Since you feed your dog the same thing day in and day out, make it something really good for them. The dog foods available at the supermarket are less than desirable. The worst, such as Kibbles and Bits or Beneful, are full of food coloring and other chemicals. All of them use corn, rice and wheat as fillers (dog's don't need it, derive little nutritional value from it, but it fills them up) and as little meat as possible. They include soy protein, but dogs cannot turn soy protein into usable protein as well as humans can, and so it is not a sufficient source of protein for them. Finally, the vitamins and minerals listed on the package are added in after the food was processed, like "fortified" cereals and Wonder Bread. Vitamin pills are good for you, but they do not provide nutrition (otherwise I'd be eating them and saving the calorie intake for brownies with ice cream on top!). Yes, these foods will sustain your dog, but they are not in any way optimal.
Better quality foods (see a list of good foods below) have whole ingredients, such as tomatoes, eggs, blueberries, kelp and alfalfa, not to mention meat. The meat is human-grade, not the "dead, diseased and dying" meat the USDA refuses (which is in the other dog foods). Because the food is actually present (not filler, not soy), the vitamins and minerals listed on the label come from these food. It isn't that some vitamins and minerals aren't added or that there are no fillers, just that there is much, much less of this going on and way more actual nutrition-providing food sources in these more expensive foods. It's worth it!
There are many excellent, high-quality foods on the market. These are a few that we have found to be readily available in our area that owners have seen good results with:
- Call of the Wild
- Evo (grain free) by Innova
- Natures Variety (all types)
- Natural Balance
- Timberwolf (available at The Good Dog Spot)
- Blue Buffalo
You will find most of these at Pet Supplies Plus, where they are more than happy to educate you about good food and treat choices for your pets. Most small, specialty pet stores carry them as well. The other large chain stores generally don't carry them and local feed stores will vary individually.