What dog food do you recommend? What’s the best dog food? What should I feed my dog? These are questions I get asked a lot. To answer those questions I put together a spreadsheet with a list of the best dog food brands based on my own research; quality selection criteria; and what I have fed my own dogs.

If you don’t see your dogs’ current food on my list, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not good (although you should check). If your favorite dog food meets my selection criteria, it’s likely as good as the one’s I’ve listed. But if your food doesn’t meet my criteria, then it’s not on my list for a good reason. (My selection criteria is listed under the Notes on the second page of the spreadsheet.)

This list answers the questions “What dog food do you recommend?” and “What’s the best dog food?”. But the answer to the question “What should I feed my dog?” is a question that only you can answer, because you are the only one who is in a position to determine what your dog needs and gauge how he responds to what you feed him. How to select the best food for your dog is the subject of another article.

I packed a lot of information into my favorite dog food list spreadsheet. For all the details, download the full report.

This list will steer you away from low-quality foods all together and help you identify what’s important to you and your dog.

Cyndi Smasal, CPDT-KA

Cyndi Smasal, CPDT-KA

Certified Professional Dog Trainer / Integrative Pet Specialist

Author, Pet Nutrition Specialist and Pet Care/Health Coach

Why I’m a “Dog Food Geek”

Twenty years ago my first dog, Norman, was diagnosed with liver disease and given a month to live. I wasn’t ready to give up on him so I did a lot of research (not on Google as it wasn’t what it is today back in 2002). The full story is in my book “Hope for Healing Liver Disease in Your Dog”. What I learned in my research was just how bad the commercial dog food was that I had fed him his whole life. I learned that his commercial food likely contributed to his bad health (at 10 years old). Or if it didn’t cause his poor health, it definitely didn’t help. I can’t tell you how awful the guilt is of realizing that what you’ve been feeding your dog their whole life has led to their current state of bad health. I have spent the last 20 years learning about canine nutrition so that I would never feel that way again.

The good news is that I saved Norman’s life and he went on to live for 2 more years. And the point of this story is that his diet was the major contributing factor in his recovery from cirrhosis. I fed him a fresh home-cooked diet for 2 years. It saved his life and made me a believer in “fresher is better”.