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Best Commercial Dog Food

When it comes to finding the very best commercial dog food for their pets, concerned dog owners are faced with a multitude of choices.

In light of contradictory reports in the wake of all the pet food recalls, it's no wonder we're unsure of what to feed our dogs and puppies.

This article will help you in your quest to find the best commercial dog food for your pet. The more you learn on the subject, the more selective you can be.

What Exactly Is Commercial Dog Food?

The competitive pet food industry rakes in billions and billions of dollars each and every year with countless marketing strategies used to convince pet owners that one product is better than another. Commercial dog food has only been in existence since the 1920's and then took a few more decades after that to become the profitable, widespread market that we know today.

Made by large companies such as Nestle, Heinz, Procter and Gamble, and Nutro, many of which make several other products besides those geared toward pets, commercial dog food is manufactured in bulk using a wide range of ingredients. Some of the ingredients you'll see on bags of dog food include chicken and chicken meal, barley, corn and cornmeal, beef, poultry, meat by-products, and various forms of wheat.

The AAFCO, The Association of American Feed Control Officials, is a regulatory organization that sets forth guidelines with regard to the safety and quality of commercial dog food. In addition to the basic rules set by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration), the AAFCO requires that dog food meet certain nutritional criteria involving laboratory testing in order to use the words "complete and balanced" along with their seal on the packaging.

Selecting The Best Commercial Dog Food

The three most important factors to keep in mind when shopping for your dog's food are its list of ingredients, its price, and also what other consumers who have already used the product are saying about it.

Best Commercial Dog Food Brands Based On Ingredients

The ingredients on a commercial dog food label must be listed in descending order, meaning the ingredient that's used the most will be first and then followed by others according to weight. Here are three of the top commercial foods based on ingredients:

  • Innova Evo
  • Innova's impressive line of grain-free, high protein food includes Evo which features an incredibly high meat content beginning with turkey, chicken, and turkey and chicken meals. Supplemented with Vitamin E and other items like garlic, rosemary extract, lecithin, and ascorbic acid, Innova Evo even includes cottage cheese, a rather rare ingredient in dog food but a healthy one nonetheless. While it's certainly one of the most expensive of the best commercial dog food brands you'll come across, the short list of exceptional ingredients make it well worth the cost for many pet owners.

  • Natural Balance Ultra Premium
  • Chicken, brown rice, lamb meal, oatmeal, barley, duck meal, potatoes, and carrots are the very first ingredients in Natural Balance Ultra Premium dry dog food. There are absolutely no by-products or chemicals this particular food. There are, however, quite a large number of beneficial fruits, vegetables, and vitamins.

  • Orijen
  • A higher than average meat content coupled with the best quality sources of carbohydrates and whole eggs for added proteins make Orijen a great choice. The first three ingredients listed are deboned chicken and chicken and turkey meals, followed by russet potatoes, lake whitefish, and salmon. The ingredient list continues on to include savory treats such as cranberries, black currants, sunflower oil, carrots, spinach, peas, tomatoes, and apples.

Best Commercial Dog Food Brands Based On Price

While a higher price isn't always an accurate indicator of better quality, when it comes to dog food, you will find that the more expensive the product, the more quality, nutritious ingredients are used. Here are three of the top commercial choices based on price

  • Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul
  • At a reasonable price, approximately $23 for an 18 pound bag of adult dog food, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul contains four different meats as the first ingredients (chicken, turkey, chicken meal, and ocean fish meal) along with high quality grains and no cheap fillers. Fruits, vegetables, and good sources of carbohydrates like potatoes and eggs for protein add to the impressive list of ingredients.

  • Life's Abundance
  • A bit higher priced than the Chicken Soup brand. A 20 pound bag of Life's Abundance Premium Health Food for Puppies and Adult Dogs will run you $35 online. Fruits, vegetables, chicken, and catfish meal, as well as eggs and rice are among the nutritious ingredients. Also, there are no artificial colors or flavors, making Life's Abundance worth its price.

  • Nutro Ultra
  • This brand has three different types of meat meals, chicken, lamb, and salmon as well as high quality sources of grains and protein. It will run you around $25 - $30 for a 17.5 pound bag of adult dog food, which is still regarded as a bargain, considering the type of ingredients used.

Best Commercial Dog Food Brands Based On Consumer Reviews

Perhaps one of the easiest ways of gauging the quality of any product is by simply learning what other people who already have first hand experience using the product are saying. Here are three of the top brands based on consumer opinion.

  • Fromm's
  • Fromm's family of high quality pet foods includes their Four Star Nutritionals dry dog food in one of several varieties, such as duck and sweet potato, surf and turf, or pork and applesauce. Consumers routinely praise Fromm's for their grain-free products, the sheer amount of vitamins and minerals included, as well as its abundance of healthy fruits and vegetables.

  • Nature's Variety Instinct
  • This is the company's grain-free line of dog food. It receives rave reviews from pet owners mostly due to the type of meat used, the lack of unhealthy grains as fillers, and plenty of fruits and vegetables for the much-needed vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin seeds are also used as a source of fiber, which gives dogs linoleic acid, which is excellent for their skin and coat.

  • Wellness Core
  • While Wellness Core is one of the most expensive types of commercial dog foods on the market today, there's a definite reason for its price, as the ingredients and manufacturing processes that are used are top notch. Consumers who feed this particular brand to their dogs appreciate that it's grain-free, low in carbohydrates, and contains de-boned turkey and chicken as well as a host of fruits and vegetables. Pet owners also note that their dogs eat less with Wellness Core simply because of how nutritious it is, which helps to compensate for the higher price.

Final Comments

When it comes to properly feeding your best friend, taking the time to find the best commercial dog food for his or her specific needs is an absolute must. Consulting with your own veterinarian for his or her recommendations is always a wise idea. Your vet is familiar with your dog and knows its specific health needs.

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