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Is The Highest Priced Pet Food The Best?

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Some pet owners may say their animals eat better than they do. Whatever you think your pet needs, there’s a product ready to meet it: vegetarian, holistic, raw, grain-free, etc.

Amy Weegers recently switched her pooch to raw dog food.

“We try to eat as organic and raw and healthy as we can and he’s just part of the family. We want do that for him too,” says Weegers.

But going raw doesn’t come cheap. She says she spends $20 to $30 every 2 weeks.

With more than 3,000 brands on the shelf, it can be difficult to choose what’s best for your pet.

“Is the highest priced food the best?  No.  Is the cheapest food the worst?  No.  Usually the cheapest foods have the cheapest forms of protein in it,” says veterinarian Dr. Mike Hutchinson.

Experts say  before you buy any pet food, look at the label. The first step is to make sure your pet food is approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

“At least it tells me they are going to get a minimum amount of nutrition that a dog is supposed to have in that food,” says Dr. Hutchinson.

Next, you need to figure out how much protein is in the food. Dr. Hutchinson prefers animal protein to the alternatives. He says chicken is a very good source of protein.

The third thing to consider: how well is your dog digesting the food you buy? The proof is in your backyard.

“When you go out and buy a general pet food and they are going out and going four times a day, three times a day, that’s not a very efficient food,” says Dr. Hutchinson. “I would look for something that maybe two bowel movements a day would be more normal in a dog.”

Some vets say a general rule of thumb when buying dog food, for a mid-priced bag. Not the cheapest and not the most expensive either.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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