How To Choose the Best Dog Food For Your Dog

5 steps on how to pick the best dog food

Picking the best dog food for your pup is no easy choice. There are so many different brands out there. How do you know which one will be the best for your dog?

Just like people, every dog is unique. Some foods work well for your dogs, while others won’t agree with her tummy. And because you’re in charge of keeping her healthy, it’s up to you to get all the information you can about what goes into her bowl. Let’s go over a few tips to keep in mind when choosing the best dog food for your dog.

Because you’re in charge of keeping her healthy, it’s up to you to get all the information you can about what goes into her bowl.

  1. Know your dog. This one’s easy! Is your dog a small or large breed? How old is she? Is she active or does she like to lounge around on the couch all day? These are criteria that will affect the food you give your dog. For example, smaller breeds will need smaller kibble, as they could choke on larger bits of food. Or perhaps your dog has health issues that you need to address. Allergies, such as wheat and gluten, mean that you need to watch your dog’s diet carefully.
  2. Read the labels. You read the nutritional labels on your food before you buy it – you should do the same with your dog’s food. Look at the list of ingredients carefully, especially the first five. These first five should be a high-quality protein or meat. Stay away from foods that list ingredients such as corn, rice or wheat in the top five.
  3. The Guaranteed Analysis Statement. Every dog food you buy will have this statement, which offers detailed info on ingredients and its percentages. These accurate details will pinpoint the nutritional ingredient value of the dog food. The Guaranteed Analysis Statement also offers the minimum guarantees for protein and fat and maximum guarantees for moisture and fiber.
  4. The category of dog food. Where are you buying your dog’s food? This can say a lot about the quality of the food itself. Basically, there are three categories of dog food: grocery store food, premium food and health food. Grocery store food can be found at grocery and big box stores, and are typically made with lower-quality ingredients. These brands are usually cheaper and will not give your dog the most nutrient-dense ingredients. Premium food can be found in pet stores and veterinarian offices and feature higher-grade ingredients, while Health foods provide dogs with the highest quality and most nutritious ingredients.
  5. Sometimes you’ll have to try a few to find the right one. Keep a journal and record your dog’s reaction to each of the different dog foods. You should introduce a new dog food to her diet slowly – only feed one particular dog food at a time and slowly increase the amount of new food given as to avoid diarrhea and vomiting. Be on the lookout for coat appearance and stool consistency. As well, a good indicator of a food preference is an empty bowl – if your dog really likes a certain food, you’ll be able to see the bottom of the bowl.

It’s important to note that price isn’t always an indicator of the best dog food. Of course, dog foods that contain higher quality ingredients will most likely be costlier, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right one for your dog. What do you think the best dog food is? Please share your picks and preferences in the comments section below.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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