Choose The BEST Dog Food, Without Getting Ripped
We all know that a varied diet is important for human
… It’s how we get the nutrients we need from our food to
live long, healthy lives, free of disease.
No single food provides the complete nutrition the human body
needs.� So weâ€™re encouraged from a young age to â€œeat the
rainbow,â€ filling our plates with a variety of fruits,
vegetables, along with some dairy and protein and complex
But what about our dogs? Do they need this same variety?
Is it REALLY okay to feed your dog the same brand of dog
food, year after year?
This is a question that I hear often.
So I thought Iâ€™d take this opportunity to share what Iâ€™ve
personally learned, after over a decade of training dogs and
getting emails from tens of thousands of dog owners from around the
What Your Dog Eats Every Day Mattersâ€¦ A Lot.
Itâ€™s absolutely true that your dog, like you, has complex
So this means, YES, while you might not see the difference day
to day, the food youâ€™re choosing to feed your dog is
having a significant, long-term impact on his life.
It affects his health, lifespan, and overall quality of
lifeâ€”now and through his senior years.
Will your dog live a long, healthy life, free of disease? Or
will you lose him early?
Will he develop a chronic health condition? Will he suffer? Or,
will he enjoy his senior years with the youthful energy of a
Many things contribute to your dogâ€™s overall health and well
being including his breed, genetics, current age, and activity
level. Plus, depending on his age, breed, size, and activity
levelâ€”your dogâ€™s dietary needs are going to change over his
lifetime, too. Just like your diet will need to be adjusted as you
Thatâ€™s the â€œbadâ€ newsâ€”your concerns are justified, this
choice youâ€™re making matters a lot.
Soâ€¦ Is Commercial Dog Food A Good Choice, Then?
Given that what youâ€™re feeding your dog every day obviously
has a significant impact on his overall long-term quality of life,
a lot of people ask the question:
Is commercial dog food really a good choice?
Should my dog be eating the SAME FOOD every day?
I asked this question, too. And hereâ€™s what I learned:
The science behind the very best brands of commercial
dog foods has come a LONG WAY.
Top-shelf dog food brands â€¦ the best of the best â€¦
have been formulated by teams of veterinary nutritionists and other
such experts who care a lot about making dog food that really does
prolong and improve the lives of our canine best
They know that most people will choose a dog food, and feed it
to their dog every day.
So they take their role as gatekeepers of your dogâ€™s long-term
Plusâ€”there are now regulatory bodies like the Association
of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) who set the
standards for dog food labeling.
This means, even though most people still find dog food labels
â€¦ There IS somebody policing the industry and verifying
Dog foods labeled â€œcomplete and balancedâ€ must, at minimum,
meet all your dogâ€™s needs for vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins,
With variations in formulations for things like age (puppy,
adult, and senior) and activity levels (active, sedentary,
So while itâ€™s still up to YOU to choose a brand who delivers
the best possible dog food formulation, because again, theyâ€™re
not all created equalâ€¦
â€¦ This should give you a bit more confidence in making your
But Waitâ€¦ What About Homemade Dog Food?
Lots of folks ask me about feeding their dogs homemade dog food,
raw diet, vegan diets, and other such specialty diets.
Are these BETTER ways to feed your dogs?
I wonâ€™t get into reviewing each of these specialty dog food
diets here. Iâ€™ve seen enough success stories over the years to
know, in the right circumstances, for the right dogs, some of these
specialty feeding programs have their place.
BUT! Theyâ€™re not for everyone or every dog!
If your dog is in otherwise good health, thereâ€™s absolutely no
reason to feel guilty feeding your dog a commercial brand of dog
Obviously, choose the BEST FORMULA your budget can afford.
Theyâ€™re NOT all created equal!
(And weâ€™ll talk more about brand differences in a minute.)
But for now, remember that these commercial brands are, again,
formulated by teams of veterinary nutritionists, paid top dollar,
to help the reputable brands produce formulations that dogs THRIVE
Dog owners are VERY QUICK to switch brands if a dog food isnâ€™t
working for their dog.
Bellyaches, gas, diarrhea, allergic reactions, itchy skin, and
â€¦ These are just a few side effects that quickly cause
concern, and cause dog owners to switch dog food brands. Often,
complaining to family and friends while doing it!
Itâ€™s in the best interest of commercial dog food
brands to produce the best possible product they can
This means, again, provided youâ€™ve done your brand
research, you shouldnâ€™t feel guilty about feeding your dog a
commercial food vs. homemade dog food.
Making your own dog food can be VERY expensive, VERY
(You need to shop, prepare batches, keep it fresh in a separate
fridge or freezer usually, make sure your dogâ€™s next meal is
thawed in timeâ€¦ and so on.)
