Feeding a dog is not an easy thing to do. One of the most important things we can do for our dog is choosing the best dog food. There are different foods for small dogs and large dogs, thin dogs and fat dogs, couch potatoes and active dogs, and even food specific to a breed. Looking forward to hear your advice on how to choose the best nutrition for our dogs.
I usually go for branded dog foods like purina and I always practice keen caution and watchful prudence about new dog food products. Good thing my dogs eat fish. Its a good source of protein and they are not allergic to it.
Be careful also about this ingredients as most dogs are allergic to chicken, corn, wheat, dairy, soy, beef, and oats.
Any good holistic food is a an excellent choice. Stay away from food with any by-products, corn, or wheat. Rotating foods is also a good idea. Feeding the same thing over, and over again can promote allergies. You can also do a water test. Drop a couple pieces of food in a bowl of water. If it expands, it has fillers, and is not good. If it stays the same size, and eventually starts to get smaller, there is no fillers. Fillers lack in nutrients.
Some of my favorite kibbles are, California Natural, Merrick, Innova, and Nature's Variety Instinct. Raw is also a good choice. Especially for dogs with allergies. There is a sticky on top of the dog talk forum to help decide what is good, and what is bad. Here is the link for it.
If the kibble expands in water, it has fillers as well as starches which could come in the form of grains like rice. So it's not necessarily bad for your dogs. If you prefer grain-free foods, that's fine but many of the grain-free kibbles use potato or green pea to bind the kibbles - these are starches and act in the same way grains do (in terms of insulin levels). To me, the purest and freshest food is the best. A raw diet, if handled properly, will give your dog the freshest food available and can be easily digested. Kibble is processed so your dog's body doesn't have to 'work; to digest it and the nutrients aren't absorbed as readily. It also contains synthetic vitamins and such so it's not as natural as raw food. Just my humble opinion. You can also feed homecooked food. If you choose kibble, there isn't really a specific formula for a breed IMO but there are good quality kibbles out there. It also depends how your dog does on the food; just because a food is considered holistic (which, to me, is a marketing gimmick as there are no regulations on what is considered holistic pet food) or premium, doesn't necessarily mean your dog can digest it well. So when choosing a food for your dog, it's trial and error. Try a food for a month and see how your dog does. If his bowel movements are fine and he likes it, his coat is shiny and he has vitality, then it is probably working well with him.
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland