Like most shoppers, pet food shoppers are cost conscious as well.
Our experience has been that few outlets take the time to explain to their customers the various ways to calculate the true cost of feeding their treasured pet. Like most shoppers, myself included, one of the first things that catches our eye is the cost of the bag of food. Although it is important to know this before purchasing, it is of far greater importance to understand the actual feeding costs per day. Not always (in fact very seldom) is the most inexpensive bag of pet food the least expensive to feed over time.
Suggested feeding requirements, placed on the bag by the manufacturer, are always a good place to start. If one manufacturer recommends significantly higher quantities of food to be fed per day, then examine the ingredients carefully and ask your pet specialty store rep to assist you in determining the actual feeding costs per day for each food you are interested in.
Ingredients are also important when determining which food you want to feed your pet. More importantly is the order in which the ingredients are listed on the bag. For example, chicken meal may appear on all the bags, but may be listed in different order from bag to bag. If you are not sure how to determine which are important and in what order of importance, again ask your pet specialty store for assistance in choosing a food that is right for your pet and your budget. Understand the difference between a pet food that advertises “organic ingredients” and one that is “certified organic”. There is a big difference so don’t be fooled by crafty marketing.
There is another factor that I like to consider carefully when selecting a food for our little dog “Millie”, and that is just how digestible is the food I feed her. If I were to feed a food that has all the right ingredients, but not in the most desirable order, and the feeding requirements are high, then chances are I will be picking up a good portion of what she eats the next day in my poop bag and throwing it in the trash. If she cannot digest upwards of 90% or more of what she eats, I am not feeding her the best food available and chances are her feeding costs per day are higher than they need to be. Let’s not forget her health over the long term.
An excellent source of reliable pet nutrition can be found in her book “The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog”. I have had the good fortune of meeting and talking directly with Ms Volhard and do not hesitate to recommend her literature and/or food. Her relatively recent NDF2 diet is worthy of consideration. A nutritional and chemical free food results in a healthy pet. A healthy pet requires less vet visits and will ultimately live a longer and healthier life and minimize your costs over the life of your pet.
We are what we eat…and so is your dog.