As pet food quality came under serious question in the famous 2007 pet food recall many breeders and owners decided to go on their own. Most owners don’t realize how poor the quality of the average dog food is; even the ones advertised as healthy and high in proteins or low in fat. We even have ketogenic dog diets now for our pets.
Quality ingredients have a high cost and they directly impact the manufacturers’ margins. They use cheap meat by-products to boost up the official protein quantities and a lot of carbs and fillers in order to lower costs. The best way for dog breeders to save money on feeding their dogs is by bulk buying.
Dog Foods for Pregnant Dogs
Finding the best dog food for pregnant dogs is crucial for every dog breeder seeking to ethically raise a healthy furry family. A pregnant female dog, as well as a nursing one, have greater energy requirements to sustain their own growth, but also every single whelp’s healthy growth. It’s demanding and the mother’s diet must be the best it has ever been without shocking her body too much. You generally want to gradually transition your pregnant dog’s diet before or early on during the pregnancy.
Affordable Puppy Foods
Puppy food basically comprises all types of food and nutritional supplements that are essential for the growth of the newborn pup. The bones, muscles, joints and the overall immune system of the puppies need additional nutrition for them to grow into healthy, adult dogs.
Nursing a puppy is usually a genuinely enriching experience that starts with feeding them the best puppy food you can afford. No need to break the bank; there are plenty of affordable or cheap puppy foods available on the market. Make sure they are high in protein content to sustain the pup’s development – target at least 22% of protein!
Healthy Dog Food Brands
Dog food brands are plentiful, but rare are the authentically healthy dog food brands that deliver on their high and mighty claims. The Association of American Feed Control Officials has very low standards when it comes to dog food labeling.
To help you out in your decision-making process on the best healthy dog food brand, we have reviewed and compiled a list of brands we trust. To be fair, all brands exaggerate their claims and try to pretend that their kibble is better than the next one. This is fair play, but we just hate when this little game goes too far.
Bestselling Dog Foods
Granted, it is not because a lot of people buy specific dog food that is synonymous with quality. The brand may execute a wonderful great marketing campaign. Or, the dog food may be sold with a very low and enticing pricing strategy. However, what is great when a dog food brand is on a bestselling list, is that you know thousands of dog owners serve it daily and so far, everything is ok.
Dog foods come in different shapes and forms:
- sensitive formula, and
- many more.
It is hard to figure out which dog food brands to trust, and which to stay away from. This article reviews the bestselling dog foods in the United States.
Homemade Dog Food
Preparing your dog’s meals yourself is cost-effective, healthier and really creates an additional bond with your dog! By knowing exactly what you are feeding your dog with, you have better control over the quantity and quality of your dog’s food. You can change the recipe regularly, or offer the very same thing every day, it is up to you!
Because dogs are not fussy eaters, you don’t even have to be a great Chef to make this happen! Some meat, some veggies, some carbs and you’re pretty much done.
We always recommend to buy the best quality you can afford but you can save money by buying offals, for example. Offals are nutritious and cheap, your butcher will love you! Try some yummy doggy recipes and give your dogs the treats and meals they truly deserve!
Low Fat Dog Foods
One gram of fat delivers 9 calories while one gram of protein or carbohydrates delivers 4 calories; it makes sense to cut the fat intake when controlling a dog’s weight. Low-fat dog foods are extremely common nowadays since most veterinarians will recommend them whenever a dog is a little overweight.
Fatty acids and dietary fat have been demonized over the last decades and it is only now that science is backpedaling — carbohydrates are perhaps a bigger issue than fats are but mathematically, but cutting fats you will trim the double amount of calories than if you lowered your carbs instead. So yes, mathematically it does make sense to drop carbs and put your dog on low-fat dog food, but health-wise, it may be wiser to use grain-free dog foods.
Ketogenic Dog Diet
The keto diet for dogs has a very simple distribution of macronutrients: 70% fat, 20% proteins, and 10% carbohydrates. The idea behind this special diet is to partially mimic what dogs would eat in the wild – with an emphasis put on the fatty acids. Indeed, most wolves eat very little carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, grains) so it makes total sense to limit these in a bespoke diet.
However, very active dogs can also benefit from carbs. Indeed, dogs use carbs as fuel to increase their energy levels during training (e.g. weight pulling, sledding, etc).
