The Ultimate Guide to the Best Dry Dog Food: What You Need to Know

There are nearly 12 million dog owners in the Philippines, making up 78% of pet owners locally. Plus, 67% of Filipino households own a dog. The demand for quality dog food has never been higher, and with the many options out there today, choosing the best dog food for your furry friends is one of the most crucial decisions you make as a pet owner.

Amidst a sea of choices, dry dog food stands out for its convenience and nutritional value. This comprehensive guide delves into everything you need to know about choosing the best kibble, balancing quality with dog food prices, and navigating the vast world of dog food brands.

All You Need to Know About Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food, often called kibble, is a popular choice among pet owners for several reasons. It’s convenient to store, easier to serve and portion, often more affordable than wet food, and can help maintain your dog’s dental health by reducing plaque buildup. 

But not all kibble is created equal. The best dry dog food brands prioritize premium ingredients, nutritional balance, and taste to ensure your pet is not only satisfied but healthy and thriving.

The Importance of Quality in Kibble Dog Food

The quality of dog foods plays a pivotal role in your pup’s health. 

The best dog food brands go to great lengths to ensure their products exceed nutritional standards. Complete, high-quality dry dog food features ingredients that provide a balanced diet rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, such as real meat, vegetables, and grains.

Avoid dog foods with excessive fillers, artificial colors, or preservatives and brands that use vague or generic terms in their ingredient lists. While the idea of mystery meat can trigger our curiosity, ambiguous by-products typically detract from the nutritional value of the kibble, offering low-quality proteins and potentially harming our pet’s health.

Additionally, reputable brands will often have their products certified by veterinary nutritionists or meet the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Key FeaturesWhat to Avoid
Real Meat (i.e. beef or chicken as primary ingredients, providing high protein)Generic Meat Terms (i.e. vague terms like “meat meals” or “by-products”)
Fruits & VegetablesArtificial Colors & Additives
Whole Grains (i.e. oats, brown rice)Excessive Fillers (i.e. corn, wheat, soy)
Healthy Fats (Omega-3 & Omega-6)Artificial Preservatives (i.e. BHA, BHT)
Transparent Ingredients ListAmbiguous Ingredients
AAFCO CertificationNo Certifications

Navigating Dog Food Prices and Brands

Understanding dog food prices and what influences them can help you make informed decisions without compromising quality. Premium dog foods often have a higher price tag due to their superior and complete ingredients list and nutritional content. 

However, a higher cost doesn’t always equate to higher quality. Researching and comparing dog food brands can reveal affordable options that meet your dog’s dietary needs.

Some of the best dry dog food brands in the Philippines include:

  1. Bare Pets
  2. Orijen
  3. Acana 
  4. Purina Pro Plan
  5. Go! Solutions
  6. Eukanuba
  7. Aozi
  8. Holistic

Pet owners buy dog food according to their pup’s unique dietary needs, considering their own budget in the process. However, these top brands have established reputations for quality and offer a wide range of products tailored to different dietary requirements, life stages, and health conditions. Plus, some of these brands are hypoallergenic, making them perfect for dogs with food allergies and sensitivities.

H3: Choosing the Best Dry Dog Food for Your Pet

Each dog is unique, meaning their dietary needs vary based on a combination of their age, size, breed, and underlying health conditions, among many other factors. 

For instance, puppies require more protein and nutrient-dense food to support their speedy growth and development. On the other hand, adult dogs may benefit more from lower-calorie diets to prevent weight gain, and senior dogs require more fatty acids to support joint health.

Dogs with specific health issues, such as allergies, arthritis, kidney issues, or digestive problems, may require specialized formulas for vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Consult with your veterinarian to decide on the best type of dog food. Professionals can provide personalized recommendations based on your dog’s health history and nutritional requirements.

FAQs and Myths About Dry Dog Food

Is grain-free pet food better? 

While grain-free diets have become popular, they’re not necessarily superior. Whole grains like rice and oats can be a healthy part of a dog’s diet unless they have sensitivities.

How often should I switch my dog’s food? 

