How to Choose the Right Dog Food

 Wednesday Dec 01,2021
By  Lancaster Puppies

Choosing the right dog food for your new dog is an important decision and one that many people overlook. Many new dog owners assume that dogs are fine with any type or brand of dog food but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Choosing the right dog food plays a huge role in your new pup’s health and happiness, and in this blog post, we will help you choose which is best for your new dog.

Meeting Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs

This might seem obvious, but meeting your dog’s nutritional needs is the most important step in choosing the correct food for your dog. Most dog foods at least meet the minimum nutritional requirements for dogs, but not all dogs have the same needs. Dogs are a member of the Carnivora scientific group and have adapted to require meat and vegetables to meet their nutritional needs. 

VCA Hospitals states that a well-balanced diet includes an appropriate amount of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids. These nutrients cannot be found in meat alone, so you should be feeding your dog a combination of meat, vegetables, and even carbohydrates. 

Dog Food Digestibility

Man giving a small brown dog a bowl of dog foodWhen you are looking through the dog food aisle you will more than likely find similar ingredients and nutritional values on most brands. The difference between high-quality brands and discount options isn’t usually in the ingredients themselves but in their quality. There have been dog food digestibility trials that have shown foods with the same amount of protein, fat, and carbs vary widely in digestibility. Many dogs may have a hard time digesting the lower-quality ingredients, so the best practice is to purchase the highest-quality dog food you can afford to ensure your dog can digest it as best as possible. 

Read the Labels

One of the keys to identifying high-quality dog food is reading the label. The FDA has regulations that dog food manufacturers must follow, and information that they are required to provide on their labels. They have a helpful guide on their website that outlines their regulations and how to interpret them as you read dog food labels. 

A tip that we find helpful is that products labeled as premium or gourmet aren’t required to contain any different or higher-quality ingredients. This just shows that you have to dig deep into the label to get the information you need to make an informed decision. 

Know the Characteristics of Your Dog

Once you have chosen a high-quality brand, you should assess the age, size, and dietary needs of your dogs to choose the specific dog food. We have outlined how these characteristics should inform your decision below 


The nutritional needs of your dog will vary as they grow older, and the food you feed them should reflect that. Puppies are growing at a rapid rate so their calorie requirements are much larger than adult dogs. There are puppy-specific dog foods that are meant to meet the nutritional needs of a rapidly growing pup. 

As dogs grow older you should monitor their weight and health and allow that to inform the dog food that you purchase. Some older dogs develop certain health conditions that require a specifically formulated diet, be sure to consult with your veterinarian as you choose the correct food for your dog. 


The size of your breed should also be considered as you choose dog foods. For example, larger breeds typically require a higher calcium intake to promote healthy bone development. Small dogs that expend a lot of energy require more calorie-rich dog food. 

Nutritional Needs

Some breeds are more susceptible to certain conditions and require more nutrients as preventative care. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian about things your specific breed is at risk for so you can make sure your dog’s food is providing the correct nutrients. 

With so many brands on the market choosing the right dog food can be intimidating. As long as you follow these steps and pay attention to your dog’s reaction to different foods your dog will be happy and healthy in its diet.

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