Dogs are no different than humans in terms of their biological need for certain nutrients to maintain good health.
Just as humans who eat a lot of processed foods are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other serious medical conditions, dogs that eat food with highly processed ingredients and harmful chemicals and preservatives are at a higher risk of obesity, arthritis, diabetes, periodontal disease, and cancer.
In searching for the best dry dog food, we scoured ingredients lists and chose Orijen brand foods for their complete nutrition, quality ingredients, and reasonable price.
The vast majority of us can’t afford to feed our dogs their ideal diet of raw meat and whole foods prepared in the kitchen. Cheap foods usually contain rendered fat, a very popular flavoring agent, which is a source of microorganisms like salmonella, and it typically has high levels of toxins like heavy metals.
If a dog food is made from such cheap, flavorless ingredients that flavor enhancers are necessary to ensure that a dog will eat it, it’s probably best to leave it on the shelf. Orijen dog food, for example, contains no flavoring agents, which are unnecessary due to the long list of quality meats in their mix. The most common food dyes used in dry dog foods are Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellow 5 and 6, all of which are potential allergens and known carcinogens. Respectable dog food producers know that dogs could care less what color the food is, and their dog food contains no artificial colors.
Chemical preservatives BHA and BHT are cheap and commonly found in poor quality dry dog foods.
Ethoxyquin is a chemical preservative that’s illegal in human food but permitted in pet foods. Ideally, dog food should be preserved naturally using Vitamins E and C, which are also important antioxidants.
The biological value (BV) of a protein is a measure of how beneficial it is to a dog and helps consumers determine whether certain proteins supply enough amino acids, particularly the ten essential amino acids required for optimum dog health. Although some people claim that corn and wheat gluten are great sources of protein in dog food, those folks usually have a vested interest in doing so.
Wheat gluten is what’s left over from whole-grain wheat after the beneficial starchy carbohydrates have been stripped away. High-quality animal meats are the very best way to supply your dog with the protein and essential amino acids required for good health and longevity. With no artificial colors, added flavors, chemical preservatives, or cheap fillers posing as protein, Orijen dry dog food appears from the get go to be a high quality food for your dog. Cheaper dog foods use corn, wheat, and other grains to supply carbohydrates, but the fact is, dogs don’t need high levels of carbs, and while using low-quality carbohydrates in high quantities adds bulk to dog food, it also leads to obesity and poor health.
One major problem with the vast majority of dry dog foods, including more expensive brands, is that they’re cooked at high temperatures to kill bacteria, but in the process, beneficial enzymes are also killed. Because protein is the basis for a healthy diet for dogs, Orijen also adds chelated minerals that are chemically attached to the proteins, making them easier to absorb. For example, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dry Cat Food has different styles of dry food for various categories of care, like concerns over healthy teeth and oral care, or sensitive skin and stomachs, for cats with hair ball issues or tummy troubles. While many dry cat foods are great, feeding cats a constant diet of dry food may prove to provide fewer nutrients than providing a varied mix of wet and dry foods, along with ensuring they consume enough water. Critter talk: The "skinny" on dog food-Do you really need to spend big bucks on those designer brands?
I will publish the results of the food switch in the next couple of months.  Stay tuned to MMA and see if switching food to save a few bucks is a wise thing to do.


