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The Best Dog Food

By Jason Dean November 20, 2019 0 comments

The Best Dog Food

The Best Dog Food – (Just Answer)

In case you just want the answer and the links to the best dog food without reading all of the why we chose these as our picks for the Best Dog Food…here you go!

For more in-depth reasons as to why we chose these as our top picks for the Best Dog Food, continue reading!





How Companies Spend Millions to Convince Customers their Product is the Best Dog Food

In recent years the market has become flooded with different types of dog food. In the past our choices were simple…canned dog food or dry dog food – with a few major companies providing most of the brands on the market. The best dog food was simply the one that your dog would eat and that you could afford to buy regularly.
Since the Great Recession, the market for pet food in the United States alone has grown from $16.8 Billion USD to almost $32.0 Billion USD – essentially doubling the market in a period of less than 10 years.


Pet Food Sales Growth

This type of growth means that pet food companies are devoting more and more resources to capture the attention of the American consumer – spending millions and millions of dollars on marketing their products as the best dog food for your dog. They do this by using marketing terms that truly have no meaning – and since they have no meaning, the use of such terms really can’t be regulated by the Federal Trade Commission or other consumer watchdog groups – which protect consumers by enforcing Truth-in-Advertising laws.
Examples of commonly used marketing terms used by companies to convince consumers that their product is the best dog food include – “grain-free”, “holistic”, “organic” and Raw (or B.A.R.F  Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods / Bones And Raw Foods).
Grain-Free Dog Food is one of the trends that led to such explosive growth in the pet food industry. Grain Free dog food companies tend to advertise that the use of grain (particularly corn) in dog food is as that of a low-quality filler that provides little to no nutritional value for your dog.  According the Veterinary School at the Ohio State University,

In reality, corn [and other grains] provides a nutritious, affordable source of carbohydrate for energy, essential amino and fatty acids for healthy skin, coat and immune system function, and a variety of other nutrients. These nutrients are released during the manufacturing process, and are easily absorbed and utilized when included in complete diets."


Marketing “grain free” dog food doubled sales of these products in the United States during a two year period from 2011-2013.



Growth of Grain Free Dog Food Sales

Growth of Grain Free Pet Food Sales 2011-2013



Holistic is defined  by Merriam-Webster as “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts”. This sounds great, but the reality is that all pet foods that sustain an animal’s life are “holistic” by the dictionary definition. Furthermore, the pet food industry has not agreed upon a definition of this term, nor have regulators or governmental agencies. This creates misconceptions over any potential benefit of a product labeled by the manufacturer as a “holistic” product.
Organic is another term used by pet food marketers to convince you that theirs is the best dog food for your dog. Organic simply refers to the means by which a product is grown, harvested and processed. The United States Department of Agriculture (responsible for regulating pet food in the United States) has not defined “organic” in terms of pet food.  Until such a definition is implemented by the USDA, pet foods must meet the human definition for “organic” in order to display “organic” on their labeling or product packaging.

 Growth of Organic Sales


Raw or B.A.R.F (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods / Bones And Raw Foods) is the latest trend used by pet food companies to convince consumers that theirs is the best dog food for your dog. This trend focuses on the foods thought to more closely resemble what was eaten “in the wild” by primordial dogs and cats.
Considered by many to be the most dangerous diet for your pet, the trend toward raw feeding for dogs is very concerning. In a two year study conducted by the United States Food and Drug Administration  Center for Veterinary Medicine between 2010-2012, raw food diets were confirmed to contain harmful pathogens (including salmonella and listeria) at a much higher rate than cooked dry pet food.
 FDA Study of Raw Pet Food Pathogens


The fact that raw dog food contains these harmful pathogens (that can be killed and eliminated by simply cooking your pet’s food) eliminates a raw food diet as a potential candidate for the best dog food.
When looking to find the best dog food – remember one thing…large pet food companies spend millions to convince you that their product is the best dog food. That’s not a bad thing. They’re just doing their job. It’s up to you to make sure that you’re an informed consumer.


Finding the Best Dog Food – Clearing Up the Marketing Noise

What makes a dog food “The Best Dog Food”?

In our selection of the best dog food to recommend to our customers, we analyzed the 3 most important factors to consider for most consumers – nutrition, affordability and taste. If your dog has a specific health condition, allergy or deficiency as determined by your veterinarian, then other criteria may be substantially more important than any of these we have chosen.



