Best Ingredients To Look For.
Here is a list of the best ingredients for optimum health for your dog.
- Whole proteins: chicken, beef, fish, duck, liver, eggs, pork
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Whole grains: oats, quinoa, brown rice
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Sweet potatoes
- Hypoallergenic dog food. (some dogs have allergies and/or sensitive stomachs so choose a hypoallergenic dog food. (click here for more info on hypoallergenic dog food.)
Some Of The Best Dog Food Brands
There are many reviews out there with different opinions on the best dog food brands. Some of the opinions depend on the type of dog breed you have. However, here is my choice for some of the best dog food brands that meet the requirements listed above. These healthy dog foods will provide the proper nutrients, supplements, and support most commonly needed for optimum health for your dog.
Requirements For A Dog’s Nutrition
Dogs, much like humans, need three main nutrients in their diets; protein, fat, and carbohydrates. There are different percentages of these nutrients necessary for the optimum health for your dog. And of course, other factors determine the percentage as well, such as the type of breed, how active your dog is, and the current status of their health.
Orijen is one of the ultimate healthy dog foods.
It is more expensive than most dog foods, but it is one of the top brands as it offers a natural diet of whole prey animals with unique inclusions of meats, and supreme quality ingredients. They get their ingredients from farmers, ranchers, and fishermen in their area, located in Alberta. Their fresh meats go from farm to their kitchen within 3 days and into Orijen food within 2 days. Their protein is 38% and carbs are 19% providing the top quality ratio for their healthy dog food. They have no preservatives and include 15% vegetables and fruits in their dog food. Many people consider this to be one of the top dog food brands.
Acana is another top rated dog food.
This dog food is another meat based dry dog food using a good ratio of protein (38%), carbs (35%), and fats (19%) ratio. They are not as expensive as Orijen, and offer more variety with four different lines of dry dog food and no fillers.
Taste Of The Wild
This healthy dog food focuses on beef and vegetable broth as they not only have high protein and amino acids, but that adds flavor and moisture to a dog food. In addition, they have beef liver and dried egg product making it easy to digest and high biological value. They also include potato starch, lamb, wild boar, peas, and chickpea flour, which gives good fiber in the diet. Their protein ratio is 44%, fat level of 17%, and carbs 31%. They are not as expensive as Orijen and Acana, but still a top-rated dog food.
What to look for in finding high-quality dog food:
- Look for foods that have Beef, Chicken, Lamb or another protein as the first ingredient and not meal or by-product.
- Look to make sure there are no food dyes, as no top quality dog food will use food dyes in their product.
- Look for grain free dog food, which has been an important subject lately. Some dogs have allergies to grains so the best dog food does not contain wheat, corn, or soy grains.
Make Sure To Stay Away From Unnamed Meats and By-Products
Any label that says “poultry by-products” is an unnamed chicken meat, and you don't know exactly what you are feeding your dog.
Also, when it says "meat by-products" these are the ground up, internal remains of an animal. Some dog food brands might claims this is good for a dog, however, there is no guarantee of the quality of this.
Here are some expert opinions:
No Corn, No Wheat
“Corn — not appropriate for a carnivore. It is an incomplete protein, contains gluten, and is one of the more allergenic food substances, especially since pretty much all of it is GMO. Wheat — similar reasons as corn.”
Dr. Elisa Katz
“We feed high concentrations of crude protein and fat in dog diets in order that the complete diet fed to the dog is highly digestible. Carbohydrates are very important dietary constituents, but the amount added needs to be managed as they oftentimes will result in lower digestibility.”
University of Illinois, Department of Animal Sciences