Our standards when assessing dog food

At iHeartDogs, we take the responsibility of recommending dog food seriously. In this short post, we explain the philosophy behind which foods we recommend and why:

1. We will never recommend foods that contain dangerous artificial preservatives or artificial colors

artificial colors

Any pigment, dye or other substance that is not a derivative of a natural compound, which gives color to a food. Usually done for cosmetic purposes, has zero nutritional value.

  • Ingredient panel with “Artificial colors”
  • FD&C Blue No. 1
  • FD&C Blue No. 2
  • FD&C Green No. 3
  • Orange B
  • Citrus red no. 2
  • FD&C Red No. 3
  • FD&C Red No. 40
  • FD&C Yellow No. 5
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6
  • Titanium Dioxide**
  • Added colors✝

Artificial Preservatives

Chemicals added to food to prevent spoilage, spoilage, contamination or discoloration by bacteria and other organisms. Excluding preservatives that are derivatives of natural compounds.

  • benzoic acid
  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Calcium sorbate
  • Dilauryl thiodipropionate
  • Erythorbic Acid
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Methylparaben
  • Potassium bisulfite
  • Potassium Metabisulfite
  • potassium sorbate
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Propylparaben
  • Sodium Metabisulfite
  • Sodium propionate
  • Sodium Sorbate
  • sodium sulfite
  • tin(II) chloride
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • TBHQ – Tertiary Butyl Hydroquinone
  • Thidipropionic Acid

2. We do not recommend foods with serious or recent recalls

Safety is our primary concern, and for this reason we will not include a food if it has had a recent recall, or a serious or recurring recall in its history. Sign up for the free iHeartDogs Health newsletter to stay informed about recalls.

3. All reviews are unbiased

Inclusion in our food reviews is based entirely on our editorial team. No company can pay to be placed or ranked in our lists. Because iHeartDogs is reader-supported, we may receive a small affiliate commission if you click on some of our links and make a purchase, but it will not cost you any additional fees.

4. There is no best food, only the best food for you and your budget

5. We encourage food rotation, variety and fresh food add-ons

Just as we would never feed our human children the exact same meal every day, we strongly recommend alternating dog food. Rotating reduces the risk of your dog being affected by a recall or nutritional imbalance caused by a particular food. In addition, we strongly recommend adding fresh foods to any commercial diet.

About the author

Justin Palmer is the founder of iHeartCats.com and iHeartDogs.com and is passionate about promoting pet health. He is a DNM University certified pet nutritionist.

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