Are you a certified dog lover? Those who are would want the best for their pup – from the best gear, hygiene products, to the best source of nutrition and energy. It is then a must for pet owners to know more about the specific food and nutrition requirements that their dogs must have. Let us guide you into discovering what essential information you must have in order to choose the best dry dog foods for your beloved canine.
Best Dry Dog Food Ingredients: What Should They Contain?
Giving their dogs premium-quality and well-balanced food options is one of the best ways that a pet owner can carry out their promise and goal to keep their pups healthy. A healthy dog is characterized as having a shiny and beautiful coat, high immunity to diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, and a great digestive system. One cannot deny how important food is when it comes to building a good healthy condition for dogs, so choosing the best dog food is important as well. So, in this case, what should we look for in a dry dog food option?
As humans, we know what food tastes good and what they need to have so it can be good for our bodies. The same logic should apply to our furry pals. We, their owners and human companions, should help them consume flavorful food with the right amount of nutrients to supply their body’s energy and immunity. So what should your dry dog food options contain?
Notice why weightlifters and bodybuilders drink protein shakes? Because proteins build muscles. This is the very reason why this macronutrient is the number one ingredient that you should find in the best dry dog foods. Dogs are innately active, so their bodies need strong muscles to move freely. Most dry dog foods contain a considerable amount of protein. dog food manufacturers get them from meat, meat by-products, and grains like rice, quinoa, oats, and flaxseeds. What you need to check is if the dry dog food brand that you choose uses high-quality sources. Make sure to read the label and see that meat meals (the ones that use beef, poultry, fish in their kibbles) list them as the number one component. If the meat appears in the middle or end part of the ingredients list, it is safe to say that they only used a small part of it to flavor the food and not to provide the necessary nutrition.
If you think that getting a dry dog food variety that contains low fat is great, think again. If humans prefer low-fat meals, dogs actually require fats to make their food tastier and to make their bodies take up and absorb other essential nutrients. But not just any fats. Make sure that your ideal dry dog food, or any dog food for this matter, has omega 3. This component does wonders for your pet’s body. Omega 3 is great for your pup’s heart (battles heart conditions), skin (resolves dry scaly skin), coat (makes the fur shiny and easy to manage), as well as improve their visual and cognitive development. If your dry dog food is made with meat, chances that it contains the good fats are high. also, you can look for dry dog food brands that contain fats from soy oil, cottonseed oil, fish oil, or any vegetable oil that you can see on the label. These are good fats that can be beneficial for the overall health of your canines.
As humans, we know that carbs are the components that convert to energy as the fuel of our bodies. Well, it is also the same thing that happens to your dogs. Carbohydrates provide food to different cells in the body, making them function correctly through the energy it provides. Making sure that your dog gets high-quality food sources is the key. You see, not all ingredients that contain carbs are ideal. As a tip, look for grains (oats, lentils, barley, and other legumes like peas) so that your dog will feel full longer and the breakdown of the sugar is slower. As much as possible, steer clear from corn, wheat, and soy. These components are used as fillers, deceiving pet owners about the right amount of nutrients their furry children can have. It is hard, though, to find a dry dog food brand that does not contain these. Here is what you should do: make sure that these simple carbs are located at the bottom part of the ingredients list. This means that more nutritious components are inside that bag.
Essential Vitamins, Minerals, and other Healthy Supplements
Dogs need vitamins and minerals too! They can be sourced out from fruits and veggies that are included in the food mixture for flavor combination. Some dry dog food manufacturers include this information in their packaging and use this to market their products, saying that their dry dog foods contain essential vitamins and minerals to make your dogs stronger and healthier. Just make sure that the supplements are in the easier-to-absorb forms (for instance, proteinate minerals instead of sulfate minerals).
Don’t forget gut health! One of the common diseases that affect our pals is gut infection among other digestive problems. This is where good bacteria like probiotics and prebiotics come in handy. Probiotics form the stool and improve your pet’s digestion. Prebiotics, on the other hand, act as the food source of the good bacteria so they can continue aiding to your dog’s digestion. They also provide fiber content to their diet, preventing diarrhea and other infections.
Here is a recap of what we can recommend you should look for when choosing dry dog food for your furry pals. The best dry dog foods:
- Contain premium-quality sources of protein, fats, and carbohydrates
- Meat meals should mention what type of meat was used and mention it in the ingredients list first
- The protein-fat ratio is ideal (amount and percentage would depend on the size, age, and breed of your canine)
- Essential vitamins and minerals from premium-quality food sources
- Must have probiotics/prebiotics and fiber for better digestion
How Can We Distinguish High-Quality Dry Dog Food Ingredients from Average Ones?
An ideal dry dog food variety should pass the requirements of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) when it comes to the nutritional information on the label. Just like humans, dogs need the right amount and combination of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to have energy. The exact components and computation would differ depending on the dog food brands and their target breeds. Of course, it is already a given that small dogs require fewer calories compared to big dogs, so getting the appropriate and best dry dog food for your own dog is essential. But as a rule, a dry dog food variety should be a great source of protein, fats, and fiber so the dog can have the minerals (like calcium) that he needs and still be easier for it to digest.
