With sense and with the necessary balance. The ingredients, just like in your diet, are the essential part of their nutrition. We all know the effects of a low diet in vegetables, we all know the effects of excess fat, industrial products, excess sugar... it is no different in dogs, their diet isn't so different. The key to proper nutrition in dogs is also based on what they eat, the proportions and the amounts... it cannot be otherwise.

Dog food or any dog ​​food product or nutritional supplement, snack, biscuit, can or bar, can have very good quality or very inappropriate for any dog. Some can even be of very good quality and very appropriate for a dog, but they can be an unbalanced source of nutrients for dogs in specific states or stages.

The quality of a dog food isn't a subjective matter. We can objectively determine for ourselves whether or not a product is of quality and whether or not it's appropriate for our dog.

In this article we are going to break down and detail as much as possible all the information you need to be able to decide how you want your dog's diet to be and we are going to give you all the necessary information so that at any time you can differentiate a high-quality diet from a which isn't, with all the nuances.




It's normally presented in bags or sacks. They usually differentiate the products according to the stage of the dog, the size, the breed and in some cases they emphasize a deficiency, pathology, disease or special need of the dog.

The elaboration process consists of mixing all the ingredients in their state of incorporation, a homogeneous mass is obtained with the necessary level of humidity to submit



With a process similar to that of dry feed, the goal is to obtain a tastier wet paste for the dog. In this case they are cooked in a slow process at a low temperature and then canned. Once the container is packaged and sealed, it then undergoes a sterilization process to eliminate any bacteria.



According to the literal translation, we are talking about a diet that is based on the raw intake of meat, offal, bones and a complement of fruit and vegetables.

This diet tries to assimilate the food that the ancestors of the current dog had in a natural and wild way. It's the way in which the Wolf feeds in its natural habitat.



It's about cooking at home and offering the necessary mixture of ingredients, nutrients and elements on a daily basis, controlling where and how they are purchased and cooking them ourselves. In many cases, even cooking some of these foods is avoided to maintain all their natural properties.

them to an extrusion process through which a paste is obtained that, after a cooking process in the as moisture is extracted, it's brought to the desired shape. Finally, it can be covered with an ingredient that can improve the flavor or the preservation of the final croquette.

The process of extracting moisture, drying and cooking facilitates the conservation and packaging of the product and formulas are obtained that can be kept for up to two years in their original packaging.

The aforementioned diets and other alternatives have their pros and cons, as well as their ardent supporters and detractors.

Those who are in favor of prepared DRY FEED defend it for its comfort, stability, conservation and ease of consumption.

Detractors add that the industrial process eliminates the good and that we cannot control the ingredients that are being used.

On the WET DIET, it's also said that in reality 80% of the content is water and little else and that such long conservation dates end with the nutritional properties of the food.

Against the BARF diet, many argue that they are diets poor in fiber, minerals and other necessary elements such as vitamins, calcium, acids... It's also indicated that it would be necessary to subject BARF to freezing or sterilization processes to eliminate bacteria and parasites.

In favor of the HOME DIET, it's argued that we have control of all the ingredients and of the origin and conservation. Against it, it's argued that we are hardly presenting a balanced, varied meal rich in all the necessary nutrients and that we are hardly capable of stabilizing that formula for a long time. It also requires dedication time to buy, cook, preserve and offer food in the most optimal conditions.



None of the four is the most appropriate. The Barf and Homemade type of food may seem the most appropriate, but they aren't. Neither dry nor wet are the worst.

As always, it's a bit more complex. It's not about the industrial process or the control we have over it.

The secret of a good diet is the formula. The ingredients. The content. It cannot be any other way. We are what we eat.

In all cases the importance lies in what we are considering as ingredients of each formula. In its quality and in the most appropriate proportions. In what they include and in what they do not include as well.

Yes, we can add some concepts that can, in general, generate some consensus.


