As a pet lover, you surely want to feed your pet the best food available in the market. And you must also be purchasing a brand of pet food that is claimed to be the best by its manufacturers. But, is manufacturers’ claims all that you need to be satisfied? How can you be sure you are giving the right type of food to your lovely pet? You are with your rights to ask the manufacturer about the pet food and confirm that the food you are putting into your dog’s bowl is the best for its overall growth. What if the manufacturer refuses to entertain your queries or gives you some ambiguous answers? Consider it as a red flag and look for some others.
There are a few things you should know before choosing your dog’s food and its manufacturer. Listed below are four quality standards to check when purchasing food for your furry darlings.
- Who Formulates Food For Your Dog?
You should know if a trained veterinary nutritionist is on-board with the manufacturer to formulate your dog’s food. Certified veterinary nutritionists are professionals with special skills for formulating pet food. You must also know that the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats are different from others including human-beings. This means no one but a professional nutritionist specially trained in the nutritional requirements of pets can formulate the right food for them.
- By What Method Is The Pet Food Tested?
Basically, there are two methods for testing pet foods – nutrient analysis and AAFCO feeding trials. You can simply ask the manufacturer whether they use nutrient analysis or the feeding trials to test the food formulated by them. The answer to this simple question will let you know about the manufacturer’s commitment towards producing the best quality food for pets. The nutrient analysis is done by matching ingredients in the food against the AFFCO provided diet profile. While this type of food may look good from a nutritional point of view, it does not provide any palatability indication for real pets. Although the feeding trial is a relatively expensive method of testing, it is the best way to manufacture pet food that is not only nutritional but also likable by your pet dog. If you are in search of a pet food brand that is nutritious as well as yummy for your dog, these can help.
- What Are The Quality Control Measures Taken To Maintain Quality Consistency Of The Pet Food?
You also have the right to know about the quality control measures taken by the manufacturer to ensure that you’ll get the best quality pet food. The ingredients of the dog’s food should be stored properly so that they do not get contaminated with pathogens and allergens. In addition to this, different categories of food ingredients should also be stored separately to avoid any cross-contamination. Suppose that your dog is allergic to a certain product like soy or wheat. You’ll surely buy a soy-free or wheat-free food formula for your lovely pet. But, what would you do if the soy-free food is already cross-contaminated with soy at the manufacturing level? To avoid this, you should clearly ask the manufacturer about their quality control measures. You should also ask them if they test their food formula for any contamination at different levels of manufacturing. All reputable and responsible manufacturers test their food samples before they ship their products off to retail outlets.
- Is The Food Co-Manufactured By Different Companies?
You should also know where the pet food is produced or manufactured. Generally, big manufacturers are equipped with all the facilities to manufacture the entire formula on their own. This helps them maintain consistency in their quality control measures. Small manufacturers, however, are dependent on different providers for different ingredients and as a result, they have lesser control over the quality control measures. They may be maintaining the quality of their manufacturing unit, but when it comes to the supplies they get from other manufacturers, they have little or no control. If you are purchasing a product from such a manufacturer who co-manufactures pet food with some others, you must know what measures they are taking to ensure the quality of their products.
By getting an answer to these simple questions, you can rest assured that you are feeding your furry friends with a food formula that is just perfect for them. You should remain as conscious about your dog’s food choice as you remain yours. In fact, you need to exercise extra care in all dietary matters related to your pets because they won’t be able to explain if they feel something is not right for them.