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Dog Ownership, Nutrition and Care: Dog Food

How to choose the right canine companion; facts about puppy stores, rescues, breeders; basic dog training, health, care and safety; choosing the right food for your dog; understanding dog food ingredient labels; behavior and training; giving up your dog.

Dog Food Recall Alerts

This RSS feed is one source of real-time published information on the latest pet food recalls.

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Dog Food Basics

dog paws and food bowl

Have you ever wondered which dog food brand is the best for a dog? The selection available at supermarkets, veterinarian offices, and pet stores can be intimidating. Between the highly marketed brands on TV commercials and billboards, the recommendation of other dog owners, and a cryptic ingredient list, most of us just choose whatever feels right or within our budget.

The truth is that we can use a lot of the same common sense logic to choosing dog food as we should for human food. The important thing to know is how to decipher an ingredient list on the dog food package.


What's in your dog's food?

Surely you've hesitated before eating certain foods because you question what went into their making. If you ever considered that some of what you eat everyday is probably not fit for human consumption, then be assured that the standards for dog food are even further down on that list.

You can live on fast food, but your quality of life will suffer. Same rule applies to dogs! They are what they eat too.

The definitions of ingredients you will find in any dog food label are extensive and varied. Explaining them all in this guide would make for endless reading, so please refer to the following sources of information on the Internet. They are the best Internet tools to arm yourself with as you analyze labels:


The Dog Food Project

Sabine Contreras, a Canine Care & Nutrition Consultant offers this free on-line resource sporting a wealth of information on this topic.  She shares the findings in her research on the dog food industry, food regulation standards, and keeps a watchful eye on product recalls, ingredient shifts and pet food company actions  that can affect the quality of specific brands.

If nothing else, the following web pages are an eye-opening experience:


Books on Canine Nutrition

Try before you buy

Some manufacturers make small chips-sized bags of their food and offer them as samples. Ask your local store if they have samples of the food you're evaluating. If not, try contacting the manufacturer directly. It's important to know if your dog will like it too, and samples are a great, FREE way to find out!