• Dog Food can you afford $2.67 per day?

    Acana bag of dog foodPremium Dog Food:

    Information source- Petco

    Your Dobie’s nutritional needs are based on age, activity level, temperament, environment and physical makeup. Look for a food that fits your Dobie and the environment rather than breed, breed and size. If you’re unsure about what to feed your pet, contact your veterinarian.

    Premium dog foods typically have higher quality protein sources, no artificial dyes, and added antioxidants and vitamins. Better ingredients means better digestibility and contributes more to the health of your Doberman. The nutritional value per kibble is higher than most economy brands, meaning your Dobie will have to eat less of a premium brand to get the same nutrition. A major difference aside from cost is the poop! If your Dobie has to eat more of the economy brand than the premium brand for the same nutritional content, there is a lot more waste that you will have to dispose of.

    So before you buy, compare the feeding guide of each brand (usually at the back of the bag).
    You may be surprised to find that premium foods may actually be less expensive and healthier
    for your dog.

    I did a very simple cost comparison between three levels of dog food.
    Ranked on  Dog Food Advisor

    Acana a 5 Star food- approx. daily cost per 2 cups of food…………………         $ 2.67

    Eukanuba a 3 Star food- approx. daily cost per 2 cups of food…………..         $ 1.58

    Pedigree a 2 Star food-approx. daily cost per 2 cups of food…………….          $   .68

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    What to look for in dog food:

    When you look at the nutrient analysis on the back of the package, you will find the minimum
    levels of protein, fiber and fat in the diet. But you also need to carefully examine the ingredient
    list. Protein can come from a variety of sources, including plant matter, so you need to make
    sure the bulk of the protein is derived from meat and poultry products. Many pet foods,
    especially the economy brands, use corn, wheat, gluten, soy, meat and bone meal as a major
    source of protein, but these are inferior sources of protein for your pet. The list of ingredients
    is based on their percentages in the food, from greatest to least. It is best to look for diets with
    meat products making up at least 3 or 4 of the first 6 listed ingredients.

    There are a few things to look for before you pick your pet’s food:

    High Quality Protein Sources: High quality protein sources should include protein from
    meat sources. Plant based proteins are commonly used in many dog foods but are not good
    sources of protein.

    Preservatives: Chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin are often added in pet foods. Natural preservatives such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and oils of rosemary, clove, or other spices are a better alternative. Natural preservatives do not provide as long a shelf life but are generally safer.

    By-Products: By-products can vary from batch to batch. They can contain internal parts of
    animals such as necks, heads, feet, intestines, and other internal organs. Many manufactures
    use by-products because it’s less expensive, these may not be the best source of food for
    your pet.

    Antioxidants: Antioxidants are often added to dog food to supplement and help a dog’s
    immune system. Antioxidants can help deter many diseases including kidney disease, heart
    disease and cancer.

    Artificial Dyes: Artificial dyes are often used in pet foods for visual purposes, but it is not
    necessary and some have been linked to medical problems.

    How to read labels:

    Labels differ from brand to brand, and can sometimes be quite challenging to understand. On
    the plus side, there are special labeling requirements for pet food regulated by the FDA (Food
    and Drug Administration) and many manufactures adopt AFFCO (Association of American
    Feed Control Officials) standards.

    AFFCO Product Name 4 Rules:

    95% Rule (Example: Beef for Dogs, Chicken ‘n Liver Dog Food)

    95% of the product must be the named ingredient (of animal origin), not counting the water
    added for processing. If more than one item is named then the combination must total 95%,
    with the first named ingredient of higher quantity than the second. Counting the added water,
    the named ingredient still must comprise 70% of the product.

    25% or “Dinner” Rule (Example: Beef Dinner for Dogs, Chicken formula Dog Food)

    25% of the product must contain the named ingredient, not counting the water added for
    processing. “Platter,” “entrée,” “nuggets” and “formula” are also used within this rule. If
    more than one ingredient are named, then at least 3% of each ingredient must be added.

    3% or “With” Rule (Example: Dog Food With Beef)

    At least 3% of the ingredient must be used in the product. This label can be easily confused
    with the 95% rule label. “Beef Dog Food” will contain at least 95% beef, while “Dog Food With
    Beef” will possibly contain only 3% beef.

    “Flavor” Rule (Example: Beef flavored Dog Food)
    A specific percentage is not required under this rule. But the product must contain an amount
    sufficient to be detected (using animals trained to prefer specific flavored to verify). The
    ingredient may or may not be the ingredient named, instead it could be a substance that will
    give the characterizing flavor of the ingredient.

    A good way to verify the product names is reading the ingredient list. All ingredients are
    required to be listed in order of predominance by weight. Ingredients that are in the labels
    should appear in the ingredient list accordingly to the rule applied.

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