What we suggest: Consult your vet when choosing the best dry dog food as he can best explain what nutritional requirements your dog would need that is appropriate for his breed. Once you know the specifics, read the label of the dry dog food brands and compare them to other brands so you can choose the one that fits your canine’s needs.
How Long Does Dry Dog Foods Last?
Do you know why pet food manufacturers come up with dry dog food products? Because, while wet dog foods are yummier and more flavorful, they need to be refrigerated once you open them. It makes it hard to store canned wet dog foods even if they can last a long time if unopened. To solve this dilemma, dog food manufacturers came up with a food choice that does not need refrigeration while having the same nutritional value as the wet option.
But how long do dry dog foods last? The best way is to check the expiration date in the package. However, technically speaking, if unopened, dry dog foods have a shelf life of 12 to 18 months (1 – 1 ½ year). If the product is already opened, dry dog food should be consumed within six weeks after opening, so as to maintain the quality of the food.
Choosing The Best Dry Dog Foods
Here are some of the things you need to consider when choosing between the wide array of dry dog food brands you can see in supermarkets and pet stores.
- The dog breed
- The brand name and reputation of the manufacturer (reviews and established years)
- The stage of development of the dog (preference from puppies to adult canines)
- The dog’s special diet or known allergies
- The vet or nutritionist’s recommendation
Dry Dog Food Brands We Can Recommend
Now that we know what factors we should look for in a portion of ideal dry dog food, here are some of the dog food brands that we can recommend for your canines to try:
- May contain allergy-causing ingredients
Wellness Pet Food is a brand trusted by so many pet owners as a manufacturer of well-balanced and delicious pet foods that canines and felines all love. With their Complete Health product series, Wellness made sure that the right amount of protein-and-fat ratio is achieved for either small or large dog breeds!
Available in delicious Turkey & Oatmeal flavor, this dry dog food specifically for small dogs is jam-packed with flavors and nutrients from turkey (protein and fats), tomato (vitamin C and lycopene), and flax seed (omega-3).
Available at Amazon:
- 4-pound bag $16.49
- 12-pound bag $35.88
- Contains cage-free organic chicken meat
- Yummy perfectly-sized kibbles
- Contains natural vegetable and fruits
- Made by a trusted brand in high-quality dog food
- Has flax seeds for a healthy coat
- May cause bloating or gas for first-time users
One of the food ranges Nature’s Variety is deeply proud of is its Instinct The Raw Brand. It contains real chicken meat, making it a great source of healthy protein. Their unique recipe also offers the right amount of vitamins and minerals needed for dogs to have good digestion, strong bones, and beautiful coat, and shiny hair.
Available at Amazon:
- 4-pound bag: $19.99
- 11-pound bag: $39.99
- Ideal for all dog breeds, big or small, pup or adult!
- Protein-fat ratio as food diet is above average
- Has the right amount of premium-quality wild boar meat combined with real fruits and vegetables
- Has probiotics and rich in fiber for healthy digestion
- It is considered one of the more expensive options in the dry dog food brands
We may have mentioned earlier that a good combination of high protein and fats, with low carbs, is a must when it comes to giving the best dog food option to your pup, and CANIDAE PURE is proud to have that concept as a priority when creating treats and kibbles for our pets. Using 7 to 10 high-quality, synthetic-free key food materials, all of CANIDAE PURE’s dry dog food recipes are undoubtedly one of the best choices you can have for your pups!
Available at Amazon:
- 4-pound bag: $19.99
- 12 -pound bag: $38.57
- 24-pound bag: $64.99
- Contains real roasted fowl (quail, duck, and turkey) meat that are high sources of protein
- Has another variety that contains High in protein and fatty acids for stronger muscles and beautiful coat sourced out from ancient grains (like millet, quinoa, and chia seeds)
- No artificial flavorings and color; all-natural recipe
- Has antioxidants from added fruits and vegetables
- Not suitable for dogs with known high sensitivity to different food varieties
All Taste of the Wild dry dog food options has the reputation to be made with premium-quality ingredients sourced out solely in the USA. Made by the leading manufacturer of dog foods, Diamond Pet Food made sure that each option contains all the right nutrients that every healthy dog needs to become healthy and active, no matter their age, size, and breed!
Available at Amazon:
- 5-pound bag: $13.99
- 14-pound bag: $29.99
- 28-pound bag: $48.99
- Made with real chicken meat; no chicken by-products
- Calorie content compatible and can satisfy typical adult dog requirements
- Easy-to-follow meal size instructions for small or large breeds
- Contains Lifesource Bits® – Blue’s exclusive combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for holistic growth and development
- A bit more expensive compared to other dry dog food options
Blue Buffalo Co. is a well-known pet food manufacturer that started in 2003. Standing true to their goal to treat pets like family, their products surely make it possible for every pet owner to feed their animals with the right amount of all-natural food and ingredients that make their bodies healthy and active. Named after the company owner’s furry family member, each Blue Buffalo dry dog food variety will surely contain all the vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, and fiber that your dog needs to remain satisfied and energized!
Available at Amazon:
- 4.5-pound bag: $17.99
- 11-pound bag: $29.97
- 24-pound bag: $53.26
We would also like to reiterate that your pet’s veterinarian can better recommend a compatible food variety for your furry companion to make sure that their food options are safe and suitable for their size, age, and breed.