Nutrition is extremely important in order to maintain a healthy life style. The phrase “you are what you eat” is very applicable in order to live a good life. Meeting dietary needs would allow for a balance life style in order to live a balanced life. In intensive livestock production, when animals meet their nutritional requirements, they become healthier and grow more efficiently which is ultimately the goal for any farm production. In companion animals’ situation, we want our companions to live long and happy lives. I believe every owner and those who work in intensive farming should have a basic education on nutrition. They would definitely reduce many health related issues and the animal itself would have more energy and be viewed as being much happier.
Always purchase high quality pet foods, may even save you money!
Some recommendations regarding nutrition, studies show that owners who purchase dog food from local groceries had higher incidence of obesity in their dogs. The response was that grocery store brands were lower in quality and lower in price. When you purchase a high grade pet food, the calories are more abundant than the calories in lesser brands. This would allow you to reduce the serving size leading to an actual lower cost. Following the daily recommended servings, the price of feeding a 30lb dog a good brand of food would cost less than $2 a day. So, I highly recommend high quality pet food for your companions (Thixton, 2008).
The Sodium Indicator
As for ingredients, I recommend to always check before purchasing. AAFCO profiles state that sodium content must be less than 0.3%, this is a good indication on the amounts of ingredients. When ingredients are listed after salt, there would be less than 1% in the food. This is appropriate for vitamins and minerals since they weigh less, however when meat products are indicated after sodium, the contribution in the food is fairly small. For example, the package states that this is beef flavoured food, but beef ingredients are listed after sodium, this would be considered false advertising (Nestle & Nesheim, 2010).
Read the Ingredients!
Ingredients I recommended to avoid would be corn or corn meal since it contributes to many diseases associated with high carbohydrate diets like obesity, diabetes, and renal issues. The first ingredients of dog food should never be corn or corn meal, instead a meat as the first ingredient is best. The first few ingredients could vary as other meats, meat by-products or even grains (Kienzle, Bergler & Mandernach, 1998).
Click and magnify this information sheet by Pupculture, it is very informative on how to read pet food labels.