Our Standards When Reviewing Dog Foods

At iHeartDogs, we take seriously the responsibility of recommending dog foods. In this short post, we’ll explain the philosophy behind what foods we recommend and why:

1. We Will Never Recommend Foods Containing Dangerous Artificial Preservatives or Artificial Colors

Artificial colors

Any pigment, dye, or other substance, that is not a derivative of a natural compound, that imparts color to a food. Done usually for cosmetic purposes, has zero nutritional value. 

  • Ingredient panel that includes “Artificial Colors”
  • FD&C Blue No. 1
  • FD&C Blue No. 2
  • FD&C Green No. 3
  • Orange B
  • Citrus Red No. 2
  • FD&C Red No. 3
  • FD&C Red No. 40
  • FD&C Yellow No. 5
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6
  • Titanium dioxide**
  • Added Colors✝


Artificial preservatives

Chemical substances added to food to prevent spoilage, deterioration, contamination, or discoloration by bacteria & other organisms. Excludes preservatives that are derivatives of natural compounds.

  • Benzoic acid
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Calcium sorbate
  • Dilauryl thiodipropionate
  • Erythorbic acid
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Methylparaben
  • Potassium bisulfite
  • Potassium metabisulfite
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Propylene glycol
  • Propylparaben
  • Sodium metabisulfite
  • Sodium propionate
  • Sodium sorbate
  • Sodium sulfite
  • Stannous chloride
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • TBHQ – Tertiary butylhydroquinone
  • Thiodipropionic acid

2. We Avoid Recommending Foods with Serious or Recent Recalls

Safety is our top concern, and for this reason we will not include a food if it’s had a recent recalls, or a serious or reoccurring recall in it’s history. To stay up to date on recalls, please join the free iHeartDogs Health newsletter.

3. All Reviews Are Unbiased

Inclusion in our food reviews is based entirely on our editorial team. No company can pay for placement or ranking in our lists. Because iHeartDogs is reader supported, we may receive a small affiliate commission if you click on some of our links and make a purchase, however this comes at no additional cost to you.

4. There is No Single Best Food, Only the Best Food for You & Your Budget


5. We Encourage Food Rotation, Variety, and Fresh Food Add Ons

Just like we would never feed our human children the exact same meal each and every day, we strongly recommend rotating dog foods. Rotating reduces the risk of your dog being affected by a recall or a nutrition imbalance caused by any one particular food. In addition, we highly recommend adding in fresh food to any commercial diet.


About The Author

Justin Palmer is the founder of iHeartCats.com and iHeartDogs.com and has a passion for promoting the health of pets. He is a DNM University certified pet food expert.