Many pet owners often ask their veterinarian, “What’s the best pet food for my pet?”. However, the answer to this question isn’t example simple. There are hundreds of different types of pet food, which are designed for a variety of health conditions, activity levels and age ranges. So, when choosing the best pet food, what should you look for? What are a few of the indicators which can help you to choose a high quality and nutritious pet food formula? Here is a quick guide to help familiarize you with some of the features of high quality pet food formulas.
Lack of Chemical Preservatives
Some chemical preservatives have been linked to serious health problems in pets. BHA and BHT are two examples of controversial chemical preservatives which are sometimes used in pet food. The best pet food formula for your pet should not contain any chemical preservatives. Instead, look for pet food which has been preserved by natural means. Two examples of natural preservatives are Vitamin E and rosemary extract.
Lack of Fillers
Many inexpensive or “budget” pet food formulas will often use low quality ingredients which are commonly called “filler” ingredients. These ingredients may artificially boost the nutritional content of a food formula, without actually providing digestible nutrition. An example of this is that some by-product meals contain ground up feathers from poultry. Though this may boost the protein content of the food in a lab analysis, this isn’t high quality protein that can be easily digested by pets.
Another feature of fillers is to make the food less expensive to produce. Corn is one example of a filler ingredient that has recently come under scrutiny by pet nutritional experts. Since the corn that we produce today has a lower nutrient content, it may not be the best source of protein for some pet food formulas. Wheat, soy and sorghum are a few more ingredients that are often used as filler ingredients in low quality pet food formulas.
A good rule to use when choosing your pet’s food is that it should adhere to the same rules that you would have for human food. So, if you see “animal digest” in your pet’s food formula, would you consider that to be a high quality ingredient? Using these standards will help you to choose the best pet food formula for your pet.