Many people read reviews online and automatically assume that these reviews are supplied by completely honest and unbiased people. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are actually several reasons why pet owners should be careful of dog food reviews. Consider the following before automatically assuming that every review that you read online is factual.
Biases of Reviewers
…this leaves you to trust only yourself. As a pet owner, you know more than anyone what your dog needs.
Pet food is big business, and competition is fierce. This fact alone should be a cause for concern. While we would love to assume that everyone is ethical, the truth of the matter is that not everyone is. One of the fastest ways to get ahead in business is to frighten people away from purchasing competitors products.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that some reviews could be written by employees of certain pet food companies, as well as their friends and family. These types of reviews should be completely discounted, yet there is no way for pet owners to determine if the review is unbiased or not. What this creates is a situation where consumers do not know who to trust.
Intentions of the Reviewers
Some reviewers only have the best intentions. It is these types of reviews that are extremely helpful in helping pet owners make educated decisions about what types of products to purchase. This is the type of information that consumers need to know, and can directly benefit from.
Another category would be those that read something negative, and simply pass along what they have read. This form of “viral” reviewing can do more harm than good, as people naturally choose to pass along negative information first. This is understandable on some level, as they only wish to warn people of potential hazards. However, spreading information that is not based on fact is not helpful.
There are also those that simply have bad intentions. These are the individuals that directly stand to gain something by either spreading negative information about a competitor, or spreading information about how great a certain product is.
Dog Food Ratings and Rankings
…it may be necessary to try several brands before settling on the one you like best
Many people turn to dog food ratings and rankings to help them decide which food to purchase. These can be wildly inaccurate, as the criteria for judging varies. It is possible to find cheap store versions ranked higher than completely organic ones. It is also possible to find partially organic foods ranked higher than 100% organic foods.
The reason this happens is simple. Different people have different beliefs about what is best for dogs. Some believe that corn and wheat are bad, while this is not necessarily true unless the dog is allergic to these ingredients. Some rank foods that are higher in fat lower, while a certain level of fat is needed to keep a dog healthy.
These are just a few examples. In reality, the list of opinions and myths is quite long. There is no set standard for the nutritional needs of every dog, as every dog is different. Different dogs simply need different ingredients. Because of this fact, do not put much stock in dog food ratings and rankings.
Who Should I Trust?
As there is no real way to correct this system, you should always be careful of dog food reviews. This leaves you to trust only yourself. As a pet owner, you know more than anyone what your dog needs. There are ways to research each ingredient to find out more about what the pros and cons are.
While you certainly do not wish to use your pet as a science experiment, it may be necessary to try several brands before settling on the one you like best. If you have researched the ingredients in advance, this should be a safe process. Should you notice any negative changes in your pets behavior, immediately discontinue use of the product.
Though there are many reasons to be careful of dog food reviews, there are still some unbiased websites that will provide helpful information about healthy diets for pets. Should you still choose to read reviews, always remember that you simply cannot decipher fact from fiction. The internet is frequented by all types of people. Unfortunately, for pet owners, this may not be a good thing.