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The ever changing economy seems to keep everyone on pins and needles these days. People are looking for ways to save money, in virtually every aspect of their life. In an attempt to save, people cut corners in every possible way. Often, this results in the family dog receiving less than stellar food. Some brands of dog food are really cheap, known as bargain brand dog food, while others are rather expensive, often called boutique or speciality dog food. Dog food that was once acceptable, regardless of price, is now no longer an option. However, bargain brand dog food may not be the right choice for your best friend.
Most dog foods, regardless of price, claim to have the top ingredients. They also claim to be safe for your dog, but are they really? The ingredients are listed, however, they are not always specific. Such as, the organ of an animal may be listed, but does it list from what type of animal? The tiny tweaks to wording, are often a cause for concern.
Dogs are our best friends, our companions, and are by our side, when many others are not. Times are tough for everyone, however, the least we can do is research these ingredients, especially the ones in bargain brand dog food. Making sure the products are not harmful should be the number one concern, and then other requirements can be researched.
Is Cheaper Really Better
This question can only really be answered by the dog owner themselves. After making sure that the ingredients are safe, you will have to decide what other factors are important to you. Natural ingredients are an active requirement of some, while others prefer no fat within the food. These types of foods will have a significant price increase, compared to a cheaper alternative. Lets take a look at some ingredients located within some of these foods. Being informed will allow you to decide if the bargain brand dog food is your friend, or your foe.
- Corn Bran – This ingredient is on the label of some foods, and it is basically a cheap filling material. This cheap ingredient normally adds bulk, to dog foods of lesser quality.
- Wheat Gluten – This is used as a combining agent. Wheat gluten is the substance that remains after starch is washed from the wheat. Not much remains in the form of nutritional value, after the starch washing process.
- Liver Meal – Really, liver from what? Your dog most assuredly does like liver, but from which animal does this liver come?
The question is, are these ingredients important to you? By using cheaper ingredients, many dog food companies are able to pass the savings on to consumers. Some of the top shelf ingredients can be expensive to obtain, which makes the higher grade quality foods more pricey. Knowing a little bit about some of these ingredients, can make all of the difference in the world, when it comes to selecting your dog food. These ingredients are not necessarily harmful, but they do not provide much in the area of nutrition either.
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Ingredients With More Nutritional Value
Some dog foods have ingredients that are of higher quality. Of course, with higher quality, comes a heftier price tag as well. By researching these ingredients as well, dog owners can decide if bargain brand dog foods are friends, or foes. Providing nutritional value is important for a dog to have a healthy, balanced diet. By researching these ingredients as well, one can become knowledgeable about the ingredients, and decide which dog food is right for their pet. Is the higher quality ingredient safe, and does it provide more nutritional value?
- Deboned Chicken – This particular ingredient says that it is real meat. You may not know which area of the chicken the meat comes from, but at least you understand which animal it comes from. Real meat also provides extra nutritional benefits.
- Animal Fat – Once again, what animal provides this fat? Is the amount of fat a safe amount to consume? Some fats provide additional nutritional benefits, but too much fat is a bad thing.
- Brewers Rice – The name gives it away. You guessed it, it is rice. Brewers rice is a cheaper alternative than whole grain rice, however, it lacks the nutritional benefits that whole grain offers.
Depending on which ingredients are of the utmost importance to you, bargain brands might be right for you, and your pet. As you can see, not all of the ingredients within top shelf brands are more nutritional. This does not mean that they are not healthier overall, but it also does not do much for a consumer’s confidence in the brand.
Shopping For Yourself
Much like when you do your own grocery shopping, store brands, are cheaper than name brands. At times that cheaper box of cereal, is not healthier, but it does feel a lot better to your wallet. If the product provides value to your life, and is still somewhat healthy, the chances are that you would buy it. Many people use this same type of philosophy when choosing dog food.
Regardless of which brand of dog food you choose, a bargain brand dog food, or a high end brand, choose responsibly. You want to keep your dog healthy, happy, and full of life, so allow a little bit of time to further investigate these ingredients. In doing so, you will learn valuable information about what is actually in the food, and you will ensure that you have done your due diligence, in making sure that your beloved dog’s food, is safe.