Best Dog Food Consumer Reports, Tips, Reviews, Ratings, and Guides in 2022
Are you a dog owner looking for the best food for your furry friend? You may be wondering if you should switch to a raw diet or if kibble is still the best option. The good news is that there are many great choices out there, and Consumer Reports can help you make the right decision. In their latest report, they compare the top brands of dry dog food and rank them according to quality, price, and nutritional value. So, which one came out on top? Keep reading to find out!
What is dog food?
Dry dog food is composed of ground ingredients such as meat, grain, supplements, and other additives. This food has been cooked at high temperatures to kill bacteria, making it safer than wet foods which don’t undergo this process.
Most Common Types of dog food:
Dog Food Categories
There are five main categories within which you can classify different types of dog food: dry, moist, semi-moist, frozen, and dehydrated. Each type has different preparation methods as well as pros and cons for both your pet’s health and your budget. Here are some more specific details about each category.
Dry Dog Food
This is by far the most popular type of food that is sold today. There are many different brands to choose from, and even big box retailers like Walmart often stock their shelves with dozens of varieties in this category. Dry foods are the most convenient choice, since they do not require refrigeration, are easy to store for long periods of time, and can be fed straight out of the bag without any preparation.
One drawback of dry dog food is that it has a shorter shelf life compared to moist or semi-moist options; you’ll need to pay close attention to the “best by” date printed on the package when purchasing this type of food. You may also want to look into kibble that contains probiotics and prebiotics, which help promote digestive health.
Moist Dog Food
This is a type of food that contains more moisture than kibble, but not as much as canned varieties do. This option is typically found in smaller packages because it can spoil quickly if left out for too long. Consumers who choose moist dog food should look for options with natural preservatives to keep their product fresh longer. Remember that moist foods are often more expensive than dry due to the added ingredients needed to maintain decent nutritional value and flavor.
Semi-Moist Dog Food
As you might guess from the name, this type of food falls right in the middle between dry and wet types of dog food. Semi-moist preparations are very similar to moist options but have even better shelf stability since they are usually packaged with added preservatives. You can find this type of food in most places that sell kibble, and it is a good choice for a mid-range price point between high-end moist foods and cheaper dry types.
Frozen Dog Food
This is often the best choice for pet owners who want to make their own homemade dog food recipes at home. Frozen products provide more flexibility when it comes to ingredients since you can use what you have on hand or purchase only as much as needed each time you cook up some fresh goodies for your pup’s dinner bowl. However, frozen preparations need plenty of storage space, thawing takes some time (and some special equipment), and they can be difficult to feed if they’ve been allowed to fully thaw.
Dehydrated Dog Food
This is a relatively new type of food that has only been introduced within the past couple decades. Dehydrated dog kibble provides many of the same benefits and drawbacks as frozen types of food but takes less work and storage space to prepare since it does not require refrigeration. Most homemade dehydrated recipes can be portioned out into separate baggies for easy feeding throughout the week or month, and you only need add water before serving up your pup’s dinner bowl.
Factors to Consider before buying food dog:
Before we talk about specific brands, it’s important to know what goes into a dog’s diet and how much you should be paying for food. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) establishes regulations on pet foods across the US. They provide nutritional standards so that each batch is safe and generally nutritious, regardless of the manufacturer or brand name. When reading a label, look for these three things:
Complete and balanced – This means your pet will get all the essential nutrients for proper growth and development. Some companies add vitamins or supplements that appear to improve their product but don’t offer any additional benefits beyond what the AAFCO provides
Protein source – Dogs are primarily carnivorous in their natural state, so protein sources should be more than half of their food.
Carbohydrate source – Dogs can digest carbs, but they are not as efficient at it as herbivorous animals. They also lack the enzyme amylase that helps break them down. Carbs are mainly filler in dog foods, so opt for low carbohydrate sources like vegetables and some fruits instead of grains or starches.