The packaging, the first impression we have is the bag or the can:

Running wolves, green mountains or wild rivers, photos of red meat or fruit on the sack or on the label of the can. That's not quality, that's just photos.

Many manufacturers go to great lengths to communicate the quality of dog food through image.

The sack and the can aren't an ingredient, let alone the name. Some contain the word nature, wild, nature, fish, meat or names that want to communicate positive concepts about the product.

In other sacks a dog like ours comes out and they explain to us that this feed is appropriate for that specific breed. Let's not fall for it. Let's skip this part, it's not quality, it's just image.


Advertising isn't nutritious. The best-selling brand, the most famous.

The best feed or the best wet food for our dog can be found in a specialized store, it can be a little-known brand, it can be advertised on TV or in the networks and we can easily find it... also the worst brands or dog food products you can find them in the same corridor of the same establishment.

The best-known brand isn't the best, although in some markets or segments of people the best-known is the best... just like in human life. It is not different.

Dog food brands that spend a lot of money on advertising just do that, they don't have to make the best food for your dog, or not all of them. There are great products being advertised and great ads for very low quality brands.

The best-selling brand is simply that, the best-selling, it isn't the best, nor the most recommended, nor the one that is best for your dog... although in some markets the best-selling brand can be the best or one of the best.

Conclusion, neither the sale, nor the presence, nor the television make a good brand. A good product has to be differentiated by other things.


Why don't we read the label? On the product label can we see if it is of quality or not?

Although the law still allows some excesses and some cheating, manufacturers are absolutely required to detail what is included in their prescription.

As a rule, and it is usually true, those who have nothing to hide and produce high-quality feed have nothing to hide and nothing to invent. The ambiguity in the ingredients or the lack of understanding on the part of the user comes more from those who manufacture a low-quality feed... it seems logical.


- Be wary of a manufacturer who hides or not all the information.

- Be wary of labeling that does not include percentages.

- Be wary of ambiguous labeling or lack of information.

- Totally distrusts ingredients that are not understood or that do not clarify their origin or the nature of their provenance.




It's the way in which the law allows me to say that I put parts of the chicken but without saying which ones. Chicken by-product or by-products of animal origin is the way to mask parts of the chicken that don't provide any nutritional value and that aren't valid for human consumption, without wanting to go into lurid details, if it's necessary to explain them, here we are camouflaged as chicken parts such as the beak, the nails, the crest, the bones... they are useless, they only allow the manufacturer to indicate the word chicken and confuse the user. Discard any dry or wet feed or supplement that includes the word by-product in its ingredients and the more the worse. Do it also in snacks or cookies for dogs. They are the same problem.



Chicken, meat or fish meals are usually offal, leftovers and surpluses that the slaughterhouse discards for human consumption. These flours have in practice little or no nutritional value. We can validate some flour in the event that it is of a specific origin, of a specific protein and with a minimal complementary presence. In short, seeing FLOUR or a BY-PRODUCT as the main ingredients is clearly a sign that we are buying a very low-quality product. The word flour or by-product is a way of not really saying what part or what quality of meat it is.



Chop or separate the ingredients so that the worst ones don't appear in the first positions. For example, we put 8% meat and 4% meat from three different flours and meat by-products and we include the first 8% of meat as the first ingredient, leaving the three flours separately with 4% each, when in reality the product Contains 12% meat meal as the main ingredient.

The same can be done with cereals 5% wheat, 5% corn, 6% wheat starch, 6% oats etc... 7% meat will be placed as the first ingredient and the manufacturer will actually be including a 22% cereals without any nutritional value for the dog. It isn't illegal, it isn't toxic, but we will not be consuming a quality product and the manufacturer tries to hide that reality.

Let's start removing things...

If you have the ability to identify what isn't good in a dog food formula or in any food product, we will rule out qualities and in the end we will know what is good or objectively tolerable / necessary.

By identifying the most harmful practices, we will rule out those manufacturers that are not willing to offer us a product with all the guarantees. Shall we continue?



