Let’s take a look at pet food quality from another angle: dollar amount. As in any industry, pricey is perceived as good. And, with dog or cat food, it must be, right? How could major brands charge a higher cost if the food isn’t made up of quality ingredients?
Let’s examine two brands of dry dog food that claim to be healthy: Beneful by Purina and Earthborn Holistic Primitive.
The two are somewhat simliar in price, and one could assume they may be somewhat similar in the quality of ingredients, with the more expensive being slightly better.
What’s “expensive” is relative to your views and pocketbook, but both brands cost more than the cheapest stuff at the pet store. Beneful sells at about $1.32 a pound (31lb bag),1 and Earthborn Holistic Primitive goes for a bit more at $1.96 a pound for 28 lbs.2
But Beneful has a 1 star rating by www.DogFoodAdvisor.com, the lowest the site gives. Earthborn Holistic Primitve is rated at 5 stars, the highest. That’s more than a small difference. See for yourself: The ingredient lists back up the assessments given.
Beneful is made mainly with ingredients from the DirtyDozen list: Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, egg product, oat meal, sugar, sorbitol, tricalcium phosphate, salt, phosphoric acid, animal digest.3
Earthborn Holistic Primitive is made with: Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), Dried Egg Product, Tomato Pomace, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Peas, Spinach, Garlic, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Taurine, Cottage Cheese.4
Just like the fresh food you eat can cost more than consuming a processed diet, wholesome, natural food for your pet might set you back a few dollars more than a filler-laden, chemically concocted mess.
And more important than the price you pay at the register is the true cost of what you feed your dog or cat.
Healthy food may seem initially expensive, until you take into account the bills from vet visits, medications and surgery — or face the heartbreak of prematurely losing your pet —that can come from unhealthy eating.
Good pet food works to keep your friend trim, full of energy, and nourished. As always, when choosing a food for your pets, consider their current age, lifestyle, and any issues before making a decision.
Read the ingredient list, and don’t base choice solely on price: Quality and dollar amount are not synonymous. You may be able to afford feeding your pet a much better quality than you think.