Price: Price is one of the main factors people use to determine what to buy for their dogs. Cheaper dog foods usually contain less meat, but more fillers like corn or soy. Organic and holistic brands are pricier since they use high-quality ingredients that don’t come cheap. It’s important to note that you get what you pay for in this situation; while some cheaper options may be okay for feeding your pet occasionally, they often lack vital nutrients that can lead to immune system issues and other health problems.
The most common dog food ingredient is by-products. This includes organs, trimmings from animals left over after slaughter, and other things unfit for human consumption. Even though these ingredients have been deemed “unfit for human consumption,” that doesn’t mean they are dangerous or unhealthy. They’re just not present in high enough volume to merit being called a lean meat source on the label.
Also, look out for artificial additives in your pet’s food. Additives usually refer to sweeteners, preservatives, and other things added during processing of the actual kibble or canned product. It is hard to find high-quality natural dog foods without any additives since this is mainly done by smaller niche companies with limited circulation.
The convenience factor of a particular dog food largely depends on its ingredients. Homemade diets require an investment in time and money, but you have complete control over what goes into your pet’s dish. For those who prefer to let someone else do the cooking, there are several options available that provide varying levels of convenience for different amounts of money.
One option is wet dog foods. They often come as pouches or cans containing water with chunks or slices of meat inside. This makes it easy to serve up your pup’s dinner without having to worry about separate storage and thawing times. Dry kibble can either be bought in bags or canisters. It is generally cheaper than wet foods, but storing it becomes a problem since it usually isn’t resealable.
Shelf life: Pet food can have a shelf life of over a year, so it isn’t necessary to worry about going through the entire bag or canister in a few weeks. However, dog food should not be left out for more than two hours at room temperature or an hour if it’s hotter outside. The cooking process kills off any bacteria that may have been present before manufacturing, but it doesn’t prevent spoilage from other factors.
Quality control: In the end, you get what you pay for when buying pet foods. Brands vary widely in their quality and content due to various regulations across countries and states. Check online reviews by other pet parents who have used a particular brand once you narrow down your list of potential buys. Also research the specific ingredients in your chosen product to ensure that it contains what you want and is free of what you don’t.
Size matters: A word of caution on buying pet food in bulk. Manufacturers often offer discounted rates if you buy one of their products in large quantities, which is great for stocking up storage space or saving money. The best way to go about this is by purchasing pre-portioned bags instead of trying to fill them yourself. An airtight container also helps prolong the shelf life of your kibble so you can enjoy your savings for as long as possible.
Cooking is key: Know your pet’s dietary requirements before making any changes to his or her meals. This includes allergies or issues with certain ingredients, as well as the proper amounts of vegetables and fruits to feed your pet daily. If you’re not already baking homemade treats for your fur baby, consider investing in a treat jar for occasional snacks between meals instead of feeding them from the table all the time.
Some vets recommend cooking even the commercial dog food that you buy at supermarkets. The reasoning behind this is that harmful bacteria can be killed by heating up meat used in kibble manufacturing and pets don’t always get enough nutrients from their regular grub. Raw diets made up mostly of meat and/or bones offer higher levels of protein and essential vitamins and minerals.
Just make sure you research the potential dangers of a raw food diet before making the switch to ensure your pet’s safety. The high acidity level of cat and dog stomachs can cause their bodies to absorb too much calcium, which may lead to health complications later. In addition, things like bones or chicken skin can lead to choking or intestinal blockage if not chewed properly.
Fast food: Even though commercial dog foods are going through stringent quality control measures; their manufacturing methods usually involve high heat processing. This destroys most of the nutrients present in meat and vegetables, so they stay fresh for a longer period but also makes them less beneficial to your pet’s overall health. So, consider skipping kibble at mealtimes and giving your pet a healthy treat instead such as sliced carrots, bits of turkey or chicken or small pieces of fruit.
Food storage: If you decide to buy canned food, make sure that the container stays sealed between feedings. Don’t forget to check whether your pet’s food has a shelf life and how long it lasts at room temperature (on the packaging), which will be helpful when storing it in case of emergency situations like natural disasters.
