What food is best for my dog? It’s become one of the most commonly asked questions by pet parents, old and new, pedigree dog or not. The pet care industry has seen massive advances in nutrition in the past few years, with the result that dog parents are faced with a confusing array to choose from, including food for specific illnesses and conditions, for losing weight, for extra activity, for old dogs, puppies, etc.
Eukanuba and Royal Canin are two dog food brands that have started selling breed-specific dog food that is formulated to meet the specific needs of specific pedigree breeds to keep them in good shape and to protect against some of the most common breed-specific health problems. For example, breed-specific dog food for huskies may need a high caloric count to make up for all the energy they use. Golden retrievers may need food that contains all the omegas and supplements necessary to protect joints against hip dysplasia. Beagles may need food with a relatively low fat content to prevent obesity. German shepherds may need food that is gentle on their sensitive digestive systems.
Is greater specificity really necessary?
One could argue that yes, dogs will benefit greatly from having food that is tailored to their unique genetic makeup. The problem is that the science isn’t there yet. According to Ashley Gallagher, DVM, research hasn’t yet determined any differences in the nutritional requirements of different pedigree breeds. So while breed-specific foods certainly won’t harm your dog, they won’t necessarily benefit your dog more than other high-quality dog food.
If pedigree doesn’t make a difference, what does?
In independent articles, Dr. Gallagher and Dr. Becker say that it’s more important to consider your dog’s life stage, size, activity level and health when choosing food. For example, you should feed large breed puppy food to your Labrador puppy and small breed food to your Jack Russell pup, you should switch to senior food when your dog reaches 7 or 8 years old, and you should change diets if your dog gets pancreatitis or arthritis.
According to Dr. Becker, the best diet for dogs is one that contains 75% human-grade animal muscle meat, organs and bones, and 25%t veggies and fruits. Most commercial pet food brands don’t meet these requirements, so it’s very important that you do your research before you invest a small fortune in inferior quality food. DogFoodAdvisor.com is a great resource to help you find the best food for your dog, no matter what the breed.
Raw dog food is also a good choice, especially BARF diets, which incorporate fruits and veggies with raw meat. You should make sure you get your raw food from a reputable company, however, otherwise your dog could miss out on key nutrients. Another option is to make raw food at home, but you should take great care to ensure that you use all the ingredients necessary in the right proportions, to meet your dog’s nutritional needs.
Recommended dog food brands
Having said all of that, Dog Food Guru does recommend certain dog food brands for specific breeds, although they aren’t necessarily breed-specific foods. For example:
The recommended best food for Australian Shepherds
- Canidae Life Stages for Puppies
- Fromm Gold Puppy
- Wellness Complete Health Puppy
- Orijen for adult dogs
- Wellness Core Grain-free for adult dogs
- Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost for adult dogs
- Orijen Puppy
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy
- Wellness Core Grain-Free for puppies
- Orijen Grain-Free for adult dogs
- Royal Canin Breed Specific Boxer Adults
- Buffalo Blue Wellness for adult dogs
The recommended best food for Bulldogs
- Royal Canin Breed Specific Bulldog
- Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach
- Acana Duck & Bartlett Pear
The recommended best food for Dachshunds
- Orijen Grain-Free puppy
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream puppy
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed puppy
- Orijen Grain-Free for adult dogs
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream for adult dogs
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed for adult dogs
- Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed for adult dogs
The recommended best food for Golden Retrievers
- Fromm Gold puppy
- Wellness Large Breed puppy
- Nutro Ultra Large Breed puppy
- Fromm Gold Large Breed for adult dogs
- Wellness Complete Health for adult dogs
- Wellness Core Large Breed for adult dogs
The recommended best food for Maltese
- Wellness Complete Health puppy
- Precise Holistic Puppy
- Fromm Gold Small Breed for adult dogs
- Wellness Core Small Breed for adult dogs
- Earthborn Holistic Small Breed for adult dogs
The recommended best food for Shih Tzu
- Royal Canin Breed Specific Shih Tzu
- Wellness Complete Health
- Wellness Simple
The recommended best food for Yorkies
- Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed for adult dogs
- Royal Canin Breed Specific Yorkie
- Eukanuba Yorkie Nutrition
The recommended best food for Greyhounds
- Canidae Life Stages Large Breed puppy
- Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed puppy
- Orijen Adult dog food
- Wellness Core Grain-Free for adult dogs
- I and Love and You Nude Grain-Free for adult dogs