Here's how to pick out affordable nutritious pet food, according to a vet

Nov 9 2020, 8:06 pm

Our pets are our family members, and we care about their well-being as much as our own. This is why we buy them expensive (but oh so cute) fleece jackets for the cold winters, do extensive research on what kinds of toys are safe, and do everything we can to make sure they’re happy and healthy.

A lot of dogs have been adopted from shelters over these past few pandemic months, which means a lot more of us are pet owners now — yay! This also means that many people are just figuring out how to care for a dog for the first time, which can be very stressful to say the least.

One of the easiest — and most important — ways to ensure your dog’s health is by feeding them nutritious food.

While some dog owners opt to feed their pets raw food, this can get expensive and is not always the best option. There are affordable and healthy options available though, like¬† NOOD Pet Food. The New Zealand‚Äďbased, premium, and sustainably-sourced pet food brand is veterinarian grade, available at grocery store prices, and now available in Canada at Walmart.

The brand was created out of a desire to provide nutritious but affordable food for pets, a goal that the founder Alistair King says has always been close to his heart.

“Two years ago, we were walking down the pet food aisle of the grocery store and were astounded by the lack of quality ingredients in the brands on shelf,” shares King. “From that moment on, we were obsessed with making premium recipes (and the benefits that come with them) available and accessible to all pets.”

The company also worked closely with veterinarians to create the simple, affordable, and nutritious recipes, something that was important to King from the beginning.¬†“Any industry where you have two multinational companies controlling the vast majority of brands is going to suffer, which I believe is exactly what we have seen in pet food. Prices and profit margins have increased significantly overtime, too often at the expense of the customer and the pet,” he says.

Veterinarian¬†Dr. Brooke Schampers¬†says that when owners are deciding what to feed their dog, “It’s essential they look for meat being the first ingredient, like in NOOD Pet Food, however, meat alone isn’t sufficient for dogs’ and cats’ vastly different nutritional requirements.”

You want to look for recipes that are packed with other good stuff, too, she says, like vegetables, fruit, vitamins, and minerals.

This is where NOOD wins out over a lot of other brands; the brand’s six original recipes have been formulated with all the nutritional needs for your dog’s different life stages, without any added preservatives or fillers.

“The first step is to ensure the pet food has been recognized by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which utilize standard labelling requirements, ingredient definitions, and ensure nutritional adequacy for life stages based on feeding trials,” Dr.¬†Schampers says.

Often, cheaper brands include soybean meal in their recipes as a source of protein instead of meat, canola oil as a fat source, and cereals as fillers, but these additives aren’t easily digested — plus, they can lead to gassy pups, something that no one wants.

Pet owners should also take into consideration that, when switching to a new food, dogs need a transition period of ten days. This time allows for your dog’s gastrointenstinal bacteria to become acclimatized to the new diet, reducing the likelihood of them developing gastroenteritis, a common side-effect of changing food. Check the label on your bag of pet food to ensure that it provides between 15 to 16% protein levels, 5 to 10% fat, and less than 5% fibre, which are the suggested levels for adult dogs.

NOOD Pet Food is available in a range of food types, including dry recipes, featuring whole foods like wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, and cage-free chicken — because your furry friend deserves to eat gourmet, too. With the help of veterinarians, NOOD has also been able to develop recipes that are full of probiotics, which have been associated with improved gut health and reducing the incidence of gastroenteritis.

“In the same way that a balanced diet with whole ingredients is an important part of a happy healthy life for us, the same is true for our pets,” says¬†King.

It follows that you can buy your pup’s healthy food when you do your own grocery shopping. NOOD Pet Food is available in Canada at Walmart, both in-store and online.

Keep an eye out for the bright, friendly packaging the next time you’re at the store. It’s an “add to cart” moment you and your furry friend can feel good about.

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