A dog looks on as the owner eats a croissant

Pet food really is a big market. A really rather large market indeed. Why wouldn’t it be? The UK, who are a nation of animal-lovers on the whole, are known to spend well on taking care of their pets, and of course a large portion of that care comes in the form of the food we feed them. The animals themselves can be quite discernible about their food as well – depending on the personality of the pet themselves of course. Some are not picky and will take any scraps on offer as well as their regular diet, whilst other animals will just simply KNOW if you’ve tried saving a quid or so on an own-brand product rather than their beloved Pedigree Chum, or Whiskas.

With the rise in spending on pet food, so too coincided the rise of specially-labelled foods, with buzz-words to really help convince you, the buyer, that this packet of food will work far more wonders for your dog than any of the others on the shelf. Those buzz-words include the likes of “Natural”, “Premium”, “Organic” and of course the well-known “Gourmet”. But is Gourmet food really worth the premium price-tag?

The answer, of course, is that it depends. Some companies are able to label their food as “Gourmet” despite not really including any extra ingredients, or even any higher-quality ingredients, than their cheaper counterparts. Some companies do of course pride themselves on providing a quality product, and so their gourmet offerings may include non-processed meats, for example, or a complete lack of any artificial additives designed to make your dog wolf the food down quicker than others. Some, it could be said, let your pets do the talking.

It has to be acknowledged though, any mass-produced food does have a large degree of processing involved, and so much of the nutritional benefits of what is going into your dog’s bowl may well be lost by the time it gets there. Even food labelled as “human-grade” doesn’t actually mean that we humans would get much from it, after all – so you need to be careful.

You should also take care when changing your dog’s diet as well – a sudden change from wet food to dry food will result in an unhappy – and more than likely unwell – dog. Even just changing the brand can have an adverse effect on your pet, hopefully just in the short-term. Transitioning is really the key when you plan on changing your dog’s diet, introducing small additional amounts of the new food as well as his existing meal, and increasing these ratios slowly until your dog is used to the new stuff – again, doing this helps prevent discomfort and illness.

With Gourmet food specifically, you should be consulting the labels on the packaging to ensure what you are paying for truly is a superior product to the supermarket’s own, or the standard “brand” label foods. On the larger scale, though, there is really nothing regulating the use of the term “Gourmet” to ensure the food has to remain of a higher standard than others, and so paying the additional premium for some of this food could just be a case of having more of an impact on your wallet than on your pet’s wellbeing, unless you’ve done your homework beforehand.

Another good way of checking is to consult your vet – they should be able to advise on the kinds of foods you should be look at providing for your dog, and importantly can also advise on if there are any special requirements your pooch has. This should dictate what kind of foods you are look at, and can arm you with the knowledge and thinking process behind choosing a suitable brand which can benefit them the most. Don’t be fooled by fancy packaging – do your homework, ask the right questions and make an informed, sensible choice for your pet. No two dogs are the same, and some may react better to some foods than others. Truly gourmet food is of course a nice thing to offer – but these may still be too rich for your pet for example, and so the medical experts really are the ones who can best advise on the types of foods to put in your dog’s bowl at mealtimes.

Product added to your Cart