Itâ€™s well documented the dog owners who feed these diets often
neglect some aspect of their dogâ€™s nutritional needs,
accidentally, of course!
And this actually CAUSES health problems for their dogs.
And What About Supplementsâ€¦?
I get asked a lot about supplements, tooâ€¦
If youâ€™re feeding your dog a single brand of commercial dog
food, will he need supplements to make up for what heâ€™s maybe not
getting in his daily meals?
Againâ€”if youâ€™re feeding your dog a top-shelf brand
thatâ€™s â€œcomplete and balanced,â€ with ingredients that work
synergistically to produce the best possible health outcomes for
your dog, and your dog is otherwise healthy, the no. You donâ€™t
necessarily NEED to spend the extra money on
Of course, if it is in your budget, and your dog is aging (in
need of joint supplements), is susceptible to anxiety (lots of
anti-anxiety options available), or has other complex needs
dictated by breed, age, or illnessâ€¦
â€¦ Then you may wish to consider adding a daily supplement.
And if your dog is on some version of a homemade diet, you will
need to supplement, too.
But againâ€”if thatâ€™s not you, my best advice is:
First, invest in the best brand of commercial dog food
you can afford.
Then, if you can afford it, consider supplements after
But donâ€™t feel guilted into the buying supplements for a dog
who is otherwise healthy!
How Do I Choose The BEST Brand Of Commercial Dog
Choosing a brand of commercial dog food can be dauntingâ€¦
You walk into your local big box pet store, and the options are
literally overwhelming. How do you choose? You try to read the
bag, but the bags are heavy and the fluorescent lighting is
annoying and there are other people trying to get around you.
This bag looks nice. But so what?
Maybe you stop and ask an employeeâ€¦?
If you visit a smaller, locally-owned store you might be lucky
enough to speak with the business owner, who is probably somewhat
knowledgeable about what brands customers prefer and their reasons
Otherwise, your â€œexpertâ€ is probably going to be a college
kid making minimum wage.
Not the best source of advice for your dogâ€™s health.
So back to the question: how do you choose the BEST brand of
commercial dog food?
For YOUR dog?
Step #1: Read The Label
I wonâ€™t lie to you â€¦ reading dog food labels is
But you should do it anyway.
At least scan the label to get a sense of whatâ€™s included.
All pet food labels are required to follow the same format as
per the Association
of American Feed Control Officials â€“ so this will help you
make sense of them a bit.
The American Kennel Club has written a good article about
reading dog food labels here.
But the criteria that are MOST IMPORTANT, in my opinion,
1) The guaranteed analysis, which tells you how much of
each nutrient a measured serving of the food contains.
2) The ingredients, which are listed in descending order
3) And, the nutritional adequacy statement, which must
be back up by tests that PROVE the nutrient claims.
Something important to note, if a dog food claims to be
â€œcomplete and balancedâ€ or â€œ100 percent nutritiousâ€ they
must be able to back up their claims by meeting a very specific
It must contain the â€œproper amount and ratio of essential
nutrients for the needs of a healthy dog.â€ (Source: AKC)
Again, not all dog foods are created equal, despite these
But itâ€™s good to know thereâ€™s a minimum standard they must
meet to make these claims!
Step #2: Look Into Dog Food Recalls
I highly recommend looking up dog food recalls for any brand
youâ€™re choosing to feed your dog.
There are new recalls nearly every week, frequently for issues
like salmonella contamination and high levels of molds.
This is a bit disheartening to see â€¦
â€¦ Because unless youâ€™re checking regularly, once youâ€™re
chosen a brand, youâ€™ll probably never know thereâ€™s been a
Which means you could be putting your dog at risk of
serious health issues.
This is a good argument for choosing brands that can be
purchased from the manufacturer and delivered straight to your
So if thereâ€™s been a recall, the brand can contact you
Because they have your contact information!
Step #3: Get Curious About Freshness
Another important question to ask is:
How long does it take for your dogâ€™s food to reach your
Itâ€™s important to realize that when you purchase a bag of dog
food from a local retail store, it may not be â€œfresh,â€ just
because itâ€™s new to you.
It could already be 6 months to a FULL YEAR OLD!
So you need to ask:
* How long did it sit on the shelf in the
* How long was it in transport?
* Was it stored in shipping container or tractor trailer
en route? (This is common.)
* Was it ever subjected to EXTREME temperatures during
* How long did it sit in the distribution center, prior
Again, just because you bought the dog food at TODAY doesnâ€™t
mean itâ€™s fresh.
Ask questions about where the food is coming from!
Step #4: Look At The â€œRecipeâ€ â€“ Whatâ€™s Included
& Whatâ€™s Missing?
