What is the Best Dog Food? (2024)

Choosing the right dog food can make a world of difference in your pet’s health and happiness. The most important thing to remember is to look for quality ingredients and a well-balanced nutrient profile.

The best brands are those that work closely with veterinarians to develop diets specific to your dog’s needs and conform to AAFCO standards. These foods will be the healthiest and most affordable for your dog.

Quality

When comparing dog foods, look for quality ingredients that meet AAFCO standards. These include whole food sources of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and fibers and nutrient-rich grains like peas, sweet potatoes and barley.

Some ingredients are used to add nutrients, flavor, texture or bind the product together. Others are added to help the food maintain its shape and retain freshness.

Meat is often listed as “animal derivatives” on the ingredients list, a term that can include any protein source that can be rendered into kibble, such as chicken, beef or turkey. This makes it more difficult to identify the real meat source.

Fresh Meat

Meat is a great source of protein for dogs. It contains all the essential amino acids, but it can be tricky to find high quality protein that isn’t made from cheap, processed sources.

Luckily, some dog foods use fresh meats like chicken and turkey in their recipes to provide the best possible quality. The key is to choose a recipe that uses minimally processed, fresh de-boned meats and fish and pairs them with complementary meat and plant proteins in balanced proportions.

Unlike dry kibble, gently cooked meats are a better option for dogs because they are easier to digest and are less likely to contain pathogens. They also provide a healthier diet start-to-finish.

Poultry

Poultry is a popular protein source for dog food. It comes from a variety of birds, including chickens and turkeys.

Poultry is often considered a more eco-friendly option than other proteins, due to its small footprint in terms of land use and water consumption. Jiminy’s, for example, uses 67% less land than a brand that uses chickens to produce its dry dog food, and saves 220 gallons of water per bag.

High quality poultry meats are derived from live birds that have reached the best size and health for slaughter. In addition, they are well fed during the growing phase.

Fish

Fish are an excellent source of protein and nutrients, and they can also be a good choice for dogs who have allergies or sensitivities to other types of meat. However, it is important to make sure the food you choose contains only fresh fish or fish meal.

Fish processing is the process of preparing and packaging fish and other seafood. This is necessary because fish are a highly perishable food and need to be handled carefully to prevent deterioration.

Fillers

Fillers are added to pet food to bulk it up and make it cheaper for companies to produce. While some can be harmful, others like corn gluten meal and meat and grain meals are actually healthy nutrients that can provide a range of benefits to your dog.

Animal by-products, such as spleens, kidneys, livers and heart are actually extremely nutritious ingredients. They’re a great source of protein and other essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Ingredients

As a pet parent, it’s important to provide your best friend with the highest quality food that meets their nutritional needs. A dog’s diet plays a crucial role in their energy levels, vitality and longevity.

The best dog foods contain ingredients that are high in protein, fat, and carbohydrates. They also avoid fillers and other unnecessary ingredients that can harm your dog’s health.

What is the Best Dog Food? (2024)
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