Ingredients that are not understood, codes and abbreviations. Ingredients that can be harmful and ingredients that only cause problems (or can cause them):

NO: preservatives and flavors as such with some code.

They are chemical products that don't guarantee any nutritional contribution and that can be the source of some problem of intolerance, allergy or unwanted reaction.

AVOID: gluten, sugar or sorbitol. no salt

Sweeteners or products with a high glycemic index that can cause or worsen diabetic processes.

NEVER: flours or unspecified by-products

They can hide even dead or sick animals or harmful parts.

Reject any feed that includes the word meat meal, animal product meal, meat by-product meal, etc.


Better that the product doesn't contain corn.

NO: Ethoxiquin, BHA, BHT.

They are preservatives or vitamin substitutes. Remove them from their diet.

When a meal is of quality, the manufacturer himself will make an effort to clearly specify what it is about... chicken meal, veal meal, etc... may be an acceptable option for quality feed.



Certainly chewing the kibble allows the dog to perform a kind of "dental cleaning", although not as exaggerated as some show it to be. The proper croquette will allow the dog to ingest the feed more slowly, since the chewing that he must do is more entertaining than eating feed in its wet form. Both elements, chewing and rubbing the kibble on the jaw, are positive.

In the color and in the form we will no longer be so in agreement. Color difference indicates different industrial processes and the incorporation of dyes. Rest assured that the shape or color of the food matters very little to the dog. The smell and the taste do attract you.



There are many and of varied characteristics, but basically we will say that cereals such as wheat or corn are not necessary. They have always been used as a filling to lower the cost of the recipe. Dogs don't need these carbohydrate sources. In some cases they are responsible for intolerances, allergies, indigestion and many other problems.

Which ones can we find interesting? In some cases oats and in recent times quinoa and chia seeds have been incorporated, although we don't comment on it. In any case, brown rice due to its fiber content, low glycemic index and being a highly digestible cereal, a powerful carbohydrate and practically hypoallergenic.


Meat and fish. Chicken, duck, venison, lamb, fish, salmon, sardines, rabbit, pheasant, wild boar, deer... each and every one of them. Each manufacturer chooses according to his preferences. The most common is chicken and generally the

chosen by many breeders. It's the most common, the most affordable and is rich in everything a dog needs...

We must require a feed for dogs that contains chicken or any other meat to clearly indicate the nature of the meat and the form... chicken meat, fresh duck meat, boneless or dehydrated or hydrolyzed lamb meat, in any of the forms it's valid . Also whole chickens, since the carcasses, cartilage and bones in their measure and proportion, together with the meat, also provide us with other nutrients.

The integration in some formulas of the word hydrolyzed or dehydrated, taking into account that it continues to indicate meat from... will mean that it could have been subjected to this drying process to be able to transport or store it before being added to the formula. We must value that meat protein with the dehydrated or hydrolyzed mention in a positive way, as long as it clearly mentions what type of meat it is.

There are feeds or diets for dogs on the market that include percentages of 8% among their suspicious ingredients. In recent years, dog food products have been developed that reach 75% animal protein in their recipes.


We insist that any assessment that we can make in this regard depends first of all on the quality of the protein. For example, no matter how much flour or chicken by-products a feed contains, it will always be detrimental and insufficient, whatever its percentage.

On the other hand, a formula that includes fresh meat suitable for human consumption previously hydrolyzed by 40% will be more than acceptable.




Meat and fish will give us all the necessary input for feeding our dog. Many dog foods and recipes include one or more of these sources. Each one can bring us different things and at different times or different situations we can opt for one or the other. Get to know them:


High protein value, easily digestible meat. Flavor highly appreciated by dogs, rich in vitamin B, phosphorus, selenium, potassium and sodium. Properties of reinforcement of the immune and neuronal system, the protein content improves its maintenance and muscular development, the vitamin A that the chicken contains helps its eye health. Chicken meat contains Tryptophan, which prevents depressive states and provides comforting sensations. Chicken and turkey meats are low in fat, which won't make them as tasty as others that have a higher fat content -red meats-. Appropriate for weight loss diets and for older dogs.


