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How to Find the Best Dog Food

Dry kibble or canned food? Grain-free or premium organic? If you’ve ever spent hours in the dog food aisle sweating over how to choose the right one for your pet, you’re not alone. Choosing the best type of pet food for your dog can be a confusing process, but it is an important one. Depending on your dog’s age, breed, and health concerns, they may need specific nutrients to stay healthy.


For American Express® Cardmembers that have a Membership Rewards®-enrolled Card, you can pay for almost anything with points with Use Points for Purchases1 such as eligible pet food purchases, in-store or when shopping online. Consider the following criteria to narrow down the best choices for your dog.

April 30, 2021 in Life

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Consider the age, breed, and health of your dog

To choose the right food for your dog, you should consider the age, breed and health of your dog. You should also take into consideration its unique calorie and nutritional requirements, as these can vary depending on the situation. For instance, a growing puppy or a lactating mother may require more calories than a senior dog. A smaller breed may need food sized to fit into a smaller mouth, while other dogs could benefit from nutrients designed to battle dental issues or weight problems.

Check the ingredients on the dog food label

As ingredients are listed in order of weight, look for dog food where the first ingredient is a nutritious protein, like meat or meat meal.


Avoid dog food where the first ingredient is a grain or vegetable. If your dog has specific allergies or intolerances, you’ll want to watch out for those ingredients, too.

“Meal” and “byproduct” are not necessarily bad ingredients

Keep in mind that nutrients in dog food matter more than ingredients. Sometimes the same ingredient can appear on the label as “meal” or “byproduct”. These ingredients are in fact dehydrated protein and contain a high level of beneficial nutrients but could be listed lower in order on the label because they have lower weight from less water content. While lower amounts of protein byproduct or meal may not provide an equal amount of nutrition as a first-ingredient meat, meal and byproducts are not bad for your dog.

Dry foods are not always the best

Because of its convenience and lower cost, some dog owners may prefer purchasing dry food. However, canned food can be better in some cases - and more appetizing for your pet. With more meat protein and less carbohydrates than their dry counterparts, most canned food have no artificial preservatives, additives or colourings. It’s also more filling and easier to chew, which could come in handy for dogs with dental problems or weight issues.

Avoid using raw meat as pet food

Raw meat should be avoided when feeding your dog because it could be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria. This could have dangerous and even fatal consequences for your pet. If your dog drags or drops the raw meat beyond where you usually feed it, cross-contamination could happen and make your family sick as well.

Try a sample before settling on a brand

Many pet food brands offer free samples or money-back guarantees. Don’t be afraid to bring home a few different varieties to let your dog actually try the food. Once you have your pup’s approval, you can feel better about making a final choice.

A rotating diet can be helpful

Changing dog food brands every few months is a good way to incorporate a variety of formulas in your dog’s diet. It’s also a good way to ensure your dog is getting its nutritional needs met as it ages. Don’t forget: you can also earn Membership Rewards points on eligible dog food purchases.

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