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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - If you are looking for ways to trim the fat out of your budget, the dog food you buy might be one way to start saving.
There are so many types of food to choose from that it can be a daunting task to figure out which is best for your family's pet.
If you have an idea for our Stretching Your Dollar segment, click here to send Maureen an email. Stretching Your Dollar airs each Monday during our 5 p.m. news. We asked Dr. Bart Bryan from Independence Veterinary Clinic in Matthews what he recommends.
"Like with many things in life, the more you spend the better product you will get," he said.
You can buy a expensive pet food if your budget allows, but Bryan says the less expensive foods can be just as nutritional if they come from the top manufacturers.
It's sort of like purchasing a car. You can get a very expensive car from one manufacturer, or you can get a less expensive vehicle. They'll both get you to your location, but one costs a lot more.
Bryan recommends you look for food from one of the leading manufacturers such as Hills, Royal Canin, Iams or Purina. They all have less expensive brands.
You also want to make sure the food says somewhere on the packaging, "100 percent Complete Balanced Nutrition."
This is important because it means the food can be the sole nutrition for your pet.
Also, make sure the packaging shows the food has been tested by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This is an organization that tests the food to make sure it meets the nutritional standards your pet needs.
Bryan reminds everyone to take into consideration your pet's specific age and medical needs.
If your animal is a senior, senior formulas will help your pet maintain it's current weight. You wouldn't give baby formula to a 3 year old and the same principal holds true with pet food. So keep that in mind.
Most importantly, keep your family's budget at heart. If times are tough, you can purchase less expensive food that will still be just at nutritious for your family friend.