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How Does BestForPets Rate Dog Food?

At BestForPets, we recognize that choosing the appropriate dog food can be a multifaceted process.

To help our users make well-informed decisions, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding our evaluation process for the dog foods we review on our website.

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Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)


The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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1. What methodology are you using to evaluate each dog's food?

Healthy dog food on wooden background

At BestForPets, we employ a systematic approach to analyzing every dog food brand. We understand the significance of our evaluations for pet owners in making informed decisions about their pet’s diet. Therefore, we use a standardized and reliable method to assess each brand.

Our team of experts reads and interprets government-regulated and standardized pet food labels to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the ingredients and nutritional content of each brand. We scrutinize the ingredient list to evaluate the quality and the presence of any harmful additives or preservatives.

Moreover, we estimate the meat content of each dog food brand to ensure that it meets the nutritional requirements of dogs. We recognize that dogs need a high-quality source of protein, and we prioritize brands that fulfill this essential dietary need.

Our mission is to provide dog owners with dependable and practical information about dog food brands to assist them in making informed decisions about their pet’s diet.

2. How do you determine the star rating of a product?

hungry french bulldog dog inside a big mound or cluster of food

We believe that a dog food’s star rating should reflect its ability to meet the nutritional needs of canines. We consider several criteria when assigning a brand’s rating, including the quality of ingredients used, the nutritional profile, and the recipes employed.

We prioritize dog food products that use superior sources of meat and all-natural components. Foods that contain questionable chemical preservatives or plant-based protein boosters, as well as low-quality plant or generic animal by-products, are typically downgraded.

Additionally, we take into account a dog’s innate carnivorous inclination by selecting dog food brands that prominently feature meat content. Brands that provide a sufficient amount of high-quality protein are preferred, as we recognize this as a crucial dietary necessity for dogs.

3. Why is it challenging to determine the origin of each ingredient?

Funny cute puppy eating dog food and curiously looking at camera

We understand that it can be challenging to determine the origin of each ingredient in dog food. Many raw materials used in dog food production are bought and sold in commercial-sized lots on the open market, which can vary in bulk prices and quality.

Moreover, the source of an ingredient can change from day to day, depending on factors such as the farm, storage facility, or state where it was sourced. In some cases, an ingredient may even come from a different country.

Despite these difficulties, we do our best to trace the origin of each ingredient in the dog food brands we evaluate. We recognize that the quality of ingredients plays a crucial role in a dog’s overall health, which is why we prioritize brands that use premium sources of protein and natural ingredients and avoid harmful additives or preservatives.

4. Is a veterinary degree necessary to read a pet food label?

Dog Waiting for Food

No, we believe that reading a pet food label doesn’t require a veterinary degree. While some may argue that one needs a long list of educational accomplishments and veterinary credentials to judge a dog food label, this is not necessarily true.

With dedication, a realistic understanding of product labeling, and a willingness to conduct research, anyone can learn to read a pet food label. We have compiled a guide for interpreting product labels based entirely on reputable and accurate scientific literature.

Our article provides a thorough investigation of this topic and outlines the most scientific method for reading product labels. We believe that it’s essential for pet owners to understand what’s in their pet’s food and how it may affect their health.

5. How can you verify the accuracy of a product label?

Blindfold challenge game with dog

BestForPets recognizes the importance of accurate pet food labeling. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all pet food labels. According to the FDA website:

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that pet foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.

Manufacturers who violate this rule are in breach of US Federal Law and may face significant legal consequences.

Therefore, pet owners can trust that pet food labels are accurate and that manufacturers follow strict regulations to ensure that their products are safe and nutritious.

We encourage pet owners to carefully read product labels and conduct research to select high-quality dog food brands that meet their pets’ unique nutritional needs.

Our goal is to provide reliable and practical information about dog food brands to help pet owners make informed decisions about their pet’s diet and overall care.

6. How often do you update your reviews?

Bernese Mountain Dog Eating

At BestForPets, we strive to maintain the accuracy and relevance of our reviews. While it can be challenging to keep up-to-date information on thousands of dog food products, we make it a priority to revisit and update each article at least once every 12 months.

We understand that dog food brands may change their recipes or ingredient sourcing, which is why we welcome alerts from readers or companies about any changes. By regularly updating our reviews, we ensure that pet owners have access to the most accurate and reliable information about dog food brands.

Our ultimate goal is to help pet owners make informed decisions about their pet’s diet and overall care. We believe that providing up-to-date and accurate information is essential for achieving this goal.

7. Do you test the dog foods you review?

Pet food, snacks for dogs

We understand the importance of testing dog food products to ensure quality and safety. However, as a small independent website, we don’t have the resources to test every single batch of the tens of thousands of dog food products we review.

We rely on the information provided by each company on their website, and the accuracy of our reviews depends on the test data that the companies choose to publish.

We prefer dog food brands that are transparent about their testing procedures, ingredients, and sourcing information. Before endorsing a brand of dog food, we also evaluate the company’s reputation and consider consumer feedback and reviews.

Although we can’t test every dog food product we review, we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information based on the resources available to us.

8. Is BestForPets sponsored by a manufacturer or company?

Law and justice concept - law gavel with scale on gray background, retro toned

Absolutely not.

At BestForPets, we take pride in being an independent and unbiased source of information about dog food brands. We never accept money, gifts, or free merchandise from any pet food manufacturer in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews or ratings.

Our goal is to provide dog owners with accurate and practical information about dog food brands to help them make informed decisions about their dog’s diet.

We believe that transparency and honesty are essential for maintaining the trust of our readers, and we take our responsibility to provide unbiased reviews seriously.

To ensure transparency, we have an Affiliate Disclaimer and Review Policy page.

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Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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