Choosing the right dog or puppy food for your pet to eat can be tough. Let's face it -- we don't eat it, therefore we don't generally know the ins and outs of it.
One of the most common issues I hear about is that people are unaware that there are certain things dogs should not be eating -- some of which are common ingredient in lower-quality dog foods. These are things like corn, soy, wheat or by-products of any kind. These ingredient have been known to give many dogs serious stomach ailments, and just don't offer any level of nutritional benefit for your beloved pet.
Start by taking a look at the label of your dog's current food. As you know, the ingredients that are listed first are the ones that make up the majority of the food's content. So if the first ingredient listed is chicken by-product, that's not a good thing.
I would suggest taking it a step further though. To truly gain insight into the nutritional value of your dog's food, head over to http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/. I've used this site on many occasions and it's proved very useful when making decisions about what my dog can and should be eating.
This site is easy to use, and allows you to either search for a specific brand to view its summary and reviews, or browse by category according to stars. For example, hard dog foods listed under "6 Star Premium Dry Food" obviously holds more nutritional value than "1 Star Dry Dog Food." After clicking on a specific food, you will notice an easy-to-understand summary about the food at the bottom of the page.
Let's look at an example. Take ALPO Prime Cuts Dog Food, for instance. If you take a look at the ingredients listed here, you can plainly see that this food wouldn't be ranked as high quality. The first few ingredients include: ground yellow corn (not good), beef and bone meal (not good), soybean meal (not good), digest of chicken by-products (WHAT?!)....
Now look at Innova EVO Small Bites. This food is comprised of: turkey, chicken, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, herring meal and so on. The difference is clear.
For the record, my dog eats Wellness Core Reduced Fat. Gadget loves her food and she's been doing very well on it.
Like that commercial for Blue Buffalo dog food says, "I love him like family, so I want to feed him like family!"