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A Guide to Dry Dog Food Comparison Shopping

When it comes to dry dog food comparison shopping and finding the most nutritious brand for your dog, it's important to learn as much as possible in order to make the best choices. Dry dog food is considerably cheaper than its wet or canned counterparts and some of the most notable advantages of this kind of food as opposed to wet are directly related to its dry, hard qualities. When dogs consume dry food, their gums and teeth tend to be healthier because of the chewing, crunching action required that keeps plaque and tartar at bay. Although wet foods obviously contain more moisture, dry dog foods have more protein and may also help to ward off things like diarrhea or other intestinal upsets.

Some of the most common ingredients you'll find in dry dog foods include things like animal fat, barley, corn gluten and corn gluten meal, meats, and oatmeal. You'll find that the better, higher priced brands contain tasty treats like real fruits and vegetables such as carrots, peas, or potatoes. Also, the fewer the grains the better as dogs aren't able to digest them as well as we humans can.

Reading Dry Dog Food Nutrition Labels

One of the most important things to keep in mind when dry dog food comparison shopping is paying attention to the nutrition labels. The dog food market is a rather competitive one with plenty of tricky advertising and clever marketing efforts to secure your business. But, fortunately the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) set forth guidelines that dog food manufacturers must follow, so reading the ingredients and understanding what you're reading is the best way to ensure your pet is receiving high quality, nutritious food. When dry dog food comparison shopping, always choose a brand that is approved by the AAFCO to ensure your pet is getting quality ingredients.

Since we know that dogs are carnivores and therefore will need meat as their primary source of nutrients, check to see that meat is the first, main ingredient on the label, preferably chicken or lamb. Generally speaking, the best dry dog food brands have some type of meat as one or more of the top three ingredients included.

If the ingredient "animal digest" is listed on the label, know that this may include any and all animal tissue that is not decomposed excluding any teeth, horns, hair, or feathers except in the inevitable trace amounts. "Meat by-products" are yet another less than savory category of substances you probably would never feed to your dog knowingly.

Two Popular Dry Dog Food Choices

Blue Buffalo Wilderness

Perhaps one of the best and most popular brands of premium dry dog food currently on the market today is made by Blue Buffalo. Out of the first six ingredients, five are meat products. Also, Blue Buffalo dog foods, which were inspired by the natural diet of wolves, contain very few grains. Some of the main ingredients in Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry dog food are:

  • Blueberries
  • Chicken meal
  • Cranberries
  • Deboned chicken
  • Dried chicory root
  • Dried kelp
  • Flaxseed
  • Herring oil
  • Salmon meal
  • Whitefish meal
  • Whole carrots
  • Whole sweet potatoes

The prices for Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry dog food are

  • Around $17.00 per 5-pound bag
  • Around $28.00 per 12-pound bag
  • Around $46.00 per 26-pound bag

Purina Dog Chow

For the budget conscious, one of the most popular regular, or non-premium, dry dog foods is manufactured by Purina. Purina Dog Chow contains ingredients such as:

  • Animal digest
  • Barley
  • Brewer's rice
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Folic acid
  • Garlic oil
  • Meat and bone meal
  • Poultry by-product meal
  • Soybean meal
  • Vitamins A, B-12, D-3 supplements
  • Whole grain corn
  • Whole grain wheat

The prices for Purina Dog Chow are:

  • Around $18.00 per 20-pound bag
  • Around $29.00 per 34-pound bag
  • Around $35.00 per 44.1-pound bag

Final Comments

As you can see from our dry dog food comparison, just like with almost everything in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to dog foods. If your budget allows for it, premium dry dog foods are definitely worth the additional cost as after all, we all want our pets to live the longest, healthiest lives possible, and having a diet of higher quality ingredients is one of the ways to facilitate just that. And, always remember that because better, premium dry dog foods are more nutritious and higher in protein and calories since they contain fewer unhealthy fillers, you won't have to feed your pet as much as before, so this helps offset the increased price. Hopefully, this article has helped you to know what to expect when dry dog food comparison shopping.

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