February 2015

Whole Dog Journal's Approved Dry Dog Food List 2015

Subscribers Only — We’ve listed a number of companies that make foods that meet our selection criteria. Some of them make just a few foods; some make dozens and dozens of different formulas. Some sell a relatively tiny amount of dog food; some sell quite a bit.   More...

Your Dog's Diet: A Dry Food Discussion

You know the old expression, “It’s better to teach someone to fish than it is to give them a fish”? We’re ardent advocates of this approach. We would far rather teach a dog owner how to identify the good, better, and best dry dog foods available to her than to tell her which food is “best” for her dog. But there is one giant obstacle in the way of our teachin’ fishin’ mission.   More...

Some Well-Known Dry Foods, Ranked from Worst To Best

Subscribers Only — Worst (Top) to Best (Bottom) Kibbles ’n bits beef & chickencornsoybean mealbeef and bone mealground wheatanimal fat (BHA)protein 19%, fat 8%Pedigree Adultground whole grain cornmeat and bone mealcorn gluten mealanimal fat (BHA and citric acid)soybean mealprotein 21%, fat 10%Purina dog chow complete whole grain cornmeat and bone mealcorn gluten mealanimal fat (mixed tocopherols)soybean mealprotein 21%, fat 10%Beneful originalground yellow cornchicken byproduct mealcorn gluten mealwhole wheat flouranimal fat (mixed tocopherols)protein 25%, fat 10% …   More...

About Manufacturers and “Co-Manufacturers”

Subscribers Only — Some companies own and operate their own manufacturing plants; some of these make only their own products, and others make their own and other companies’ foods, too. Still other companies, especially the smaller ones, use “contract manufacturers,” a.k.a., “co-packers,” to make their foods for them. There are benefits and challenges of both arrangements.   More...

Next-Level Selection Criteria

For some dog owners, a better dry dog food is just one more step on a journey to finding the healthiest diet in the world for their dogs. It’s generally accepted among dog owners that this means a home-prepared diet comprised mostly of meat. Beyond this broad description, there isn’t consensus. Opinions vary about the supremacy of raw vs. cooked, using raw bones or other sources of dietary calcium, what sort of fat source is ideal, whether it’s advisable to include any grains or not (and if so, what kind and in what amounts), whether organic is healthier or not . . . . Name any concept in nutrition; its value and application to dogs is being debated.   More...

10 Steps to Healthy Skin and a Silky Coat for Your Dog

Subscribers Only — All dog lovers appreciate seeing a healthy, happy dog, running in the sun with a glistening coat. And it’s great to hear, “Wow! Your dog’s coat is so soft and shiny. How do you do it?” It’s wonderful if you are one of the lucky owners whose dog inspires this sort of spontaneous compliment, but what if your dog’s coat is less inspiring – if he has a dull or greasy coat and irritated skin? Here are 10 things you can do to improve your dog’s appearance while simultaneously boosting his overall health (as well as the number of compliments you receive about him).   More...

A Healing Coat

Subscribers Only — Pulled muscles and joint inflammation are as much a part of your dog’s life as your own, and they increase with age and activity. The fact is, no matter which way you turn it, strains happen. Imagine how great it would be if there was a magic garment that could soothe those strains and restore your dog to fitness. Well, you don’t have to imagine it: There is such a garment.   More...

3 Steps For Solving Your Dog's Overexcited Behavior at the Door

Subscribers Only — Doors are fascinating to dogs. Think about it: Doors are reliable predictors of all kinds of exciting stuff. People enter through doors – people you like and people you don’t like. People leave through doors – people you want to stay, and people you want to go. A door plus a leash equals a WALK! Or maybe a RIDE IN THE CAR! And when the magic door noise happens (whether it’s a doorbell or a knock), the humans often speed to the door and engage in an orgy of greeting rituals guaranteed to be arousing to a dog, including loud voices, handshaking, sometimes even hugging and back-slapping. Small wonder that a significant percentage of dogs develop undesirable door-related behaviors, including:   More...

Be Encouraged

A few weeks ago, in preparation for writing WDJ’s annual dry-dog-food review (which starts on the next page), we asked readers on our Facebook page what they most wanted to know about dry dog food. We received a lot of good questions, including a great many that revealed a common depth of interest in (and confusion about) feeding dogs. We were somewhat disappointed, however, by the number of people who took the opportunity to criticize dry dog food of any quality – the whole concept of kibble. More than one person asked, “Why would anyone feed such an inappropriate diet to a dog they loved?”   More...