The Great Debate: Premium or Generic Pet Food… which is best?
We hear you dog lovers – picking puppy food is just too hard. There is a huge pressure to make the right choice for your faithful companion without breaking the bank. We are all too familiar with the dreaded pet food aisle where overwhelming nutritional science jargon confuses us all.
Grain free… advanced pet nutrition… holistic superfood… choice cuts… complete and balanced… scientific formulation.
In a market saturated with competitor products, it can be hard to differentiate between them all. As a result, it can often be tempting to grab pet food supermarket specials during your weekly grocery shop… but at what cost? Below are five reasons why you should invest in quality food for long term benefits.
- Puppy Power – Nutrition is key
The secret to a healthy, happy and energetic dog is a balanced, nutritious diet. The fundamentals of canine nutrition are simple:
- Protein – essential for muscle growth and repair
- Fat – facilitates the absorption of critical vitamins
- Carbohydrates – converted by the digestive system into glucose for energy
- Vitamins – allows for the conversion of calories into energy
- Minerals – supports bone growth
- Water – maintains hydration for optimal health
Premium foods provide this balanced, nutritious diet by using high quality ingredients. Meats and poultry which are high in protein are often substituted for fillers such as wheat, gluten soy or bone meal in supermarket brands. Good fats, portioned carbohydrates and an abundance of vitamins and minerals contained in premium foods are vital for optimum pet health. In contrast, substandard, mediocre ingredients used in generic supermarket brands only satisfy your dog’s hunger and fail to fulfil their nutritional requirements.
- The Whole Package – Looking good, and feeling good too
A tailored, balanced and comprehensive diet allows your dog to look good, and feel good too. Studies have shown that there are direct links between a dog’s appearance and diet. A shiny, soft coat. Bright, clear eyes. A moist nose. These are the signs of a dog who receives healthy fats, essential vitamins and a range of minerals in their diet. So, when you next find yourself choosing pet food, reach for premium products which list high-quality ingredients on their labels.
Looking good is one thing, but feeling good too… now that’s a winner. Premium dog foods are great because they genuinely contribute to the wellbeing and health of your dog. High-quality pet foods are useful in maintaining a healthy body weight and immune system for your dog. Lean meats and portioned carbohydrates provide endless energy without the weight gain caused by filler products in supermarket brands. Moreover, premium products include additional ingredients such as healthy omega fats, essential amino acids and vitamins which reduce the chance of illness and boost immunity.
- Conscious Consumerism – Making cost-effective decisions
When purchasing pet food, cost is always a major factor in the decision-making process. Generally, pricey premium pet food is returned to the shelf in a bid to minimise the bill. But is this reality? Do we end up paying more per week? Will we receive bigger bills due to serious diet related health conditions? Are we exposing our dogs to safety issues which mean we incur more vet bills?
Despite the fact that premium dog food is more expensive per kilogram, supermarket dog food often becomes the more expensive alternative in the long run. Low quality brands that contain fillers and by-products fail to meet your dog’s nutritional needs causing it to whine for extra food. In contrast, the quality ingredients and high nutritional value of superior products will satisfy your dog in smaller quantities. In this way, many pet owners report significantly reducing their bill by choosing a premium pet food.
As a dog owner, your greatest savings will be in reduced veterinary bills. Low-grade commercial pet food is a leading cause in the development of serious animal health conditions. Foods that are packed with fats, additives and fillers are guaranteed to lead to obesity, cardiac disease and diabetes. By investing in premium dog foods with human-grade ingredients, you can prevent the onset of illness and prevent absorbent healthcare bills.
- Safety First – Protecting your pet
A dog’s dinner should be a source of sustenance, nourishment and happiness – not a danger to their health and safety. Supermarket dog foods often contain nasty ingredients that pose a risk to your furry friend. In particular, the meat by-products usually found in budget brands are generally made from the unidentified excess of dead, dying, diseased and disabled animals. This transmits dangerous diseases, infections and bacteria to your dog. In addition, large quantities of wheat and corn gluten meal which are found in inferior products disrupt normal canine digestive behaviours. This can cause your dog to experience abdominal discomfort and produce unhealthy stools.
Artificial preservatives, colours and dyes are unnatural additives that your dogs’ body is not built to process. Many supermarket pet food brands use butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), and ethoxyquin to preserve their canned food products. Not only do these preservatives interfere with digestions, many scientists believe they are leading cancer-causing agents. Similarly, unnecessary colours and dyes have been linked to the early onset of old age canine conditions. Most premium pet food companies avoid these issues by testing for contaminants, using organic products and ensuring that all ingredients are human-grade certified.
- Longevity – Taking care of man’s best friend
Without doubt, the greatest gift you can give to your dog is the gift of life. By purchasing premium pet food for your dog, you help to extended their life span and ensure they live a good life. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to do what is best for your dog. Therefore, you should make sure that you are: aware of dangerous ingredients, conscious of health benefits and empowered to make an educated decision. A diverse and nutrient rich diet from birth promotes life-long health and wellbeing. As a puppy, it is important that your dog receives all elements of a balanced canine diet. As your dog grows, their dietary needs may change accordingly. Luckily, most premium pet food brands provide tailored diets based on your dogs, breed, age and weight. Most importantly, as a pet owner you must be prepared to do some research, ask some questions and use this information to do best for your dog. Feed your dog a nutrient rich and balanced diet and they will likely live a longer, healthier and happier life with you.