Just as potato chips may be considered a "filler food" for humans, with few nutritional benefits and being high in fats, additives and preservatives, some commercial dog food can be placed in the same category. If you have ever looked at the ingredient panel on a bag of "generic" or "store brand" dog food, you will see that they are highly processed and may contain bi-products and lots of preservatives. Foods of this caliber do little to keep your pet healthy and full of energy. "Top Rated" or "Name Brand" dog foods are usually healthier than their cheaper, mass produced counterparts. Your biggest concern should be the health and happiness of your dog. Giving your dog a food that is of good quality, while higher at the check-out stand, may actually save you money in the long run in vet bills. Many people say that dog food is dog food, but they are missing the facts that by choosing top rated dog food, they may actually improve their dog's health. If you are like me, you may question reviews on food for dogs you find on the internet. Who are the ones actually rating the food? Is it actual dog owners, or representatives of the dog food company just trying to sell their product? Could it be a rival company trying to tell you that a truly good quality food is not worth anything? If you value your pet, you should research the different choices in dog food that you are presented with. Make sure your dog is getting the best nutrition you can afford. It may take some time and extra effort on your part to research the different foods on the market, but isn't your dog's health worth it? Although there are some great commercial foods for dogs on the market, many people think that homemade dog food is the best for their pets. If you want to be certain that only quality ingredients get into your pet's food, this is about the only way you can guarantee what is in his food, as you pick it out and make it fresh yourself. Caring for your dog isn't a great challenge. Taking care of essential needs such as clean water and high quality food is not that hard to do. Despite what you may hear, not all dog food is created equally. Before purchasing a commercial dog food, check the label carefully. Most commercial food is manufactured with bi-products and poor quality meats. They may even be made with highly processed meats and organs from diseased sources. Processors believe that by heating the foods to extremely high temperatures will kill all the bad things in the food. All this typically ensures is that any nutrients that may have been found in other ingredients is cooked out. One of the best things to look for in a dog food is that it is made from "human grade" meat ingredients. Simply put, "human grade" meat used in the dog food could have been served to someone in a restaurant. Most "cheaper" commercial foods, and some of the more expensive ones, do not use meat that was meant for human consumption. If you wouldn't eat it, why feed it to your best friend? Choosing between the many different dog foods may seem like quite a task. Commercials and advertisements may make the food seem very beneficial for your pet. Many times they will claim to be very high in quality and show a happy, healthy dog eating their food on T.V. If the ingredients are not laid out in detail on the package, or if they are missing, DO NOT buy the food for your dog. Chances are, this type of dog food was made of sub-par ingredients, and may contain chemicals and bi-products that may harm your dog. Just like the potato chip analogy, many commercially processed dog foods are made with fillers such as corn gluten, corn meal, and other such ingredients to help keep production costs down. These ingredients have virtually no nutritional value and will not benefit your dog in any way. Many quality conscious dog food producers will include vegetables, "human grade" meats, meat proteins, oats or whole grains in their foods. These ingredients have great nutritional value, and will generally keep your dog healthy and active. As I said earlier, it may cost more up front to buy your dog quality dog food, but I can assure you it will save you money later on. If you can avoid expensive vet bills, medications, and possible surgical fees, why wouldn't you buy your dog the best food you can afford? Your dog's health and happiness should be priority number one in your book. This essential, basic component in caring for your dog doesn't have to be a complicated task. Simply read the labels on the side of the bag, and ask your vet or do your own research on the internet to find the best food you can afford for your pet. I guarantee he will thank you for it.