Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

How to Choose Dog Food: What is the Best Food for Dogs?

How to Choose Dog Food: What is the Best Food for Dogs?

When choosing the best dog food for your four-legged friend, you may feel overwhelmed with the number of options. That's why our Queens vets are here to help you narrow down your options and find healthy, affordable, appealing dog food for your pup.

What's the best dog food?

Most dog owners feed their canine companions dry kibble or canned wet food. High-quality commercial dog foods are strictly regulated and have been rigorously tested by veterinary specialists. The healthiest, vet-recommended dog foods will contain meat, vegetables, fruits, and grains. These non-meat foods are not just fillers; they can provide a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

Nutritional Needs 

Most dog foods should be able to meet your dog's nutritional requirements. Most commercial brands are specially formulated to meet at least the basic nutritional needs of most dogs. However, not every dog has the exact same nutritional needs. Remember this when shopping for your dog's food. 

Every pup needs a variety of nutrients in varying amounts at every stage of their life. For example, a puppy's nutritional needs are different from an adult dog's. It is best to feed a puppy formula or an "all life stages" food. 

How to Read a Dog Food Label 

When considering purchasing dog food, read the label closely before doing so. The FDA requires dog food labels to display eight essential pieces of information, and labeling requirements individual states may have additional criteria:

  • Product name 
  • The product's net weight
  • List of ingredients
  • Intended animal species (i.e. dog or cat)
  • Guaranteed analysis
  • The manufacturer's name and address
  • Statement of nutritional adequacy
  • Feeding guidelines

Product Name 

The product's name gives you valuable insight into the bag or can's contents. The term 'beef' implies that beef must make up at least 70% of the total product. In contrast, the terms 'beef entree', 'beef platter' or 'beef dinner' only require that at least 10% of the total product contain beef. 'With beef' only requires that three percent of the total product is beef, and 'beef flavor' simply means that the product has enough beef to flavor it (under three percent). The same goes for other specified ingredients, like 'chicken'. 


A dog food label's ingredient list does not indicate the quality of the ingredients. Some manufacturers divide the ingredients to achieve a more even distribution. Corn varieties, such as flaked corn and ground corn, can be listed separately. Because whole meats contain a high percentage of water weight, the overall percentage of meat after processing is lower than appears. Meat meal, on the other hand, sounds less appealing to people but contains more meat than "whole meats".

While the ingredient list does not provide information about the quality of the ingredients, it does provide information about what is in the food. This is especially important for dogs who have special dietary needs or allergies, and it is also useful for owners who want to feed their dogs specific fiber, protein, and carbohydrate sources.

Dog Food For Small and Large Breed Dogs

Small and large breed dogs have different nutritional requirements. Because large-breed dogs are more prone to musculoskeletal issues, they frequently require large-breed dog food. Small breed dogs can choke on large kibble and have unique nutritional needs. Investigate your dog's breed to see if there are any special nutritional requirements you should be aware of.

Dog Food For Puppies

Dogs' nutritional requirements change throughout their lives. Puppies have different nutritional requirements than adult dogs, and senior dogs have unique nutritional requirements. Most dog food companies sell puppy foods that are specially formulated for each stage of a dog's life. Consult your veterinarian to determine what stage food is best for your dog.

The best food for your puppy is determined by its size and breed. Some puppies do well on both "puppy food" and "for all life stages" food. For puppy feeding advice, always consult your veterinarian.

Dog Food For Senior Dogs

Senior dogs, usually those aged 7 and up, have different nutritional requirements. Many older dogs prefer wet food, while others may require their food to be warmed to enhance the aromas. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best dog food for an elderly pet.

Dog Food For Dogs With Special Dietary Needs

Allergies, sensitive stomachs, and dietary restrictions affect both dogs and humans. It can be difficult to feed dogs who have special dietary requirements. Your best bet is to seek advice from your veterinarian on the best dog food to help with their condition.

Wet & Dry Dog Food

Ingredients such as meat and grains are combined and cooked to make dry dog food. The main advantage of dry dog food is that it does not need to be refrigerated. The best dry food for your dog is determined by his or her dietary requirements. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist about the healthiest option for your pet.

Wet dog food is an excellent substitute for dry dog food. Wet food has more fresh meat, poultry, fish, and animal byproducts, as well as more textured proteins derived from grains. Although canned dog food has a long shelf life, it must be refrigerated once opened. The best-wet food for your dog is determined by its age, breed, and any special dietary needs or allergies.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you have questions about how to judge which are the best dog foods? Contact our veterinary team in Queens today to book a consultation. We can assess your pup's nutritional needs and recommend ingredients to look for.

New Patients Welcome

Queens Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Queens companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

(718) 672-9722 Contact