Before I begin here, everyone has the right to choose the proper diet for their own dog and for their own pets. What is important is to make informed decisions and to be sure that your pet is getting all of the nutrition they need.
Though some may like to make their dogs food on their own, I would not recommend doing so before consulting with your vet and doing a lot of research to learn about the nutritional needs of your dog. Thankfully there are countless dog food producers now who are doing wonderful jobs putting together great foods.
Here is what to look out for in a dog food product:
Real Meats – Though meat-byproducts are not always as bad as some make them out to be (heart, bone, lungs, skin, etc.) having real plain meat, preferable as the first ingredient, is indicative of a quality food.
Natural, Organic, or Holistic – Don’t let these words skew your decision. Their use is not regulated and have not been defined by the organisation who regulates animal food. The only word that you can use to help influence your choice other than the ingredients themselves should be “Human Grade”. This means that the ingredient is best of the best.
Corn: For years many have seen their dogs have irritation and skin problems which cleared up when they were switched from a food including corn to food without it. It has not been widely scientifically studied, though interest in doing such has been shown, but one would recommend that if your dog is itching and biting frequently to try food without corn.
Grain: In the same relation to corn as mentioned above, some dogs would benefit from grain-free diets. This would have been something quite difficult to achieve just a few years ago, but now you can find grain-free diets from even the big name dog food producers. I would recommend having a conversation with your vet before making any drastic changes to a diet or before choosing a grain-free diet from the get-go.
Another thing to think about when feeding your dog is whether you will stick with one food or if you should rotate their diet. A lot of favor has been put towards a rotating diet as it is very likely that such a diet will help broaden your dogs palette, especially if fed this way very early. This can benefit you because a dog fed one food only may be less likely to take to a different food in the future if you want to change or if the food gets discontinued, or even if the recipe for the food changes.
As with anything, be informed as much as you can about the things which you give your pet. If you would look at the labels on the processed food you give your family, or which you eat yourself, why would you blindly purchase something for your pet?