Company / Where To Buy
The truly tough question to answer is how do you know which brand is better if the ingredient panel of one brand reads “Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat…” and the other also reads “Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat…” Both are identical! The short answer is, there is no way of knowing and the reason for this is pet food companies are not permitted, dictated by regulations, to state the grade of a particular ingredient. And there are differences – big differences! Take for example “chicken meal”, there are many grades of chicken meal available, all of which may be labeled as “Chicken Meal” on the ingredient panel. The same is true for other ingredients.
So what are some of the differences in, for example, “chicken meal?” First, the process and procedures used to make it can vary greatly from supplier-to-supplier. A good supplier will cook the chicken at low temperatures, helping ensure the amino acid profiles and overall nutritional integrity are not compromised. Second, what parts of the chicken were used to make the chicken meal? A high-quality chicken meal will have very little bone and almost 100% skin and flesh, whereas a low-quality chicken meal will have more of the bad stuff like bones, feathers, beaks, etc. Lastly, where did the chicken come from: the human-grade bin or the animal-grade bin? Because we export our products to the European Union all of our formulas must use what are called EU-approved ingredients. The animals used to make EU-approved ingredients must be fit for human consumption meaning that if any part of a chicken, for example, is rejected for human consumption it may not be designated as “EU-approved.” So if a chicken has a spot on its breast that causes it to be rejected for human consumption, no other part of that chicken may be used for EU-approved chicken meal and will, therefore, go into the “animal-grade” bin.
To answer the original question directly, ultimately the quality of the food will show up in how your dog or cat likes and performs on it.
Health and Nutrition
Regarding those cases where there is an environmental allergy or not even an allergy at all, just bad health, our food might be able to help. We have many customers who call us after using our food for a few months and tell us how surprised they are to find that their dog or cat is thriving on Regal, even though the food contained what they originally believed to be the ingredient causing all the issues. Why is this? The reason has more to do with what is in the food than not. A truly high quality food, like Regal and many others, will use truly high quality ingredients that are easy to digest and extract essential health-promoting nutrients from. One example is omega-3 fatty acids. A good food will have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that are balanced with omega-6s and derived from quality sources such as fish and fish oils. How does this translate into helping with “allergies?” Those omega-3 fatty acids are used by the pet to build healthier skin and coat. If the pet does have environmental allergies, the omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients will help build the immune system and skin barrier to where they can defend off such problem-causing pathogens.
While the changing seasons are very beautiful in Ohio, they cause great havoc on our four-legged friends. For example, as we move into winter and start turning on the furnaces, skin and coats tend to dry out causing pets to scratch. Pet parents often believe that their dog or cat is suffering from an allergy, but they might just have dry skin. In addition to feeding a high quality food, we often recommend bathing the scratchy pet with special shampoos to help replenish moisture in the skin. There are also environmental allergies that tend to occur at certain points in the year and then go away. While in some cases these symptoms are unavoidable no matter what you do, many times good nutrition can help transition from one season to another.
Larger breeds -12 to 16 months (Maybe a little bit longer than 16 months for giant breeds)
If your dog is doing well on puppy food, it is perfectly fine to leave her on it through adulthood.