It is no secret that Ranger the blue-heeler is our helper, our companion, our friend (family really) and our Mascot.
Ranger is involved with almost everything that we do, so it seems only right, that we do our research to discover which is the best dog food to feed this guy to keep him looking and feeling his very best.
It is critical that we feed our dogs a healthy diet, it is paramount to our dogs happiness, strength and health. We are passionate about doing everything we can to support the well-being of Ranger, and your dog too. We understand that what goes into their bodies is the most important thing in terms of a canines health!
There are so many brands to choose from that a trip to the market can be a frustrating experience if you have the least bit of concern for your dogs health!
As many of us are unsure of what to look for and what to avoid concerning which food to choose. We have looked in to the matter by researching what can truly meet Ranger’s (our website mascot) needs best, and we believe that if you follow the advice we provide in the paragraphs to follow, that your dogs health is sure to be at its best.
Our research will provide all you need to know concerning your dogs dietary needs to keep them lively, healthy and happy.
As you begin the process of food selection for your dog, it is important to pay attention to some key factors and behaviors from your pet
- Is your dogs breath fresh (relatively speaking)
- Is his/her weight stable
- Is your dogs coat shiny
- Cool wet nose (not runny)
- Are the bowel movements solid and moist
- Is your dogs energy level high
Factors to Consider For Dog Food Selection
Breeds, age and other considerations:
How Active is your dog?
An adult dog that is getting an fair amount of exercise everyday will do quite well on the average dog food.
Training dogs and dogs that work will require higher calorie levels and protein , therefore, the owner should consider a dog food that is packed with both of these.
Keep an eye out for allergic reactions in you dog as some may be sensitive to certain ingredients. This is where the trial and error part of the regimen with come into play. Just be aware.
Contrary to popular belief,, grains are actually good for your dog, they are packed with carbohydrates for ample energy and can be easily digested.
Your Dogs Age Makes A Difference
Just like people, your dogs age will make a difference in the type of food they should eat.
Puppies, need to eat a food that is formulated especially for their dietary needs. As they mature and grow, generally for the first year to 18 months, it is critical that you meet the necessary requirements for them to eat healthy. The larger the breed, the longer they should eat the puppy food.
Once your dog reaches maturity or adulthood, they should eat an adult formula of food. If your dog is over weight and as they age, your dog will most likely benefit by eating a specially formulated dog food product designed for aging dogs. If your dog is doing well and seems healthy there is really no reason to switch to another dog food product.
As a rule, it’s not worth switching to a senior food unless your dog has gained weight or is no longer thriving on her regular food.
The size of your canine does matter and the foods designed for them do as well. While most dog foods will meet the needs of most dogs there are some foods that are specifically manufactured and are more suitable for Large and small breed dogs.
The main thing is to just pay attention, that is, is your dog functioning well; and keeping healthy on the dog food that you are giving him/her. Trial and error is an important factor when determining your pets food choice, and that goes for any size dog.
Wet vs. dry
Which is best for you and your dog?
Wet Food Positives
- Possibly more nutrients
- Virtually every dog will eat it
- Generally less preservatives
- Easier to eat
- Generally tastes better (although I have not personally tried it).
Wet Food Negatives:
- The smell can be nasty and will require refrigeration if it is not entirely consumed
- Very messy and hard to clean up
- Can result in giving your dog excessive gas
- The cost is much higher then that of Dry dog food. Can result in significant expense with larger breed dogs
Dry Food Positives:
- Hard food is more beneficial for your dogs teeth and gums
- All brands and qualities of Dry dog food are less expensive then wet dog food.
- No food is wasted and you do not have to refrigerate it
- Ease of use and ease of clean up.
- Better smell
Dry Food Negatives:
- Many dogs do not like it
- Contains more additives and preservatives
Make Sure To Check The Ingredients
Quality ingredients to look for include, whole meat (chicken, beef, pork), fresh vegetables, sweet potato, and quality grains that contain good carbohydrates.
Brands that have corn starch fillers and/or cereal by products as well as meat products that are not identified should be avoided.