Prices range as widely as the foods—everything from low-glycemic and grain-free meals to human-food mimics such as chicken pot pie. We asked eight experts in dog and cat nutrition at seven top veterinary schools what you get by spending more for pet food. Most experts said they haven’t seen that happen, with the exception of a zinc deficiency in the 1980s that was traced to a generic dog food. Most experts said individual ingredients are much less important than overall nutrient profile. For pet food, there’s no official definition of organic, human-grade, premium, no fillers, or gourmet. It’s very important for puppies, kittens, and pregnant pets, which have especially stringent nutritional needs. We have special needs felines as well, some have special diets due to health issues and they always will.
I buy only dog food where some type of red meat is the #1 ingredient and corn is not a main ingredient. These are carnivorous animals, not pitiful wimpy ass granola chewing grain eaters like a lot of people I know.
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Feeding your dog a healthy diet is essential for longevity, disease prevention, healthy joints, tissues, and organs, and for a good quality of life. There are a few other dry foods available that are possibly better, but we discounted them for two reasons. The colors of the rainbow appear to dogs as dark blue, light gray, light yellow, brownish yellow, and dark gray.
Caramel color, which contains 4-methylimidazole (4-MIE,) a known carcinogen to animals, is also a popular color in cheap dog food. While most countries have banned these artificial preservatives for human consumption, the United States still allows them to be used in human-grade food, even though numerous studies on animals show that they’re both potent carcinogens. Orijen dog food and other high quality dog food contains no harmful artificial preservatives, instead using both Vitamins E and C as preservatives in their dry dog foods. The near-perfect protein in chicken eggs makes them the ideal benchmark when talking about BV, and so chicken eggs score a perfect 100.
The fact is, corn is neither easily digestible by dogs nor an ideal source of protein for them.
Although high in protein, this protein has very little biological value to dogs, scoring a dismal 40. Orijen dog food contains high quality carbohydrates in the form of red and green lentils, chickpeas, and peas, all of which are also high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Orijen dog food includes probiotics that are added after cooking to replace those enzymes to enhance dogs’ digestive and immune systems. We not only give you our top recommended brand, but show you how to separate good dog food from the bad quality brands. In addition to the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, this site maintains additional ongoing affiliate partnerships as well as on-site display advertisements through 3rd party services such as Google Adsense.
But take heart, that doesn’t mean you need to trek off into the wilds to find the right mix of food for Fluffy.


First of all, many don’t require refrigeration, and can be left out for the cat to eat whenever they choose. In a survey conducted by the Associated Press in December 2008, just one in seven pet owners said they had curtailed spending on their pet during the past year, even as they cut other expenses.
But half had seen pets become ill from eating homemade pet food, a growing trend since the 2007 recall of some commercial pet foods contaminated by melamine. Gluten-free foods are generally necessary only for the tiny percentage of pets that are intolerant of that protein. The experts we spoke to said that the decision usually comes down to price, convenience, the pet’s preference, and any health issues. Of course when your dog only craps a log the size of a tootsie roll in the first place, that is pretty inoffensive all by itself!
First, they were prohibitively expensive, so much so that feeding your dog raw prime rib every day might be a cheaper alternative. While high quality dry dog food can provide your dog with a perfectly healthy, nutritionally complete diet, cheap food usually contains a large number of nasty ingredients. They’re known to pull dirty diapers out of the trash and eat everything but the plastic shell. Artificial colors are wholly unnecessary in dog food, and they’re terribly unhealthy to boot.
The first 15 ingredients listed on this food are: Boneless chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, boneless turkey, turkey meal, turkey liver, whole eggs, boneless walleye, whole salmon, chicken heart, chicken cartilage, herring meal, salmon meal, and chicken liver oil.
If you are searching for the best dry cat food for your favorite feline, however, it’s good to know what kind to buy. Notoriously picky eaters can select when and how much of the food they’d like to consume from their dishes. Cats with kidney or urinary problems might benefit from the moisture in wet food, for example, and animals with dental issues might benefit from dry food.
Some of the worst ingredients include artificial colors, flavor enhancers, and chemical preservatives as well as corn and wheat gluten, which are used to increase the amount of protein to make the food look healthier than it is.
So it stands to reason that if a meat-based dog food is made of quality ingredients, added flavor is rather unnecessary. A higher price could mean better ingredients and better quality control during and after manufacturing. Also look for food labels stating that nutritional adequacy was validated by animal-feeding tests based on protocols from the American Association of Feed Control Officials, a regulatory group. That statement is a step above the other one AAFCO allows—that a food was formulated to meet the group’s nutrient profiles. Make sure you can find the manufacturer’s contact information, in case you have questions.



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