When determining what makes a dog food nutritious, we used very specific criteria defined by the American Kennel Club and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These two organizations are the world’s foremost experts in what determines the nutritional values requested of “The Best Dog Food”.
A simple guideline to remember is that any dog food you choose should contain the following statement on the label:
“(My Dog Food – Insert Name Here) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.”
By bearing this statement, your dog food has been certified as meeting the lengthy requirements set forth by AAFCO in their publication AAFCO METHODS FOR SUBSTANTIATING NUTRITIONAL ADEQUACY OF DOG AND CAT FOODS.

 AAFCO Dog Food Nutritional Standards


Source: PetMD





While it would be nice to never worry about money, that’s just not our reality. When determining our picks for the best dog food, we determined that affordability was the second most important factor for us to consider.
When determining affordability, we will use price per pound as our guideline. Price per serving is misleading when comparing a Chihuahua to a Mastiff, so we have to standardize our data in a way that’s easy to understand. Price per case, carton or bag is also misleading – since some have different weights or numbers of servings. It’s also important to consider how much your dog eats…it’s easier to buy a super-premium dog food to feed a single Yorkie than it is for someone who has 3 Saint Bernard dogs at home.

 Average Price per Pound of Pet Food in the United States



We also looked at the average price per pound of dog food in the USA. This chart shows the trending price per pound from January 2011 through December 2016. Based on this chart, the price per pound in 2020 is approximately $2.52 per pound.
When rating the affordability of our picks for the best dog food, we considered any dog under $3.00 per pound to be “affordable” for most pet parents since it is within 20% of the average price in the United States.
 Anything less than $2.52 per pound, we consider to be a “value” pick and any dog food over $3.00 per pound is considered to be a “premium” pick for the best dog food.



We don’t eat dog food and we have no plans to do so. When determining how to rate the flavor or taste of our picks for the best dog food, we relied on data and expert analysis.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that dogs have about 1/6 the number of taste buds that we do as humans. Since they have fewer sensory receptors to taste food, it is pretty safe to assume that they are not as taste-focused as humans – however, since they have 10 to 15 times more olfactory receptors in their nose – much of a dog’s sense of taste is actually his or her sense of smell.
To help entice your dog to eat his or her food, pet food companies will rely on an enhanced odor, sometimes adding ingredients simply for their smell – which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to pet owners, since we often comment on the pungent odor of our dog’s food.
In determining the taste of our picks for the best dog food, we relied on customer reviews, comments and data from the manufacturers’ websites describing how they address the taste issue.



The Best Dog Food

Our Picks for the Best Dog Food

                The Best Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet  is our choice for the best dry dog food. They offer specifically formulated foods for every stage of your dog’s life from puppy to senior dog. Originally developed by Dr. Mark Morris, Sr. (a one-time President of the American Veterinary Association)  to help a friend’s service dog who was experiencing kidney failure due to improper nutrition – Hill’s Science Diet is the premier maker of high quality pet foods in the United States.
Hill’s Science Diet meets every one of our criteria for the best dog food.
NutritionHill’s Science Diet is among the best available with a sterling reputation for food safety and ingredient quality. Additionally they are the most trusted and recommended pet food by Veterinarians.
Affordability? Thanks to Amazon, Hill’s Science Diet is very affordable. A 35 pound bag of Hill’s Science Diet is well under the $2.52 per pound average price of dog food in the United States. When you purchase Hill’s Science Diet using Amazon’s Subscribe and Save Program, you can get an additional discount.
Taste? When you check-out the reviews at Amazon, it’s pretty clear that dogs love the flavor of Hill’s Science Diet.
Interested in Hill’s Science Diet? Check it out at Amazon



The Best Canned Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan is our choice for the best overall canned dog food. This high quality, nutritionally dense canned dog food is made with whole chunks of real meat and offers a high-protein nutritionally balanced dog food at a very affordable price.
 As a canned formula, it is definitely a winner in the taste category since most dogs prefer the rich aroma of a meaty canned formula. Additionally, Purina Pro Plan is fortified with high quality vegetables (like sweet potato) to provide the fiber and flavor your dog wants.



So there you have it, the complete guide to the best dog food for your dog. Regardless of which of these products you choose to buy, you can rest assured that you are getting a high quality, nutritionally sound meal plan for your dog.


While many other good dog food choices are out there, we wanted to highlight the ones that are clearly the best dog food you can offer to your dog. From Hill’s Science Diet, to Purina Pro Plan  – you really can’t go wrong.


All three of our choices are truly the best dog food for your dog. It’s up to you to look at your dog, your lifestyle and your budget to determine which is the best fit for you and your best friend.



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