Less expensive dog food brands
Cheaper dog foods will include brands such as Iams, Purina and Pedigree, These will cost roughly $0.50 to $1.00/LBS. Brand such as Taste of the Wild, and Blue Buffalo will come in at around $1.00 – $2.25/lbs
More pricey dog food options
More pricey dog foods include brands like Lily's Kitchen, Canidae and Merrick. These dog foods are absent fillers or are very low in their contents. Ingredients by in large are pure and they contain no preservatives. Expect to pay from $2.25-$5.25
As with all brands of dog food, please read the ingredient list and the nutritional value.
For all the reasons above, we recommend the following dog food brands:
Our Top Choice Dog Food
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed
- Grain Free: 100 percent Grain Free, Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Small Breed Dog
- Small Breed: Naturally Grain Free And Protein Rich, Made With Premium Turkey & Chicken, And The Optimum Calorie Levels To Support Higher Energy Needs Of Small Breeds
- All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No Wheat, Corn, Soy, Meat By Products, Or Artificial Colors, Flavors And Preservatives
- Made In Usa: Backed By The Wellness Guarantee And Proudly Made Only In The Usa
Second Best Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
- REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient. High-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles. Plus they contain...
- FOR ADULT DOGS: BLUE Life Protection Formula adult dog food contains essential proteins and carbohydrates to help meet the energy needs of adult dogs, and features omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to promote a...
- WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE's exclusive LifeSource Bits - a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal...
- A NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dry dog food is made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals. BLUE contains NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy,...
- Contains one (1) 30 lb. Bag of BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice
Best Value Dog Food
Iams Proactive Health Minichunks Chicken Dry Dog Food
- Contains one (1) 30 Pound. bag of IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Minichunks Dry Dog Food Chicken
- Veterinarians recommend IAMS, we've got your dog's diet down to a science
- Real, farm raised chicken is the 1st ingredient
- Builds strong muscles with quality protein
- Maintains healthy digestion with a blend of fiber and prebiotics.3650 kcal/kg
A summary of Yes and No’s of dog food:
- Know what kind of animal fats are in the food, generic is usually an indicator of bad.
- No need for artificial colors, your dog really does not care and they are bad for him.
- Look for real meat products in the dog food brand
- The dog food should contain lots of protein
- Carbohydrates are a good thing for energy, just not too high a content.
- Avoid chemical preservatives
- Avoid fillers such as corn starch
- Consider the price
Just like their human counterparts, dog food manufactures are required by law to list the ingredients and nutritional contain of their products
The manufacturer is required to indicate what any particular brand of food should provide“Our Dog food is supplies a nutritional balance for all life stages of a dogs life” or “a similar type statement representing the nutritional value of each particular brand and make of dog food. Try to avoid brand that make no such statement.
There are so many different dogs out there that the obvious proves true, not all dogs are created the same, so it stands to reason that their needs will not be the same either. “There is no “one food fits all” scenario. Just like people, dogs differ, so it makes sense then, that what might be good for one dog may not be good for another.
I think I best heard an explanation of dietary requirements and differences described by the inventor of the life system CHEK, relative to humans in this instance, but can certainly be ascribed to canines as well.
The CHEK system explains, that each person has a differing DNA, in addition, each tribe of people come from different regions of the globe. Based on these two differences, the types of food that will maximizing an individuals health will differ.
Take the simple example of an Eskimo that has a long history of inhabiting the polar regions of the globe. Their diet is one of fish, whale, seal and the like, they eat essentially no fruits and vegetables. Now, contrast that with individuals that inhabit regions of the earth that are more temperate and/or tropical in nature. Their diet is much, much different, the fruits in the tropical climate as well as the vegetables in the more temperate climate have been eaten for thousands of years, in addition to fish and various other red meats. If you were to suddenly feed an Eskimo fruits filled with citrus and virtually no fat that is contained in the meats they eat, they would likely get quite sick and not sustain good health.
Conversely, if you were to feed a man from Fiji nothing but whale meat, he is likely to fall ill, and add to that, that his body may never adjust to his new diet. With this in mind, it makes sense that feeding your dog the right food may take some time, that is, by trying what brand and what make up of foods suits your dog best. It is just really important to keep trying until that right mixture of ingredients can be found.
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Jessie is a skilled craftsman & DIY expert – with years of general contracting and real estate development experience, Jessie founded LetsFixItUp.com as an authoritative resource for home renovation, design and DIY projects.