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How to Choose the Best Dog Food

Most people feed their dogs dry kibble or canned wet food. These processed foods might not be appealing to us, but they contain all of the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy. Quality commercial dog foods are highly regulated and have undergone rigorous testing by veterinary specialists.

Dogs, unlike cats, are not strict carnivores. While meat makes up the majority of their diet, domestic dogs can also derive nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. These non-meat foods are not simply fillers, but can be a valuable source of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A good dog food will contain meat, vegetables, grains, and fruits. The best dog foods contain high-quality versions of these ingredients that are appropriate for your dog’s digestive system.

If you are unsure about the differences in nutritional requirements between puppies and adults, the Merck Veterinary Manual lists the recommended nutrients for dogs, along with the recommended amount by weight and age. Large breed dogs and puppies have different nutritional requirements than small breed dogs and puppies.

One way to decipher a good dog food from a bad dog food is to read the label. Check for ingredients, nutritional adequacy, and feeding guidelines.