Most dog owners, if they had the choice, would buy their pets the highest price and best quality pet food on the market, that is, if they could afford it. But therein lies the problem; the cost of these so-called premium dog foods are so expensive, compared to supermarket’s own brands, and even the better known brands, that it is an extremely well off pet owner that can afford to indulge their pet and purchase a bag of food costing £30 each. And with such a massive price difference, what is the actual difference in the product itself? I’ve fed my dog the highest costing brand of dog food and the cheapest and he has wolfed (sorry!) them down in equal speed so taste cannot be a dividing factor. I’ve looked at supermarkets own brands and they appear to stick to a very regimented distribution of protein, fats and vitamins across all the main stores, with the amount of protein standing at approximately 23- 25%, vegetable content around 4% and meats and animal derivatives at 4%. So basically if you buy a supermarket’s own brand of dog food, you are more or less guaranteed a similar standard across the board.
But what about those ‘value’ bags of dog food, are they really that bad for our dogs? In a word – yes. The cost of the bag is not that relevant when you consider how much of the food you have to give to your animal. As the cheapest dog food is full up with fewer nutrients, such as ash and undisclosed derivatives, you have to feed your dog a lot more to get them a nutritional diet. Whereas the higher quality food is much more nutritionally denser, they do not require as much so the costs effectively are less. You have to work out the quality of the ingredients against the daily amount you are feeding your dog. This will give you the daily feeding costs and once you have this you can compare the value of different dog foods. One more point to think about is that not all the more expensive dog foods are better dog foods. You still have to look at the ingredients as sometimes a dog food is more expensive simply because the food is only available in a veterinary surgery.
So what should you be looking for when you are perusing the label and what are definite red flags to avoid? Just because a dog food has a high protein content, does not necessarily mean it is a high quality product. It depends on other factors such as, do they have a named meat source and are they of a high content? Do they have named cereals, i.e either rice or potato and do they have named oil sources such as salmon or Sunflower oil? Are the products are free of artificial colours, flavourings and antioxidants and preserved with tocopherals? If they are then this is a good start but a real pointer to a great dog food is the high meat or fish percentage, typically around 26 – 28%. We have researched which dog foods consistently come up with good reviews and the following are recommended:
Symply Pet Foods
Symply Pet Foods are proudly made in the UK and use 100% natural, healthy ingredients with no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. They have a high meat content for greater taste your dog will love for better nutrition – feed less and save money and use high levels of healthy Omega 6 for healthy skin and coat which is great for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Visit here for more information and to buy. Prices: 2kg – £8.99. 6kg – £23.49 and 12kg – £42.99.
James Wellbeloved only supply the specialists who can advise pet owners on the correct product for their pet’s needs. There is continuous product development and an ongoing commitment to product quality. Our foods have won numerous awards but more importantly provided naturally healthy, great tasting nutrition to thousands of pet owners in the UK. Prices: 2.0kg – £9.49, 7.5kg – £28.99 and 15kg – £49.99.
Arden Grange is a family run business based just outside Brighton. We have been producing Super Premium, naturally hypoallergenic pet foods and treats since 1996. As a company of pet owners, we believe that when it comes to your best friend, only the best will do! Prices: 2.5kg – £9.20, 7.5kg – £23.40 and 15kg – £42.00.
The answer is that if you can afford to then yes, feed your dog one of the above brands and if not, look carefully at the label and never feed your pets the cheapest value brands. They work out to be a waste of money in the long run.