When changing your dog’s diet, it’s crucial to make gradual transitions to avoid digestive upset. Introduce the new food slowly, mixing it with the old food over a week.

Does the first ingredient matter? 

Absolutely! The first ingredient listed on dog food packaging indicates the primary component. Look for high-quality protein sources like chicken, beef, lamb, or fish as the first ingredient. For example, the first ingredient in Bare’s Candidly Fresh Chicken recipe is Fresh Chicken.

Final Thoughts: Choosing the Best Dry Dog Food

Choosing the best dry dog food is a significant decision that impacts your furry friend’s health, happiness, and quality of life. By prioritizing quality ingredients, understanding your dog’s dietary needs, and researching reputable brands, you can find the best dry dog food that offers the perfect balance of nutrition, texture, and flavor. Remember, the best dog food supports your dog’s overall well-being, providing a foundation for a long and healthy life.

For more insights on pet care, health, and nutrition, explore our website and join our community of responsible pet owners. Have experiences or tips to share about selecting the best dog food? Reach out to us with your stories.

Real dogs deserve real ingredients.


How to Choose the Healthiest Dog Food: Ingredients and Nutrients Explained

Choosing the healthiest dog food is crucial for the overall well-being of our beloved pups.

Because of all the modern dog food choices and different marketing claims out there, dog owners often struggle to know what truly benefits their furry companions. This article aims to unravel the complexities of dog food ingredients and nutrients, offering clear guidance to help you choose the best option tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

Understanding Dog Nutrition

Many dog owners think their dogs don’t need a “well-balanced” meal like humans do. Many also assume that a balanced dog diet consists of kibble and gravy, and occasional frozen veggies. The truth is, like humans, a healthy dog diet should contain the essential nutrients that support your dog’s overall health – including their physical and mental well-being.

What Nutrients Do Dogs Need?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) states that a complete and healthy dog diet requires the following nutrients and meets specific function and quality of life needs:

  • Proteins: Packed with amino acids, protein boosts immunity, improves coat and skin health, strengthens claws, builds muscle, protects cartilage, and manages weight.
  • Fats: Aside from adding texture to food, healthy fats, like Omega-3, are amazing energy sources for active dogs while reducing bad cholesterol levels.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are another great source of energy for dogs. They also provide your dog with antioxidants and fiber, which sustains their digestive health.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B-complex play crucial roles in strengthening bones and muscles, metabolizing energy, and supporting skin and coat maintenance.
  • Minerals: Minerals like calcium build teeth and bones, zinc keeps coat fur healthy, while sodium maintains the nervous, muscular, and cardiovascular systems, 

Bonus: Water! Don’t forget to refill your dog’s water bowl consistently. Water helps their body absorb the above nutrients, regulates their body temperature, and protects their vital organs.

What Factors Play A Role in A Dog’s Dietary Needs?

Each dog’s nutritional requirements are unique, and multiple factors come into play. Several include breed, age, size, gender, activity level, underlying health conditions, whether the dog is pregnant or lactating, and even whether they’re spayed or neutered. 

For example, toy dogs like a 10-pound chihuahua would only need as little as 400 calories a day. Meanwhile, larger breeds, such as Great Danes and Newfoundlands, which can weigh over 100 pounds, could require 2,250 calories daily, sometimes even more.

As they age, puppies require more calcium, proteins, and carbohydrates to support their rapid development. Senior dogs may need a diet lower in fats and containing minerals like Vitamins C, E, and K to help with their aching joints and slower metabolism.

Some environmental aspects should also be considered, such as temperature, humidity, climate, elevation, and terrain. These factors are especially relevant to working or hunting dogs.

Consult a veterinarian to ensure your dog gets the right nutrients every day.

How to Read A Dog Food Label

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), all pet food labels are enforced to contain the following information, typically in this specific format:

  • Product and brand name ( and/or a unique identifier)
  • Quantity (product weight, liquid measure, or count, depending on formulation)
  • Guaranteed analysis (specifies nutrient amounts).
  • Ingredients (must be listed in descending order by ingredient weight)
  • Nutritional adequacy statement (which life stage the product is for)
  • Feeding directions (usually specified by dog weight range)
  • Name and address of the manufacturer
  • Calorie statement (example: how much kilocalories by cup)

Understanding dog food labels can be tricky. However, learning more about the ingredients list, nutritional adequacy statement, and feeding directions is a good place to start.

