We all want the best for our pets and that naturally extends to what we feed them. But with hundreds of dog food brands available, how do you know which one is the best? Should you trust your vet, your dog trainer or the claims on the food's label?
The team of researchers at Reviews.com has tackled this thorny question and come up with some compelling answers. The team conducted a comprehensive study of dog food brands. They spent hours on intensive research and conducted months of analysis. The result: of the 2,223 brands they looked at, only 184 made the final list of top-quality dog food brands.
What They Found Out:
The team surveyed 11,000 pet food industry professionals, 8000 dog owners and 20 experts in veterinary nutrition, dog training and animal behavior. They consulted university researchers who specialize in dog health. The overwhelming conclusion, they found, is that the right ingredients make the right food. There is ample evidence that nutritious, high-quality ingredients are necessary for a dog's physical, emotional and mental health.
That's not surprising. What may be surprising is that nobody seemed to reach any agreement on issues that dog owners often debate; for instance, the question of whether dogs should eat fruits and vegetables, or what ratios of protein, fat and carbohydrates are ideal. Most experts agreed that these minor controversies simply aren't as important as the presence of safe, nutritious ingredients from known sources.
Just as important as what's in the food is what's not in it.
What Makes a Dog Food Superior
The researchers looked at each food brand to find out what actually went into those bags and cans on the shelves. They then rated each one according to how many good ingredients they contained.
Who Didn't Make the Cut
Several top selling food brands were cut for having unhealthy ingredients or not having enough good ones. Some of the names might surprise you as they include:
Also cut from the "best" list were labels that couldn't be analyzed because there isn't sufficient information about the source of their ingredients, or because their formulas may have changed. These included pet foods with ingredients made overseas.
Some of the names:
The researchers stressed that these brands were not cut because they were known to have harmful ingredients, but because it wasn't possible to say for sure where their ingredients came from or what their exact formulas were. The researchers took special note of foods made by Diamond Pet Foods, which has had many recalls. The research team expressed the view that Diamond has been elusive and untrustworthy in revealing the truth about its ingredients. Diamond manufactures several well-known foods that include Canidae, Solid Gold and Taste of the Wild.
The Top Ten
Here are the top 10 dog food brands according to the research team: