Five Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Food

What Are the Best Dog Foods?

Any list of the top 10 dog foods is subjective, and there are many fine brands that won't be included on such a list due to space limitations. However, the brands listed in this slideshow offer healthier feeding alternatives for our beloved pets. Before you see the list, learn what these brands have in common.

High Quality Digestible Protein

No protein source is useful unless it's highly digestible. Look for real named meats on the label, and make sure they are the first things listed in the ingredients. Real meat or meat meal are both desirable protein sources. Avoid meat by-products whenever possible.

Minimal Grains

Grains like corn and wheat are often used as cheaper protein sources. They are also cheap fillers that boost profitability. However, dogs can't render protein from these sources very efficiently. Look for brands that use minimal grains, and grains like oats or brown rice that are easier to digest and have more nutritional value.

Avoid Common Allergens

In addition to being cheaper protein sources, corn and wheat are some of the most common sources of dog food allergies. Search for brands that use very little of these grains.

Natural Preservatives

Chemicals like BHA and BHT give foods a longer shelf life, but they have been linked to cancer development in some pets. Vitamins E and C are a few natural alternatives for preserving food, although this means the food won't stay fresh as long. Freeze dried foods are another alternative. Most premium dog foods are produced in smaller batches so they arrive on store shelves sooner.

Choose Organic When Possible

Organically grown foods are free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals, so they're healthier for your pet. Due to deficiencies in dog food labeling regulations, pet foods can be labeled "organic" if they contain a single organic ingredient. Bottom line, research the brands you want to try. Karma and Orijen are two brands that contain high percentages of organic ingredients.

Suggested Top 10 Dog Foods List

Dog food manufacturers can change their formulas at any time, so check labels with each purchase.

  • Orijen
  • Solid Gold
  • Innova
  • Canidae
  • Karma Organic
  • California Natural
  • Back to Basics
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Timberwolf
  • Natural Balance

Learn more about Dog Health Issues.

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Five Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Food