My Recommendation for Choosing a Pet Food – by Dr. McManus
To Select a 3 out of 5 star food: First, look at the ingredient list on the bag.
– 1st ingredient should ALWAYS be a solid meat.
– 2nd ingredient should be a meat bi-product or meal.
– 3rd ingredient should be a complex carb (Ex: brown rice, sweet potato, barley, oats—NO CORN, WHITE RICE or REGULAR POTATOES).
– The next step is to look at guaranteed/crud analysis (always in %).
– Protein % should be >18% min (23-25% is ideal).
– Fat should be 15% or less.
– Fiber should be 4-5%
To select a 4-5 out of 5 star food:
– First TWO ingredients will be a solid meat, and then followed the same as above.
– Protein should be also be high 20’s-30%.
-If the first ingredient is not a solid meat—PUT IT BACK!
-If the protein content is less than 18%–PUT IT BACK!
(Please note this is not a guarantee, but simply our recommendations.)
A Helpful Tip from Dr. Cole
Also keep in mind–pet food labels are often bogus! That was the finding of a study by Chapman University, just published in the journal Food Control. We try to shop smart, but are at the mercy of what the manufacturer tells us is in the bag. 16 of 52 tested products (30%) were feeding meats not on the label. This is important for dogs with food allergies / adverse reactions to food. It is also why we recommend only a couple manufacturers for pets with allergies. This testing confirmed research done by veterinary dermatologists a few years ago. Many ‘over the counter’ and pet store brands don’t bother with accurate labels. Pet foods that do not rely on veterinary allergy specialists for recommendations may not be careful and protect their food from contamination by another batch being produced elsewhere in the plant. Worse yet, they may lie to us. We at Urbana Veterinary Clinic listen carefully to the advice of those specialists who have resources to identify the many fakes. Their good will and recommendations are vital to the best of the best, as they try to stand out in a market crowded with bogus products and fake internet recommendations. Hills prescription diet Z/D and the Royal Canin novel protein and hydrolyzed protein diets do continue to earn the confidence of skin and allergy experts, as well as our own.