If you’re familiar with this website, then you know that we are not fans of dry, processed dog food. But we understand not everyone dog owner is going to agree so we thought it worthwhile to bring you information on the best dry dog food you can buy (as well as those that have been recalled in recent years).
We love our dogs and want them to be as healthy but just as we can’t thrive on an all processed diet, eating the same foods seven days a week, neither can our dogs. If you must feed your dog dry dog food, please read our article on supplementing your dog’s diet.
Dog Food Recalls
Before looking at the best dry dog food, take a look at some of the dog food manufacturers that have issued recalls on their dog food. As you will see, these manufactures are very popular, which should tell you how important it is to watch for recalls on any food that you are feeding your pet. After thousands of complaints of kidney failure, sickened dogs, and lawsuits abounding it is no wonder that the more informed dog owners become, the more cautious they are about what they feed their animals.
Some significant recalls in recent years include:
• 2007 Menu Foods recalled 150 brands of dog food for Melamine contamination, after 2,200 dogs and 1,950 cats died.
• 2010 Nature’s Variety recalled selected batches of frozen food due to the presence of salmonella.
• 2010 Natural Balance recalled batches of food due to salmonella.
• 2010 Proctor and Gamble recalled batches of food due to salmonella.
• 2010 Blue Buffalo recalled food due to high levels of vitamin D.
• 2012 Canidae recalled certain food due to salmonella.
• 2012 Natural Balance recalled certain food due to salmonella.
• 2013 Bravo recalled frozen food due to salmonella.
• 2013 Iams recalled food due to salmonella.
• 2014 Hill’s Science Diet recalled food due to salmonella.
• 2014 Pedigree recalled food due to foreign substances.
• 2015 Bravo recalled food due to listeria.
This is not even an exhaustive list of all recalls. If there is any good news it is, these companies went public with the dangers in an attempt to correct the problem to protect our dogs. The quicker the recall, the less potential illness and death.
The enormous class action lawsuit filed by Morgan and Morgan against Purina’s Beneful is just one example. And if their heartwarming and health conscious television commercials are any indication, Purina is trying their best to restore their customer’s trust. Even so, there are serious issues to consider when feeding processed food-for example other dangerous additives, ingredients and the low moisture content that are hard on our dogs kidneys and keep them from less than optimal health.
What is Bad Dog Food?
What makes up bad dog food? In addition to contaminants, the lesser quality ingredients in bad dog food are a concern. Dogs require high quality proteins and plenty of moisture in their diet to thrive and build a strong immune system. Just a few of the health concerns related to substandard ingredients include:
• Digestive problems
• Irritable Bowel Disease
• Kidney disease
What is the Best Dry Dog Food?
Good dog foods are made from high quality ingredients, quality protein, and the correct ratio of fat and the ingredient list should read something like this:
• Primarily made up of whole proteins such as meat, eggs, and organ meats.
• Whole grains such as oats and quinoa (no fillers such as corn, wheat or soy).
• Healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids.
• Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
• Natural preservatives such as vitamin C and E.
• Healthy fruits and vegetables, not fillers, no high carb loads.
Dog Food Reviews
In an effort to inform consumers and provide detailed guidance on dog food purchases, Reviews.com recently released information on what they consider the best dry dog food:
“After putting in 1,400 hours of research and analyzing over 2,219 formulas, we discovered even some of the most popular brands still make food with unhealthy or unsafe ingredients. Of the 2,219 formulas we looked at, only 121 met our standard of approval — about 5 percent overall. With so many choices on the market, it’s as important as ever to read labels and make informed decisions.”
Reviews.com discovered that there are 121 good dog food formulas to choose from and used their standards, which are very high, in determining which brands made the list. The criteria for choosing the best dog food also included:
• We removed products where the first ingredient is not a meat of any kind.
• We removed products containing corn, soy, wheat, grain, or flour.
• We removed products containing beet pulp or sugar.
• We removed products that contained by-products or sauces.
• We reviewed brands for recalls, ingredient sources, history, and customer satisfaction.
• We reviewed the remaining formulas based on the best ratio of protein, fat, and carbs, as well as the source of protein.
After analyzing 2,219 formulas, they further reduced their list of foods by eliminating all brands that had major recalls, significant controversies, unusually high numbers of customer complaints and reports, brands that had been sold to large companies (that may be changing or have changed their formulas), foods that are manufactured in countries that don’t have strong food-quality regulations, that contained lesser-quality ingredients, or didn’t have enough information available to study.
As a result, they came up with this partial list of bad dog food:
• Hill’s Prescription Diet
• Hill’s Science Diet
• Iams Veterinary Formula
• Nutro Ultra
• Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
• Royal Canin
• Nutro Natural
A sampling of their best dog food brand picks for a safe and healthy dog are (for a complete list, please refer to the source link):
• Stella and Chewy’s
• The Honest Kitchen
• Earthborn Holistic
• Back to Basics
• Hi-Tek Naturals
• Nature’s Logic
• Grandma Lucys
The Best Dog Food:
As we’ve said before, we’re not a fan of dry, processed dog food and the toll it can take on your dog’s health or the dangers that lurk behind the fancy packaging and labels. From personal experience in feeding a high energy, allergy dog-custom food (which was not part of the study) is a great choice to protect your dog’s health and immune system. Top Dog Dinners provides custom dog food options for dogs with allergies, various health issues-like diabetes, pancreatitis, and obesity, and for all ages. Is it made fresh from organic, whole foods like beef and chicken. It contains no fillers, no preservatives, nothing artificial or harmful so there is nothing that is going to make your dog sick. It arrives frozen and is very easy to feed. Short of feeding your dog a homemade or raw diet, there is no better option.
Our dogs just don’t live long enough and one way to help them enjoy the longest, healthiest life possible is through canine nutrition. This is a gift we can give them in exchange for all the love they give us.