How to Choose the Best Dog Food

Pomeranian Spitz is eating dry food in a ceramic green bowl on pastel light blue background. Dog looks at camera as if to say WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE

When it comes to feeding our families, we read labels, buy organic, and research the latest trends in nutrition. But are you as particular when it comes to purchasing dog food?

Unfortunately, trying to find a quality dog food that’s also budget-friendly is where most dog owners become frustrated. Not all dog food is created equal, and the price is not a deciding factor in quality, either.

Careless dietary choices in animals can have the same effect as they do in humans: obesity, cancer, digestive issues, heart disease, diabetes, exposure to toxins, and overall poor health. Not to mention, if you feed your dog from the table, the chances of poor health increase drastically.

How do I choose the right dog food?

Finding the right dog food may require a little research. A quick phone call or appointment with your veterinarian will give you a better understanding of the specific needs of your dog.

As you research, keep in mind these basic guidelines for quality dog food.

1. Consider your dog’s age, activity, breed, and reproductive status.

Different breeds, ages, and physical characteristics are all important factors when considering dog food. Puppies and their mothers require a different diet than senior dogs. Just like more active humans require more nutrition than those who are sedentary. The type and amount of food will help your dog avoid health issues like diabetes or obesity.

In some cases, foods are distinguished by breed, but most are labeled as small breed formulas or large breed formulas. The main difference between them is the kibble size as it’s important for all breeds to eat comfortably and safely.

2. Understand the packaging.

Would you believe that the actual wording on the package is a code for how much of one protein is found in the food?

The best way to understand the labels is to compare them to a restaurant order. The more that is included in the label, the less protein the food contains.

For example, most commercial pet foods use the 25% rule because it is less expensive to manufacture. These foods commonly include words like “dinner” and “entrée”, such as “Fido’s Beef Dinner”.

Other examples include “Fluffy’s Delicious Dinner with Chicken” or “Beef Flavored Dog Food.” These are required to be made up of only 3% of the named ingredient. Food labeled as “Chicken Dog Food” requires the protein source to consist of 95% of the named ingredient.

There are thousands of choices for protein and meal combinations, which should be decided on by you and your veterinarian. Too much protein or too little protein can cause health issues in your dog.

3. Learn to Read the Ingredients

In contrast, along with understanding the make-up of the food, knowing what ingredients to actually avoid is just as important.

Ingredients to avoid:

  • Corn and wheat gluten
  • Meat and grain meals and by-products
  • BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Food Dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE)
  • PG (Propylene Glycol)
  • Rendered fat

Focus on labels that have few preservatives and list a protein-rich, meat-based diet. Dogs are omnivores and therefore rarely benefit from a strictly vegetarian diet.

If you have questions about what dog food is best for you and your pup, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.

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Google Reviews
Donna Swingley
Donna Swingley
posted 1 month ago

This is the BEST VET I have ever taken a pet to!
I took my 12 week old puppy for a "vet check up" and they treated him like he was their own! Dr. Susan was very helpful and answered all of my questions and made sure I understood, she gave me suggestions on how to crate and potty train my new little friend too. I was very happy would refer this practice to anyone that asked. I am taking my puppy back in two weeks for sure!

Brittany Haney
Brittany Haney
posted 4 weeks ago

My dog stayed for just over a week and I couldn’t be happier with the service I and my pup got. Immediately upon entering we were greeted and they knew exactly who we were, even though we had never been there. The check in process was smooth, and I felt very comfortable leaving my pup. When picking up I received a report card telling me how my pup did, she made herself right at home! The check out process was seamless and quick. Before evening checking me out they called back for my pup to be brought up so it was fast and easy. Would highly recommend, and we will surly be back!

Teresa Phillips
Teresa Phillips
posted 4 weeks ago

They were wonderful. The place is very clean. They are reasonably priced. They should let future customers know ahead of time more about the feeding situation. For example, the customer should know to bring in his or her own wet food, if that is the daily intake. Dry pet food is supplied. I would recommend.Tip to Tail. Correction, Tipp to Tail.

Beth Hutton
Beth Hutton
posted 1 month ago

I was amazed by everything that everyone did. When I wanted to check up on my 2 Boys when they were there, the were very prompt about letting me know how they were doing. Now, I did have 10 year old Basset with hip and back problems, and 3 yrs old Siberian Husky who can be a handful too. They sent pictures of my boys letting me see they were doing well. They let me know when my Husky wouldn't eat and if they could try other options for feeding due to his anxiety. They are very helpful!! I would refer anyone here, as I was thoroughly happy with the service I received. 😊

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