How to buy the best dog food for your dog

I’m a pet writer for Wirecutter, and I cover complex topics that take months of research, including our dog DNA testing guide, pet insurance, and pet subscription boxes. I’ve run an independent pet food blog for years, so I know a little bit about this complex subject. For this guide, I researched pet food manufacturers and read the regulatory authority of the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I sniff out the positions of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Pet Food Institute, and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association on dog food types.I also considered independent reviews and research from the American Kennel Club, PetMD, Veterinary Partners, the Whole Dog Journal, and the renowned pet foodology blog from the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University1,and many more. I interviewed Dr. José Arce, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association; Dr. Danielle Bernal, Wellness Pet Food; Dr. Karen Fine, Holistic Veterinarian at Central Animal Hospital in Leominster, MA; Parisa Fowles-Pazdro, founder of pet supply store Maxbone; Darcia Kostiuk, Champion Petfoods Ph.D.; Rachel Beck, Director of Veterinary Technology Program at Banfield Pet Hospital; Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club; and Chris and Holly Reed, owners of Bayou, the 2021 AKC National Champion Giant Schnauzer. Finally, I asked the manufacturers of 16 pet food brands, from large kibble to fresh start-ups, to reveal the secrets of how they formulate foods, quality control processes, and nutritional research.

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