The day I brought home my schnoodle (poodle/schnauzer mix), Sampson, from the local shelter eight years ago, I will shamefully admit I had no idea what I was doing. I was visiting the shelter to walk a few dogs one rainy afternoon and there he was, alone in a cage. Maybe it was his shaggy, matted fur or his calm soulful eyes; or maybe it was because we were simply meant to be together, either way, something magical happened. We caught one another's eye, he gave his tail a little wag and the next thing I knew, I was loading him up in my car and taking him home.
Completely new to the dog owner world, I promptly Googled, "what do dog's eat?". I was curious about what was in the bagged dog food sold at the grocery stores and skeptical towards the nutritional content I was about to give my new dog child. From the first day of his newfound freedom, I wanted to give him only the best. What I discovered from my google search was that the brand and type of dog food you feed to your dog varies, by a lot. And yes, the cheaper the food, the less quality and nutritional value there will be.
After working with pets and owning dogs myself, even resorting to making homemade dog food for a period of time, I thought I'd share some of my favorite dry, packaged dog foods out on the market today. I do recommend also checking out dogfoodadvisor.com, a wonderful website that has cataloged and reviewed over 3,000 pet food products as well as providing the most up to date dog food recall information.
1. Taste of the Wild - Canine Formula
Taste of the Wild is our go-to and currently the diet of Sampson and Winston, our Airedale Terrier. It's has a nice price point and is grain-free, contains probiotics, fiber and amino acids. Protein: 32% minimum; Fat: 18% minimum
2. Wellness CORE Natural Formula
Also, grain-free, Wellness Core is higher in protein and contains ingredients including turkey, chicken liver and flaxseeds. It also has omega fatty acids, fiber, probiotics and glucosamine for strong joints. Protein: 34% minimum; Fat: 16% minimum
3. Honest Kitchen
The Honest Kitchen is a great option that I discovered while pet sitting two awesome pups, Ginger and Tango. It is unique in that it is dehydrated dog food, meaning you must add water. All ingredients are processed in a human grade food processing facility and contains ingredients such as chicken, veggies, flax seeds, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Protein: 24.5% minimum; Fat: 15.3% minimum
4. Acana Heritage Free-Run Poultry
Acana Heritage focuses on the meat and boasts fresh regional ingredients. It is completely free from plant protein concentrates, instead using poultry meat, organs and cartilage in ratios that deliver nutrients naturally. Protein: 29% minimum; Fat: 17% minimum
5. Nature's Variety Instinct
Nature's Variety is grain-free and gluten free with probiotics to support healthy digestion, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health, and antioxidants to help maintain a healthy immune system. Protein: 38% minimum; Fat: 20% minimum