40 Point Inspection

By Kevin Myers | 2023 Update

We pass each product through a “40 Point Inspection.”

It takes hours, even days, for this inspection, but my team considers it a mandatory practice that we must uphold.

Here’s what we look for in every product.

1. Certifications

I value certifications from regulatory authorities like:

  • FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
  • AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials)
  • USDA (The United States Department of Agriculture)
  • FTC (The Federal Trade Commission)

2. Quality

First and foremost is quality.

We look at:

  • Quality of materials and ingredients
  • Built Quality

3. Customer reviews

Customer reviews are an integral part of our editorial process. In particular, we look at:

  • Positive reviews
  • Critical reviews
  • Customer feedback

4. Ingredients analysis

We ensure that all food products have ingredients that are:

  • Safe
  • Approved by the FDA

And mention any caveats that may apply for certain breeds.

5. Price

We understand that price is a major buying factor for consumers.

Before choosing, we consider:

  • The cost of the product
  • The trend of increase or decrease of the product’s price over the past 12 months?

6. History

Running a quick background and history check on manufacturers is mandatory for our selection team. We look at:

  • Past records
  • Investigations
  • Acclamations

7. Veterinary approval

Professional vets should approve products before they are reviewed.

8. Product images

We have a strict policy for choosing pet products that use real images only and avoid stock photos.

9. Product videos

What we don’t consider:

  • Sponsored video reviews

What we appreciate:

  • Explanatory videos by manufacturers
  • Unsolicited video reviews by consumers

10. Social media handles

Active social media handles are a major plus, specifically:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

11. Website

Generally, manufacturers with websites are given preference. On the websites, we look for:

  • About pages
  • Mission statements
  • Product listings and reviews
  • Customer support

12. Address

The manufacturer must clearly state its address on the website and all social media handles.

13. Average Functionality Time

We focus on long-lasting products and consider:

  • The average functionality time of the product
  • The required care for increasing the functionality time of the product

14. Manufacturer’s reputation

While assessing the manufacturer’s reputation, we look at:

  • The total time their company has served
  • What is the overall customer response

15. Customer support

Not all products are straight-forward, and at times, pet owners would need to contact support for their products.

  • Customer support should be active
  • 3 channels of customer support; Phone, email, and website, should ideally be available

16. Awards

If a product has won a particular award, that helps boost it in our rankings.

17. Target market

We avoid manufacturers whose target market consists of customers that prefer price over quality.

18. Marketing approach

We make it a point to review only those products that use ethical marketing approaches.

19. Unbiased selection team

Our product selection team is and always will remain independent from the editorial staff to ensure product selection that is:

20. Use of controversial terms

Dog Lovers Digest does not review products that use discriminatory, offensive, or derogatory terms in marketing.

21. Practicality

We consider:

  • The completeness of the product
  • Other products that might be required with it?

22. Variety

The product selection team takes into account the variety of products available from a manufacturer. While reviewing a product, they consider:

  • Higher models
  • Lower models
  • Similar models

23. Price comparison

We always consider competing products in the space, and if we find something similar for a lesser price, we prefer it.

24. Related models

In our product research, we check out related models of the product that might be more practical and useful.

25. Professional feedback

Our product selection team regularly seeks feedback on products from professionals in the industry.

26. Hazards

We aim to find products with no safety hazards for pets.

27. Pet type

Certain products that we review are made for pets in general, while others are specific for dogs.

28. Pet size/breeds

We make it a point to mention all the dog:

  • Breeds
  • Sizes

that our reviewed products are applicable for.

29. Responsiveness

We prefer manufacturers that respond to queries within a week, at max.

30. Complaints

We keep an eye on:

  • What sort of complaints come up regularly
  • What the manufacturer is doing to curb them

31. Discounts

If a manufacturer provides a discount, we verify its:

  • Application
  • Terms and conditions

32. Return policy

The manufacturer’s return policy is thoroughly researched.

33. Delivery time

Faster the delivery time, higher the product ranks with us.

34. Delivery areas

We appreciate manufacturers that deliver to a wider range of areas. However, we seldom review products that do not deliver across all states of America.

35. Delivery fee

We take into account:

  • Delivery fee
  • Applicable discounts

36. Vouchers

The product selection panel ensures that any discount vouchers by the manufacturer are transparent and applicable.

37. Competing products’ research

We often compare products side-by-side to find the best out of the lot.

38. Manufacturer affiliations

To ensure that manufacturers do not corner certain markets, we research if they:

  • Own other companies in the pet industry
  • Own companies in other industries

39. Blog reputation

If the manufacturer runs a blog on his website, we verify the quality of information present on it to gauge their determination for serving pet owners.

40. Recalls