Quality Dog Food Benefits: Health and Costs

I know when looking for cost savings with your dog, you may not think about quality dog food benefits. However, what your dog eats is critical to everything else. This is certainly true with my dog, Henry.

However, I also realize those ads, pretty colored bags, and sales might be tempting. But they may not be helping your pup or your bank account. So, with this in mind, let’s dig in today and discover how affordable quality dog food benefits you and your dog. 

A cute cookapoo enjoys quality dog food benefits.
disclaimer note
Budget tip:

While you may not think that cutting corners on dog food makes any difference for your pup, it does! Cheap junk food dog food can be a huge determent to your pup’s health. Moreover, it doesn't matter if you have a puppy, a senior dog, or an adult pup.

Therefore, cheap dog food can make your dog eat more and increase the amount you need to buy. Thus, increasing the risk of dog health issues such as diabetes and even cancer along with feeding more. As such qualtiy dog food is a great win-win for your pup and your wallet! It’s really a must!

NOTE: This post doesn’t endorse specific food as the so-called best dog food. Rather the goal is to show you what ingredients should be included in your pup’s diet and how it helps lower your overall expenses. 

Are you concerned your dog has allergies and thinking about an allergy test? In this article, I share exactly what my vet said about Henry’s home allergy test. 

How do I know if my pup is eating good quality dog food?

Of course, you can always ask your vet for a nutritional evaluation. However, there are a few things to look for when it comes to dog food. It doesn’t matter if you feed dry dog food, wet food, fresh food homemade, or raw dog food. All these attributes should be adhered to in order to gain the biggest benefits from your dog’s diet.

Foremost, pure meat (no by-product) should be the largest ingredient and listed first if you feed a store-bought brand. 

Additionally, peas and legumes in high quantities, often with grain-free diets, have been linked to heart disease. Moreover, my vet warned me about a grain-free diet with peas and legumes several years ago.

Since Henry is a smaller dog and a mixed breed he can be more prone to heart issues. Additionally, he already has a heart murmur. Thus, I don’t want to aggravate what he’s been dealt. 

However, it should be noted that all dogs, not just small or large breed dogs, can be genetically predisposed to health issues such as heart disease.

With this said, I do know it can be confusing to try to analyze if your dog’s food is good or not. However, there is a great online tool by Pet Food Sherpa that will analyze store-bought and even fresh food homemade diets. It’s a very helpful tool! You can check it out here.

Do you wonder if your dog is a good weight? In this article, I go over how to discover if your pup is the ideal weight and why it’s important.

Are there ingredients I should avoid with my dog’s food?

Yes, there are a few ingredients you’ll want to steer clear of, especially if you are buying a store-brand dog food. These include:

IngredientDamage to the liver, lungs, kidneys, blood, and reproductive system
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)Cancer
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)Damage the liver, lungs, kidneys, blood, and reproductive system
EthoxyquinCancer, autoimmune issues, reproductive problems, and behavioral issues
Nitrates and nitrites (preservatives)Vomiting and diarrhea as well as increases the risk of cancer
Propyl GallateEndocrine issues along with increasing cancer risks
CarrageenanInflammation and cell damage
Sodium HexametaphosphateHeart issues
Sodium TripolyphosphateBrain damage
Corn SyrupDiabetes and obesity
XylitolFatal and terminal liver failure
Food dyesCell and brain damage along with cancer-inducing
Field peas, lentils, chickpeas, and legumesMay contribute to heart disease
SweetenersDiabetes and obesity 
Meat meal and meat by-products (leftover bits and pieces of an animal)Digestive issues
Propylene glycolToxic to pets
Rendered fats (melted-down animal fats)Pancreatitis and obesity
Vegetable oilNot really harmful, but not as beneficial as other oils, such as fish oil
Melamine (a type of plastic used as filler)Fatal

Wish you had a great vet like Henry’s vet. In this article, I share exactly how to find the best vet for you and your pup.

Is a grain-free dog food best for my dog?

Of course, always talk with your vet. However, a grain-free diet with a higher quantity of field peas, lentils, or chickpeas may cause heart disease. As I stated above, my vet steered away from a grain-free diet on Henry’s first visit.

Henry enjoys quality dog food benefits.

Do you ever have a question for your vet, but you’re away from home? Maybe you just want to ask a question without having to deal with an in-person office visit. In this article, I share how online vets may be a great affordable option. (Some are even free). 

What should I look for in good high quality dog food?

