How to Make Sense of Dog Food Reviews and Ratings
When we read online reviews, we tend to believe them thinking that they are genuine opinions of honest people. But this is far from the truth. As pet owners, we should be aware of the pitfalls when it comes to reviews of dog food. There are a few things you should take into account before convincing yourself of the credibility of any review you come across on the web.
The Reviewers Could Be Biased
Pet food marketing is a multibillion dollar business and there’s stiff competition between the players. That’s reason enough to be worried. It would have been ideal if everyone played by the rules, but sadly, that’s not the case. What’s better than scaring consumers away from your competitors’ brands when you want to get ahead of them?
Could some employee of a company or their well wishers be writing some of the pet food reviews you read online? You cannot rule out that possibility. Such highly biased reviews should be disregarded. But how can we judge which review is genuine and which is not? Reviews are no help to consumers when they cannot be trusted.
Intentions of the Reviewers
Many reviewers post genuine pet food reviews for the benefit of other consumers. They are particularly useful to dog owners in making decisions regarding the selection of dog food. While reviews based on a consumer’s real experience with a brand are infinitely valuable, there are some people who just pass on other people’s opinion.
When they come across anything negative about a product or a company, they repost it without verifying the facts. This kind of negative reviews can go ‘viral’ because it is the natural tendency of people to focus on negativity. The reason behind some people passing on negative reviews could be a genuine intention of warning others of possible dangers. But these kinds of reviews that are based on hearsay, and not verified facts, do not help the pet owners in choosing the right product for their pets.
Then, some reviews are posted with ulterior motives by certain interested parties. In some cases, it may be negative reviews on a competitor’s products. In some others, the reviewers try to promote certain products saying how great they are.
The Truth about Dog Food Ratings and Rankings
Dog food ratings and rankings are the basis on which some pet owners choose food products for their pets. While this may seem a great idea, the truth is that these rankings are often highly inaccurate. You will find cheap products promoted by a store rated higher than truly good quality pet foods. Sometimes, products that are only partly organic may rank higher than fully organic ones.
There are many reasons for this discrepancy. For one thing, opinions differ between people as to what type of food is ideal for dogs. For example, some people shun all dog foods containing wheat and corn, thinking they are bad for dogs. This is not true, except when a specific dog has an allergy towards these grains. Sometimes dog foods with higher fat content are ranked lower, based on the false assumption that low-fat food is best for dogs. In fact, a balanced amount of fat is necessary for the dog’s health.
Besides these examples, there’s a long list of myths and differing opinions regarding dog foods. The nutritional requirements of dogs cannot be standardized because there dogs of many different sizes and breeds. The dogs of different breeds, as well as individual dogs, differ in their activity levels and energy needs. So, there’s no point in depending on these pet food rankings or ratings.
Who Can You Trust?
No standardization or proper system to evaluate dog foods exists, and you know better than to trust the reviews you find online. That leaves you only one choice: trust no one but yourself. After all, you are the one who knows your pet best, and you should be the judge of what’s best for your canine friend. You can arm yourself with the knowledge of each pet food ingredient, its pros and cons, as well as its suitability with regard to your dog.
Though you may not want to treat your dog as a guinea pig in a lab, it may be best if you try out different dog foods on your dog before deciding on the best product for your dog. Don’t forget to check out the labels for the ingredient in each one before you try it. If you find any undesirable change in the dog with any of the brands tried, discontinue it immediately.
Even though the internet is full of websites offering conflicting reviews, and some of them deliberately misleading consumers, there are a few dependable websites offering unbiased reviews. However, always remember that reviews don’t always give you real facts when it comes to dog foods. You should be able to take an informed decision based on your knowledge and experience.