Best Dog Food (by Category)
- A Taste of the Wild with smoked salmon; real Salmon is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile and protein rich for LEAN, STRONG MUSCLES
- ORIJEN Original dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients from free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs
- Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe; Natural Dog Food Plus Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients
- Grain Free: 100 percent Grain Free, Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Dog
- This Whole Earth Farms Grain Free dog food recipe is crafted to support the nutritional needs throughout all life stages of your dog
What Does Your Dog Need?
Choosing the best food for your dog boils down to choosing the kibble with the best combination of high quality protein, fat, and essential nutrients.
On average, healthy adult dogs need foods with:
- 18% Protein Content
- 9-15% Fat Content
Keep in mind that these are minimum estimates (and I might even argue extreme minimums).
The life stage (puppy, adult, best senior dog food), size (small dog breeds, medium, large dog breeds), and breed of your dog can mean they require much more than the minimum, so it’s worth it to investigate what your specific dog requires.
To determine which food has the best quality and quantity of these ingredients, you’ll have to look in a couple places:
- The ingredient list.
- The guaranteed analysis.
General rules when reading the dog food ingredient list are:
- Avoid foods with generic sounding ingredients (“animal fat”, “meat meal”, or some meaty “by-product”)
- Immediately throw foods with the preservatives BHA, BHT, propylene glycol, TBHQ, propyl gallate, or ethoxyquin out the nearest window, because that shit is toxic.
- If you come across artificial sweeteners (a.k.a. the sweet, sugary stuff) like corn-syrup or sorbitol, sigh loudly as you place the bag back on its shelf. Why in the hell does your dog need sweets?
- A high protein source needs to be the first or second ingredient and the first five ingredients need to be wholesome.
- Choose foods low in carbohydrates, because your dog flat out doesn’t need them.
You’ll also notice that all foods have a guaranteed analysis as required by law, which is basically the dog form of nutrition facts.
However, the way they calculate the guaranteed analysis is pretty convoluted and requires some math to get actual amounts of nutrients within the food.
An extremely comprehensive review of how to interpret and understand the ingredient and guaranteed analysis components of dog foods can be found here.