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Our Requirements When Reviewing Canine Meals

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

Here at iHeartDogs, we follow the latest veterinary science and will avoid recommending food with dangerous or even questionable ingredients. Foods we review will never contain ingredients such as BHA, BHT, Propylene glycol, and parabens. Can can find a complete list of our disallowed ingredients below:

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 Will Never Recommend 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  or view the FDA’s recalls and withdrawals list for pet food.

3. All Reviews Are Unbiased

Inclusion in our food reviews is based entirely on our expert editorial team’s discretion. 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

Our pet food reviews seek to cover a wide variety of foods for every budget. We believe pet parents will make the best decision for their dog given their financial resources. This is a no judgement zone! Typically our reviews will provide dry food options, wet food, fresh food, and raw food choices.

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 foods to any commercial diet. Here’s some great dog food toppers ideas.


About The Author

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

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