Wellness is the Key
I had to make a stop at Wal-Mart yesterday while on an errand and saw two men in the line at the registers buying cheap store brand dog food for their pets. I wanted to go up and ask them if they knew what was in that stuff.
While I know the economy is tight and everyone is pinching pennies, now is not the time to go cheap on the pet food. Research has shown that pets on higher quality diets have fewer vet bills - and live longer.
To me, it's all about the wellness of our pets.
During Read the Label Week last week, I noted how disappointed I was in the dog food we were feeding our dogs. We were feeding a premium price for the food, which I had researched years ago when our first rescue, Hershey, came to live with us. However, when I read the label to the dry food, by-products were the first ingredient, meaning that unknown body parts and organs was the main ingredient, rather than a pure protein source such as meat.
We actually began researching new foods a few weeks ago. I've come to the conclusion, that right now, Wellness brand food, which can be found in Petco (We don't have any other large chain pet supply stores), is one of the best on the market now. Their website, www.wellnesspetfood.com says that their products are "Highly Digestible, Beneficial, Human-Grade Ingredients."
There are several feeding options from all protein foods to ones that contain some grains, although meat is always the main ingredient.
Their Core mix for example, lists deboned turkey and deboned chicken as the first two ingredients.
Their canned food is of similar quality.
The dogs seem to vote for it. We've been slowly switching them now for 2 weeks from the old diet by mixing a little more of the Wellness brand in each day. They did fine yesterday evening on the Wellness brand alone, so it looks like we're there.
My husband thought I was a little overzealous when I said their coats even looked and felt better - and our 10-11 year old Rot/German Shepherd mix, Emma, is even acting friskier. However, a neighbor who hasn't seen them in about a month confirmed my observations yesterday.
I learned from a nutrition expert that pets on a dry diet - even high quality ones - should really have canned food mixed with their diets at least 2-3 times a week. The only incident we had in the transition was that on the first day of canned food, Dakota, our wiener/Beagle, got sick. She tends to scarf her canned food though, so we suspect she ate too fast - she's done fine since.