How to Pick the Best Dog Food

Like people, dogs have unique needs. Not every dog can be healthy on every food. So how do you find the foods they need for maximum health? Read on.


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    Evaluate your dog's personal daily needs. Every dog is unique, and needs different things from their food. Some questions to consider are:
    • Are they a large breed or small breed? If they are a small breed they may not be able to bite into the larger kibble like others. Large breeds should stay away from high protein as it can speed up their growth which is very bad for them.
    • Do they have a specific health issue that requires specialized nutritional needs? Those that have allergies should stay away from any food with grains or corn as these are the top allergy causes.
    • What is their energy level and do they have responsibilities that require them to expend a lot of calories and energies?
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    Examine different dog food labels.
    • Look for the list of ingredients first. They are listed from largest to smallest amount, according to the ingredients weight. The first 5 ingredients should be meat. Not corn, rice, brewers rice, potatoes or wheat. Make sure they name the meat such as chicken instead of poultry meal
    • Locate the dog food guaranteed analysis statement. This will give you precise information on the ingredients in the dog food and the percentages on the amounts of the ingredients. This is important because it is a much more accurate version of the nutritional ingredient value of the dog food and will help you in determining if this is the best dog food brand for your dog.
    • Leave certain ingredients out. Unnecessary ingredients such as corn, wheat, chemicals, fillers and preservatives add nothing to your dogs nutritional needs and can actually harm them.
    • Check to see if it's a commercial dog food that it has been approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). They have their own set of standards for quality and nutrition above and beyond the FDA. This applies to the US only.
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    You don't need to ask your vet for a recommended brand. Your vet is not a nutritionist. They are usually only give 13 hours on different dog foods and even that is paid by high brand names that may not be healthy for your dog. A very biased opinion don't you think?
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    Sign up for free trials. Once you have read through the labels and are familiar with what ingredients to look for, sign up for a few free trials of dog food samples online. This way you can sample the food before you purchase a full bag.
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    Make notes of your dog's reaction to each new food that they try.If they have been feed a cheap brand before there may be some reluctance to try a new one as it doesn't have the addictive chemicals to make them want to eat it. Remember not to introduce more than one new food at a time and to slowly increase the new food to the old food so as to avoid diarrhea and vomiting. Some things to watch for:
    • Do they eat the whole bowl or just a few pieces?
    • Do they get sick afterward?
    • Does their stool change consistency?
    • Is there any change in their skin or coat? A good food should case the coat to become glossy, smooth and soft.


  • Remember to look at the ingredients. You shouldn't eat junk food every day and neither should your dog!
  • Look up the "dog food analysis" to get a complete review of every dog food possible.
  • Don't just go for the cheapest or most expensive. Take the time to find one that works the best for your dog.
  • You don't need to buy puppy food. This is a rather smart ploy to get people to buy more food. You're puppy is perfectly safe eating just regular adult dog food. In fact with large breeds it is much safer to do so.
  • A grocery store or a big name store is probably the worst place to look for good food. Try Petsmart, Petco or even a local feed store.

Article Info

Categories: Feeding Dogs