Cheap Dog Food May Not Be Such a Bargain

August 11, 2012

Dog food is one product where it doesn’t often pay to buy cheap.  Unless you get really lucky and run into a good sale,  cheap pet food prices translate to cheap, low-quality food.  Your dog deserves better.  You get what you pay for when it comes to pet food and down the road, you will pay the price with high veterinary bills.

Low-priced, low-quality dog food contains fewer nutrients and what it does contain often causes digestive problems for dogs.  Without easily digestible food, a dog’s body can neither heal nor thrive.  When you shop for pet food, keep in mind that higher-quality food is dense in nutrients that Fido needs, instead of useless fillers that add nothing to his well-being.  Your dog won’t need to eat as much of the better food in order to maintain his weight.  Dogs instinctively try to eat more of cheap food that is low in nutrients in order to get enough of what their bodies actually need.

A veterinarian once explained to me that one way to judge the quality of a dog’s food is to observe its poop.  Veterinary scientists might go so far as to measure said poop, but I’m not going to do that.  So you might try estimating the amount of poop the animal is producing each day and then compare that to the amount of food he is eating.  Using this doctor’s theory, with a lower-quality food, the dog won’t retain as much of it because so many of the ingredients are junk – not the nutrients that the dog’s body requires.  If the animal is eating a high-quality diet, there will be less poop produced because the dog is retaining more of the nutrients in the food.  Therefore, it makes sense to me that feeding a dog the higher-quality food would result in a healthier animal.  I don’t have more scientific evidence to back up this theory, but I have used this method in determining the best food for my dogs.  Gator’s food allergy issues have required a great deal of experimenting at our house, and the trial and error method resulted in many different commercial dog food brands being used.  The better-quality pet foods always resulted in smaller poop production, while a couple of cheaper foods we tried did not.

In just a few months, you should see the difference in your dog when you switch from a cheap, low-quality pet food to a healthier option.  He will be able to better digest the food and use the nutrients to help his body; his coat and skin should look healthier; and he should have more energy.  Look for  better dog foods at better retail pet stores.  Perhaps your first stop should be at wag.com for great prices, free delivery, and excellent customer service.  Jim and I order food for our pets from this site and are very pleased.  Even better, by shopping with them, you’ll be supporting Seniors for Pets, a non-profit that helps needy senior citizens with basic veterinary care for their pets.

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