You want to look for an essential nutrient diet formula. These ingredients include:

Animal-based proteinCrucial for your dog’s growth, maintenance, reproduction, and cell repair. (This should be the biggest percentage of your dog’s food.)
Whole grains (such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, millet, and barley)Helps keep a dog feeling full, which helps with weight management. Additionally, whole grains also offer nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Vegetable carbohydrates (such as sweet potatoes and carrots)Steady source of energy
Fruit carbohydrates (such as apples, blueberries, and cranberries)Natural sugars along with fiber, vitamins, and minerals
Fats and oils (such as fish oil, canola oil, and flaxseed)Provides energy, and also facilitates the absorption of certain vitamins, adds flavor to the food, and aids with skin and coat health. Additionally, fats such as omega fatty acids found in fish oil help joint health.
Fiber (such as beet pulp, pumpkin, sweet potato, and whole grains like barley, brown rice, and oats)Aids in digestive health

Additionally, if you are buying a store brand check, make sure there is a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Official (AAFCO) stating that it meets the nutritional needs of your dog. 

Want to learn more about how pumpkin can help your dog and reduce your expenses? In this article, I go into all the details. 

Are probiotics good for my dog?

Yes! Probiotics help with digestion as well as aid with the absorption of various vitamins and minerals.

However, there are times I give Henry separate probiotics, such as when he’s sick or just not feeling good. These are the probiotics I use for Henry as needed. He LOVES the taste and it helps to keep him healthy!

Should high quality dog food have added vitamins and minerals?

Most vitamins and minerals can be derived from natural ingredients. However, if a food is listed as “complete and balanced” it may have added vitamins and minerals to reach this level designated by AAFCO

Are you worried about your dog’s treats now? You can easily make homemade dog cookies (even if you aren’t a baker) and control the ingredients while cutting your expenses. In this article, I share how to do it.

What vitamins are good to have in my dog’s food?

There are several vitamins and minerals that have great benefits for dogs. These include:

Vitamin AEye health (Carrots are loaded with vitamin A.)
ThiamineEnergy regulation and metabolizing of carbohydrates 
Riboflavin (B12)Enzyme functions
Vitamin B6Glucose, red blood cells, nervous system, immune system, niacin, and gene functions
Pantothenic acidEnergy
Folic acidMetabolic and blood functions
Vitamin CInflammation and cognitive health. Additionally, Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps keep your dog healthy by protecting your dog from free radicals, which can damage your dog’s health. 
Vitamin DBones and muscles
Vitamin EEye, muscle, and reproductive health. This is also an antioxidant.
Vitamin KBlood clotting
CholineBrain and liver health as well as can help some dogs with epilepsy

Curious about how fish oil can help your dog on a tight budget? In this article, I break it all down for you.

What are the links between dog nutrition and health?

As pointed out, each ingredient in your dog’s food either aids or diminishes your furry friend’s health. Thus, quality dog food is truly the foundation for your dog’s health. 

Moreover, dog food rich in nutrients and good ingredients helps your pup’s digestion, heart, brain, cellular and immunity health.

However, if you are tempted to buy that colorful bag on sale remember it’s filled with by-products, and additives can easily lead to obesity, heart disease, immunity problems, digestive issues, cancer, and even a shorter lifespan. 

Want to learn about free ways to expand your dog’s lifespan? In this article, I share the basic tips (many are free) that will help your dog live a longer and healthier life.

How does high quality dog food cut my expenses?

Basically, if you feed your dog a cheap dog food it’s equivalent to you eating HoHos, macaroni and cheese, fast food, or even ice cream for every meal. Sure, it might taste great, but the health effects are horrible! It’s the same for your dog.

Thus, great dog food will help keep your dog healthy and avoid more vet bills. Additionally, your dog won’t eat as much high quality food as junk dog food, which also decreases your food bill.

As such, consider the following for a moment:

Related articles:

Summary of Quality Dog Food Benefits: Health and Finances

I know it can be tempting to fall for a dazzling commercial, fancy bag, or good sale. But when you consider what that junk dog food actually means, it just isn’t worth it. I know for me I want Henry to live forever!

As such, I won’t feed him junk, even if he thinks he wants it. Healthy dog food helps him maintain better health and avoid more pricey vet bills. That’s all fabulous! Thus, it’s a no-brainer for me with Henry. He’ll always get good quality dog food.

Even puppies like this cute husky enjoy the benefits of quality dog food. Plus, it's affordable!

Did you know that quality dog food can impact your dog’s health and your wallet positively? Will you feed your dog a great diet now? 


