I am struck by the passion pet owners show about their pets’ diets and the choices made. This could be a raw or cooked diet, treats or supplements or any of the other pet food trends I have seen. We love our pets so much that we spend more than $75 Billion on them in 2019, and $31.68 billion on pet food. It’s difficult for pet owners, even those with the best intentions, to make sound decisions because of pervasive marketing claims about nutrition and diets. Dog owners said that selecting the right food for their dogs was the hardest part about pet ownership. There are many pet foods that claim to be “ancient grains,” ‘grass-fed,” ‘holistic,” “superfoods,”,”free-range,” no byproducts,”…”no peas or linseeds,” and thereby causing pet owners stress and resulting in pet food choices that can prove to be dangerous for their pet.
Common Mistakes When Selecting Pet Food
Which of these factors do you base your decision?
The ingredient list. The ingredient list is important. Pet owners tend to choose diets that they like, not those that are nutritious and that have been carefully vetted. Remember that pets require nutrients, not just ingredients.
The most persuasive labels. The pet food label’s most important information is the marketing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that diets containing superfoods and ancient grains are best for your pet.
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Rating websites. Current rating websites base their ratings primarily on marketing information (or myths), and not on what diet is the most nutritious or best.
Recommendations of the pet supply shop: Your veterinarian can help guide you in choosing the right food for your pet. The pet supply store staff may be more interested in promoting the food with the highest profit margin, the private label brand, and the best marketing than what is best for your pet.
These are all possible signs that you may be falling for pet food myths or misinformation.
Making good decisions for your best friend
You love your pet and you are passionate about providing the best food for her. What can be done to make sure you are buying the best food possible for your pet?
Talk to your doctor. Our study found that veterinarians were the most popular source of nutrition information. They were also the most important.
Ask your veterinarian important questions about your pet food. Although the label may not contain all the pertinent information, such as whether they use qualified nutritionists or strict quality control practices, the manufacturer should have this information.
Don’t believe everything you read about nutrition online. While the internet is a valuable resource, it can also lead to misinformation and myths.
We share your passion and love for your pets. We want you and your pet to eat the healthiest, most nutritious food. However, we urge you to exercise caution when using your passion in order to make better decisions regarding your pet’s nutrition and health. It’s important to base your decisions on facts, and not on emotions.