When trying to choose the best dog food to feed their pet, dog owners are faced with the unenviable task of picking from the huge selection of dog foods available. Pet shops often have multiple shelves full of different diet options, and online websites have endless pages of choice. So how do you successfully pick a good quality food that uses the latest research and scientific knowledge to formulate their diets? 

Factors to consider when choosing dog food.

One size definitely doesn’t fit all…

Life-stage 

Puppies have very different nutritional requirements compared to adults or senior dogs. The best dog food manufacturers will offer a suitable diet for your pet’s life stage. And they may even have breed-specific diets; so you can be confident your pet is getting all the nutrients they require from their diet.

Lifestyle 

Working dogs will usually have different nutritional requirements compared to the dietary needs of a standard pet dog. It is important that your dog’s food is suitable for their lifestyle to ensure they get the correct nutrition to keep them happy and healthy. 

Size of your dog 

Obviously, a larger dog needs more than a smaller one. But the relationship is more complex than it appears (metabolism is actually proportional to the surface area of the dog!). But this has all been worked out for you by the manufacturer. In addition, if you are feeding your dog dried food, you may also need to consider how big the kibble size is compared to your dog. Toy dogs may find it easier to eat a smaller-sized biscuit, while large breed dogs may prefer a bigger kibble. Many dog food manufacturers will produce diets aimed at small, medium, and large, breed dogs to help you pick a suitable diet.

Medical conditions 

Some medical conditions will require you to alter your dog’s diet to help manage their condition. Your vet will be able to discuss necessary diet changes with you; so you can be certain your pet is eating a suitable diet. 

10 of the best dog foods 

While there are many different but fully balanced and healthy diets on the market, these are my top 10 for 2023…

1) Royal Canin

Royal Canin offers a wide range of dog foods; including veterinary prescription diets, suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes. They even have a breed-specific range to ensure pets fed Royal Canin are provided with the optimal nutrition they require. All diets produced by Royal Canin are formulated using the latest research (they conduct a lot of their own) along with specialist veterinary input. Therefore dog owners can be certain their pet is receiving a high-quality diet they can trust. 

2) Hill’s

Hill’s also offers a range of foods suitable for dogs of all ages, alongside a trusted range of veterinary prescription diets for dogs with long-term medical conditions. Like Royal Canin, Hills perform a lot of dietary studies, so the latest scientific research is used when formulating their foods enabling owners to be confident that they are feeding their dog the most up-to-date nutritionally balanced foods to support their pet’s health. 

3) Purina Pro Plan

Purina has recently expanded its dog food range; which now includes their own trusted prescription food diets alongside its existing diets for dogs of all ages and sizes. These science-based diets use up-to-date research to ensure all Purina diets are nutritionally complete and contain the highest quality ingredients to maintain your pet’s health.  

4) SPECIFIC by Dechra Veterinary Products

The SPECIFIC veterinary food range by Dechra Veterinary Products provides optimal diets for healthy dogs of all life stages and lifestyles; alongside therapeutic diets for some common medical conditions. For dog owners interested in the environmental impact of their pet’s food, SPECIFIC diets have improved the sustainability of their dog food alongside protecting your pet’s health. 

5) Virbac Veterinary HPM

Virbac’s Veterinary HPM diets are a more recently developed dog food range. They are formulated to maximise your dog’s health by producing diets with high protein and low carbohydrate levels. Their range includes diets for dogs of all ages and sizes and a small selection of therapeutic diets designed to provide your dog with the nutrition they require to stay healthy.

6) Omni

Many owners are concerned about how sustainable dog diets are, so are increasingly turning to vegan diets when choosing what to feed their pet. Omni is a top-quality vegan diet that is not only suitable for dog owners looking to improve the environmental impact of their pet but is also a science-based food that complies with the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF) guidelines to ensure your pet is receiving a complete diet that is beneficial for their health. 

7) Eukanuba 

Eukanuba has an extensive range of dog foods suitable for all ages, breeds and activity levels to ensure puppies, working dogs and elderly pets are all supported with a suitable diet. All products are formulated using the latest scientific information, which keeps Eukanuba dog food at the front of canine nutrition. 

8) Burns 

Burns is a veterinary-founded food offering a range of natural hypoallergenic diets suitable for all different life stages; including dogs with common dietary sensitivities or those on weight-loss programmes. All diets are free from the common allergens beef, dairy, and wheat. And they contain only top quality, natural ingredients, so owners can be certain they are feeding their pet a high-quality diet. 

9) Aardvark 

As an alternative sustainable diet, insect-based dog food is rapidly gaining popularity. Aardvark offers a top-quality insect-based diet that uses Black Soldier Fly larvae as its high-quality protein source. This research-based diet uses nutritional and veterinary advice to ensure owners are feeding their dogs a trusted diet that will benefit their pet’s health as well as the environment. 

10) Tails.com

Tails.com is a unique dog food brand that offers individually produced diets based on your dog’s nutritional and dietary needs. Owners can input information about their pet’s breed, lifestyle, health, and tastes, enabling a team of vets and nutritionists to formulate a unique, nutritionally balanced diet for every pet. 

So which is best?!

When choosing a diet for your dog, you want to be sure that the food you are feeding is high quality and will be beneficial for your dog’s health, so alongside ensuring that the diet is nutritionally complete and science-based, you also need to consider your dog’s individual requirements. While there is a good selection of high-quality diets, there are also many lower-quality diets to avoid. This can make picking the best diet daunting, so if you are unsure, you should speak to your vet for advice, especially if your pet has any medical conditions.

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