Choosing the Best Dog Foods

Lisa Mason's picture

It can be difficult to know what to feed your dog. Everyone seems to have a different opinion about what makes the best dog food. So how can you determine what is the best food option for your dog?

While many people consider fresh, raw food to be the best for their dogs, there are still some who, for their own reasons, need to use pre-prepared or purposed dog food for their furry friends. If you must rely on commercial pet food, it’s very important to understand the differences in the types and how to choose the best possible option for your dog.

When it comes to ranking the best dog foods, the top ratings usually go to natural brands. While they are considered a “convenience variety”, the most natural you can get from a bag will still be ranked the highest. Even those who give their dogs a raw diet find from time to time they need to switch to a commercial brand.

When looking over your food choices, you will see many different terms that you may not understand. You might hear about healthy dog food, natural dog food and more. Any of these terms could be on the packaging:

•    Organic dog food
•    Natural food
•    Premium dog food
•    Healthy dog food
•    Holistic dog food

When you see these terms, they are all designed to make you think that brand is best but what do they really mean? Most of these names basically all mean the same thing anyway. For example, organic food is something that comes from nature which would make it basically the same as “natural food”. Exclusive and premium dog food can also mean the same things.

Technically all ingredients of dog food can be considered natural when you trace their original so almost anything can be called natural. You simply can’t go by these titles and labels at all to try to discover what is best for your dog.

Instead you need to consider what’s in it. You must learn to read labels and know what the ingredients mean. Sometimes the ingredients in pet foods are listed under larger, catch-all titles that don’t really help you understand what it’s the food. Sometimes meats are listed first to make it sound like the main ingredient and then add grains afterwards to make them look like second, third or even fourth ingredients when really the mixed grains are the main ingredient and very little actual meat is included.

If you have more questions about which food is best for your dog, you can talk with your veterinarian. The vet will know your dog’s health and history and be able to best guide you towards your dog’s dietary needs. Overall, the most important rule you can remember is not to scrimp when it comes to your dog’s foods. There are other areas you can save but don’t buy cheap food made cheap with poor ingredients or your dog’s health will surely suffer.