What are premium dog foods and are they really any better for my dog than your garden variety dog foods? How can you tell what a premium dog food is? Is it listed on the bag somewhere? Is it more expensive? What makes it premium?

Let’s try to break all those answers for you, shall we?

Premium ingredients

The quality of the ingredients in the dog food is what differentiates a premium from an economy food. Dog food companies will try to lure you in with great advertising about how great their food is for your dog.

Many now show delicious pictures of food on the bags. Don’t be fooled though. The only way to really tell a premium dog food is by looking at the dog food ingredients.

Before you purchase a premium food, check out the first two ingredients. Look at the actual ingredients listed on the ingredients label. They tell you a lot. Premium dog foods will have a meat listed first – dogs need animal proteins. They also use a better quality of grains.

Grains quality

Premium dog foods will use better grains (rice, oats) than economy foods (corn, soy, wheat).

Why are these better? Because your dog can digest and metabolize the nutrients from these grains better. Grains are top ingredients in the economy dog foods, not in premium ones.

Other problems with some grains is that they are a common food allergy for some dogs, such as corn, wheat and soy.

premium dog food

These grains are usually by-products from processing of some other type of food and have very little nutritional value for your dog. They are simply cheap, useless fillers – used to “fill up” your pet’s tummy without providing much nutrients for your dog’s body.

Blue Buffalo Blue Santa Fe Grill Natural Adult Dry Dog Food With USA Farm-Raised Chicken (1 Count), 22 Lb
  • Contains One (1) 22-Lb Bag Of Blue Santa Fe Grill...
  • Always Features Real Meat As The 1St Ingredient....
  • Brown Rice Provides A Wholesome Source Of...
  • A Natural Dog Food Enhanced With Vitamins And...
  • No Chicken (Or Poultry) By-Product Meals. No Corn,...

Meat by-products on dog food

A meat by-product is not a top 2 ingredient in premium dog foods. Meat by-product is just what is left over after all the usable meat has been removed. This includes the bones, head, intestines, and blood.

Meat by-products, like grain by-products, just do not have the quality and quantity of nutrients your dog needs. It is used as a cheap substitute for meat, with the dog food companies hoping pet owners don’t really inquire about what a by-product is.

Most premium dog food brands will have an animal meat or meat meal as the first ingredient. This means the major ingredient in the food is an actual animal protein which will have the most usable nutrients available for your dog.

Will the price tell you if it is a premium dog food?

Premium foods are not inexpensive – they just can’t be, the quality ingredients used will cost more.

Where the consumer needs to be careful is where some dog foods imply they are premium with their price and fancy advertising. If you want to know if you are looking at premium dog foods, you must read the ingredients.

And now there are more types of dog food, like organic and all-natural which, of course, are way better.

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