If you have a dog, it is likely that you consider it to be your best friend. This also means that you will want to find the best dog food for your pet, just as you would for any other member of your family. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as what it is for humans, and you need to take personal responsibility for doing research on what is truly the best for your four legged companion.

Naturally, your dog’s health is of main concern. What you feed it is vital to help sustain its health. This means knowing what is in its food, what are the ingredients, their nutritional value, and whether they could potentially harm your dog. Added to that, you must ensure that the food will supports the important elements of your dog’s health, such as its teeth, coat, eyes, body fat, digestive system, and energy.

Understanding What The Best Dog Food Is:

AAFCO Definitions of Dog Food Ingredients has looked at the various items that need to be found in dog food and helped people to define those. You must understand that there are many ingredients that can harm your dog, and sometimes can even be fatal. This is why you have to learn what is the best dog food, what should be in it and, perhaps most importantly, what should not be in it.

It is difficult to determine the best dog food, since all manufacturers will claim that theirs is the best. Remember that brands that can spend a lot of money on marketing are not necessarily also the brands that offer the best. They simply have the most money. And it is possible that they have that much money because the ingredients they use are cheap. Indeed, you have the opportunity to make your own dog food from scratch, using ingredients that you know to be natural only. So long as that food will meet your dog’s nutritional needs, it may be better than anything you buy in the stores.

What you have to identify, therefore, is where the nutrition lies. And you have to learn to avoid the various harmful and dangerous ingredients. Sometimes, this will cost a little bit more, but it will also mean that you have less vet bills to pay.

Dry and Canned Dog Foods:

Whether you are looking for canned or dry dog food, make sure to check the ingredients first. They should be recognizable and whole. Hence, you don’t want to see grains there, nor any byproducts. Those are all low quality. Rather, the food’s main ingredient should be a protein such as salmon, venison, bison, turkey, lamb, beef, chicken, pork, and so on. It should also contain vegetables and fruits.

Nutritional Supplements Like Probiotics:

Most dog foods contain nutritional supplements like probiotics. You need to make sure that you know where those came from, however. Also, check how those supplements can be beneficial to your dog’s health. Preservatives that are included should be healthy and natural. Look for vitamins C and E or ascorbic acid, for instance.

Finding the Best Dog Food

Now that you have the most important knowledge on what to look for in dog food, it is time to go find it. Natural food stores, veterinary offices, and feed stores are all good places to go. You can also find dog food online. This is because you should no longer be blinded by claims that they offer the best dog food, but now you can look for what is actually right for your pet. The big search may take some time. However, once you find the best dog food, you will be set for life. Dogs don’t like variety in their diet, as it upsets their stomach, so once you have a particular brand, you can simply stick to that forever.

Commercial Dog Food:

As a rule of thumb, you should avoid all dog foods that seem to spend the most on their advertising. If you’re still not sure, take a look at the different commercial brands that were recalled in 2007, 2008, and 2009 and what they were recalled for. Those products were full of grains, fillers, meat meals, and byproducts – and that’s not the worst of it.

Raw Dog Food:

Many people now consider feeding their pets raw dog food. They believe that raw food is natural to their dog’s digestive system and that they know exactly what they are feeding their dog. Additionally, some believe raw food enables their dog to have a leaner, stronger, body. Research still needs to be conducted on this, because raw meat today is not the same as the raw meat our ancestors had fed their dogs. If you do want to follow a raw meat diet for your dog, make sure the meat is 100% fresh so that you don’t unwittingly cause you dog to have food poisoning. Add a raw, uncooked bone in there every once in a while. Uncooked means it won’t splinter or break.

Homemade Dog Food:

If you don’t want to give your dog raw meat, you can opt to cook it yourself. This is a lot cheaper than opting for commercial dog brands. Additionally, you can make sure that you give your dog exactly what it needs and still provide a variety of foods each day. Most importantly, if you buy good quality ingredients for your homemade dog food, you will know it is free from chemicals and fillers. There are lots of good recipes to follow for dog food. Many people now believe that home cooked food with an occasional raw treat is probably the best dog food to give.

Now you know all you need to know in order to make sure your dog gets nothing but the best in terms of food. As you can see, you have a host of options and choices available to you, so you don’t have to sign up to one particular school of thought. You know what is best for you dog, what it likes the most, and what supports your pet in the best way possible. So long as you concentrate on the quality of the ingredients, you will be able to enjoy your pet’s companionship for many more years to come.