How to Choose a Good Dog Food

The best food for your dog will suit his tastes and needs.
John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images

Providing a quality dog food for your best friend will help ensure he lives a long, healthy life. A food that your canine enjoys eating is also important, because even the most nutritionally complete food will serve no purpose if your pooch walks away from a full dish. When selecting a food that will suit your dog's needs and tastes, there are several steps you can take to help you make your selection.

Step 1

Consider your dog's specific nutritional needs when choosing his food. Every brand makes a variety of formulas for various stages of canine life and all types of dogs. For example, puppies need food that has targeted nutrients and smaller pellets than adult dogs, while older dogs may need softer kibble or canned food to compensate for failing teeth. The type of dog you have plays a role in the food you select. Energetic breeds do better on high-protein varieties than their less active counterparts. There are also special formulas for dogs that have health conditions for weight problems. If your pooch is on the heavy side, a low-fat dog food will be a good choice to help him loose extra pounds.

Step 2

Compare ingredients when selecting dog food for your pet. Because dogs are carnivores whose ancestors ate only raw meat, they do best with a dog food that has high meat content and less grain. However, many brands use grains in most formulas. Choosing one with more rice than grains such as wheat and corn will be easier on his digestive system and help to limit food allergies.

Step 3

Test the food on your dog's taste buds before purchasing a large amount of it. Your dog might be finicky; he might not like certain canine food brands or formulas. Start by purchasing a sample or small bag of the type of food you choose for your pooch to make sure he will eat it.

Step 4

Get the advice of your veterinarian to help you make your selection. You veterinarian understands your dog's needs and health issues. She will be able to advise you in selecting a dog food formula that will provide all of the vitamins and nutrients your pet needs, and she can make diet suggestions based on any health concerns your canine has.


  • Do not make a sudden switch to a new type of dog food, as this can upset your dog's digestive system.


  • If samples of various brands of dog food are available, purchase several to see which your pet prefers. Pet supply stores often have small, sample pouches available for this purpose.

  • Always provide a bowl of fresh water for your dog that is available 24 hours a day.

Items You Will Need

  • Dog food
  • Pet dish
  • Water