredients that can actually be harmful to dogs, but which of course are much cheaper to produce. Look for foods with natural meats and grains.
Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic use only natural ingredients. The meats are all human grade and the grains (if used) come from non-GMO sources. Everything in these foods is what dogs are designed to eat, naturally. This means the nutrients are absorbed very efficiently and the dog maintains the best health possible.
- Are there any "hidden" ingredients? Petfood companies have a tendency to hide inferior and even harmful ingredients behind fancy or vague names that pet owners don't understand. Just because a food (or ingredient) is legal doesn't mean it is beneficial! Ingredients to avoid (or at least be wary of) include by-products, "meat meal", "animal fat", "animal digest" and all artificial ingredients, including colourings and preservatives.
Of course, Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic uses none of these "hidden" ingredients. There are no "waste products" or artificial ingredients. This means not only a healthier dog in the long term, but no allergy problems and much higher energy.
- Does the manufacturer have a good safety record? The safety of dog foods are an increasing concern. There are more and more cases each year of dogs (and also their owners) becoming ill and even dying from contaminated food. Food recalls (where the company withdraws a food from sale because of contamination) are becoming more frequent and the risks of sickness cannot be ignored.
Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are produced by the ONLY company to never have had a contamination problem with their food, and they have held that record for more than 25 years. This comes down to their rigorous selection of ingredients (none from Asia for example, where many contaminated ingredients come from) and also their testing process. Everh batch of Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic undergoes five independent laboratory tests before it is released for sale.
For more information about these products and to order for your dog, visit Petfood Direct online at www.petfooddirect.co.nz