Dog Food - How To Compare And Get Best Value For Money
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Dog Food  -  How to Compare And Get Best Value for Money

The dog food topic is widely discussed nowadays and many dog owners are well informed about how feeding the dog correctly impacts its wellbeing and performance.

It is not easy to navigate in the djungle of different brands of food, dryfood, wet, canned, homemade or raw. It is also very difficult to compare the labels since most manufacturers have their own way of presenting the composition of their food. Go look at your dogfood label and start adding up the content and I'm pretty sure you will find it does not add upp to 100%. Some brands of food declare less than 50%...

I just looked at the label of a very wellknown brand of dogfood - medium pricerange. The composition reads: Cereals (wholegrain 20%), meat and animal derivatives (meat 14%, chicken 4%), vegetable protein extracts, oils and fats. Derivatives of vegetable origin (dried beet pulp 1,1%) Vegetables (dried chicory root 1,1%).

This adds up to 40,2% of the total. They only state the wholegrain amount of cereal. The 14% meat and 4% chicken is most likely fresh which means at least 2/3 watercontent.

As you can see the label is very misleading, the above example being no exception to how it usually looks.

AAFCO - The Association of American Feed Control Officials

The so called AAFCO-norm tell us the minimum amounts of different nutrients the dog should have in its food, as an adult, growing puppy or lactating female. It also states the maximum levels of for vitamins and minerals which might be dangerous if given in too high levels.

Dog food manufacturers have to follow the AAFCO guideline, but there is still room for a lot of improvement and more user friendly declarations on the dogfood bags.

Lets compare 3 different brands of dogfood for a dog of 30 kgs in need of 6450 kJ/day

  1. Dryfood with 25% protein and 1250 kJ/100 gr. Watercontent 10% Sold in 15 kg bags, cost 40 USD
  2. Canned food with 10% protein and 420 kJ/100 gr Watercontent 80% Sold in 1 kg cans, cost 2 USD
  3. Dryfood with 25% protein and 1700 kJ/100 gr Watercontent 10% Sold in 15 kg bags, cost 57 USD

Drysubstance - essential factor if we are to compare different foods

Drysubstance is what is left of the foodstuff when the watercontent is subtracted. Dry dogfood contains approximately 10% water and homemade or canned food up to 80% water. This means that 1 kg dryfood is 90% or 900 gr drysubstance while 1 kg homemade or canned food is just 20% or 200 gr drysubstance. To be able to compare different types of food one must first subtract the watercontent!

  1. 25% protein/0,90 = 28% protein
  2. 10% protein/0,20 = 50% protein
  3. 25% protein/ 0,90 = 28% protein

Energy (gr. protein/kJ)

  1. 25/1250 = 0,020
  2. 10/420 = 0,024
  3. 25/1700 = 0,015

Amount of protein needed for the dog to get his needed 6450kJ/day

  1. 6450 x 0,020 = 129 gr
  2. 6450 x 0,024 = 155 gr
  3. 6450 x 0,015 = 97 gr

Comparing cost on the dogfood per kg

  1. costs 40 USD/15 kg bag = 2,67 USD/kg
  2. costs 2 USD/1 kg can = 2 USD/kg
  3. costs 57 USD/15 kg bag = 3,80 USD/kg

Comparing cost per kg drysubstance

  1. 40 USD / (15kg x 0,90) = 2,96 USD
  2. 2 USD / ( 1 kg x 0,20) = 10 USD
  3. 57 USD / (15kg x 0,90) = 4,22 USD

Comparing cost per kJ

  1. 40 USD / (15kg x 1250 kJ x 10) = 0,0002133 USD
  2. 2 USD / (1 kg x 420 kJ x 10) = 0,0004761 USD
  3. 57 USD / (15kg x 1700 kJ x 10) = 0,0002235 USD

Comparing cost per day

  1. 6450 kJ x 0,0002133 = 1,37 USD
  2. 6450 kJ x 0,0004761 = 3,07 USD
  3. 6450 kJ x 0,0002235 = 1,44 USD

So as you can see it is twice the cost to feed your dog canned food instead of dryfood. And the difference in price per day for dryfood number 1 and 3 is not so big since the dog needs a smaller amount of food number 3 per day to get his 6450 kJ.

I hope this way of comparing has been interesting and made you a more well-informed dogowner.

I urge all of you out there to put more pressure on the manufacturers of dogfood by asking for detailed information about the content in the dogfood you are using.

If you have any questions or ideas on other topics, I would be happy to hear from you, please look at my site Sighthound Supplies for contact details.

Street Talk

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