Buying cheap dog food is an easy trap to fall into when you first bring a dog into your home — dogs are expensive, and between the vet visits, chewable toys, and grooming care, it can be tempting to go for the most affordable option on the shelves. However, if there’s anywhere you should cut back costs on caring for your pet, dog food should be last on your list.
The ingredients and nutrition in your dog’s food can make a huge difference in your canine’s health (not to mention your experience with your new pet). A healthy dog is a happy dog, and anyone with a heart knows that our furry friends deserve the best!
When your dog doesn’t get the right nutrients, it can experience malnutrition, indigestion, and even some dangerous health conditions.
To make sure your dog is only getting fed the best, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best and the 10 worst dog foods.
To assist with these rankings, we used the trusted reviews from Dog Food Advisor and assessed many customer reviews of the most popular brands on the market (so that you don’t have to).
Healthy. This appropriately-titled dog food (Solid Gold) contains all-natural ingredients, some of which are impressively healthy. Chia seeds, quinoa, and lentils are examples from the impressive list on the backs of these bags. With a large amount of protein and zero chemical additives, this chow is the way to go.
Avoid. This brand contains an abhorrent amount of animal by-products instead of real and nutritious cuts of meat. These by-products contain far less nutritional value for dogs and have been known to cause indigestion. Additionally, Cesar went through a massive recall in October of 2016 when their foods were found to contain small pieces of plastic, a dangerous choking hazard for pets.
Better to skip this brand and go for one that uses the real thing!
Avoid. Listed as one of the lowest-protein dog foods on the market, the puppy chow also contains brewer’s rice as a main source of grains for your pup. Brewer’s rice is a by-product of cereal grains, left over after milling whole rice — meaning it contains far fewer whole grains and digestible carbohydrates than do other forms of grain.
Avoid. Natural Balance tends to be far too low in protein for most dogs to remain healthy, deriving less than 20 percent of its calories from protein. Made up of mostly carbohydrates, this brand will leave your dog hungry for more fats and proteins after dinner.
Avoid. Pedigree is by far the worst when it comes to ingredients. The first ingredient is corn, which is of little nutritional value to a dog. The next biggest ingredient is “poultry by-product meal.” This is a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste made from waste left over from slaughtered poultry once all of the prime cuts are removed. If you care about your pet, you might want to leave these bags on the shelf.
Avoid. The main ingredient of many kinds of Purina dog foods is “chicken by-product meal”, which is made up largely of parts of chicken that are indigestible or provide less nutritional value. Additionally, the beef in the food is loaded with chemical preservatives. This brand may be a popular choice, but it doesn’t seem to be a smart one.
Avoid. The main ingredient of some of Royal Canin’s products is brewer’s rice — the same grain compound deemed as a by-product of the healthier, more digestible whole grains. Click here for 12 Human Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog.
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