Written by: Janie Knetzer

When it comes to your dog’s health the best place to start is with what you place inside his bowl. If your dog is plagued by allergies and chronic ear problems, anal sac issues, itchy skin and red paws; it’s time to take a look at what’s not working for your dog. At the bottom of this page you can find a link for a list of the 10 best dog food recommendations.

While it’s great to hear how much dog owners love their best friend; I’m always amazed at how nonchalant these same folks are about what they feed their dog. I’ve heard everything from, “I buy what’s on sale”, “He won’t eat the better foods”, “I can’t find the better foods in my area”, “He wasn’t any better on the more expensive dog foods”, “I do feed a premium food, the bag says so”, “It’s easier to get it from the supermarket” and the list goes on and on.

With that in mind, it’s not always the fault of the dog owner. Many believe that they truly are feeding a quality dog food. Why? Deceitful, savvy marketing techniques used by large pet food companies to lure and gain the trust of pet owners. A cute shaggy dog on the front of the bag along with some fruits and veggies blended into the picture and dog owners think that they are feeding a quality food; when in actuality they are being duped. Years ago, the options were limited and none of us were aware or realized that our dogs aka carnivores were living on corn.

Today dog owners have many different options of healthy diets available to them for their dog. There are many formulas including dry, canned, raw-frozen and freeze dried. The best options are all natural, meat-based with meat or meat meal being the first ingredient. When I evaluate dog foods, I look for two meat protein sources within the first six ingredients. I also look to see what ingredient is where in those first six ingredients.

The following example is what I would consider to be a nicely mixed recipe of meat sources, carbohydrates, veggies and fruits:

* Chicken meal
* russet potatoes
* deboned chicken
* peas
* brown rice
* dried whole apples

Its main source of protein is chicken meal which holds less water content than chicken itself and makes it a better protein source than chicken.

This next example is what I would consider to be an unhealthy choice for any dog. The ingredients in this food are meant to provide the company with a nice profit margin while delivering nothing nutritious for your dog at all.

Note that corn is the first ingredient which means that your dog aka carnivore is getting more corn than anything else. Dogs need meat. Then you have chicken by-product meal which is an inferior protein source that contains zero muscle meat. Corn gluten meal is a cheap filler that is used to absorb toxins (not good). Then we have whole wheat flour and an unknown animal fat.

Keep in mind that the company that makes this food (I’m not going to name the food) is duping dog owners into believing that this is a quality food. Check your dog food bag:

* Ground corn
* chicken by-product meal
* corn gluten meal
* whole wheat flour
* animal fat

Because I feel so passionately about the connection between dog food and dog health, I decided to develop a list of the 10 Best Dog Food Choices (click for a complete description of the food choices listed below).

1. Orijen
2. Acana
3. The Honest Kitchen
4. Go! Natural
5. NOW
6. EVO
7. Steve’s Real Food for Pets
8. Innova
9. Pinnacle
10. Four Star Nutritionals

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