As mentioned above, the ingredients are listed in order of weight, giving you insight into the primary components of the food. Premium-quality, healthy dog foods typically list a whole protein source, such as chicken or beef, as the first ingredient.

The Nutritional Adequacy Statement, often associated with AAFCO, provides information on whether the food is complete and balanced for a specific life stage. This statement is a quick reference to ensure the food meets your specific dog’s nutritional requirements.

The Role of Meat, Grains, and By-Products

Whole Meats vs Meat Meals

Many believe that whole meats always offer higher-quality protein than meat meals. While this is sometimes true, meat meals, rendered from meat tissue, can actually provide a more highly concentrated and abundant source of protein than the whole meat from which it came.

Often, whole meats contain a higher water percentage than meat meals, the latter of which are already rendered end-products of the whole meats. In fact, according to the AKC, meat meals can contain up to a higher percentage of protein than the actual whole meat itself.

However, the quality of whole meat can vary, and high-quality whole meat can be more beneficial than lower-quality meat meals. Additionally, despite meat meals having higher protein content, they can sometimes be made from lower-quality meats. Ultimately, the choice between whole meats and meat meals depends on the specific needs and health of your dog.

Is a grain-free diet good for dogs?

Grain-free diets have gained popularity among dog owners over the last few years, and grains have become infamous for causing dog obesity. This is because grains break down into sugars, which can also lead to diabetes and skin problems such as severe itchiness.

However, according to AAHA-accredited Small Door Veterinary, fewer than 1% of dogs are sensitive to grain, and food allergies aren’t common in dogs. There are actually health risks that come with a 100% grain-free diet, including an increased risk for heart disease.

Carbohydrates from grains provide an excellent energy source, especially for active dogs, and keep your pup’s coat shiny and skin healthy. Whole grains like brown rice, oats, quinoa, corn, and barley are rich in fiber, aiding in digestion and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. 

Despite all their positives, remember to use grains sparingly in your dog’s diet since they are still calorie-dense. Avoid using grains as a substitute for primary components such as meat. If your dog shows true signs of a grain allergy, consult a veterinarian immediately.

What is animal by-product, and is it good for dogs?

Many dog owners have a stigma about buying dog food that contains animal by-products. By-products are classified as “unfit for human consumption” but are used in many pet foods. In short, they’re “scraps.” But what exactly are by-products, and are they good or bad for dogs?

In terms of wet food, by-products are, simply put, organ meats: the kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, and meat trimmings. Contrary to popular belief, by-products can be extremely rich in nutrients, palatable, and are the first choice for dogs when they’re introduced to new food. 

By-products provide your pup with another source of protein other than muscle from lean meat and provide nutrients that your dog can’t get from lean meat alone. For instance, regular muscle meat lacks nutrients like calcium and Vitamin A, which can be sourced from by-products.

Ultimately, the addition of by-products to your dog’s diet really depends on your furry friend’s nutritional requirements. Make sure your dog doesn’t have any allergies or sensitivities to chicken or beef by-products before adding them to your pup’s diet.

How can you tell if your dog is allergic to the food?

Food allergies in dogs can manifest in various ways, including

  • Itchy skin, paws, or ears
  • Vomiting, gas, and diarrhea
  • Swollen face and/or paws
  • Red bumps, hair loss, hot spots
  • Red bumps, hair loss, hot spots
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Frequent head shaking
  • Runny eyes or eye discharge
  • Weight loss or poor weight gain
  • Tiredness or lack of energy
  • Hyperactivity or restlessness
  • Increased irritability or aggression

Identifying and addressing food allergies is crucial for your dog’s well-being. If left untreated, it could lead to more serious health issues and a poor quality of life. An elimination diet under veterinary supervision, usually a prescribed or homemade diet of only protein and carbs, can help pinpoint which offending ingredients caused any allergic reactions, 

Hypoallergenic diets that avoid common allergens can benefit dogs with allergies or sensitivities. Transitioning to these diets should be done gradually to avoid digestive upset.

