Do You Know What Your Dog Is Eating?

It turns out that a large majority of dog owners can’t actually name all the ingredients in their dog’s food. The package may say “all natural” and “premium”, but oftentimes those are simply marketing gimmicks. With several recalls in recent years, it’s important to take a closer look at the label to keep your pups safe. recently reviewed over 2000 formulas of dog food to uncover the truth about which are safest and healthiest:

However, many ingredients can’t simply be divided into “good” or “bad.” Some are downright controversial. Beet pulp, for instance, is a common binding agent found in many dog foods, but many conscientious consumers avoid it over concerns of digestive health issues. There is no scientific research as of yet to back this up, but the experts we talked to unanimously agreed: It’s best to avoid it.

Not only do ingredients matter, but also having the right combinations and ratios of ingredients matters. There’s an oft-quoted statistic that claims good dog foods contain 30 percent protein and 18 percent fat, with enough side nutritional content — omega-3s, vitamins, and fiber — to round out your dog’s diet. The experts we talked to disagree. To them, it’s really what’s best for your individual dog. “Protein is very important for your dog, but there are instances, such as old age or liver issues, where your dog should be on a lower-protein diet,” says Dog Files creator Kenn Bell. “Make sure you have a conversation with your veterinarian.”

See their top choices: