Does High Priced Dog Foods Make Them Better?

A supermarket's pet food aisle in Brooklyn, Ne...

Best dog food selection

I was reading an article today, that posed the question of whether higher priced dog foods are worth the money. Now that’s not a bad question, but their answer kind of raised my blood pressure a little.

First let’s take a look at an insert from the article that can be found in-full at KARE11

“You can spend a lot, you can spend a little, with a few tools you can learn what to look for in a bag and make a few choices to help you do a great job at feeding your pet,” University of Minnesota Veterinary Nutritionist Dr. Julie Churchill says.

Tool number one agreed on by all of our experts is to make sure the dog food you give your pet has the American Association of Feed Control Officials nutritional adequacy statement listed on the dog food bag.

There are two different types.

The first says on the bag that the food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO.

The other says that animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that the food provides complete and balanced nutrition.

These statements are the industry standard but what doesn’t make sense is that these statements can be anywhere on the food bag, in any font and any size. Too often it’s too hard to even find.

But by law it must be there.

“They are legally bound to have that claim on the bag,” Dr. Churchill said.

“If they don’t have an AAFCO statement for sure run away,” Dr. Lindesmith stated.

After finding that claim determining what is best food is murky.

“There is a lot of middle ground, it really just depends on what you are comfortable with. There are a lot of good healthy foods out there and they don’t have to be $80 a bag,” Jimmy Mallard, manager of Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet in Minneapolis said.

Say what?  Any dog food that makes it to the pet store or even the grocery store is going to have one of those AAFCO statements, but what does that really mean?  The statement does not tell us much about the quality of the food, all that it means is the food contains the minimum of nutrients the AAFCO deems appropriate to keep your dog alive.

Dog foods like Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition, which I review in my book ” How to Feed Your Dog – Healthy Dog Food Buyer’s Guide for Dog Parents (The Best Dog Food List)” is one of the worst dog food formulas available, yet it has the AAFCO statement, so for Dr. Churchill to list it as one of the tools to use to pick a healthy food is ridiculous at best and an outright injustice to dog parents at worst.

This statement by Dr. Churchill is just crazy and a waste of the printed word.

After finding that claim determining what is best food is murky.

“There is a lot of middle ground, it really just depends on what you are comfortable with. There are a lot of good healthy foods out there and they don’t have to be $80 a bag,” Jimmy Mallard, manager of Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet in Minneapolis said.

Dog food formulas are only murky if you don’t know how to read the ingredient list and has NOTHING to do what your comfortable with… there are ingredients that you stay away from no matter what else the bag says.

About the only thing that Dr. Churchill wrote that I would agree with, is the price of the food is not a good indicator of how healthy it is, or is not.

I would not feed my dogs Iams Veterinary Formula Weight Loss Restricted Calorie Dry Dog Food, even if that’s what the Vet is selling and it does cost a lot.

Dog parents are being mislead by the pet food industry and sadly, they have a lot of Vets pimping the wrong foods for your dog. The only way a dog parent is going to be able to know if what they are feeding their dog is good, or bad, is to educate yourself and learn how to read the dog food packages.

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