We all want the best for our dogs, but sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly what the best is - especially when it comes to food. Various brands claim to have impeccable dog food formulas that promote health, while others extol the benefits of raw food diets that replicate your pet's natural feeding patterns.
The former have come under fire recently, with various dog food producers in the US being accused of using substandard ingredients in their products - and occasionally even ones harmful to pet health. While pet food in the UK isn't identical to that across the pond, this investigation does raise a series of questions. Is the food you're feeding your dog safe? Is it healthy? And do you even know what's in it?
Reviews.com decided to investigate these questions, enlisting the help of 20 experts, 300 dog owners and seven researchers, as well as scouring 72 articles and studies on the subject of dog food to evaluate the safety and healthiness of dog food formulas in the US.
The website found that some 70 per cent of dog owners don't actually know what is in their pet's food. This is even more worrying considering that the website also found just 119 formulas from 15 brands were satisfactory, from a pool of 2,219 dog food formulas across 115 brands.
To narrow the list and get their result, they created strict criteria to define quality. For example, any dog foods where meat was not the primary ingredient were automatically removed, as were any containing added sugar. The formulas that remained were assessed for the best balance of protein, carbs and fat.
In terms of what constitutes healthy dog food, Reviews.com found that good-quality ingredients are the most important element.
"The experts we spoke with have seen a direct correlation between poor diet and many health problems in dogs. Most of these problems tie back to low-quality ingredients in dog food, but safety is still a concern," it says.
If you want to know exactly what you are feeding your pet, a raw food diet is ideal. The Berriewood BARF Diet provides natural protein and nutrients to help keep your dog healthy.
Written by: Hannah