Types of Dog Food

The name which different types of dog food are referred by is usually self-explanatory; however, there are some details about each type of dog food which can impact your dog?s health, so it pays to spend some time studying the variety of options, and decide which is the best fit for your pet.


Complementary dog food only partially addresses the nutritional needs of dogs, and for that reason it is not to be used as the sole food source. Complementary foods are designed to be fortified with additional food stuff such as biscuits or snacks.


Dog foods labeled ?complete? are designed to be the only food and nutritional source for your dog. When feeding a ?complete? food to your pet, it is not necessary to fortify the food using other nutritional sources such as dog biscuits or snacks.


Food with very low moisture content are called ?dry?. Dry dog foods are relatively low in protein compared to wet dog food. The dry dog food comes in a few different forms, the most common being the pellet or kibble, which is food stuff extruded into the final shape. Dry food can be served as is, or can be moistened with water, gravy, or be combined with wet food.

Grain Free

As the name suggests, ?grain free? dog food does not have any type of grain as part of its ingredients. This type of dog food is currently very popular; however, the nutritional benefits are a hotly debated topics among dog owners as well as pet-health professionals.


Homemade dog food is another popular trend among dog owners; however, it is important to keep in mind that if you are going to make your own dog food at home, that the food is nutritionally well balanced, and addresses all of your dog?s needs.

Human Grade

'Human grade' is a term which is a term which is prohibited by AAFCO for use on pet food packaging. The term ?human grade? is an unclear term, just like ?all natural? or ?natural?, because the are no farms which produce food exclusively for use as ingredients for dog food. Unless every ingredient in the dog food, and every processing method used is approved by the FDA, then the food would not be suitable for human consumption, thus not ?human grade?. So this is another term to watch out for, as it can be used as a marketing ploy.


Hypoallergenic dog food comes in a variety of recipes. This type of dog food uses ingredient combinations which aims to help dogs with allergies to certain types of food to be able to avoid the allergens. For example, most dogs which are allergic to beef as their main protein source, can handle lamb as their main source of protein without experiencing an allergic reaction.

Low & High Protein

Depending on the nutritional needs of your dog, and the advisement of your veterinarian, you may need to make use of dog foods which are either high or low in protein content. Generally, foods which are made to address these specific needs are labeled accordingly.

Moist (Wet)

Wet dog food, as you might suspect, has a high moisture content, and are usually prepared at high temperatures before they are conserved in cans. The moist dog food is most commonly packaged in a can; however, other varieties are offered in pouches, sealed trays, and are soaked in gravy, or jelly.


Dog food must be comprised of, at least, 95% organic ingredients (by weight) in order to qualify for the USDA Organic label. The benefits of feeding organic dog food to your panting pal is an ongoing debate, but more and more dog owners are opting to feed their canine companion the organic food variety.


The controversy surrounding raw dog food overshadows that of the organic dog food debate, but supporters are convinced that feeding having a dog on an all raw diet can help improve the dogs coat, skin, and teeth, and also boost the dog?s energy level. A proper raw dog food diet will include no cooked or heated ingredients, and would include raw meat, vegetables and bones.


Vegetarian dog food is highly controversial as feeding such food to dogs is forcing the animal to survive on a diet that is simply against its physiology. It is advised that dog owners stay away from a vegetarian or vegan diet for their dogs, or exercise extreme caution to make sure the nutritional needs of the dog are met.