As a dog owner, you want to make sure your pet has the best life possible. That's why it's important to choose the right food for your pup.

But with so many options on the market today, how can you know if a certain brand is worth buying?

To help with this process, we've created this list of things to look for when deciding which dog food brand is best for your four-legged friend:


Look at the ingredients first

The first thing you should look at when choosing a dog food is the ingredients. The label should list what's in the food, so see if any of those things are problematic for your pet.

For example, if you see corn or wheat as one of the first five ingredients on a bag of food and your dog has allergies or sensitivities to those grains, then that brand isn't for them.

Other things to avoid are artificial preservatives and colors (including red 40) because they can be harmful over time.

If there are any ingredients that don't sound familiar or don't seem like something humans would eat themselves, it might be best not to feed your pup that particular brand either!



Choose a food with a named animal protein source as the first ingredient.

The first ingredient in a food is what makes up the largest amount of that food. A named animal protein source (chicken, beef, etc.) is better than "meat" or "poultry" because these broad terms don't tell you much about the quality of the ingredients. Named animal protein sources are also higher in protein.

For example, "chicken" could mean chicken meal or even chicken byproduct meal--which would be less nutritious than just plain old chicken!

It’s important to make sure that the first ingredient on your dog’s food label is a named animal protein source because dogs are carnivores and need adequate amounts of high-quality protein in order to thrive.

When you see grains or other fillers like corn as the first ingredient in your dog's food, it suggests that there isn't enough meat in there for them to thrive on.

Avoid foods with high levels of soy, wheat, or corn if possible--these ingredients are common allergens for dogs and may cause stomach upset if consumed regularly over time.


Look for a balanced blend of protein and carbohydrate sources to keep your dog feeling full and satisfied.

One major thing to look at when buying dog food is how much fat and carbohydrates are in the food, as well as how much protein and fiber it contains. These make up sources of digestible energy for your dog.

Another important factor is the source of the protein. Good sources of protein are easily digestible like chicken, beef, or lamb. Avoid foods that contain by-products like animal hooves, feathers, or beaks. These by-products can be hard for your dog to digest and may cause digestive problems.

Additionally, read the label carefully to check for preservatives, artificial flavors, and colorings. These ingredients can be unhealthy and can cause an upset stomach.

You'll also want to think about moisture content (more is better), calories per cup, and vitamins and minerals included in the bag of kibble. Check the calorie content of the food to make sure it is appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and activity level. This will ensure that they get all of the nutrients they need in the right proportions.

Finally, you'll want to look for food that is free of harmful bacteria and toxins. Make sure you check the manufacturer's website or contact their customer service department to verify that their food meets the highest standards of quality. Be sure to read the label carefully and make sure you understand all the ingredients, including any potential allergens.



Look for a food made with whole grains and whole foods.

The best way to ensure your pup is getting the best nutrition is to look for food that is made with whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and quinoa. These provide essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and other nutrients that can help keep your pup healthy.

There should be a balance of protein and carbohydrate sources. Protein is the main source of energy in your dog's diet, while carbohydrates provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Look for food that has a variety of sources for these ingredients, such as high-quality meats, fish, poultry, fruits, and vegetables.

It's important to look for food that is made with high-quality ingredients like real meat, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid foods with fillers like corn and wheat, which offer little nutritional value.

A wise food choice is to look for a food that is made with human-grade ingredients and meets the nutrient requirements for your pup's age, body weight, and activity level.


Be on the lookout for food with added vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may be lacking in your dog's diet.

When purchasing dog food, you should be on the lookout for any added vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in your dog's diet. These can be added during processing or by you at home.

Vitamins and minerals are essential for your dog's health, so it's important to make sure they're getting enough of these nutrients.

If your four-legged friend has been eating the same brand of kibble for years without any problems, then there's no need to switch things up just yet. However, if their health seems off or they've recently had an illness that required antibiotics (which can cause vitamin deficiency), then you might want to consider changing things up just slightly by adding in some extra supplements from time-to-time.

As always, check with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s food.



Avoid foods containing artificial preservatives and colors that can be harmful to your pet's health or behavior.

Avoid artificial flavors, preservatives, and colorings, as these can potentially be harmful to your pet.

Artificial preservatives, like BHA and BHT, have been linked with cancer in rats and mice. These additives are also known to cause organ damage in animals and humans.

Coloring agents such as FD&C Blue 2 are made from coal tar; this has been shown to cause tumors when consumed over a long period of time.

These are just a few examples of additives that can be found in your dog’s food. Look for brands with fewer additives and artificial preservatives when choosing kibble for your pup.


Final thoughts

When you're looking for new dog food, follow the steps above to make sure you choose high-quality, healthy food for your pet.

When choosing a food for your dog, look for one that lists meat or organ meat as the first ingredient. The first ingredient should be named animal protein sources like chicken or beef (not just "meat" or "by-products"). This means that more of the food is comprised of actual meat and protein than fillers like grains or cornmeal.

You'll also want to look for a food that has fewer fillers and more natural ingredients. Avoid foods with artificial flavors colors, and preservatives—these could cause allergic reactions in some animals, especially if they're already sensitive to certain chemicals like dyes used in human foods.

Make sure the food has the right amount of fat for your dog's size and activity level. Dogs need fat as part of their diet. It provides energy while helping their bodies absorb nutrients from other sources like vitamins A and E. However, too much fat can lead to obesity.

If your pet has any dietary restrictions or allergies, it is best to consult with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist to determine the best food for them.


Photos by Mathew Coulton, Bill Emrich, Cup of couple & Yasin Aydın from


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