Grain-Free Dog Foods
For too long, pet food brands have used cheap carbohydrates and grains as cost-effective fillers; they betrayed us, the consumers. Over the last few years, grain-free dog foods have taken the dog world by a storm.
Quite simply, grain-free dog foods remove any grain-based ingredient from their recipe. A grain-free diet for dogs aims to move more in line with what dogs would have eaten before humans stepped in and began to mass-produce the type of dog food we are now so used to seeing stacked on our shelves. By removing grain, compared to typical dog food, a grain-free diet will attempt to insert more meat protein and digestible animal fats into your dog’s diet.
Grain-free does not mean carbohydrate-free: these carbohydrates will usually come from starchy vegetables and roots like sweet potatoes, for example. It’s a much healthier alternative but such kibble is still very much processed. Do you still need some convincing? Read our list of the top benefits of grain-free dog foods.
Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding
Kibble and canned wet dog food are very appealing to most dog breeders and the reasons are simple to fathom. They are easy, clean and it’s just what everybody else does so why should you adopt a different diet for your dog then?
BARF, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, imitate the diet of a wild dog, a wolf, and other carnivores. For example, a wolf gets all the vital nutrients like protein, fat, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and fiber by eating a whole animal. As well as prey, the wolf also eats fruit, herbs, berries, grasses, roots, insects, and also the insides of herbivores.
Make a change and your dog’s health will prove to you that you made the right decision.
The prey diet for dogs mimics the wolf’s ancestral food regimen. The wolf was hunting and eating different meats, organs, and bones. For our dogs, variety is key.
Feed the different staples you can find; usually chicken, pork, duck, beef, turkey and fish. Obviously, you may prefer to feed elk, deer, rabbit, quail, bison, or local meats you easily and cheaply have access to.
The main priority is to prepare ahead of time to know your dog’s needs in terms of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Then, be knowledgeable with the meats you use to provide the right mix of muscle meat, organs, and bones for your dog to live a happier and healthier life.
A great website on the topic is preymodelraw.com.
Best Diet For Pitbulls
If you own a bully dog, you must know that they have different requirements from pretty much any other dog breed out there. The best dog food for pit bulls is one that will provide enough proteins to grow the dog’s muscular frame, but also enough fatty acids to enhance brain functions and overall health.
Carbohydrates, on the other hand, should be given to dogs and pitbulls with a lot more restraint since they aren’t providing anything more than what fats and proteins don’t already offer. Carbs are very cheap to mass-produce. This is why their use in manufactured dog foods has exploded over the last decades. Yet, they aren’t promoting any health benefit – it is quite the opposite actually!
We recommend 50% of proteins coming from red meat, poultry and offals; 30% of healthy fats coming from fatty fish, eggs, olive and fish oils; and 20% of complex carbohydrates coming from unprocessed vegetables.
Best Dog Food For Labradors
If you own or breed Labradors, make sure to read our list of the best dog foods for labradors. They have been carefully selected to answer as fully as possible to the nutritional needs of the Labrador breed. Labradors are very active and alert dogs and tend to be fed whatever is available at the time. And this is where things go wrong.
The Labrador breed has seen its lifespan decrease sharply over the last decades. We are believing that the main cause of such decline is the diet fed to labradors. Generally, such active dogs need a higher amount of proteins in order to maintain and grow the muscle mass, as well as healthy fats (Omega 3 and Omega 6 in the right ratio) to make sure the dog’s hormonal system and brain functions are properly working.
Avoid carb-filled dog foods that simply use cheap ingredients in order to simply make the food calorie-dense but nutrient-poor.
Vegan Dog Food
Nowadays, the vegan diet is very common for us, humans. It was a matter of time before vegan dog owners started to design vegan diets for dogs so the whole family could transition to an animal-free feeding habit.
The whole quest for the best dog vegan foods has started with the poor quality of the various meats and meat by-products used in commercial dog foods nowadays. It’s just a logical conclusion — if the meat used in most dog foods today is not nutritious whatsoever, then let’s just scrap it altogether and start feeding our dogs and puppies a vegan diet.
Holistic Dog Food
In the 1980s, consumers were becoming more educated about their own nutrition, and as a result started reading the labels on dog foods, too. A few pet food manufacturers started to remove chemicals from their products, creating the holistic trend that we know today. It has come a long way since then.