Best Dog Foods On The Market

Dogs are omnivores, like people. They are not “all-meat” animals, or carnivores, like cats. Their diet has a bit more leeway. But they do need quality ingredients to be healthy.

We know one lab/husky who developed hip problems in old age. That dog’s vet advised feeding the dog, Rosie, regular grocery store kibble for breakfast and a home cooked meal of brown rice and carrots for supper every evening.

That dog came to know when rice is ready by sound & by smell – her humans only needed to wait for her to bark “it’s ready” before nuking the sliced carrots to stir into the rice and then give her the bowl.

Good Ingredients, Good Health

Being sure that all the ingredients in your dog’s food are safe does not mean that they are the best for dog’s health. Dogs need a proper combination of nutrients, moisture, protein, fibre, and moisture in their diet.

Beagle Eating Dry Food from a Bowl

With the right ingredients in the right combination, dogs can avoid a lot of food-related health issues.

One thing is clear! Dog food should be chosen for its ingredients and not for weasel marketing words such as premium, super-premium, natural, complete, balanced, which are not based on any standard.

What Are Good And Bad Ingredients?

Many ingredients can’t be labelled “bad” or “good.” Some are simply controversial. Beet pulp is a common binding agent in pet foods and most experts agree it should be avoided even though there is no conclusive evidence of that.

Balance is most important – If you don’t have the luxury of consulting with a vet, then here is a basic rule most people follow:

  • 30 percent protein
  • 18 percent fat
  • omega-3s, vitamins, and fiber for the rest

Puppy in a Good Dog Bowl

The nutrient ratio for your dog should be decided in consultation with your vet at different stages of your dog’s life. For example, if your dog has liver issues, protein content should be lowered. But, again, in consultation with your vet.

Some Guidelines For Commercial Dog Food

Meat should be the first ingredient listed! And you don’t want these in the first five ingredients: Corn, Soy, Wheat, Grain, Flour.

Things To Look For

Whole Proteins

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Duck
  • Liver
  • Eggs

Whole Grains

  • Oats
  • Quinoa

Other Healthy Nutrients

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Vitamin E

Good Fruits & Vegetables

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Carrots

Three Golden Retriever Puppys Eating from a Bowl

Things To Avoid

Unspecified Proteins

  • Meat
  • Meat meal
  • Meat by-products

Unhealthy Grains AndFfillers

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Beet pulp


  • BHA
  • BHT
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium selenite

What About The Different Formulations?

Regardless of the type of food your dog prefers, quality ingredients and balance are the most essential considerations.



  • Travels well
  • It lasts
  • A lot of choices
  • Complete diet
  • Ready to eat
  • Economical


  • More processed than canned
  • Contains fillers and preservatives

Wet (canned)


  • Complete diet
  • High moisture
  • Easy to eat and digest
  • Less preservatives than dry
  • More protein and less carbs than dry


  • Less convenient than dry
  • Perishable
  • More expensive than dry



  • No preservatives or chemicals
  • Nutrients are pure and fresh


  • Expensive and inconvenient
  • Can’t travel with it
  • A lot of work
  • Risk of food-borne pathogens



  • Complete diet
  • No preservatives or chemicals but lasts longer than raw or homemade
  • Nutrient-rich
  • Without the bacteria potential of raw or homemade


  • Expensive
  • Takes time to prepare
  • Requires water to prepare so can’t always travel


Puppy Making a Mess Baking a Cake

We refer you back to Rosie at the top of this page who had brown rice and carrots for supper every night.


  • Ingredients fresh and high-quality
  • You know exactly what the ingredients are and where they came from
  • Doesn’t require meat so can be very inexpensive as a supplement


  • Time-consuming
  • Raw meats may contain pathogens
  • You must know exactly what you are doing in terms of nutrient balance

What Do I Do Now?

If your dog already has engrained food preferences, there may be nothing you can do. But dogs are much easier to change than cats.

  • Read the label – what are you feeding your dog now – research the ingredients
  • Chat with your vet – find out if your dog has special dietary needs

About the Author YourFamilyPets

Leave a Comment: