The Very Best Dog Food
The very best food for dogs – or cats or humans or guinea pigs - is real, honest, recognizable and nutritious whole food, of course. Chicken pieces that actually came from a chicken; blueberries picked from a real blueberry patch. Real food can be prepared in either a cooked or raw diet; experts disagree on which is truly the healthiest for your dog.
Does this mean you should be making Fido his own special meals from scratch? Easier said than done; it takes a great deal of time, knowledge and commitment to properly research and prepare home cooked and nutritionally balanced meals for your pet – but now some enlightened dog food companies are producing real human-grade food meals in convenient packages for your dog’s optimal nutritional health.
Prepackaged human-grade real food for dogs:
For those who can afford the very best dog food, this would be it. Real food is usually raw and comes frozen or freeze-dried. Prepackaged meals can be as good as or better than home-prepared food, because they are formulated to optimally meet canine nutritional needs, and are usually made from all natural or organic ingredients. While this is the very best commercially prepared dog food option, the price can be daunting.
Beware of lower quality (and cheaper) frozen raw dog foods sold in pet stores and markets; unless you’re sure of the manufacturer’s unwavering commitment to your dog’s health – and you’re equally sure about their spotlessly sanitary manufacturing facility – you could be exposing Fido to health hazards by feeding him raw commercially prepared dog food.
Dry kibble and canned food:
Even those who feed their dogs only raw or freeze-dried real food should keep some good quality kibble and canned food on hand for emergencies and travel. The best dog food – no matter what form it comes in – will always be made with real, whole, recognizable ingredients. Avoid foods that include by-products and meal. Specific meats like chicken or lamb should be listed as the main ingredient, never just meat listed as “meat”. The best dog food also includes a variety of vegetables and sometimes fruits. Grains, if present at all, should be whole grains, and low on the list of ingredients.
Where to find it?
The best dog food is not found at the grocery store or big-box pet store chain. Natural food stores, veterinary offices, and feed stores often carry excellent dog food; but dog owners should always do some research before purchasing any brand of dog food. The mere fact that it comes from a vet’s office or natural food store does not mean it is a high quality food, and feed stores often carry some of the lowest quality dog foods right alongside the best.
To find the types of foods described in this article, search online for “human grade dog food”, and a variety of manufacturers and sellers of premium whole, real-food dog foods will be easy to find. Many of these foods can be directly ordered online; other manufacturers will direct you to stores in your area where the food can be purchased.
The decision to feed your dog top quality real food is more expensive and more work in the short run – but you’ll likely find that Fido’s resulting healthy life (and lower vet bills) will make the added effort all worthwhile.