Finding the best dry dog food is always going to be a challenge, let alone looking for the best quality dog food.
There are a lot of things that you need to look out for, and it seems like the requirements for what a “healthy” dog food should have are changing all the time.
Should you go for dry or wet dog food? How about grain free dog food types, or organic? Are the best holistic dog foods worth the price, or would you just be better off forgetting about all of it and making your own dog food at home?
There are so many choices out there that it can easily get overwhelming, so let's focus on just one aspect and take it from there: finding the best dry dog food.
One of the first things that people look for when buying a new brand of dog food is the price. There are those who go for the cheapest brand, and then there are others who only want the most expensive for their pooches, because if it costs so much it has to be good, right?
First of all, you're probably better off staying away from the cheapest of the cheap, or you may find yourself using your dog first aid kit more often than you would like. Most cheap foods contain equally cheap ingredients, including generic animal fats, highly processed meal with no intrinsic nutritional value, chemical additives, preservatives, or even cellulose wood pulp.
That's right, some of the cheaper dog brands even contain processed wood (under a more creative name, of course).
A good rule of thumb to go buy is that you're going to get what you pay for in most situations. If you only want to shell out a few dollars for a 15 pound bag of dry dog food, you may not be getting the best deal in the long run.
The best way to start looking for the best dry dog food is to check the label. If it has decent quality, it should have a statement from AAFCO for the nutritional content, basically saying that it's adequate for most dogs.
You also want to make sure it specifies a certain stage of life for the dogs that should be eating it. Since a new puppy will have different nutritional requirements then senior dogs, dog food companies cater to that fact by releasing several different types of food, each for different life stages. Make sure you purchase one that fits the stage that your dog is currently in.
Of course, some dog foods actually do list that they are good for all different life stages, but it might be best to shy away from those, mostly for the above mentioned reasons.
Also, don't forget to think about your dog's preferences in your decision either. The best dry dog food brands usually have multiple different flavor options, typically ranging between beef, lamb, chicken, or fish. Some dogs have a preference to one or the other, so it might help to get a few smaller bags first and see what your dog likes the most.