Duck meat, like lamb, is characterized by its flavor and nutritional power. It has more calories than chicken meat. Duck meat is widely used in mono-protein diets for dogs with allergies to any meat. It's hypoallergenic, very appropriate for dogs with sensitivity or food intolerance. It's a very tasty and aromatic meat that is quickly appreciated by any dog.


Lamb is a calorically very powerful meat. Very tasty, it easily appeals to the palate of any dog. Also for sensitive stomachs or allergic dogs. Its price is higher than chicken, so normally recipes that include lamb will be a little more expensive than chicken. Use the lamb in case of sensitivity, intolerance, allergy or for very fine tastes.


Very digestive, with high quality protein. Especially used as an allergen-free diet to treat intolerances or sensitivities. Easily digestible and with low fat levels.


High protein content and low level of fat and cholesterol. Wild boar meat is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Powerful flavour.


Some compare deer meat for its properties and benefits to fish due to its high content of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It's a meat with a high protein value and easy digestion. Rich in amino acids and rich in antioxidants as the deer's diet includes a very pronounced proportion of red berries and wild foods. It's a meat with a low fat content and we find it in the unsaturated form, which is very beneficial. Beef can be divided into three: Veal, animal less than 18 months, Cow, more than 18 months and Ox, more than 48 months.


Excellent as a source of protein for adult dogs with normal activity. Some consider it white meat for its high nutritional value. It's more expensive than other meats and the one that contains the most protein. It's a meat without hydrates and it is a good source of potassium, phosphorus, B vitamins, especially B12, niacin, B6 and riboflavin.


Appropriate for healthy dogs with normal activity. Meat considered red. It's the most common or the most found in feed or preparations for dogs since its price is lower than that of beef without losing quality, if nutritional contribution. Free of sugars and hydrates. It has fewer B vitamins than beef and is rich in potassium and zinc.


Not appropriate for a dog with marked physical activity. Harder meat to find. Low nutritional contribution although it's rich in minerals such as iodine, manganese, zinc and selenium. Appropriate in low protein diets, to lose weight or for senior dogs.


Salmon is an excellent source of healthy protein and considered of high biological value due to its natural contribution of omega fatty acids. It's a fish rich in vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. Phosphorus, selenium, iodine and potassium, vitamins B6 and B12, D and E and thiamine and niacin stand out. Much appreciated by dogs for its flavor and aromatic properties. This flavor is due to the fact that its fat content is 12%, a fat rich in omega-3 and 6 acids with a protein contribution of 18%, close to that provided by beef.


Tuna is a blue fish rich in proteins of high biological value.It's an important source of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D, B3, B6, B12 and minerals such as selenium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and iron. Its rich content of omega-3 fatty acids helps protect the cardiovascular system and reduces cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Tuna is considered a fatty fish, with a 12% contribution. Tuna is normally used in dog food combined with other protein sources to balance the nutritional formula of the feed.


The Sardine is an affordable and easy to find fish. Within availability, this fish is one of the cheapest options to get a diet very rich in Omega-3. The sardine in a dog food will give health and beauty to the dog's coat. Strengthening the immune system and cognitive health are also some of the advantages of this fish in the nutrition of our dogs.

Sardines alone won't provide all the nutritional needs of the dog, so we should always find a dog food that combines sardines with other sources of protein such as salmon or some meats.


Among them cod, hake, monkfish or whiting. They aren't cheap products and don't provide the amount of calories necessary for normal activity in adult dogs. They can be used for diets with a very low caloric level or in transitory periods of need to lose weight. The dog's diet should be supplemented with other sources of protein. White fish provide us with most of the positive properties in terms of nutrients and benefits of oily fish.

We have already seen the key importance of proteins and their origin, quality and quantity that we must consider in our dog food. But we have a very important part left until we complete the recipe.

