Choosing the Best Commercial Dog Food

Easy-to-Read Dog Food Comparison Chart




Identifying the best commercial dog food at a glance, is one of the most important tips we can offer our readers.

© Photo by The Wizard of Pawz
Chinese Crested Dog

The variety of commercial dog food brands and individual dog food recipes now on the market, is quite overwhelming. We help you learn for yourself how to easily differentiate between the best commercial dog food and the worst dog food brands.

Fellow dog lovers, don't allow anyone to pull the wool over your eyes!

Read on and discover how to recognize the best dog food for your special little fur baby.

The Best Commercial Dog Food - How Can You Tell?

Dog Food Scoop has put together this simple Eight Step Dog Food Comparison Chart on how to instantly identify the best commercial dog food.

Ready?

(Please Note: This is a general guideline, and does not address pets with specific dietary needs. As Dog Food Scoop grows, we will be addressing the best commercial dog food for specific dog health problems, e.g. dog skin allergies and hypoallergenic dog food, canine diabetes and diabetic dog food, canine kidney failure and low protein dog food, etc.)

Now follow along ...

STEP ONE:  Look for HUMAN GRADE DOG FOOD.

 

The best commercial dog food companies will use human grade dog food ingredients.

 

However! You won't find this listed on any labels as the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) does not allow dog food manufacturers to make any statements on their labels that pertain to the quality of their food!

 

You will find this information here at Dog Food Scoop included in all our dog food reviews.

We also recommended that you browse the dog food manufacturers' individual websites. If you struggle to find detailed ingredient information, or if it's not presented in a clear and forthright fashion, you'll know to consider it a warning signal.  

STEP TWO:  Make sure the dog food ingredients are sourced locally from USDA inspected facilities, or from reputable countries.

 

Important:  Know whether the product contains any potentially unsafe dog food ingredients imported from China. Know what quality assurance and testing procedures are in place.

Again, this information is not openly disclosed. Dog Food Scoop has personally made the enquiries. You'll find all the answers included in all our dog food ratings and reviews.

STEP THREE:  Study the dog food label and look at all the ingredients listed before the first source of fat.

 

These are the ingredients that typically represent the majority of the components in the overall product - whereas all the other ingredients make up a much smaller percentage.

 

In many cases, you will find that the best commercial dog food products can have ten or more quality ingredients prior to the fat source. 

 

This is a much more precise method of gauging the quality of the product - as opposed to studying only the first 5 listed ingredients.  

STEP FOUR:  Carefully study the PROTEIN CONTENT = THE MEAT.

 

Protein is the most vital substance in a dog’s diet.  You want a quality meat product, and one that contains more meat than grains.

 

You can get an immediate tip-off regarding the quality of the dog food, just by studying the meat component.

WHAT TO SEEK

WHAT TO STEER CLEAR OF

1.  Check the position of the meat ingredient on the label.

 

2.  Check how many times it is listed before the fat source.

 

3.  Check whether or not the type of meat is specified. 

 

All the best commercial dog foods will have the name of the meat or its meal form listed as the first ingredient on the label -  If listed more than once before the fat source, this indicates a higher meat quotient (protein) and, therefore,  a very nutritious dog food.

 

The type of meat MUST be specified, such as chicken, beef, salmon, etc.

 

Meat or Meal?  What's the difference? ...

 

You will find a lot of conflicting and, often, negative viewpoints regarding the term “meal”.  We have researched this subject in depth, including speaking directly with a number of representatives from the best dog food manufacturers.


“Meal” simply means that the original fresh meat product has been dried to remove the moisture content, and is then ground up to form a meal

 

A named meal product is in no way inferior to the fresh meat component, as long as the animal source of the meal is specified!  e.g. turkey meal, lamb meal, etc. 

 

In fact, because meal is already dried, it will not decrease further in weight. This, therefore, means it contains a denser proportion of protein, possibly resulting in a product that contains more meat than grains.

Avoid dog food brands with the words “meat” or “meat meal” listed without any specific animal mentioned, for example, "meat and bone meal".

   

Avoid the word “by-product”  - of any kind - whether its source is named or not!  

 

 

 

STEP 5:  Check for QUALITY SOURCES OF FAT

WHAT TO SEEK

WHAT TO STEER CLEAR OF

Again, check that all fat sources are specified.  Look for chicken fat, olive oil, canola oil, flax oil, etc.

 

In addition, the presence of Omega Three and Omega Six, gives a very good indication of one of the best commercial dog food.

Avoid dog food brands that contain non-specific fats, such as “meat fat”, “poultry fat”, “vegetable oil”, lard, etc.  All fat sources must be indicated on the dog food label.

STEP 6:  Check for QUALITY GRAINS

WHAT TO SEEK

WHAT TO STEER CLEAR OF

Grains are not essential to the canine diet. The best commercial dog food products will either contain no grains at all, or they will not appear in abundance before the fat source on the labels.

 

All listed grains must be quality ingredients such as rice, barley, oats, etc.  

Stay away from dog foods that list excessive grains and fillers among the first few ingredients on the labels.  e.g. ground whole corn, corn gluten meal, wheat gluten meal, soy bean meal, etc.

 

Unspecified grain sources.

 

Corn bran, peanut hulls, rice hulls, soybean hulls, oat hulls.

STEP 7:  What about FRUITS AND VEGETABLES?

WHAT TO SEEK

WHAT TO STEER CLEAR OF

Although fruits and vegetables are also not essential to a dog's diet, they are a nice added extra, which many of the best commercial dog food manufacturers include in their products.

 

Quality vegetables to look for are potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, beans, broccoli, spinach, etc.

 

Fruits to look for are typically apples and blueberries.

Onions are a big No-No.

 

You don't want your dog food to contain apple pomace, grape pomace or citrus pulp.

STEP 8:  Study the label for DOG FOOD PRESERVATIVES, COLORS, AND OTHER CHEMICAL ADDITIVES

WHAT TO SEEK

WHAT TO STEER CLEAR OF

Look for natural preservatives such as Tocopherols (Vitamin E), and Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).

 

 

The best commercial dog food companies will never include any of the following.  

 

Artificial Dog Food Preservatives and Chemical Additives: 

 

Ethoxyquin (Banned in Europe)

(BHA) Butylated hydroxyanisole

(BHT) Butylated hydroxytoluene

 

Artificial Colors and Flavors

Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, and any other such dyes.

Any flavors that do not mention the specific source, e.g. “meat broth”  

 

Sweeteners

Cane molasses, corn syrup in any form, sugar, sorbitol, sucrose, fructose, glucose, ammoniated glycyrrhizin, propylene glycol.

Menadione
(Might be listed as "Vitamin K3" or "Dimethylprimidinol Sulfate").

Synthetic version of Vitamin K.
(Banned by FDA as a nutritional supplement for humans due to high toxicity. Banned entirely for human use in many European countries.)

We hope we've helped make choosing the best commercial dog foods a breeze for you.

If you follow these guidelines, you won't allow the dog food industry to trick you into believing some lousy supermarket dog food is actually a premium dog food!


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