Thereâ€™s a science to dog food formulations that too many
manufacturers overlook in favor of bigger marketing budgets and
Yes, perhaps the ingredients tick the boxes for required
proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
But I encourage you to look beyond the
â€¦ And do a little research into whether or not the
ingredients included work together, synergistically, for the best
overall impact on your dogâ€™s health and well being.
A simple example of this is folic acid, vitamin B6, and B12,
which work together to reduce the level of an amino acid that is
thought to lead to heart attacks and strokes.
While too much calcium can cause skeletal issues in larger breed
And too much Vitamin A can harm blood vessels and cause
dehydration and joint pain. (Source: Pets
A good formulation has been studied for its overall of impact on
your dogâ€™s health.
Step #5: Use This Dog Food Comparison Tool
Choosing a brand of commercial dog food is tricky
â€¦ Especially once youâ€™ve been educated.
Itâ€™s like watching a documentary, like Supersize Me, and then trying to
eat at fast-food restaurants. Even if you still go, your
perspective on what youâ€™re eating and what itâ€™s doing to your
body is forever changed.
This was the dilemma I found myself in many years ago.
I wasnâ€™t interested in feeding my dogs any of the homemade
specialty diets. (I tried feeding rawâ€”it was messy, expensive,
the learning curve was steep, and I was spending more time prepping
food for my dogs than my kids, which was crazy.)
But I knew there were issues with feeding many of the so-called
â€œbest brandsâ€ of commercial dog food, too. Theyâ€™re not all
So I started doing my homework, looking for a dog food that
checked all the boxes, with:
* High-quality proteins
* Species-specific animal fats
* Vitamins A, C & E
* Omega-3 Fatty Acids
* No wheat or wheat gluten or corn or corn gluten-based
Plus, a dog food with a SHORT distribution chain, so it was
guaranteed to FRESH and SAFE when it arrived at my home.
And thatâ€™s how I was finally introduced to Lifeâ€™s Abundance
Too often great packaging hides inferior product. So I
encourage you to take a few minutes to use Lifeâ€™s Abundance
FREE Dog Food Comparison Tool.
See how the biggest brands stack up against each other.
Iâ€™ve been feeding my dogs Lifeâ€™s Abundance for many years
now, theyâ€™re a family-owned, third-generation dog food maker.
And I simply havenâ€™t been able to find another brand that
compares, both in price and formulationâ€”and my dogs have been
happy and healthy on their formulations.
All of their batches of dog food are produced in limited runs on
a regular basis, so it doesnâ€™t spend a lot of time sitting in
bags, going stale, on pallets. And they ship straight from
production to one of their six warehouses (strategically located
around the United States to reduce shipping times). So when you
order their food, it takes only 2-3 days to reach YOUR HOME.
Again, this is how they guarantee freshness.
Plus, if thereâ€™s ever an issue with a batch of food, theyâ€™re
able to contact their customers directly, so you can finally stop
worrying about recalls.
Of course, please donâ€™t my word for it.
While I love that itâ€™s also cheaper than most of the big
brands (who doesnâ€™t like save money), and itâ€™s convenient
(delivered to my door monthly), I have to sayâ€¦
â€¦ What really sold me on Lifeâ€™s Abundance dog food is the
endless stream of new
testimonials and success stories from dog owners and breeders
that get added to their website almost daily.
read them here.
Over and over again youâ€™ll read:
â€œThis food was recommended to me by my
â€œMy dogs love the foodâ€¦â€
â€œHe is growing so wellâ€¦â€
â€œHis coat is full, shiny, and
â€œMy dog hasnâ€™t had any mobility issues since we made
â€œNo more itchy skinâ€¦â€
There were over 6,691 reviews as of today! Probably more now,
by the time this is published. With an overall rating of
4.8 STARS with 6,691 customer reviews.
Again, I think this says something about the quality and
commitment Lifeâ€™s Abundance has to the happiness and health of
So check them out.
Try their FREE Dog Food Comparison Tool HERE!
And even if you donâ€™t, please do take a few minutes to Google
Search YOUR dogâ€™s food name for recalls. And do this
If youâ€™re not buying your dog food directly from the
manufacturer, this is a risk.
P.S. By the way, I should mention that I am an affiliate of
Lifeâ€™s Abundance; after being a loyal customer of theirs for so
many years, it only made sense to share my recommendations with you
all. So yes, I do earn a commission if you happen to purchase
through these links, which helps support so of the free advice and
training that I give away on the rest of our website. Please let
me know if you have any questions about their products. I obviously
highly recommend them!
Source: FS – TheDogTrainingSecret
Dog Food Secrets… Exposed!