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10 Things to Consider While Choosing Dog Food

First published:  October 17, 2020
Last updated: March 26, 2024
10 Things to Consider While Choosing Dog Food
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  • Consider your dog's age, breed size, and specific needs when choosing food.
  • Look for food high in quality protein, healthy fats and oils, and a good balance of carbohydrates and vegetables.
  • Be careful about grains and preservatives in dog food.
  • Give your dog a combination of dry and wet food.

There are a lot of different options available when it comes to choosing dog food. For new dog owners, it isn't easy to pick the right diet for your canine. Your dog's health and energy depend on the food you choose. Also, pet owners get confused between choosing dry or wet food. For this reason, we are here to guide you and will tell you different things to consider while choosing the right food for your dog.

Reading this article will help you understand the different things you need to keep in mind when looking for dog food. Learning about these things is important because you definitely won't risk your dog's health.

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Essential Factors to Consider While Choosing Dog Food

Below are some of the critical factors you need to keep in mind when you look for dog food. All these features are essential for your dog's health and safety, so keep these in mind before buying the food. Let's have a brief look at these.

choosing dog food

1. What's Your Dog Age?

The first thing you need to keep in mind is the age of your dog. Each dog needs different food according to its age. A dog has three different life stages; puppy, adult, and senior dog. At every stage of life, your dog requires additional protein and calorie amounts. Therefore, make sure that you buy the right food according to your dog's age.

2. Your Breed Size:

One of the essential things to consider while choosing the best dog food is your dog's breed size. Dog food varies according to breed type. Small dog breeds have high energy requirements, whereas large dog breeds may face the issue of overfeeding. So, choose the food according to your dog's breed requirement.

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3. Know Your Dog Needs:

When considering other vital factors, keeping your dog's needs in mind is essential. Small dogs have high energy requirements for proper growth and development. Therefore, the food should contain high-quality protein that maintains your dog's weight.

Some dog breeds are more prone to licking feet than others, and understanding why dogs lick feet can help you determine if it's a behavioral or health concern. You can then address the underlying cause.

Dogs also need the proper amount of phosphorous and calcium in food for bones and joints. Therefore, always have a look at the ingredients of food before you buy.

4. Carbohydrates and Grains Factor:

Another essential thing is to look for grains and carbohydrates in dog food. Grains are a source of providing carbohydrates for your dog, and they also support the digestive system. However, some dogs are sensitive to grains and may have some allergies; therefore, you can look for some grain-free dog foods.

5. Protein Factor:

Dog food may have different protein sources such as beef, chicken, rabbit, salmon, etc. It is essential to check the ingredient list when you are looking for a protein source. Dog food should have meat as the first ingredient as it provides proper nutrition to your dog .

In addition to their regular meals, rewarding your dog with some jerky dog snacks can be a great way to provide them with tasty, high-protein treats that are both satisfying and beneficial for their health.

In cases where your dog is underweight, consulting a veterinarian for a personalized diet plan rich in high-quality protein sources to support healthy weight gain can be beneficial. You may also find our article on how to fatten up a dog helpful for further insights and guidance.

Also, understanding how long a dog can go without eating can be helpful in determining if your dog's lack of appetite is a cause for concern. You can learn more about this in our guide on how long can a dog go without eating.

6. Oils and Fats in Dog Food:

If a dog food has an animal fat source, it means that the food is high quality and contains quality ingredients. Fats and oils are essential for a dog's health. It can have any of these oils, such as beef fat, salmon oil, fish oil, or salmon oil.

People often consider fat and oils as a bad thing, but they are equally important. Fats and oils help absorb vitamins, and they also keep your dog's coat shiny and healthy. Dog food containing omega-three and omega-6 fatty acids is high-quality dog food.

7. Vegetables in Dog Food:

Dogs are carnivores, and their significant portion of food should consist of meat. Although vegetables are not a critical ingredient, they are still a source of minerals and vitamins. However, be careful about vegetables because some can be highly toxic for your dogs, such as mushrooms, onion, or garlic.

8. Preservatives Factor:

Preservatives are added to food to increase their life. Some preservatives are artificial, while others are natural. It would help if you were careful about preservatives because not all of them are safe for your dog. Natural preservatives usually have vitamin E or C in them, and there are safe for your dog.

Artificial preservatives can be toxic for your dog, especially ethoxyquin. It can cause your dog's blood and liver problems; therefore, watch for it in the ingredient list.

9. Can your dog digest dog food easily?

One of the most important things to consider while choosing the best dog food is checking its digestibility for your dog. For this, you can check the label on food to have an idea. Some dog foods say "poultry meal," which means they have used meat byproducts in the food.

On the other hand, some dog foods have a "meat meal" labeled on them. Indeed, dogs can easily digest animal protein, but not all meat meal foods are suitable for dogs. The best and easily digestible dog food contains a combination of fruits, vegetables, meat, and grains. They have high-quality proteins, as well.

10. Dry Dog Food Vs. Wet Dog Food

Both dry and wet dog foods offer different benefits to dogs and their owners. Each type of food has its unique features. Dry foods are less expensive than wet foods, and they also benefit dog owners in terms of convenience and cleanliness.

Wet dog foods have an intense smell, and they are more delicious than dry food. Therefore, your dog may probably like wet food. Moreover, wet food also has a positive effect on your dog's health. The best way is to give your dog a combination of both dry and wet food.


Choosing dog food is difficult, especially for new dog owners. Dog food plays a significant part in your dog's health and proper growth; therefore, it should contain all the essential ingredients. There are several things to consider while looking for the best dog food. If you keep these things in mind, you can easily choose the right dog food.

Ensure that the food contains high-quality ingredients as they are essential for your dog's health and safety. Moreover, look for any element that can be allergic and cause problems for your dog. Also, check if the food contains any artificial preservatives as they are toxic.

Curbing your dog's poop-eating behavior is another reason to ensure your dog has a well-balanced diet. Our separate article offers insights into the causes of coprophagia and provides solutions to eliminate this unpleasant habit.

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