There are so many different varieties of dog food on the market, it can be a little overwhelming picking the best quality dog food for your dog. Fortunately, there is now enough information about dog food available that if you do a little research you can definitely pick a high quality dog food for your dog. Here are ten tips to help you figure out what the best quality dog food for your dog is:
Dr. Karen Becker Discusses The Best Quality Dog Food
10. Talk To Your Veterinarian
The best thing to do when picking out the best quality dog food is to talk to your veterinarian. Veterinarians know a lot about dog nutrition and they are your greatest resource for figuring out what dog food is best for your dog. Each dog is different and have different nutritional needs based on their breed, age, and overall health. A veterinarian can make some recommendations of what to look for in a healthy dog food and what brands you should check out. You can also ask your veterinarian about specific ingredients to figure out what would be the best quality dog food for your dogs specific needs.
9. Learn The Dietary Needs Of Your Dog
Your veterinarian can also help you figure out the specific dietary needs of your dog. Some dogs need more protein than others, while others may benefit from specific vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. You should start by learning about your dog’s breed and the specific health issues they are prone to developing, as the best quality dog food is often dependent on the specific breed of yoru dog. You should then look at your dog’s age and lifestyle. If you do a little bit of research, you can easily figure out the specific dietary needs of your dog.
8. Learn What Ingredients To Avoid
Dog food is not highly regulated so there are a lot of ingredients that make their way into dog foods that are unhealthy. Things like artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives can trigger a variety of health issues. Poor quality protein sources like animal byproducts and filler ingredients can trigger food intolerances and allergies. We have a comprehensive list of foods to avoid that can be found here to help guide you.
7. Read The Label
The nutritional label on your dog food is the best place to start. Read the ingredients to make sure there are no unnecessary or unhealthy additives. Look for whole foods and high quality ingredients. Dog food labels can be a little difficult to understand, so we recommend reading our guide first. Also, remember, since dog food is not highly regulated, label claims may not always be accurate, so you will need to do a little more digging into the dog food brand to make sure that the claims are trustworthy.
Think You Know How To Read A Pet Food Label?
6. Learn About The Formula
Every dog food company uses a different formula for their food and they all claim to have the best quality dog food. You want to read about the formula to determine if it was designed by a veterinarian nutritionist, why they added specific ingredients, and what benefits the formula offers your dog. There are all different kinds of formulas from holistic to limited ingredient to formulas that address specific age or health requirements. Most higher quality dog food companies offer information about the formulas on their website, so quickly take a read to understand exactly why the made the choices they made.
5. Learn About The Company
There are so many dog food companies now that it’s good to take a moment to learn about the company itself. Is the company a boutique company? Have they been making food for decades or are they a newer company? What is the company’s philosophy? Does it match with your beliefs? If you learn about your dog food company, you better assess whether or not the food is a good and trustworthy choice for your dog.
4. Learn About The Manufacturer
Beyond the company, you want to dig a bit into the manufacturer of the food. The company may make a lot of healthy claims but may rely on an untrustworthy manufacturer. It makes no sense to pay a premium on a boutique dog food that uses the same manufacturing facilities as a national brand. The manufacturing information can also be found on the website. If this information is not listed, you may want to skip the company because transparency is very important when it comes to the manufacturing of dog food since regulatory oversight is limited.
3. Check The Recall History
Even the best quality dog food can be subject to a recall from time to tiem, but you should check the recall history of a company anyway. No matter what claims they make or how good their formula is, if they have a steady history of recalls, they should be avoided. You can find more information about recalls on the FDA website here: http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/recallswithdrawals/. You can also sign up for recall alerts with Dog Food Insider by texting “Recalls” to 313131 to stay up to date on any recall information once you’ve picked a dog food. If a dog food company does not have a history of recalls, or only has a few isolated cases, you’re probably on the right track to finding the best quality dog food.
2. Investigate The Ingredients Source
Another thing to investigate is where the ingredients come from. A massive recall in 2007 showed just how important it is that we understand where our dog’s food is being manufactured. Even if the company and manufacturing facilities are high quality, if the source of their ingredients is not, then the food can be dangerous for dogs. Most high quality dog foods will list the sources of their foods on their website. Look for companies that use local sources and smaller farms for their ingredients.
1. Read Reviews
Finally, you want to do a little digging into dog food reviews. First you should check and see what other customers say about dog food on third party websites. Then you should read in depth reviews from trusted experts like Dog Food Insider. If a company has a lot of good reviews, it’s probably a safe bet for your dog.
If you follow these ten tips and just do a bit of research, you will easily be about to pick a best quality dog food for your dog. For more tips and advice on how to pick a great dog food, check out all of our reviews on Dog Food Insider. We have tons of advice on how to pick a great dog food all on one site so you will never have to worry about where to get good information about dog food.