Vacation feeding: If you plan to go on vacation for a few days and don’t want your furry friend to go hungry, investigate companies that offer pet boarding services in Singapore. You’ll need to book well in advance but it’s worth the peace of mind. If this isn’t an option, ask a trusted family member or friend if they can check on your dog occasionally while you’re away.
Treat time: Make sure that the type of treats you give are healthy and make up only a small part of your dog or cat’s daily food intake. For example, one portion may be equivalent to giving them half a treat jar each day if that’s how much they normally get two or three times per week.
Full Of Artificial Fats: Pet food manufacturers add a lot of artificial flavoring to make their products more enticing. So don’t be surprised when you see treats that look like bacon bits or chunks that appear to be cheese flavored. These foods are made from rendered animal fat and by-products, which means the “bacon” is leftover chicken skin while the “cheese” may come from a mixture of moldy dairy products and other ingredients unfit for human consumption.
Life Cycle: If your pet suddenly stops eating his or her regular kibble or treats, take them to a veterinarian immediately. This could mean they have an underlying medical condition such as allergies, kidney problems or even metabolic issues so it’s crucial not to postpone treatment any longer than necessary if your furry friend’s health is at risk.
Quality Control: While commercial pet food has come a long way over the years, you should keep in mind that not every product on the market is perfectly safe for your pet. Some are filled with artificial colorings and flavor enhancers while others contain meat sourced from diseased animals so always read the fine print before making any large purchases.
Manufacturing Methods: These days, many canned foods sold at supermarkets can be stored unopened indefinitely if they aren’t dented or damaged. This doesn’t mean they’ll last forever but it will certainly help if you need to buy something in advance due to financial constraints. So, consider buying large amounts of canned food (and other edible supplies like kibble) in case you need it for emergencies.
Age: While most grocery stores carry a wide range of canned and dry pet foods, some items may only be sold to consumers over the age of 18 years or older so they can’t be picked up by minors without an adult present. So, if you have young children at home, check with other responsible household members before buying anything.
Brands: Commercial pet food brands are often created by big-name manufacturers like Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble and Nestle (Purina), Unilever (Ben & Jerry’s/Halo) and Mars Inc. (Royal Canin). So, if you want to avoid supporting major corporations whose primary goal isn’t animal welfare, stick to small family-owned businesses that sell holistic products like California Natural instead.
The Pros and Cons of food dog:
Canned food isn’t very expensive and can be picked up on the go. Not to mention virtually all brands are tasty (even if they’re made using low-quality ingredients) so your dog or cat will probably enjoy it more than their regular kibble.
The way some commercial pet foods are processed, packaged, and stored may not be healthy for your little friend. It’s recommended that you do a little research before making any major financial decisions; otherwise, you might end up with something that could lead to future health problems instead of preventing them.
What type of food should I give my dog?
What you feed your dog depends on several factors such as age, breed, and current weight. Use a reputable website to determine the best food for your pet then do some online shopping if necessary.
How do I know which brand is best for me?
Look for a brand that meets your pet’s nutritional requirements and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. If you have rescue dogs, consider asking your veterinarian to examine them first before buying anything to avoid triggering a medical problem.
How much food should I feed my dog?
Consult with a veterinarian or reputable website to determine the appropriate amount of food for your dog or cat given its weight and breed. You can also give them as much as they want as long as their ribs aren’t showing so don’t feel guilty if they beg during mealtime.
What age should my puppy eat certain types of food?
Puppies can eat a wide range of nutritious things depending on their age. They should start eating dry kibble when they’re around six months old and have all their permanent teeth. What is important is that you let them drink plenty of fresh water at every meal, so they don’t become dehydrated.
Why do dogs lick people?
Scent glands in your dog’s paws release pheromones into the air which tells other dogs about their moods and allows them to pick up on subtle changes in behavior. This is also where the term “doggy breath” came from since they spend a lot of time licking themselves after eating or smelling new objects in the environment.
Is chocolate poisonous for dogs?
