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One of the most important factors to consider is the quality of the pet food manufacturer (not just how persuasive their marketing is). Contact the manufacturer with any questions or concerns. Consider asking the following questions:
1) Do you have a board-certified veterinary nutritionist or PhD nutritionist on staff full-time in your company? What is his/her name and are they available for consultation or questions?
2) Who formulates your diets and what are their credentials?
3) Which of your diet(s) are tested using AAFCO feeding trials, and which by nutrient analysis?
4) What specific quality control measures do you use to assure the consistency and quality of your product line?
5) Where are your diets produced and manufactured? Can this plant be visited?
6) Will you provide a complete product nutrient analysis for any dog or cat food of interest, including digestibility values and caloric density?
7) What kinds of research on your products has been conducted, and are the results published in peer-reviewed journals?
In general, the recommendations for selecting a good quality pet food are as follows:
1) Feed a pet food manufactured by a well-known, reputable company (based on answers to questions above).
2) Feed a complete and balanced food for the appropriate life stage of the pet (growth diet for puppies or kittens, maintenance diet for adults) - this should be substantiated by feeding trials.
3) Remember that pets are individuals and may
respond better to one diet than to another.
Are they doing the work?
Next Section: Unconventional Diets