Wet vs Dry: Choosing the Right Dog Food

Choosing between wet and dry food depends on your dog’s taste preferences, appetite, and health requirements. Consider your dog’s age, whether it’s a puppy, adult, or senior dog, as well as its size, whether it’s small, medium-sized, or bigger.

While wet food can be more palatable and easier to chew, making it ideal for pups and seniors, dry food offers dental benefits and more convenience to dog owners.

The comparison table below can help dog owners decide when to choose wet or dry dog food based on their pet’s specific needs, taste, and lifestyle.

CriteriaWet Dog FoodDry Dog Food
HydrationGreat for dogs needing extra moisture and hydrationSuitable if the dog gets enough water otherwise
Appetite StimulationIdeal for picky eaters or dogs with poor appetiteGood for dogs with normal or a bigger appetite
Dental HealthLess effective at reducing plaque buildupHelps clean teeth and reduce plaque
Portion ControlGood for precise portion controlEasier to measure and store
ConvenienceRequires refrigeration after openingSuitable if the dog gets enough water; otherwise
CostGenerally more expensiveUsually more cost-effective
Shelf LifeShorter shelf life once openedLonger shelf life
DigestibilityEasier to digest, good for sensitive stomachsMay be harder to chew and digest for some dogs, esp. seniors
Nutrient DensityOften more nutrient-dense per servingIt is more convenient, doesn’t require refrigeration
Weight ManagementCan be more calorie-dense, risk of overeatingEasier to manage weight with portion control
Special Dietary NeedsBetter for dogs with certain medical conditionsWider variety of options available for different needs
Feeding FrequencyGood for dogs that eat multiple small mealsSuitable for free-feeding or scheduled meals
Age and SizeSuitable for puppies, seniors, and small breedsMost suitable for adult dogs and larger breeds
Travel and StorageLess convenient for travel, needs refrigerationIdeal for travel, easy to store and carry

H3: Homemade Dog Food and Supplements

Homemade dog food allows pet owners to have complete control over the ingredients used in their dog’s diet. This can be especially beneficial for dogs with allergies, sensitivities, or specific health conditions, as owners can tailor meals to meet each dog’s unique needs. 

Before switching to this option, remember that creating a nutritionally balanced homemade diet requires careful planning and a deep understanding of canine nutritional requirements. As such, nutritional deficiencies or imbalances can lead to serious health issues over time.

Supplements may be necessary to address potential gaps in homemade diets. For example, calcium supplements might be needed if bones are not included in the diet, or omega-3 fatty acids may be added to support skin and coat health. 

However, supplements should not be added without consulting a veterinarian. Excessive amounts of certain nutrients can be harmful and potentially toxic to dogs. For instance, too much calcium can cause skeletal problems, and an overdose of vitamin A can lead to liver damage.

Meanwhile, some commercial dog foods are actually formulated to be nutritionally complete, meaning they already contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. These foods can effectively and conveniently double as a supplement, ensuring that your dog receives a balanced diet without the need for additional supplementation. 

This convenience is one of the reasons many dog owners choose high-quality commercial foods, as they simplify feeding and provide peace of mind regarding nutritional adequacy.

The table below compares the pros and cons of feeding your homemade dog food with the addition of supplements to complete commercial dog food.

CriteriaHomemade Dog Food + SupplementsComplete Commercial Dog Food
Customization & Control✔️
Nutritional Specificity✔️✔️
Health Benefits✔️✔️
Nutritional Balance✔️
Storage and Shelf Life✔️
Quality Control✔️
Special Dietary Needs✔️✔️

Key Learnings For Picking the Healthiest Dog Food 

Choosing the healthiest dog food is a crucial decision that significantly impacts your dog’s quality of life. By understanding canine nutrition, learning to read dog food labels, and considering your dog’s unique needs, you can make informed choices that promote their health and happiness. Always consult with a veterinarian to tailor dietary choices to your dog’s specific requirements.