It depends on the type of chocolate. Cocoa powder is believed to be safe for dogs since it’s a non-toxic part of the cocoa bean but baking chocolate and dark chocolate contain a concentrated dose of caffeine that can poison your pet over time. It’s important not to confuse these varieties with milk or semi-sweet chocolates since they don’t contain as much caffeine/theobromine which makes them safer for dogs in small amounts.
How long after eating can I let my dog outside?
About five minutes without any accidents since they need time to digest their food before going out. Make sure you turn on the outside light first because some breeds like dachshunds and corgis have lower thresholds for night vision.
Does the type of food affect dog behavior?
It depends on how much they eat. Overfed dogs can develop obesity which induces anxiety, but if they’re not getting enough nutrients their mood may change too so its best to consult with a vet before making any drastic changes given your pet’s age and breed.
How often should I change brands?
This is completely up to you since they’re all generally safe for dogs. If your pet is overweight, switch to a lower-calorie variety but if they’re having multiple seizures per day or they can’t walk without stumbling then it’s time to bring them in for a check-up.
What else should I be concerned about?
Your dog’s breed plays a big role in the quality of food you should provide them with. For example, brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs need moist food because they have difficulty chewing dry kibble.
Why do my dogs eat grass?
Nutrient deficiency can cause some pets to resort to eating weeds or other items that could harm them so it’s vital for owners to be aware of what their pets are always eating.
Are there benefits to dry vs. wet food?
Wet food is usually more expensive, but it has a higher water content which can help dogs stay hydrated. If your pet’s breed is predisposed to UTIs, consider wet food since its composition will reduce the frequency of urinary tract infections.
Can I give my dog people food?
If you’re looking to share some of your PB&J with Rover, then go ahead and do it! Some foods that are safe for humans can also be given to pets in small amounts so if they look hungry just toss them a little bit of peanut butter before you leave for work. Just make sure you buy these products separately because sharing table scraps with them could lead to parasites or other bacteria transferring over.
How often should I feed my dog?
It depends on their weight and breed. As a rule of thumb, smaller breeds should eat about four times per day while larger ones can get away with two meals.
What should I look for when buying food?
The first thing you should do is check the ingredients since they include information such as how much protein your pet will be getting from each serving. If you’re shopping online, then make sure to double-check before you buy anything since some websites list inaccurate nutritional info.
How long does dry dog food last?
Up to six months if it’s not opened/exposed to humidity or other contaminants (i.e., bacteria). For wet food make sure it isn’t spoiled before you open it and keep in mind that your pet’s appetite might decrease when it’s below 50°F.
What are some good treats for my dog?
A simple way to show your dog that they’re doing a great job is by giving them a quick pat on the back or scratching their favorite spot behind their ear. If you have some time to spare, they’ll love chasing after one of these Squeaky Squirrels, BamBams Dog Treats, or this fruit roll-up which can be attached to your scooper to minimize the amount of mess you’ll have to clean up.
What’s the best way to keep my pet from eating too quickly?
Slow feeder bowls can help with this problem by making it take them longer to finish their meal, so they won’t have a reason to scarf it down in a matter of seconds. These are also great for dogs that tend to eat too fast or give themselves bloat.
How much should I be feeding my dog?
This depends on their age, weight, breed, and level of activity since active pets need more calories than those who don’t move around much. For adult dogs not working for their food, experts recommend 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dry kibble per day.
Do I need to do anything before feeding my dog?
You should always check their food and water bowls to make sure they’re clean. If a bowl is cracked or has mold on it then don’t use it because bacteria can go from the surface of your pet’s dish into their mouth.
Do vets give free samples?
Some vets will hand out free treats to help you get your dog acquainted with them but if they give items like this to every customer who visits the clinic then this could take up too many resources which would be better served by selling these at the front desk instead.
Keep in mind that dog food is part of a balanced diet so don’t go overboard with giving them too many snacks. If your pet doesn’t seem energetic or interested in eating, you should seek medical attention to make sure there isn’t anything else going on. This article shouldn’t take the place of professional advice from a veterinarian because it’s meant to be used as a general guideline when helping your pet maintain proper nutrition.