What other ingredients complete the best dog food?


Cereals aren't necessary for any carnivorous animal. In the case of the dog, which is considered an omnivore, the worst way to supplement a formula is cereal. Originally, the cereal was incorporated into dog food formulas for reasons of production and price. A very cheap carbohydrate is needed to be able to mix and extrude the feed. Cereal was the best candidate. Specifically, cereal such as wheat or corn is not only not necessary, but is also responsible for many of the problems in the diet of many dogs, since it's usually responsible for problems of nutritional imbalance, intolerances or allergies. digestive problems and others.


Brown rice is a good way to complete your dog's diet. It's the most suitable carbohydrate to obtain the necessary texture and the necessary nutritional complement that accompanies the protein.

Brown rice is unrefined, hasn't been subjected to any chemical or industrial process, is hypoallergenic, highly digestible, and has a low glycemic index. Its satiating effect and its contributions in minerals and fiber are very suitable.


Both the potato and the sweet potato are a quality carbohydrate. Since the carbohydrate isn't as necessary for the dog as it is for the production of feed or as a supplement, potatoes or sweet potatoes may be the most appropriate. Specifically, the sweet potato or sweet potato is much better for its nutritional contribution. The also called sweet potato has a lower glycemic index, so the sugar level will be lower. In this case we will have to consume in a controlled way, since our dog can increase its weight with this type of carbohydrate. Sweet potato is rich in fiber and very tasty. We shouldn't spend more than 10% in the formula of our feed or nutritional recipe.


Lentils, peas or chickpeas are usually the most used. They are not strictly a carbohydrate, or we should not consider it that way, we must consider these ingredients as vegetable protein as well as carbohydrate due to their mixed contribution, which helps us to keep the dog's tendons, ligaments and musculature in optimal conditions. A feed with the presence of legumes in its formula is much more appropriate than other feeds. Legumes are a good source of fiber and protein, iron and mineral salts. They will help us improve the appearance and health of our hair and skin. This plant-based protein is also necessary for the immune system and for cell repair. The legumes will have an effect of increasing the dog's feces, with which we will have an increase in intestinal transit and cleaning of the anal glands. Its high fiber content improves the intestinal activity of the dog and its flora. Legumes are also suitable in many cases as they are a source of energy as well as low in calories. Fantastic in situations of overweight or low activity.


More and more manufacturers are including fruit in their dog food formulas. The most used apple and red fruits... 

Are they appropriate? Are they a fashion? Fruits are a very good source of vitamins and fiber. They contain a significant amount of antioxidants and are a highly digestible food. Red fruits such as blueberries and wild berries are a very powerful source of antioxidants. Apple and pear are rich in fiber, vitamin a and c and contain antioxidants. They are low in calories and in their adequate % a good complement to the main proteins (meat or fish).


Dogs aren't vegetarians and no dog would choose it in the wild. Vegetables, introduced into a dog's regular diet, can be beneficial, but always as a complement to their diet and as an added part to their diet that should always be based on meat. Zucchini, rich in vitamin A, calcium and minerals help kidney health, strengthen the heart and strengthen bones. Spinach for its fiber that favors intestinal activity and for its presence of vitamins A, C, E, B and F. Peas, for its vitamins A and C, strong presence of antioxidants and good source of energy. Pumpkin, for intestinal transit, favors the reduction of constipation, a lot of fiber, many antioxidants and diuretic properties. These and any other vegetables should be included in the recipe at a reduced %. Its presence in the daily amount should be low.


His presence will always be testimonial, in a very small %. Some of them can be an interesting contribution for their benefits. Let's list them by their properties:

LIANCE: rich in fatty acids of the Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 series.

THYME: has antibacterial, astringent properties, helps expel gases and parasites. In addition, it contains good amounts of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Vitamin C, B complex vitamins, Vitamin A, E and K.

CHAMOMILE: helps regulate the digestive system and maintain proper hydration.