Sharing this knowledge with fellow dog owners can contribute to the well-being of more pets, helping them enjoy healthier and happier lives together. This comprehensive dog food guide aims to empower you with the knowledge to navigate the complex world of dog food, ensuring that your furry best friend receives the best possible nutrition.

Real dogs deserve real ingredients.

healthiest dog food, healthy dog food, picking dog food

Discovering the Best Dog Food in the Philippines: Bare Pets Candidly Fresh Chicken for High Protein Nutrition

As a pet parent in the Philippines, I’ve journeyed through various brands and types of dog food in search of the perfect meal for my furry companions. My quest was driven by the desire to enhance their health and vitality, and through my experiences, I’ve gained valuable insights into what constitutes top-tier canine nutrition. That’s why I’m excited to share a comprehensive guide to one of the best dog food options available in the Philippines: Bare Pets Candidly Fresh Chicken.

Understanding Our Dogs Nutritional Needs

Before delving into why Bare Pets stands out, it’s essential to understand dogs’ nutritional needs. A balanced diet encompassing proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals is critical for a dog’s overall health. High-quality dog food not only satisfies hunger but also supports an active lifestyle, leading to a happier and healthier life for our pets.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) plays a significant role in ensuring pet foods meet these nutritional standards. AAFCO is a voluntary association that aims to help regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds. Although AAFCO does not directly regulate pet food, it establishes nutritional standards that most states in the U.S. adopt as part of their pet food regulations. For pet parents around the world, this can serve as one of a few great guides and sources of truth for what brands you can relatively trust without looking too deep.

One of the guidelines AAFCO provides is for adult maintenance. This profile is based on the minimum and maximum nutrient levels needed to provide a balanced diet for dogs at different life stages. For a dog food product to be labelled “complete and balanced,” it must meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

Bare Pets stands out because it formulates its products with these nutritional needs in mind, ensuring that every meal is not only satisfying but also contributes to the dog’s overall health and well-being. By adhering to AAFCO standards, Bare Pets demonstrates its commitment to quality and nutrition, offering dog owners peace of mind that they are providing their pets with a diet that supports an active lifestyle and promotes optimal health.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dog Food – Dog Food Without ‘Meat Meal’

Choosing the right food for your dog involves careful consideration of several factors:

?? Quality of Ingredients: The foundation of superior dog food lies in its ingredients. High-quality, fresh components ensure your dog receives maximum nutritional benefits, promoting healthy skin and a shiny coat. Consider where your pet’s food ingredients are sourced geographically, what the manufacturing process is, and if the country exporting the pet food has any negative history associated with it. For instance, in 2008 there was a huge Chinese pet food contamination due to the lack of poor regulations and large companies cutting corners. The contamination resulted in the deaths of thousands of pets in the United States and other countries.

?? Type of Ingredients: Consider what the ingredients are, what they do for your pet’s health, and if they’re something you would be comfortable feeding your pet. For example, meat or poultry meal, for instance, “could” be considered a good source of protein; however, it’s essential to ensure it’s from a high-quality source. Most ‘meat meals’ contain very little beef / chicken meat. Meat meals might have parts of a cow and/or chicken in them, but they are not necessarily the same kind of beef or chicken as you would find in human food. Not even close. Any animal protein pet food ingredient that includes the word ‘meal’ behind it – is a rendered ingredient. In the USDA document “Rendering, Carcass Disposal, a Comprehensive Review”, rendering is defined as: “A process of using high temperature and pressure to convert whole animal and poultry carcasses or their by-products with no or shallow value to safe, nutritional, and economically valuable products. It is a combination of mixing, cooking, pressurising, fat melting, water evaporation, microbial and enzyme inactivation.” [Source] Though it has NO resemblance to meat, a ‘meat’ meal is what many brands include as a primary ingredient because most consumers do not know what it is. Bare Pets Candidly fresh chicken is a premium dog food without meat meal available in the Philippines that responsible pet parents can confidently purchase without having to worry about a lack of real transparency of what their pets are really eating.

