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How to choose a suitable pet food? How trustworthy is the brand of pet food?

Sep 5, 2008
There are only 3 simple steps in selecting a eligible brand for your pet. First, visualise the demands of your pet by identifying his/her lifestage. Second, learn if the packaging carries AFFCO nutrition sufficiency statement. Third, learn if the packagin

STEP 1 First see the demands of your pet:

a) Breed - Small breeds compared to larger breeds need higher protein levels to sustain their higher energy demands b) Size - Lower calories for overweight dogs/cats and more calories for thin dogs/cats (See body condition system chart to reach perfect body condition) c) Vitality Levels - Active (Exercises a lot) dogs/cats need higher protein levels to keep their higher energy needs as compared to less active dogs/cats. d) Age-Puppies/kittens need higher protein levels as they are still growing as compared to big dogs e) Special needs: Allergies and health problems Study the component list to ward off formulas that contains components your pet is vulnerable to. Pick Out a suitable formula that can help your pet if it has any health problems. Example: PRO PLAN cat urinary tract formula is produced with lower PH and magnesium levels to help in promoting urinary tract health

After seeing the demands of your pet by answering the questions above, you will then need to determine which brand is well suited for your pet, assuming many different brands appear to suit your pets needs. As you probably recognize it is very difficult to decide which pet food is the best considering the number of brands that are flooding the marketplace. There are so many spectacular claims that different brands are making but which brands really can be trusted?

STEP 2 One simple way is to find on the packaging of the pet food if it has the AAFCO nutrition adequacy statement . AAFCO stands for Association of American Feed Control Officials. It is the single pet food regulatory body in the world at this point in time.

a) Determines that the pet food has complete and balanced nutrition b) Determines which life stage it is suitable for Development (puppy) Gestation (pregnant) Maintenance (adult) all life stages c) It offers a written nutrient guidelines (minimum/maximum) based on present knowledge. d) A written profile doesn't ensure an animal will get adequate amounts of nutrients due to certain variables

Factors not accounted for by AAFCO nutrient profiles

a) Possible for lower digestibility b) Potential losses during processing and storage c) Possible for changing ingredient effects d) Deficiency of nutrients not recognized as essential.

STEP 3 The next step to take is to check if the packaging indicates that it carries out AAFCO feeding trials. Only a few brands in Malaysia and PRO PLAN is one of them that really conduct feeding tests. AAFCO feeding trials are carried by trying the pet food by feeding them to actual pets while AAFCO nutritional profiles are accomplished by only fulfilling a lab test. Feeding trials are a much more creditworthy way to determine the nutritional completeness of a pet food and show the calls it makes.

Benefits of AAFCO animal feeding tests Better at evaluating palatability/acceptablity by dogs Better able to evaluate digestibility of nutrients Able to evaluate performance of food

Short-change of AAFCO animal feeding trials Some judgements are unverifiable and test length is short relative to life span; detrimental signs of deficiency could be neglected. (PRO PLAN is the single brand that has done a 14 year life span study on Labradors that proves that PRO PLAN can have sufficient nutrition for life)

Benefits of having AAFCO approved nutrient profiles Sample lab analysis easily confirms conformation Insufficiencies or redundant nutrients versus profile easily known and corrected

Short-change of AAFCO approved nutrient profiles Insufficiencies or extra vs actual animal needs not easily established and corrected Can't account for digestibility or different elements

So remember when selecting a trustworthy brand that demands are established, look out for the words "Animal Feeding Tests" on the packaging. PRO PLAN is one brand that has this and is the only brand that has done a 14 year life span study on Labradors that proves that PRO PLAN can deliver sufficient nutrition for life!

Read More on Caring For Your Dog: http://www.purina.com.my/DogCare/
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