ALOE VERA: decrease inflammation, anesthetic and improvement of the immune system and improvement of intestinal problems.

ROSEMARY: contains vitamin C and essential oils such as eucalyptol, borneol or camphor among others. It also contains rosmarinic acid, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

CALENDULA: wound healing, pain relief, infections and burns. Lymphatic drainage, stimulation of the immune system and liver function.

DANDELION: Powerful antioxidant, improves the immune system, digestion and kidney function, and stimulates the liver and eliminates waste.


Discard any food with the presence of chemical references or strange identifications that accompany the word flavoring, flavor enhancer or preservative.

On the contrary, a good feed with high quality protein, fresh meat or dehydrated meat is already the guarantee of flavor so that the dog can eat it easily. On the other hand, rosemary, thyme, green tea, chicory root, chamomile, and fennel can be the best natural preservatives for feed, in addition to providing us with powerful antioxidant agents that are also interesting for the dog.


There are many ingredients that we can find in food formulated for dogs. Many feeds have included them for years, others are more recently and some experts consider that many of them are subject to somewhat "absurd" fashions or trends. It's very important, when we choose the feed for our dog or when we are thinking about the best food formula for a dog, that we always keep in mind the ingredients or qualities that we should NOT accept for quality or because, directly, they are going to harm their dog. Health. As for those that we see included in a recipe or formula, ultimately we will have to consider that each ingredient can respond to a benefit or a contribution.

Let's see the most common and that act as a complement. We must bear in mind that the presence of these ingredients in our feed will be totally complementary and won't have a relevant degree of participation, we will always find it in very small quantities and always in the last ingredients due to its % presence in the recipe.

THE MUSSEL OR THE GREEN LIPPED MUSSEL: Very accepted in recent years. It's beneficial for cartilage regeneration in dogs with severe joint problems.

KRILL: Some feed recipes are incorporating it into their formulas. Some laboratories have synthesized this ingredient and offer it as an added supplement. This is the basic food of the largest animal in the world, the whale.

It's a very rich source of omega-3 acids.

Among the benefits of krill in the dog's diet are the improvement of the cardiovascular system, control of cholesterol and triglycerides, relief of inflammation processes, cellular and cognitive health, kidney health and therefore, blood cleansing and a powerful healer of skin and hair that will look healthier and shinier.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS: We don't need them as an added supplement. Neither are they necessary under normal circumstances or in an unnatural way. If our feed is well formulated and balanced with the doses of protein and the quality that preserves all its properties, supplemented with ingredients to complete the formula, our dog will be receiving the varied and necessary dose for complete nutrition.

ALGAE OR SEA PLANTS: Algae improves the pigmentation of the hair, muzzle, pads. Important source of minerals and act as a powerful anti-plaque/anti-tartar that promotes the dog's dental hygiene.

SALMON OILS OR FISH OILS: It has always been used as a supplement that, added to the dog's feed or daily diet, gave it the properties that it currently has. Currently, many brands, not only those based on fish, incorporate fish oils in their feed formulas or of prepared food for dogs.

Its most outstanding benefits is its powerful contribution of Omega-3 and 6, as a healer of the immune system, joints, skin, hair, reduction of blood pressure, helps fight overweight, kidney health... It's one of the most powerful complexes nutrients that we can add to our dog's diet.

CHONDROPROTECTIVE AGENTS: Cartilage in its natural state, clam extract, green lipped mussel, pig cartilage, salmon, sardines, chicken skin.

If a good feed or that dog food formula that you have chosen includes these ingredients, we are making an additional contribution to joint protection, which will benefit us in the future. Obviously, if our dog suffers from a chronic or severe pathology related to the joints, our veterinarian may choose to add a daily supplement.

PREBIOTICS OR PROBIOTICS : We can find them in the composition of ingredients with the abbreviations FOS or MOS, although the best way to obtain these components is through ingredients such as microalgae or beet pulp, chicory root or yeast.

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