Without any doubt the pet food industry is a fast growing one. Research have shown that at the end of 2017, over $80 billion had been spent on pet food worldwide. Dog food account for over 70% of the total pet food sales in United States alone in the same year.
Today dog owners are taking more precautions in what they feed their dogs with. Money which used to be the major factor for choosing type of food has been displaced by quest for high quality which can be measured by what each owner want for his dog.
The proportion of top-tier pet foods, such as Fromm, sales continue to increase as consumers demand higher-quality, more humane ingredients in their pet foods.
Before you fill Spot’s bowl it’s a good idea to understand his or her nutritional needs. You can use this information to read food labels and decide which brand suits your needs. Learning the difference between kibble and canned food will help you make an informed choice about which high-quality dog food brand is right for you. Once you’ve chosen a brand and style of food it becomes important to know how to change Spot’s food without causing stomach issues.
Understanding Canine Nutrition
A complete, balanced diet is the foundation of your dog’s health. That means a diet rich in six major nutrients: water, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Each nutrient performs a specific function in the body.
Water is the most important nutrient; it’s impossible to live long without sufficient amounts of water. Water transports nutrients and waste, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints and tissues, and helps with digestion.
Protein is the most well-known nutrient for its role in building muscle. Protein is also needed to create hormones like insulin that help control blood sugar and enzymes like pepsin that help break down proteins. Antibodies that the body produces to fight infection are also made of proteins.
Fats are broken down and used to make energy. They also help the body absorb vitamins, and are components of cells and nerves. Dogs use fats as the first nutrient broken down for energy. Fats are needed for the body to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K; and fats are a structural component of cells and nerves. Without fats, cells and nerves couldn’t be built.
Carbohydrates are used for energy, fiber, and to feel full. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose that’s used for energy. Fiber that accompanies carbohydrates keeps the circulatory and gastrointestinal systems clean and helps you feel full.
Vitamins and Minerals are required in small amounts in order for are certain physical reactions to take place. For example, although proteins and fats are used to build hormones that won’t happen without the presence of certain vitamins and minerals.
Dogs, like humans, are omnivores and get these nutrients by eating foods from animal and plant sources. Cats, on the other hand, are carnivores and require animal products. Cows require a plant-based diet and are referred to as herbivores.
Your pet’s age, health, and activity level will determine in what ratio these nutrients need to be in. The National Research Council (NRC) and Merck Veterinary Manual have published detailed reports for the nutrient requirements of companion animals through different life stages. And product labels indicate which life stage each package of food is intended for.
Choosing a Good Dog Food
Choosing a good dog food can feel overwhelming because there are so many formulations and brands exist. Of course, you want the best quality within your budget, but where do you start?
Commercial pet food is generally a safe highly regulated industry. Manufacturers must follow strict rules, and brands have to undergo scientific testing before making their foods available. Even so, it can be hard to tell exactly what you’re choosing with each bag or can of food. Learning to read packaging becomes an important skill.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) ensures that important information is easily and readily available on pet food labels. The product’s name is one of the most visible parts of the food packaging and a good indicator of the product’s ingredient list. Some of the AAFCO guidelines are explained below.
The 95% Rule applies to products with names such as Pupper’s Chunky Chicken Food, Doggo’s Favorite Beef Food, or Venison and Sweet Potato Fido Food by Honest Kitchen. Named ingredients must constitute at least 95% of the product by weight, not counting water for processing AND 70% of the total weight. In cases such as the Honest Kitchen example, then both ingredients combined need to account for 95% of the weight.
The 25% rule applies to products with names such as Pupper’s Beef Dinner or Fido’s Chicken Entrée. Those named ingredients must constitute at least 10% of the total product by weight AND at least 25% of the product by weight not including water added for processing.
The “with” rule applies to products such as Pupper’s Fabulous Food With Beef or Happy Doggo’s Food With Quail and Liver. Named ingredients must constitute 3% of the product. In cases like the Happy Doggo’s example, each named ingredient would constitute 3%.
Kibble versus Canned
One of the most common pet owner concerns is whether it’s better to feed dry kibble or wet food. Nutritionally they’re about the same. So it really depends on your lifestyle, budget, and preference.
Sometimes dogs are more interested in one kind over another. For example, pets with a diminished sense of smell due to age or illness will lean toward canned foods because they tend to have a stronger smell than kibble. Canned foods are also a good choice for pets with small mouths, missing teeth or jaw problems.
Fromm Family Foods is a fifth-generation family-owned pet food maker originally named The Company when it started in 1904. Fromm has a long solid history of using scientific technology to develop its own nutritionally sound diets.
They began as a breeder of silver fox and developed their own line of food to create larger litters with healthier coats. In 1933 the Fromm’s efforts paid off with the birth of the world’s first litter of eleven silver foxes in the company’s farm. A few years later Fromm produced the first completely granular pet food. By 1949, Fromm Complete Dog Meal was available commercially.
