During the pandemic, approximately 11.38 million households have gotten at least one new pet.
This trend demonstrates the comfort and companionship we find in our pets. Since they are like family, and it’s only natural that we want to give them the best care possible.
Unfortunately, many new pet owners neglect to feed their pets properly. This oversight sometimes causes their animals to become sick or even die prematurely.
Thus, there are some crucial things to know if you’re buying pet food online. Let’s take a look at seven tips that will help you choose the right food for your four-legged friend.
1. Consider Your Pet’s Dietary Needs
There are several types of pet food on the market, and some are better than others. If your pet has a disease or allergy, you should get a food recommendation from the vet.
If your pet is healthy, you should buy food formulated for their age group and size. Some pet foods are easier to digest for specific breeds. For example, if you have a small dog like a chihuaua, or pomerainian, you would want to run a search for that specifically, something like “best dog food for chihuauas” or similar.
You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll feed your pet dry or wet food. Dry kibble is more likely to upset your pet’s stomach if it has gastrointestinal issues, but it shouldn’t pose a problem otherwise.
Some people like to give their pet a combination of dry and wet food, but you should avoid doing this if your pet is overweight.
2. Read the Ingredient List
When buying pet food online, you miss out on reading the packaging since you can’t see it up close. If you are unfamiliar with a brand, you should always look up the ingredients online.
Some types of dog food contain large quantities of vegetables and grains along with meat. That’s because dogs can get a lot of their essential nutrients from plant-based sources. However, most veterinarians agree dogs also need meat.
The healthiest dog foods include the following ingredients, which are essential to your canine.
- Lean and organ meat
- High-quality carbohydrates, including vegetables, fruits, and rice
- Healthy fats from oils
- Vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes
- Omega-3 and omega-6
Meanwhile, food for cats almost always contains animal byproducts and meat since cats are primarily carnivorous. Here are the ingredients that cat food should always contain:
- Protein, such as fish or turkey
- Omega-3 and omega-6
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Healthy fats
Keep your eye out for pet food that contains fillers, chemicals, or preservatives. You should ensure that your pet food is safe by reviewing the ingredient list.
3. Look at Brand Accreditation
Pet foods are tested by regulatory agencies and receive accreditations when they meet superior nutrition quality standards. The most prevalent labels demonstrate the product’s sustainability, organic ingredients, and vegetarian or vegan quality.
In addition, it is important to comprehend the meaning of certain terms found on pet foods.
Natural pet foods include only whole ingredients without any chemical alterations, except for vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients.
Organic pet foods must follow the same standards set out for organic human foods by the USDA. Remember that “organic” and “natural” are not interchangeable terms.
Holistic pet foods have no legal definition, so they are unregulated. Any pet food can use this term if they wish, so it’s best to avoid choosing a pet food solely on this factor.
Another term you may see on pet food is “human grade.” Manufacturers can only use this term if the ingredients are made in a plant approved for human food production. Thus, there are very few pet foods with this label.
You can use the labels on products to determine whether they are suitable for your pet’s needs. It’s typically better to go for certified pet food brands since you can be sure that they are safe for your pet.
4. Check the Reviews
Before buying any pet food, read multiple online customer reviews. Some pet owners may have come across issues with the pet food you are considering, and reading their comments online can save you from the same mistakes.
Typically, it is better to look at opinions on pet forums as some websites include paid reviews that can cloud your judgment.
5. Avoid Bulk Purchases
If you’ve made up your mind to buy a specific brand of pet food, you may decide that it’s best to get it in bulk. After all, purchasing a fifty-pound bag of kibble can save you money over time.
The trouble is, your furry friend may not have the same taste in food as you do, and buying in bulk can lead to a lot of waste if they refuse to eat it.
We recommend buying a small bag first to ensure that your pet likes the food. Later, when you’re running low, you can go ahead and make that bulk purchase.
6. Compare Prices
Often, the best deals are online but shop around before choosing the first website that comes up in a Google search. By comparing the prices on multiple sites, you can save a lot of money.
Remember to factor in the shipping price when making your comparisons, as some companies with higher prices may offer free shipping, making the total price cheaper.
7. Take Advantage of Reward Programs
Many online pet supply stores offer coupon codes or loyalty programs when you make several purchases.
When comparing prices, consider the rewards you may be able to earn on various websites. Sometimes you earn points, which you can later redeem for pet products, such as an automatic cat feeder.
Buying Pet Food Online Made Easy
If you’re a new owner, buying pet food online is an excellent choice. You’ll have a broader selection to choose from than you would in your local pet store. Moreover, you can save a lot of money and time!
Just be sure to follow the seven tips outlined in this post to have a successful shopping experience.
What do you look for in a pet food brand? Let us know in the comment section below!