Authority Skin Coat + Digestive Health Fish & Potato Formula
For many dogs, digestive issues are tied to skin problems and this Authority Skin, Coat + Digestive Health Fish & Potato Formula is designed to resolve both. It features fresh whitefish as the primary protein and a natural source of skin-supporting omega-3s.
It also contains canola oil for omega-6 fatty acids to balance them out. This recipe is highly digestible and grain-free, so it works well for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to grains it also contains a lower number of main ingredients than many dog foods.
It features dried potatoes and sweet potatoes as digestible grain-free carbohydrates and natural sources of dietary fiber, plus it is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
Overall, it contains 26% protein and 14% fat with 5% fiber and 400 calories per cup.
- Pros: Rich in animal protein, balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, formulated for skin and digestive support, limited number of main ingredients, highly digestible
- Cons: Fairly expensive compared to average, somewhat higher in calories than average
Consider The Guaranteed Analysis
A guaranteed analysis lists the minimum amount of protein and fat by percentage and the maximum amount of fiber and moisture, also by percentage. Moisture can skew the comparison, though, so look for one converted to a dry matter basis, especially if youre looking to compare dry food to wet food.
Although the guaranteed analysis provides a measure of nutrient categories, it does not indicate quality or digestibility of ingredients.
Best Wet: Merrick Grain
Merricks Grain-Free wet dog food is available in an impressive 33 different recipes, including two designed exclusively for puppies. These recipes range from the standard real chicken dinner to the more fun and creative sweater weather supper seasonal recipe. Regardless of the recipe, however, all of these wet food options are grain-free and made with locally sourced, high-quality ingredients.
With the real chicken dinner recipe, for example, the food is 96% protein from animal sources, with chicken as the first ingredient. This wet food also contains chicken broth, chicken liver, salmon oil, and other ingredients to provide the vitamins and minerals dogs need.
Plus, this variety of Merricks Grain-Free wet dog food has no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or by-products.
Of course, the specific ingredient list will vary based on the recipe, but all of these grain-free Merrick wet food options are great as an add-on to kibble or as an alternative for dogs who dont like or cant eat dry food.
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Best For Picky Eaters: Bil
Formulas for small, medium, and large dogs
Fresh chicken is the main ingredient
Made in USA
Unclear whether brand employs veterinary nutritionist
If your pooch tends to turn its nose up at regular kibble, you may want to try feeding them Bil-Jac, which has a unique soft formula that many dogs enjoy. The brand makes dry, wet, and even frozen food, and it even has a special line of products for dogs with discerning tastes, called Picky No More. Bil-Jac offers different dog food formulas for small, medium, and large breeds, and it also has puppy and senior foods.
The unique texture of Bil-Jac food is created by its slow-cooking process, which the brand claims makes the food taste better. Many pet owners like that fresh chicken is the first ingredient in many Bil-Jac dog foods, and the food is formulated to meet AAFCO guidelines.
Keep In Mind The Age Weight And Size Of Your Pet
Age, weight, and size are special considerations while choosing food types for your pet dog. Dog foods are designed keeping in mind their breed, age, weight, and size. If the size of your dog is overweight, your pet needs low-calorie food. But if you are looking for puppy food, you need food that is high in fats and carbohydrates.
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Ask People About Dog Food
Once you have done your research and decided on a general food category, ask others for their opinions about specific brands or recipes. Your veterinarian is a great place to start. You can also talk to dog breeders, trainers, and groomers for more opinions. Your local pet supply store may also be of assistance, especially if it is a smaller, independent shop that carries top-quality diets. Educated pet professionals can give you their recommendations, but remember that not all experts agree when it comes to canine nutrition. The same goes for talking to other pet owners. Be prepared to get conflicting advice, then take that information and research it on your own. Keep in mind that different dogs can react differently to the same food. Use the information you gain to further narrow your options, but remember that opinions are not facts.
How To Select High Quality Dog Food: What To Look For
Our pet dogs expect us to give them only the highest possible quality of food that their bodies need. Ever since we have domesticated them, part of their natural instinct to hunt and forage for food in the wild has been substantially suppressed, relying on our good judgment to provide them with the kind of nutrition that Mother Nature would want them to have. Sadly our judgment on what constitutes the best dog food is sometimes muddled with sociocultural and economic influences that dog nutrition is increasingly becoming divisive. In this article we shall attempt to look much deeper into the process of choosing the right type of dog food for our pooches so that well feel more secure in our decisions later on.