10 thoughts on “Quality Dog Food Benefits: Health and Costs”

  1. Fantastic article filled with so much helpful information. Thanks for pointing out how easy it is to “fall” for the fancy packaging with claims of added ingredients that supposedly benefit our dogs. I remember when “grain free” was everywhere and I almost felt tempted to put my dogs on it but then I started reading about possible heart issues which one of my dogs had. I prefer limited ingredient wet and dry food, then for interest since I always have fussy older dogs, I make a list of all the foods they’re allowed then rotate. I add things like boiled chicken breast, boiled white fish, cooked carrots, quinoa and sweet potato to name just a few.

    • Thank you for your kind words! Aren’t those pretty bags tempting? I guess that’s what marketing is all about. Gosh, there certainly was a lot of “grain free” everything from food to cookies. You’re absolutely right, going grain free can cause heart issues. I’m glad you didn’t fall for that marketing trick. Limited ingredient food is a really good idea. Not as much room to throw in the nasty stuff. I LOVE that you have senior pups! It sounds like you are caring for them very well. Paws up and wagging tails to you, Hindy! Make sure to give your pack pets from Henry and myself. 🙂

  2. Good food really does make a difference. I always suggest to clients to buy the best food they can comfortably afford. Grain free is preferable for cats as obligate carnivores but it’s not inexpensive or they sub other fillers in kibbles. Likewise wet food is preferable but not necessarily affordable for everyone. Some vets say even cheap wet food is better than expensive kibble. Limited budgets can be a real challenge.

    • Oh, I didn’t realize that grain-free diets are recommended for cats. I never did that for my cats. Now, I’m curious when this changed. I always feed the best food my vet recommends that I can afford. Such great information, Emilia for your furry meowing friends. You are absolutely right that good food makes a big difference. That goes for all critters and even us. I truly appreciate your insights! Thank you!

  3. I love the list of avoidable additives. We often have no idea what is in our pets’ food and it is so important we do. It is like the ultra processed food for humans.So many chemicals and additives thst we all do not need. So many that actually make us and our pets sick!

    We buy the best quality we can, i.e. what our cats like. I was told grain free is not safe for cats.

    • Thanks, Marjorie! You are absolutely right, that it’s the chemicals, processing, and unknown “stuff” that is harmful both to our furry friends and us. We are what we eat, as the old saying goes.
      Yeah, Henry can be a bit picky as well with his food. I tried some super high end food for him shortly after I adopted him. Oh my! You would’ve thought I served him sawdust. He turned his nose and gave me the “I’m King Henry” snake eye look. I made a change to something he liked better. Must be nice to be a king. 😉
      Interesting about grain free diets and cats. I’m going to have to go down that rabbit hole out of curiosity.
      Hugs and pets to the kitties!

  4. Such an excellent and informative article, Terri! I hear a lot from people telling me choosing dog food can be confusing and dizzying for pet parents. Like Hindy, I, too, remember when “grain free” was all the rage (for dogs). I love how you outline the good healthy ingredients and the ones to beware of, no matter why type of food one feeds their dogs. For some Epi-dogs, rosemary and wheat gluten are two ingredients that could be seizure triggers, so reading the label is so important! I always love how in-depth you write and inform in your articles. I know pet parents will find it very helpful. And the budget breakdown is always an eye opener! Sharing to my FiveSibes audience!

    • Awe, thank you, Dorothy! That whole grain free thing was nuts a few years ago. I’m glad that’s been put to rest for the most part. Oh my! I didn’t realize that rosemary or wheat gluten could cause a seize with Epi-Dogs. That’s really good info to know. I’m happy to hear that I’m providing good and valuable information. I do my best. Honestly, I LOVE the cost break out section as well. But then again, I’m a big numbers nerd. Thank you for sharing and for always being so supportive!

  5. What a great article which has relaxed me also as I have been home cooking for Layla since I rescued her and often wondered if she was getting a really balanced meal and you have answered all the questions for me. I will not give her any bought dog food or treats as I make all at home so this article for those looking into keeping their dogs really healthy is an absolute eye opener and Henry is a lucky boy to have you as his Mom. Have a great week.

    • Oh yay! I put your mind at ease about Layla’s food. That warms my heart to hear! Honestly, trying to figure out dog food, even when making homemade, is super confusing. I really like the link to check the balance of your dog food. That’s genius! It helps me as well. Thank you for your kind words. As Henry lays next to me napping, I’m certain, he would want to send you and Miss Layla (along with me) a pawsitively awesome week! 😉


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