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How to Choose Dog Food: What is the Best Food for Dogs?

Selecting the right dog food can be daunting for pet owners due to the abundance of available options. That's why the veterinarians in Denver are here to help you find the best dog food that is healthy, affordable, and appealing for your furry friend.

What's The Best Dog Food?

Most dog owners prefer to feed their pets either dry kibble or canned wet food. The commercial dog foods of high quality are strictly regulated and have undergone rigorous testing by veterinary specialists. The healthiest dog foods, which vets recommend, will include meat, vegetables, grains, and fruits. These non-meat foods are not just fillers; they can also be a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Nutritional Needs

Most dog foods available in the market are designed to meet the basic nutritional needs of dogs. However, it's important to keep in mind that not all dogs have the same nutritional requirements.

Dogs need various nutrients in varying amounts at different stages of their lives. For instance, the nutritional needs of a puppy differ from those of an adult dog.

Therefore, feeding a puppy formula or an "all life stages" food is advisable to ensure they receive the required nutrients.

How to Read a Dog Food Label

Reading the label is one way to differentiate between good and bad dog food. The FDA mandates dog food labels to include eight key pieces of information, 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 name of a product gives you a lot of information about what it contains. For example, if a product has the word "beef" in its name, it means that beef must make up at least 70% of the product.

On the other hand, if the product has "beef dinner", "beef entrée", or "beef platter" in its name, it only requires that beef account for 10% of the total product. If the product has "with beef" in its name, then it only needs to contain 3% of beef in the total product.

Lastly, if the product has "beef flavor" in its name, it only contains a small amount of beef, less than 3%, just enough to give it a beefy taste. This rule applies to other named ingredients such as "chicken".


It is essential to understand that the list of ingredients on a dog food label may not necessarily reflect the ingredients' quality. In fact, some manufacturers may choose to divide ingredients to achieve an even distribution.

For example, different varieties of corn, such as flaked corn and ground corn, can be listed separately, even though they may be essentially the same thing. Additionally, the percentage of meat in a given dog food may appear higher than it is due to the high water content in whole meats. On the other hand, meat meal may sound less desirable to humans, but it actually contains more meat than "whole meats."

Despite this, the ingredient list is still an essential source of information. It can help owners of dogs with special dietary needs or allergies to avoid problematic ingredients. It is also useful for owners who want to provide their dogs with specific types of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates.

Dog Food For Small and Large Breed Dogs

Small and large breed dogs have unique nutritional needs that you should be aware of. Large-breed dogs are more prone to musculoskeletal issues and thus require specific large-breed dog food. On the other hand, small-breed dogs have different nutritional requirements, as they can choke on large quantities of kibble. It is important to investigate your dog's breed and consult a veterinarian to determine the best diet plan for your furry friend.

Dog Food For Puppies

Dogs have different nutritional requirements at different stages of life. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs and senior dogs require unique nutrition.

Most dog food companies offer specially formulated puppy food that caters to each stage of a dog's life. To determine which stage of food is the best for your dog, it is recommended that you consult with your veterinarian.

The ideal food for your puppy will depend on its breed and size. Some puppies may do well on either "puppy food" or "for all life stages" food. It is always important to consult your veterinarian for the best advice on feeding your puppy.

Dog Food For Senior Dogs

Senior dogs, usually those aged 7 and up, have different nutritional requirements. Many older dogs prefer wet food, while others may require their food to be warmed to enhance the aromas. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best dog food for an elderly pet.

Dog Food For Dogs With Special Dietary Needs

Dogs, just like humans, can have allergies, sensitive stomachs, and dietary restrictions that make it challenging to feed them. If your dog has special dietary requirements, it's best to consult your veterinarian for advice on the most suitable dog food to address their needs.

Wet and Dry Dog Food

Ingredients such as meat and grains are combined and cooked to produce dry dog food. The primary advantage of dry dog food is that it does not require refrigeration. However, choosing the best dry food for your dog depends on their dietary requirements. It is always best to consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to determine the healthiest option for your furry friend.

Wet dog food is an excellent alternative to dry dog food. It contains more fresh meat, poultry, fish, animal byproducts, and textured proteins derived from grains. While canned dog food has a long shelf life, it must be refrigerated once opened. The best wet food for your dog depends on factors such as their age, breed, and any special dietary needs or allergies they might have.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

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

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