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What Are The Essential Nutrients Required By Your Dog
Whether you are looking for canned wet dog food or dry food, read the label on these products before making the purchase. Look for words like complete, full of nourishment, and approved by the AAFCO .
The diet of a dog is considered balanced and healthy when it has the following 6 ingredients in it.
Unhealthy Dog Food Ingredient #: Wheat
In recent years, theres been an explosion of people realizing just how problematic wheat and gluten can be for our health. Well, the same thing can be just as true for your dog.
Wheat is high in something called wheat germ agglutinin , which can be strongly inflammatory, immunotoxic, and neurotoxic. In other wordsits been linked to digestive disorders, a decreased immune system, and adverse effects on the nervous system.
And thats not even counting all the allergy problems associated with wheat.
So just steer clear of this problematic food. There are much more nutritious alternatives for your dog.
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Best Raw: Instinct Raw Bites
Instinct makes it simple for you to feed your dog raw food safely they offer frozen recipes that you store in the freezer until its meal time. Their Instinct Raw Bites are available in three recipes chicken, beef, or lamb all of which are never cooked, 100% raw, and minimally processed.
Each recipe consists of 85% protein and 15% veggies, fruits, and other ingredients. Instinct Raw Bites never contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and generally have limited ingredients. Plus, this raw food has no grain, corn, wheat, soy, or fillers.
Instead, Instinct Raw Bites contain natural oils, omega fatty acids, as well as whole-food ingredients that support digestion.
What To Look For In A Dog Food For Healthy Skin & Coat
Keeping in mind the basic nutritional requirements listed in the previous section, you can now better understand what to look for in a dog food for shiny coat and healthy skin.
Be sure to adhere to any unique nutritional requirements your dog has and always talk to your veterinarian before you make significant changes to your dogs diet. With your vets approval, you can start shopping for a new dog food to support your dogs coat & skin health.
Here are some things to look for in the best dog food for shiny coat:
Now that you know what to look for in a healthy dog food for skin and coat, youre ready to start shopping! If youre still not sure what youre looking for, check out our recommendations for the best dog foods that are good for dogs skin in the next section.
Your dogs skin and coat are a reflection of his inner health, so feeding him a high-quality, balanced diet is the best way to support this aspect of his health and wellness.
Take what youve learned here and put it to use in choosing a new dog food, or talk to your vet first to see if your dog might have an underlying condition. If youre still not sure where to look for the best dog food for shiny coat, simply try one of the recipes weve recommended in sections above!
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Complete And Balanced Dog Foods
One of the first things you should look for on a dog food label is the statement is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. This isnt just an advertising slogan. The Association of American Feed Control Officials has strict requirements to make sure that a product is in fact complete and balanced for dogs . Complete and balanced diets must contain the minimum amount of all of the nutrients necessary for dogs, which is also indicated in the guaranteed analysis. This analysis gives the minimum amount of crude protein and fat, along with the maximum amounts of water and crude fiber. The analysis does not, however, give the exact amount of these components, which means there is room for considerable variation. The manufacturers average nutrient profile is often a better tool for evaluating a product.
You can always contact the dog food company directly to get more information about its product. A reputable company that has your dogs interests at heart should be happy to answer your questions and in many cases will give you more information than what is available on the website or product label. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has a helpful sheet with questions you can ask a company representative.
Do Homework On Your Brand
Information on sourcing and quality control in manufacturing is not required on pet food labels. You may be able to find the information on the companys website but if not, call their consumer relations department and ask where its ingredients are sourced. Any reputable company with a quality product will be happy to engage with its consumers.
Next, see if the company manufactures in its own facility rather than outsourcing. This provides better control and safer food for your pup!
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Go Solutions Skin + Coat Care Salmon Recipe
Designed to bring out the best in your dogs skin and coat, this Go! Solutions Skin + Coat Care Salmon Recipe Dry Food is a great choice. It features premium-quality salmon as a single source of animal protein and a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids.
This recipe also contains canola oil to provide a rich balance of omega-6 fatty acids as well as supplemental sources of fat and fiber in the form of flaxseed. Youll find that this recipe is highly digestible with several sources of whole-grain carbohydrates as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources of key nutrients.
With plenty of supplemental fiber and the addition of probiotics, this recipe is highly digestible and full of natural flavor. Its a little higher in calories than some dog foods, so pay attention to the feeding instructions but know that it contains 22% protein, 12% fat, and 4% fiber.