?? Price vs. Value: While premium dog foods might come with a higher price tag, their value in terms of nutritional benefits and long-term health savings cannot be overstated. However, this goes without saying that not all brands that claim they’re premium, super premium or even super-ultra-premium dog food are genuinely better for your pet or your wallet. We would suggest examining the ingredient list for high-quality, recognizable ingredients like whole meats, whole grains, and named fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods with excessive fillers, artificial flavors, or by-products. Consider also looking for certifications from reputable organizations like the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) or the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). These certifications indicate that the food meets certain nutritional standards.

High Protein Dog Food in the Philippines: Bare Pets Candidly Fresh Chicken

Through personal experience and extensive research, I’ve found that Bare Pets Candidly Fresh Chicken is more than just another dry dog food option. It’s a grain-inclusive, high-protein solution that meets the nutritional needs of dogs across the Philippines. Celebrated for its complete and balanced formula, it is rich in vitamins and minerals essential for a robust immune system and vibrant health. The high protein content is particularly beneficial for adult dogs, supporting muscle development and maintaining healthy skin and coat.

While protein is an essential component of a dog’s diet, more is not always better. As AAFCO recommends, adult dogs need less protein than a puppy, and thus buying a brand just because it has a higher protein content doesn’t mean you’re doing more good for your pet. Too high of a protein intake may strain kidneys, especially in dogs with pre-existing renal conditions, and contribute to weight gain due to higher caloric content, potentially leading to obesity and associated health problems. Nutritional imbalances can also arise, affecting overall health and causing digestive discomfort in some dogs. Moreover, the individual needs of dogs vary greatly based on age, activity level, and health status, making it crucial to tailor their diet accordingly. The quality of protein is equally important, emphasizing the need for high-quality sources over sheer quantity. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with veterinary professionals to determine the optimal diet that aligns with the specific needs of each dog, ensuring their health and well-being.

Why Bare Pets Candidly Fresh Chicken is the Top Choice for Dog Food in the Philippines

Bare Pets Candidly Fresh Chicken is one of the best choices for those prioritizing high protein content that meets AAFCO standards alongside being a complete and balanced meal. The commitment to using high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients ensures that your dog enjoys a meal that’s not only delicious but also contributes to their overall health and well-being.

From my personal experience, switching to Bare Pets has made a noticeable difference in my dogs’ energy levels and coat quality. Having tried various brands, including “RC” and other premium options, I can confidently say that Bare Pets provides an exceptional balance of quality and value.

When I first introduced Bare Pets Candidly Fresh Chicken to my dogs’ diet, I was initially concerned about how they would react to a new food. To my delight, they took to it immediately, showing eagerness at meal times that I hadn’t seen before. Over time, I noticed their coats becoming shinier and their skin healthier. Even more impressive was their improved digestion and sustained energy throughout the day.

What sets Bare Pets apart is its transparent approach to ingredients. They show not only all ingredients that I can easily read and understand, but they also share exactly how much of each ingredient is included in every recipe they offer. The brand prides itself on a number of values I align to by sourcing ethically grown produce and ensuring that every batch of dog food meets stringent quality standards within Europe. This resonates deeply with me as a pet owner who values supporting small businesses looking to disrupt an industry that lacks innovation and a commitment that matches mine for my pet’s health.

Top High-Protein Dog Foods: What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

In conclusion, finding the best dog food for your beloved canine in the Philippines can be a daunting task amidst the myriad of options available. However, Bare Pets Candidly Fresh Chicken stands out as a superior choice for those seeking high-protein nutrition without compromising taste or quality. Its balanced formula supports healthy skin, a shiny coat, and a robust immune system—key indicators of a thriving adult dog.

As we all strive to give our pets the best life possible, choosing the right food is a significant step in that journey. With Bare Pets Candidly Fresh Chicken, you can rest assured that you’re providing your dog with high-quality nutrition that will keep them happy and healthy for years to come.

This article was written by an anonymous Bare Pet parent with an animal background for the Bare Pets Website.

Real dogs deserve real ingredients.

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