Choosing a Quality Pet Food

Cassie Panning
Veterinary Information Specialist

Boston terrier eating from bowl

With so many different choices of pet food these days it is difficult to know which one is the best.  Shopping for pet food is almost overwhelming when walking down isle after isle of choices.  So how do you know which food is the best one to choose for your four legged family member?  Below are some tips on choosing a quality pet food.

First choose a reputable pet food company so that you know the quality of the food.  The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is an association that is made up of a number of veterinary professionals from all over the world.  They have established guidelines for choosing a reputable company.   You can follow the questions listed on their website to help you research the company.  They look at who is formulating the food and what sort of quality control standards they have in place.  Remember that just because a company doesn’t have any recalls doesn’t mean they have the best food, it could mean they just are looking closely or running proper quality control tests.

Next you must remember with all pet foods 1 cup of food in one brand does not equal 1 cup of food in another. Each brand and flavor variety all have a different calorie amounts per cup.  Some foods can be 200 Calories per cup while other can be as high as 400 Calories per cup. Fortunately it is now mandatory that all food have the calorie amount on the label, if you don’t see it now it will be there by the start of 2016.  Checking the calorie amounts on your pet’s food can help prevent pets from becoming obese when switching foods.  Always start on the low end of the feeding recommendations, you can always increase if needed but it’s hard to get our pets to lose weight once they become over weight.

Another thing to remember is there is a ton of information on the web, everyone has an opinion and wants to put in their two cents. Sadly most of the information that people pass on is opinion formed and has no factual evidence to support their opinion. If you are having trouble deciding remember to ask your veterinarian or veterinary technician for suggestions. And remember you can always do your own research by calling the company and asking them the WASAVA questions to help you form your own opinion.