- Pros: Single source of premium animal protein, rich in omega fatty acids, highly digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, supplemental fiber and probiotics
- Cons: Higher in calories than average, fairly expensive compared to average
What To Look For In Ingredient Lists
AAFCO requires that all pet foods meet basic pet nutrition needs, but some pet foods are comprised of higher-quality ingredients than others. If youre wondering what to look for in dog food, the answer is simple: real food! Just like humans, our pets do not want to eat fake colors, fake preservatives or low-quality proteins.
All ingredients are required to be listed in order of predominance by weight. This can be tricky, as the weight of a whole meat includes its water content, making it heavier, but not necessarily due to nutritional content. While other ingredients are measured dry, like chicken meal, a product that lists beef first and chicken meal second can contain more chicken meal than actual beef protein.
Many healthy pet foods contain animal ingredients like organs and bones, a natural part of your furry friends ancestral diet. When produced correctly, these ingredients are perfect for cat and dog nutritionits the questionable production process of some meat meals that makes many veterinarians nervous.
Meat meal is the dried end-product of rendering, a cooking process that converts ground meattypically including flesh, skin and boneinto a concentrated protein powder that manufacturers commonly add to commercial pet food. Meat meal is a more highly concentrated source of protein than whole meat, making it easier for your pet to digest.
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Why Is This Beneficial
Gently cooked dog food best of both ends of that dog food spectrum. These foods have the nutrients of the raw diets but without the harmful pathogens.
Gently cooked dog foods have a high level of nutrients. But you wont need to worry about the bacterias that can harm your dog when eating raw food.
Look For Dog Food Ingredients That Your Dog Is Allergic To Or Intolerant Of
This is so you can avoid feeding a product that will distress your dog.
If you have proven, through your own feeding trials of various products, that your dog reacts badly to certain ingredients, you should be reading the ingredients list of every product you buy, to make sure the problematic ingredient isnt present in the product. Dont count on the fact that the ingredient wasnt present in the last bag of the same product food manufacturers do change their formulas from time to time.
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Your Dog’s Diet Over Time
Many experts recommend rotating diets every 2-6 months if you are feeding commercial dog food. This typically means changing to a new food company. Offering a variety of formulas within that company can benefit many dogs. When feeding homemade diets, a variety of foods should be offered. However, it is always important to use recipes for complete and balanced dog food. Feeding the same food all the time can become boring for your dog. It is also believed that this can lead to allergies and other diseases. Remember that the needs of individual dogs can vary. As always, consult your veterinarian about the best food choices for your dog.
Contributing Source:Susan G. Wynn, DVM, CVA, CVCH, DACVNVeterinary Nutrition and Integrative Medicine ServiceGeorgia Veterinary Specialists
How Do I Pick Out Commercial Dog Food
Its difficult to narrow down exactly what food is best for your dog because of the abundance of choices available to you. Dog foods can be formulated for three stages of life, growth stage, adult stage, and senior stage, while other foods will simply be for all stages of life.
After choosing which stage of life food you want to look for, the best way to begin selecting a brand is to compare product labels. When reading a product label, the ingredients are listed in order of largest to smallest quantities. Be aware of manufacturers hiding the amount of undesirable ingredients by listing them separately and disguising what percent of the food they make up.
When looking at the product label youll want to see a variety of nutritional ingredients. Dogs can digest and gain nutrition from fruits, grains and vegetables in addition to meat. A good dog food will contain a combination of those ingredients, while the best dog foods will contain the highest quality versions of those ingredients. Ingredients to avoid are corn, cornmeal, soy and wheat as they are harder for dogs to digest.
Terms to remember when picking out food:
- Chicken means at least 70 percent of the product is made up of chicken.
- Chicken Platter, Chicken Dinner, or Chicken Entrée means that at minimum 10-percent of the food is beef.
- With Chicken means just 3-percent, while Chicken Flavor is less than 3-percent.
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Pay Attention To Your Dogs Specific Nutritional Needs
Does your dog have a food preference or a condition like sensitive skin? You may want to consider a food formulated for his specific nutritional needs. Targeted nutrition can help support your dogs condition. Create a personalized healthy dog food or to use our product selector to find a healthy food for your dog.
Ready to choose a dog food? to use our product selector to find a healthy food for your dog.
How To Choose The Best Kibble
Trying to determine the healthiness of a dry kibble pet food by reading the ingredients and nutritional information on the bag is definitely challenging. Even if you’re a die-hard label reader when buying food for your family, it won’t help you much when analyzing dry pet food. So, here are a few key points that will help you grade the quality of a food based on looking at the ingredient list and the guaranteed analysis of a food:
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