Is there a way to tell what's "high quality" dog food? Not everything has a review on the dogfoodadvisor websites. The one mine currently has is supposedly low quality, and I think switching to something better might also help with the allergy symptoms she's having. The only restriction I have is my dog needs 9% fat or less (dry matter measurement), due to pancreatitis. Could I give you the four foods/brands I can choose from and you tell me which is the better quality?
The most important factors I look for when assessing the quality of a dog food are:
- Guaranteed Analysis vs Average Analysis
- Specified ingredients vs ‘Meat’
- Metabolisable energy or the amount of food that needs to be fed.
About the Dog Food Advisor website… it’s run by a human dentist. With no veterinary training, let alone veterinary nutrition training. He
seem to consider himself “an authority on reading and interpreting pet food labels” based on his own reading. I would not bother stressing about it.
(And yes, I know there will be a bunch of people out there that like the website because it tells them what they like to hear/believe. I can’t take the website seriously.)
Different dogs will do better on different diets. Most dogs will do really well on a huge variety of diets, but sometimes you’ll need to try a few to get the right one.
I’m not going to give people specific diet recommendations, even out of a select few, because I don’t want to be inundated with such requests, especially when people have their own veterinarians they can take such questions to. I have enough to do, and the answers will all boil down to “If your vet says it’s ok, give it a try.”
Changing food will only help the allergy symptoms if the dog happens to be allergic to something in the food. The ‘quality’ of a diet according to someone who thinks carbohydrates are always bad isn’t going to change the fact that if the dog is allergic to chicken then it will still be allergic to chicken in all the diets.
My advice would be not to worry too much about it and feed something that works for your dog within your budget, whether that’s commercial or home made. If it works, it works. Dogs are tougher than they look.
Don’t let anybody make you feel bad or guilty over what you feed your dog if it works for her.