What Kind of Dog Food is Best For Your Dog? (2024)

Your dog's health and well-being depend on their diet, and the right type of food can make a big difference. Your dog's age, size, lifestyle, and medical conditions should all play a role in what kind of food is best for them.

When shopping for a new dog food, it's important to find one that is made with high-quality ingredients and meets AAFCO nutritional standards. It's also a good idea to select brands that employ a full-time board-certified veterinary nutritionist on their team.

High-Quality Ingredients

All dogs need a high-quality diet that delivers the essential nutrients they need to stay healthy. These nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Protein - The first thing to look for in dog food is a quality protein source such as beef, chicken, lamb, fish or turkey. These ingredients are known for their nutrient density and ability to sustain and grow your dog's muscle mass.

Meat meal - Another important ingredient to look for is meat meal which comes from cooked, dried, ground meat. This concentrates the protein and reduces the moisture content compared to whole meat sources like chicken or lamb.

Poultry by-product - You should avoid products that are labeled as a poultry or chicken meal because they can contain low-quality protein sources such as expired or diseased chickens, or parts of 4-D animals like "dead, diseased, disabled or dying" birds.

Also, you should avoid preservatives that are used to preserve ingredients such as BHT, BHA and sodium nitrite which can cause health problems in your dog. These can have a damaging effect on your dog's kidneys and liver.


When it comes to the best diet for your dog, variety is key. Feeding your pet the same food day after day can lead to a number of problems, including gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and skin allergies.

Variety also helps reduce the risk of food recalls. If a dog food has been recalled, it’s typically due to a mix-up in the manufacturing process or an unexpected ingredient or contaminant.

In addition to dry kibbles, there are wet foods, de-hydrated foods, frozen treats, raw meaty meals and homemade options. All are great ways to add variety and make sure your pet is getting the nutrition they need every day.

If you’re unsure about which diet is right for your pet, talk to your veterinarian. He or she can recommend a high-quality food that meets your dog’s unique needs.

Fresh Meat

Fresh meat is the best source of nutrients for dogs, especially when it’s raw. Unlike cooked food, which can often contain ingredients that have been heavily processed and are susceptible to bacteria and parasites, raw foods are naturally nutrient-dense and digestible.

The protein content in raw meats also supports a dog’s immune system and helps fight disease. In addition to the proteins, fresh meat contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Gently cooked foods are a great option for dogs that might have difficulty digesting raw or for pet parents who don’t have the time to prepare raw meals daily. They provide a healthy balance of lightly cooked ingredients that are rich in fiber, which can help your dog maintain a healthy digestive tract.

If your dog enjoys the smell of raw, but you aren’t ready to commit to a whole-prey diet, try gently cooked meat. Depending on the recipe, it may include a blend of vegetables and meats to provide the necessary balance of nutrients for your dog.

Contact Information

The pet food industry has an extensive research and development arm, but the lion's share of innovation is still housed within the walls of your veterinarian's office. The best way to learn about the latest and greatest in your dog's diet is to ask questions. You might even pick up a few tips and tricks to help you make your veterinarian's job a little easier. Most veterinarians have a pet food database at their disposal, which can also be a nifty resource for you and your pooches. Using a database can save you a trip to the vet, or at least make you feel better about your pooch's health and well-being. A good one will have all the relevant information culled from multiple sources, making your vet's day much easier.

What Kind of Dog Food is Best For Your Dog? (2024)
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