What is the best food for dogs?

When it comes to selecting the best dog food for their pet, dog owners are faced with an overwhelming array of options. So, our Union City vets are here to assist you in narrowing down your options and finding healthy, affordable, and appealing dog food for your pet.

What's the best dog food?

The majority of dog owners feed dry kibble or canned wet food to their pets. High-quality commercial dog foods are strictly regulated and have undergone rigorous testing by veterinary specialists. Meat, vegetables, grains, and fruits are among the healthiest, veterinarian-recommended dog foods. These non-meat foods aren't just fillers; they're also high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Nutritional Needs

Most dog foods should meet your dog's nutritional requirements. The majority of commercial brands are specially formulated to meet at least the most basic nutritional requirements of dogs. However, not every dog has the same nutritional needs. When shopping for dog food, keep this in mind.

Dogs need a variety of nutrients in varying amounts throughout their lives. Because a puppy's nutritional needs, for example, differ from those of an adult dog, it is best to feed a puppy formula or an "all life stages" food.

How to Read a Dog Food Label

One way to tell the difference between good and bad dog food is to read the label. The FDA requires eight key pieces of information to be included on dog food labels, and individual states may have their own labeling requirements:

  • Product name
  • Net weight of the product
  • Name and address of the manufacturer
  • Guaranteed Analysis
  • List of ingredients
  • Intended animal species (i.e. dog or cat)
  • Statement of nutritional adequacy
  • Feeding guidelines

Product Name

The product's name tells you a lot about what's inside the can or bag. The term "beef" implies that at least 70% of the total product must be beef. In contrast, the terms "beef dinner," "beef entrée," and "beef platter" only require that beef make up at least 10% of the total product. "With beef" requires only 3% of the total product to be beef, whereas "beef flavor" simply means that the product contains enough beef to flavor it (less than 3%). The same is true for other named ingredients like "chicken."


The ingredient list on a dog food label does not indicate the quality of the ingredients. To achieve a more even distribution, some manufacturers divide the ingredients. Flaked corn and ground corn, for example, can be listed separately. Because whole meats have a high water content, the overall percentage of meat after processing is lower than it appears. Meat meal, on the other hand, may sound less appealing, but it contains more meat than "whole meats."

While the ingredient list does not provide information about the quality of the ingredients, it does provide information about what is in the food. This is especially important for dogs who have special dietary needs or allergies, and it is also useful for owners who want to feed their dogs specific fiber, protein, and carbohydrate sources.

Dog Food For Small and Large Breed Dogs

The nutritional needs of small and large breed dogs differ. Large-breed dogs frequently require large-breed dog food because they are more prone to musculoskeletal issues. Small breed dogs have special nutritional requirements and can choke on large kibble. Examine your dog's breed to see if there are any special nutritional needs to be aware of.

Dog Food For Puppies

Dogs' nutritional requirements change throughout their lives. Puppies have different nutritional requirements than adult dogs and senior dogs have unique nutritional requirements. Most dog food companies sell puppy foods that are specially formulated for each stage of a dog's life. Consult your veterinarian to determine what stage food is best for your dog.

The best food for your puppy is determined by its size and breed. Some puppies do well on both "puppy food" and "for all life stages" food. For puppy feeding advice, always consult your veterinarian.

Dog Food For Senior Dogs

Senior dogs, those aged 7 and up, have different nutritional needs. Many older dogs prefer wet food, while others may require warmed food to enhance the aromas. Your veterinarian can recommend the best dog food for an elderly animal.

Dog Food For Dogs With Special Dietary Needs

Both dogs and humans suffer from allergies, sensitive stomachs, and dietary restrictions. It can be difficult to feed dogs with special dietary needs. Your best bet is to consult with your veterinarian about the best dog food for their condition.

Wet and Dry Dog Food

Ingredients such as meat and grains are combined and cooked to make dry dog food. The main advantage of dry dog food is that it does not need to be refrigerated. The best dry food for your dog is determined by his or her dietary requirements. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist about the healthiest option for your pet.

Wet dog food is a great alternative to dry dog food. Wet food contains more fresh meat, poultry, fish, and animal byproducts, as well as more grain-based textured proteins. Although canned dog food has a long shelf life, once opened, it must be refrigerated. Your dog's age, breed, and any special dietary needs or allergies will determine the best wet food for him.

If you're concerned about your dog's dietary needs, contact our Union City vets today to book an appointment.