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How to make choosing the right dry dog food easier


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I've noticed that an awful lot of people (including me for a while!) seem to get hopelessly lost when trying to choose the best dry dog food for their own dog, so I thought I'd offer some thoughts on the matter. I'm not a Vet or a Pet Nutritionist.

Firstly, eventually I learned that there's no such thing as 'the best dry dog food'. There's only the food that suits your own dog best.

Secondly, from my own experience I'd suggest that people first try to find a list of non-commercial brands (because they tend to be the cheapest) and then, assuming that they do a Basic/Budget food, a Premium food and a Super Premium food, start your dog on the Super Premium.

If that doesn't suit your dog, then try the same brand's Premium food.

If that doesn't work either, then try the brand's Basic/Budget food. BUT START WITH THE BEST.

The idea being that as you work your way through the brand's range (Super Premium quality first), you'll eventually find one that really suits your dog. Plus, it'll help you avoid getting totally confused hopping back and forth between different brands!

I personally feed CSJ but that's a purely personal choice and there are a few other non-commercial brands that are equally reasonably priced and are quite possibly just as good quality.

To repeat, I think it's really important to find a brand that has a range of foods at different prices (i.e. Super Premium, Premium and Basic) so that you can work your way through the different price brackets within the same brand with your dog, until you come to the one that he/she seems to do best on - and then stick to it!

If none of your chosen brand's foods suit your dog, then move on to another non-comercial brand that offers foods in different price brackets, and go through exactly the same process.

Hopefully the brands you look at will be happy to send you samples rather you having to spend ridiculous amounts of money on big bags of food.

And now a reassuring word or two about the value of the added ingredients in Premium and Super Premium dry dog foods...

You'll notice that in comparison to a brand's Basic/Budget food, the Premium and Super Premium foods have some great sounding bonus additions like herbs (which add to the taste and are said to aid digestion) or Glucosamine, Condroitin and MSM (which are believed to be beneficial to your dog's joints). There are other additional bonus ingredients to be found in the more expensive foods, but they're too numerous to mention.

The thing to remember about these additional bonus ingredients is that whilst it's nice to have them in your dog's food if your budget will stretch to it, they are DEFINITELY NOT necessarily essential.

They are things that may benefit your dog but are equally likely to be of absolutely no additional benefit whatsoever.

A case in point here is that whilst many people truly believe that Glucosamine, Condroitin and MSM are great for their dogs' mobility (and maybe they are in some cases), there's still no absolutely conclusive scientific evidence to back this up and their effectiveness seems to be different for every dog.

I think that on balance It's probably more important to pay attention to whether a food is hypo-allergenic.

But even then I don't think it's wise to get too hung up on this question unless your dog actually shows real, observable and measurable signs of a dietary intolerance. I don't think there's any value in trying to pre-empt a problem. Just be guided by your vet if it happens - which hopefully it wont!

In a nutshell, it's a mistake to think that a particular brand's Basic/Budget food is markedly inferior to its Premium and Super Premium foods. In many cases it just means that the Basic/Budget food only has the (essential) ingredients that a dog definitely needs, without the bonus additional items that your dog may not have the slightest need for.

So, I hope that information serves as way to go about finding the best food for your dog in a logical, focussed way with as little expense and stress as possible.


That is very helpful. Although i know that i want the best for my dog -i think you are realistic. Any ideas on raw diets?

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