How to Choose the Healthiest Dry Dog Food for Your Dog

You’re in the dog food aisle, looking for a healthy option. At first glance, brightly colored bags have words that seem to shout “BEEF” and “CHICKEN.” But after closely reading the label, you’re confronted with the names of ingredients you can’t even pronounce. What’s more, meat isn’t even the first ingredient (or the second, or the third).

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Choosing the healthiest dry dog food can be challenging, especially if you’re unsure about your dog’s nutritional requirements. By understanding your dog’s breed, size, and energy level, you can select a dry dog food that meets their needs. In the long run, this can promote their health, weight, and quality of life.

Know the Importance of a Nutritionally Balanced Diet

For kibble to be considered “complete and balanced,” it must meet nutritional standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These standards work to ensure that pet food contains ingredients that benefit animals’ health and are portioned appropriately.

Open Farm does more than meet these standards; it exceeds them. Each dog food label tells a story when it comes to disclosing the ingredients in every recipe. In the name of transparency, dog owners can read about:

  • Name of the product
  • The product’s net weight
  • The name and address of the manufacturer or distributor
  • Guaranteed analysis (which offers information on a kibble’s fat, fiber, protein, and moisture)
  • A list of ingredients
  • Whether the food is intended for a dog or cat (both animals have different nutritional requirements)
  • Statement of nutritional adequacy
  • Feeding guidelines (i.e., serving size)
  • How many calories each serving has, both in kcal ME/kg and familiar household units, such as cups and cans

Right on the label, you’ll also learn how Open Farm doesn’t rely on byproducts, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Instead, it relies on high-quality protein, essential nutrients, and a commitment to dogs’ health.

Recognize the Key Nutrients in High-Quality Dog Food

Open Farm has a dry food recipes that are complete diets for all types of dogs, containing:

  • High-quality, ethically-sourced proteins, from humanely-raised and sustainably sourced chicken, to grass-fed beef and novel proteins, like venison. Sustainable seafood and wild-caught whitefish and salmon are nutrient dense and packed with omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Healthy fats, necessary for nutrient absorption and skin health, like coconut oil
  • Whole grains and carbohydrates that provide energy, such as ancient grains, as well as completely grain-free diets
  • Vitamins and minerals essential for immune health, brain development, and overall well-being
  • Prebiotics: Ingredients with naturally occurring prebiotics, like using chicory root
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vital for heart, skin, and cognitive health

Open Farm operates on a simple concept: quality ingredients equate to quality dog food. Relying on grass-fed, pasture-raised animals, each serving is a curated blend of key vitamins and minerals proven to better your dog’s life.

Understand High-Quality Ingredients in Dry Dog Food

Every ingredient in dry dog food should have a specific purpose. Corn, soy, and other fillers reduced nutritional value. Some fillers, like wheat, can even cause allergy flare-ups in some dogs. The same applies to additives, such as certain dyes.

Understanding what puts the “high” in “high-quality dog food” is important when choosing the healthiest option for your pet. Open Farm’s formulas boast some high-quality ingredients such as:

  • Animal proteins: When Open Farm says the first ingredient is beef, it’s beef. It’s not beef flavor. It’s the real thing.
  • Whole grains: Oats, quinoa, and brown rice offer your dog a healthy serving of carbohydrates that help maintain their activity level.
  • Vegetables and Fruits: Just like its protein sources, Open Farm only uses non-GMO vegetables and fruits in its formulations, such as pumpkins, sweet potatoes, apples, and carrots.

Steer Clear of These Ingredients in Dry Dog Food

Clean proteins. Non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Healthy fats. These are all elements to look for when choosing the healthiest food for your dog. However, just like there are ingredients to look for, there are also some to avoid. These include common allergens, such as soy, wheat, and corn.

You should also think twice about dog food that’s filled with animal byproducts, like hooves and hide. These simply don’t have the same nutritional value offered by protein-rich meats, like lamb or fish.

Open Farm never uses artificial flavors, colors, or other harmful ingredients that can lead to health issues over time. It also ensures its seafood remains free of heavy metals, so your dog can enjoy wild-caught salmon and whitefish without fear of mercury exposure. It’s all part of being committed to offering a well-rounded diet.

Consider Your Dog’s Health Profile

A dog’s diet should always be evolving to reflect their energy level, breed, and stage of development.

If you have a puppy, you should feed them dry food rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a compound found in fish that encourages brain development. If you have a senior dog, you may transition to a recipe that promotes joint support and manages their weight.

You should also consider your dog’s breed when creating their meal plan. Are you the proud owner of a Chihuahua? Get nutrient-dense food with small-sized kibble that allows for easy digestion. Sharing the couch with a Great Dane who thinks they’re a lapdog? Look for larger kibble sizes to slow down their eating. Not only does this help with weight management, but it also prevents bloat.

Evaluate Whether Your Dog Has Dietary Considerations

It may seem obvious, but it’s a point worth mentioning: your dog’s diet is one of the most critical factors in their health and longevity. That’s why, if your dog has any special health considerations, you should choose a dry dog food specific to those factors.

For example, dog breeds prone to obesity benefit from low-calorie, high-fiber foods that aim to manage weight. Active dogs benefit from food with high protein and fat content to support their fast metabolism, and dogs with allergies may need a more personalized approach when it comes to what ingredients they can eat.

Every dog is different and has its own dietary needs. That’s why Open Farm offers dozens of dry food varieties tailored to meet all dietrary needs, from diabetes to skin sensitivity. Whether you’re looking to bolster your dog’s joints, keep your dog active, or find a new diet for your senior dog, there’s something to suit every pet’s needs.

Prioritize Your Dog’s Health When Choosing Dry Dog Food

Choosing the healthiest dry dog food shouldn’t be hard. And with the selection curated by Open Farm, it doesn’t have to be. Each kibble recipe is specially formulated to promote your dog’s overall health, offering a complete and balanced serving in every bite. Ethically sourced, sustainable practices are at the forefront when creating a meal plan that brings back mealtime excitement, while providing optimal nutrition to help your pet thrive.

Open Farm goes above and beyond to ensure that our nutrient-dense dry kibble ingredients are sourced from farms and fisheries that uphold the highest standards. Each vet formulated recipe was crafted to help your pet thrive. Visit OpenFarm to learn more about our recipes, ingredients, animal welfare, and more.