Purchasing Dog Food Can Be Confusing
The dog food industry is a multi-billion dollar business. The American Pet Product Association (APPA) estimates that pet owners in the U.S. are going to spend $22.62 billion hard-earned dollars on pet food in 2014. With so many dollars on the line the commercial dog food becomes more and more refined and specific and the purchase of dog food can be very stressful and confusing for the dog owner.
Dog Food Flavor and Product Varieties Are Endless
It seemed that purchasing dog food was easier years ago. There was puppy, adult and senior dog food. There was wet and dry dog food. That was it. Now you can buy protein bars for dog, weight management, limited-ingredient- diets, gluten and grain free products, natural and natural based products, organic dog food, high Protein diets and lists of flavor variations I can’t keep up with.
Pet Parents Are Needlessly Too Afraid To Switch
I spend a lot of my weekends in Petsmart representing dog food companies. It’s a good paying part- time job. Day in and day out pet parents are burdened by all the choices they have. And, before they are trying another brand and/or flavor they are sticking with their regular product because they fear that they have to clean up vomit, be exposed to gassy dogs, and have to pick up too much poop or that their dogs won’t like a certain product. They look and investigate, but they are not going to buy unless they are approached by someone like me. New pet parents want to keep everything the same. So whatever their dog was given in the animal shelter or by the previous owner they will stick with it. Would you want to the same food every day for years? Dogs are designed to eat a variety of foods. Feel free to switch.
Pet Parents Are Usually Willing To Switch For Specific Needs
Usually I approach dog owners. I only get approached by pet parents first when their pet is experiencing problems. There are dogs with food sensitivities, lack of energy, too much energy, lack of appetite, weight managing problems, tumors. For those kinds of issues I always recommend seeing a vet first. Of course I have vague solution to those problems because most brands of dog foods provide you with products specifically geared towards specific needs.
The Fear of Wet (Canned ) Dog Food Is Unfounded
I can sell you dog-treats and kibbles. But the hardest part of the job for me is to give away my coupons for canned dog foods. Usually pet parents look in shock; shake their head in disbelief or make statement saying they would never feed their dogs’ canned food. Do you know that wet food can be higher in protein, higher in natural fats, lower in carbohydrates, have fewer chemical additives, are more filling and have a longer shelf life? Dry food could actually contribute to dental problems. And, let’s face it your dog would love a can now and then. Pour it over their dry food.
Pet Parents Are Not Certain About Specific Brands
A lot of new dog owners want to purchase the best and well- known products. Based on my experience working for several dog food companies exclusively in several Petsmart’s you will find the higher end popular products closest to the front of the store. The grocery brands (lower ends) dog foods are found in the last two aisles. This is how you know where your product stands in this market. If you are new in the market for pet food, it is recommended that the first ingredient in the bag is a meat and the second ingredient should always be a grounded meat. Byproducts are nails, hair, peaks and things; you wouldn’t want to eat yourself. In general dogs really wouldn’t prefer cornmeal over meat.
Avoid Under/Over Feeding and Switch As Following
Dog owners often ask me how much they should feed their dog. The recommended feeding amount is different for every product and brand. Please refer to the back of the bag and follow those guidelines. If you are feeling very strongly to another that you will have to switch your dog’s food, (or your dog is entering a new stage) we are told to recommend that you should switch slowly over a time period of one week. Just add a little of the new food to the old food every day until the old food is totally replaced by the new food.
My Experience as a Dog Owner
I have been a dog owner for almost twenty years. My first dog (Lab/German Shepherd Mix) was 17 years old. My second dog is a rescue dog and is now 6 years old. I have always switched dog food as I pleased and have never stuck to one brand nor one blend of flavors. I often had little money to purchase the high end products. Of course at times I have tried the high end products for my dog since I am selling them. My dog likes them as much as the other. But we usually get our dog food from the grocery stores. My dogs never had a problem with me switching things up and always ate a variety of dog foods. Please don’t feel guilty if there is no room in your budget for a higher end product. If I could I would provide a GMO free and organic diet for my family too, but it is unfortunately not in my budget. I believe that as long as you try your best and love your pets, your pets will be fine. Remember the pet food industry is a billion dollar industry and they target the pet owner and not the pet. Your dog won’t care how the product looks like and/or what brand the bag is.