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General advice on dog foods


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I've had Biddy coming up to 8 months months now. She's a tiny 9 yr old Jack Russel cross
We have had lots of problems along the way not least to do with feeding. She was grossly overweight and I had to get her down to 3 kg as advised by the vet
I eventually reached the target after months of reduced diet with no treats and miles of walking
Recently she has put on about 300gms due to shorter walks and extra food as I thought she needed a bit of meat on her bones for winter so I am going to try and reduce her diet a little bit now so that I do have to do it drastically later on
I feed her a mixture of different brands of kibbble and wet food
Have been feeding her a mixture of Food4Dogs, Harringtons, Forthglade, Lilys kitchen and
I look at labels now but still not sure what is really good and what is'nt. Would welcome advice on what is considered healthy dog food though am not keen to use raw dog food
Apart from Tails, these are decent foods - Tails isn't bad, as such, it's just not as tailored to your dog as they lead you to believe. If you ask for something really specific (like for example, grain free, chicken free and under x% fat) they can't deliver.

What I like to see is really clearly listed ingredients. For example seeing beef, lamb or chicken is better than 'animal derivatives'. Animal derivatives could be anything and while they aren't necessarily things that are bad for a dog, what that labelling means is that the manufacturer will be using whatever is cheap and available without having to change their labels. And, that means they can change the composition, which you may not want.

The ingredients are listed in order of quantity, so there is most of the ingredient listed first than anything else. So I like to see a high meat content and grains, if there are any, shouldn't be too high up the list.

To give examples, this is the chicken composition of a food I would say is poor quality. Note that the chicken component is typically 20% but there is only 4% of chicken in the chicken component. So that's just 4% of 20% -

Cereals (4% Rice in the Rice Component), Meat and Animal Derivatives 24% (4% Chicken in the Chicken Component), Vegetables (4% Peas in the Pea Component), Oils and Fats, Derivatives of Vegetable Origin, Minerals, Dried Chicory Root (0.1%), Total Meat and Animal derivatives 24%, Chicken component typically 20%, Rice component typically 20%, Pea component typically 80% of product

The chicken recipe of my dog's food reads like this -

Fresh chicken meat (70 %), broken rice, corn (GMO-free), dehydrated chicken protein, hydrolysed poultry protein, dried brewers’ yeast, dried apple pulp, salmon oil, yucca extract, cold-pressed flaxseed oil, cold-pressed olive oil, green-lipped mussel extract, dried carrots, dried tomatoes, dried african marigold, dried dandelion, dried broccoli, dried green tea, dried chamomile, dried oregano, dried milk thistle seed, dried cranberry seed, dried seaweed, potassium chloride

Can you see that it's a lot clearer?

If you haven't looked already, is a good source.
Thank you so much for your reply, that makes it so much clearer. Am going to study the ingredients of all dog food I've got here and pick the best one, will also check out that site you suggested
By sticking to one food I will be able to calculate her portions much better to keep her weight down
If when you're cutting her down you worry her portions look small (or Biddy does!) you can always mix in a little extra steamed veg, if she'll eat it, helps them feel less hard done by if they do like their grub!:)

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