Fromm Family Foods continued innovation through the 1970s by introducing lifestyle-specific formulas such as Hi-Stress, Maintenance, and Senior. In 2003, Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals became the first variety-driven gourmet pet food.
Fromm has about 53 products within four distinct product lines: Classic, Four-Star Nutritionals, Gold, and Pâté.
Classic is based on the original Complete Dog Meal formula. It’s suited for growth and maintenance of all breed of adult dogs. The ingredients include chicken, brown rice, whole eggs, and real cheese.
Four-Star Nutritionals features a variety of interchangeable entrees formulated so that you can feed a different flavor anytime. Each grain-free recipe includes your typical protein source combined with novel whole fruits and vegetables such as lentils, yucca, and apples.
The Gold product line is geared towards animals of specific life stages. Here you’ll find foods tailored for weight management, senior nutrition, and puppies. These contain the natural ingredients of the other lines but also added probiotics and fish oil.
Pâté product line is the canned versions of simple balanced formulas. These can be feed on their own or as supplements to the dry meals.
Gold Nutritionals Adult Dog Food
Gold Nutritionals Adult Dog Food is formulated for normally active adult dogs. Its main ingredients are duck, chicken, lamb, whole eggs, and cheese. Noticeably absent are common food allergens such as corn, soy, and wheat.
Looking at the ingredient list you find high-quality protein and carbohydrate sources making this food palatable and easily digestible. Gold Nutritionals Adult Dog Food is above average compared to other commercially available kibble.
Gold Nutritionals Adult Dog Food – Small Breed
Fromm Gold Adult Dog Food Small Breed is similar to that of regular Adult Dog Food in that it contains duck, chicken, lamb, whole eggs, and cheese. Common food allergens like corn, wheat, and soy are absent in this variety as well.
The kibble size of Gold Adult Dog Food Small Breed is smaller than Fromm’s other varieties to accommodate the smaller mouths of little dogs. Each kibble is slightly smaller than a dime.
The calorie content of this variety is slightly higher than the regular Adult Dog Food. The reason for this is that smaller dogs tend to be very active and need those extra calories.
Overall, Gold Adult Dog Food Small Breed is a highly palatable, easily digestible dog food. Pet owners report high satisfaction when feeding this product.
Four-Star Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Game Bird Recipe
The game bird recipe of Fromm’s Four-Star Grain-Free Dry Dog Food features novel proteins and carbohydrates. Additionally, it uses no grains as a source of fiber or carbohydrates.
The main protein sources of this formula are duck, turkey, quail, and pheasant. The addition of pea flour, dried whole egg, and spinach also act as good plant-based protein sources.
Carbohydrate and fiber are obtained from cauliflower, celery, broccoli, and alfalfa sprouts. These ingredients add flavor profiles most pets aren’t used to having, as well as adding essential vitamins and minerals.
The final protein and fat content in the game bird recipe are higher than the classic recipes. The final calorie count, though, is about the same. Kibble size is slightly smaller than the size of a dime.
Pet owners report high satisfaction with this product, especially among picky eaters.
Four-Star Canned Dog Food – Shredded Chicken Entrée
Four-Star Canned Dog Food – Shredded Chicken Entrée consists of shredded chicken cooked in chicken broth, potatoes, beans, and carrots. It’s a hearty stew consistency containing recognizable pieces of food.
In addition to those main ingredients, it also contains green beans, tomato paste, and salmon oil. Green beans are high in fiber, low in fat, and high in important minerals. Tomato paste is a thick concentrate made by cooking tomatoes for an extended period of time to reduce their water content, then straining out the seeds and skin. In this recipe, it’s used as a flavoring. Salmon oil is added to help maintain healthy skin and coat.
This is a high-quality food suitable for pets with no specific dietary requirement. It’s a favorite among senior pets and those with sensitive stomachs.
Changing from Other Brands
Once you’ve decided to change your dog’s food it’s important to do it slowly, unless you’re advised differently from your veterinarian. Gradually changing the food allows your dog to adjust to the new taste and consistency; it also helps the digestive system adjust to the change in nutrients. Your veterinarian may advise you to immediately change your pet’s food in some cases of kidney or heart disease, as well as a number of other conditions.
Changing a dog’s food usually takes about 7 to 10 days, but dogs with sensitive stomachs could take as long as six weeks. The most important thing to remember is patience because every dog is different.
Following the steps below will help you safely transition to a new food:
- Measure how much of the old food you normally feed your dog.
- Replace ¼ of the amount with new food then mix the old and new foods together.
- Feed this mixture for a few days and watch out for signs of stomach distress such as flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. If your dog experiences these you may have to decrease the amount of new food in the mixture.
- If there are no problems then increase the amount of new food to half. The new mixture will be half old food and half new food. Remember to mix the foods so that your pet can’t easily eat only one food.
- Feed your pet this mix for a few days to make sure there are no stomach issues.
- Change the food mixture to ¾ new food and ¼ old food.
- Feed this mixture for a few days. If your pet experiences no problems then begin feeding 100% of the new food.