Taking care of your dog is more than making sure that they are adequately fed. Today, most pet owners in Australia and other parts of the world want to give their furry friends the most ethical dog food items possible. They would scrutinise the list of ingredients and research the food manufacturing process to ensure their pets get the best food for their nutrition.
However, some pet owners are still uninformed about ethical food choices for their dogs. It goes beyond being conscious about the environmental impact of these products. If you want to make a switch to a more ethical diet for your precious pet, these facts can help you understand what this growing trend in dog food choices is all about.
#1: Know Where the Ingredients are Sourced
Dog food is mostly composed of a wide variety of ingredients. It often includes meat, fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Some food may or may not contain grains, depending on your dog’s type of diet. Apart from the quality of these ingredients, you also need to know where they came from because they may have a major impact on the environment.
The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation from the Australian government reported that consumers are looking for food items free from additives, chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones. Some also want to invest in brands with the lowest environmental footprint possible. It means they would look for dog food products made and processed locally to limit the carbon footprints.
#2: Animal Welfare
The majority of high-quality pet food that you can find in the market today is mostly made with protein, particularly meat. Pet foods often come in various flavours, with the meat sourced from different locations. If you want to invest in ethical dog food, you must always consider the animal’s welfare used for food production.
Ideally, the animals used for dog food production must be raised organically on the farm. It is also better if they are free-roaming instead of caged and get their nourishment from a natural diet. While this information is not often mentioned in the product’s label, you can do your research online or call the manufacturers directly to know more about where they sourced their animal protein ingredients.
#3: Environmentally Friendly Food Packaging
Another crucial factor that helps reduce the ecological footprint is using less plastic. Most of the time, plastics cannot biodegrade. If these packaging solutions get piled up over the years, they will end up in landfills and stay there for generations. So environmental crusaders suggest looking for products that use less plastic in their packaging.
Typically, wet dog foods are available in metal cans. This packaging material is often recyclable and has plenty of reusable components. Meanwhile, some dry dog food manufacturers are starting to heed the call for more sustainable packaging by using biodegradable plastic or paper-based packaging. It helps reduce plastic waste significantly over time.
Apart from these factors, pet owners must also ensure that their furry friends get the most balanced and complete nutrition from ethical dog food products. It must contain all the necessary nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. The products must also comply with the international nutrition guidelines for dogs, including the one released by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
By switching to a more ethical source of dog food products, you are not only ensuring that your pet is eating the safest food in the market. But you are also helping conserve the environment for your future generation and the next generation of your favourite pet.