The Best Dog Food for Belgian Malinois in 2021 (Top 8 Picks)

Edited by: Mike Powell
Reviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall for Belgian Malinois: Victor Purpose Grain Free Dry Dog Food
“Joint supplements are extremely important for Belgian Malinois dogs and this one contains a great amount of glucosamine and chondroitin. The ingredients in this food are added for superior digestibility and immune system support.

Best Flavor Range: ACANA Crunchy Biscuits Dog Treats
“ACANA Crunchy Biscuits Dog Treats offer an excellent nutritional profile that meets the daily requirements of Belgian Malinois dogs. It’s a high-protein, nutrient-dense food in a lip-smacking flavor.”

Best Value for Money: Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dry Dog Food
“This dog food is surprisingly packed with vitamins and antioxidants that maintain your dog’s healthy immune system as well as support his other body functions. The quality is superb for an amazingly affordable price.”

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Belgian Malinois are highly energetic dogs. To facilitate their energy levels, you need to feed them foods that are high in fat and protein. This large breed dog is also prone to joint issues, especially as they mature. Having joint supplements in their diet is incredibly important. 

To help you save some time looking for the best dog food for Belgian Malinois, we’ve created this list of our top recommendations. These dog foods do not only provide proper and well-rounded nourishment for your pooch, they’re also available in flavors they will surely enjoy.

Product Name
Best Overall for Belgian Malinois
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Victor Purpose - Grain Free Hero Canine, Dry Dog Food
Acana Grain Free Dog Food, Red Meat, Ranch-Raised Beef, Yorkshire Pork, Grass-Fed Lamb, 25lb
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 94/100
Our Rating 92/100
Our Rating 91/100
Feature 1
High levels of joint supplements to support active Belgian Malinois
Contains DHA and EPA, making it suitable for puppies and seniors
High levels of Omega fatty acids for skin & coat health
Feature 2
Added minerals and vitamins that maintains a strong immune system
Similar nutrient profiles across all recipes
Well-priced, premium quality nutrition for very active dogs
Best Overall for Belgian Malinois
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Victor Purpose - Grain Free Hero Canine, Dry Dog Food
Our grade
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
High levels of joint supplements to support active Belgian Malinois
Feature 2
Added minerals and vitamins that maintains a strong immune system
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Flavor Range
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Acana Grain Free Dog Food, Red Meat, Ranch-Raised Beef, Yorkshire Pork, Grass-Fed Lamb, 25lb
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Contains DHA and EPA, making it suitable for puppies and seniors
Feature 2
Similar nutrient profiles across all recipes
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Value for Money
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 91/100
Feature 1
High levels of Omega fatty acids for skin & coat health
Feature 2
Well-priced, premium quality nutrition for very active dogs
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Sources researched
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Sources researched
Customer reviews
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Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
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Hours spent testing
Products tested
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Products tested

Best Dog Food for Belgian Malinois

Here are our top recommendations for the best dog food for Belgian Malinois pups:

  1. Best Overall for Belgian Malinois: Victor Purpose Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  2. Best Flavor Range: ACANA Crunchy Biscuits Dog Treats
  3. Best Value for Money: Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dry Dog Food
  4. Best for Skin & Coat Health: American Journey Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  5. Best for Beligan Malinois Puppies: ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food
  6. Best for Belgian Malinois Seniors: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Dry Dog Food
  7. Best Raw Diet: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties
  8. Best Wet Food/Kibble Topper: Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food Topper

1. Victor Purpose Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best Overall for Belgian Malinois: Promotes long-term joint health and immune support 

Victor Purpose - Grain Free Hero Canine, Dry Dog Food
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Key Features

  • Contains high-fiber vegetables for easy digestion 
  • High levels of joint supplements to support active Belgian Malinois
  • Good Omegas and DHA for skin & coat and brain development
  • Added minerals and vitamins that maintains a strong immune system

Victor Purpose Grain Free Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for highly active Belgian Malinois who need extra joint support. 33% protein provides great support for muscles, and 16% fat is enough for a typical Belgian Malinois’ energy levels. 

Glucosamine, chondroitin, and EPA help to strengthen and protect joints from impact injuries, including knee and hip dysplasia. Vitamins, minerals, and L-carnitine boost the immune and digestive system. L-carnitine regulates metabolism so your dog can use energy from fat effectively. 

With 383 calories per cup of kibble, this dog food is also ideal for slightly less active Belgian Malinois. It will nourish them adequately without the threat of feeding them too many calories.

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Meat meal is as healthy as real  meat, and contains high protein levels with fewer calories. Victor Purpose Grain-Free Hero Canine is ideal for dogs who have an allergy to chicken, as it contains beef, pork, and fish meal. Probiotics and chelated minerals help the digestive process to go smoothly. 

DHA also helps keep the eyes healthy and prevents the development of retinal atrophy and cataracts. If your dog already suffers from eye diseases, it can help to slow down the progression. 

2. ACANA Crunchy Biscuits Dog Treats

Best Flavor Range: Amazingly delicious flavor range ideal for fussy eater Belgian Malinois dogs

Acana Grain Free Dog Food, Red Meat, Ranch-Raised Beef, Yorkshire Pork, Grass-Fed Lamb, 25lb
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Key Features

  • Similar nutrient profiles across all recipes 
  • Contains DHA and EPA, making it suitable for puppies and seniors 
  • All flavors are grain-free, ideal for fussy eater dogs with some food sensitivities
  • Good calcium/phosphorus ratio plus joint supplements

ACANA Crunchy Biscuits Dog Treats caters to high-energy dogs, with a fat count of 17% and a protein content of 29%. It’s ideal for Belgian Malinois who are picky eaters, as it’s available in five different grain-free recipes all with very similar nutrient profiles. 

The dog food is rounded off by joint supplements, added probiotics, good Omega levels, and DHA/EPA, which make it suitable for Belgian Malinois of all ages. 

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Nutrient-Dense Dog Food With Organ Meat 

The premium quality ingredient list is fortified by the addition of organ meat, cartilage, and bone. These offer more amino acids than just muscle meat. More amino acids mean more easily digestible protein and an enhanced immune system. 

Every recipe is packed with vitamins and minerals that come not only from healthy and high-fiber fruits and vegetables, but also from botanical inclusions such as rose hips, sarsaparilla root, and turmeric (which is also a natural anti-inflammatory).

3. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dry Dog Food

Best Value for Money: Well-priced, premium quality nutrition for very active dogs 

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
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Key Features

  • Extra fat content for highly active Belgian Malinois
  • High levels of Omega fatty acids for skin & coat health
  • Contains joint supplements to support your dog’s large frame
  • Added L-carnitine for energy regulation

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete dry dog food is perfect for Belgian Malinois who get a lot of exercise. The fat count is unusually high, at 25%, so less active dogs may not be able to burn it off. At just over a dollar per pound of kibble, this dog food is also budget-friendly. 

This dry dog food contains some superfood ingredients like kale, blueberries, and kelp. These are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium are also added to keep your dog’s vitamin and mineral counts at a healthy level. 

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Best Dog Food for Athletic Belgian Malinois Dogs 

As well as the high fat count, 32% high-quality protein strengthens your dog’s muscles to facilitate their natural athleticism. Joint supplements protect their joints from impact as they’re moving at speed. 

Your dog’s immune and digestive system also get a boost, thanks to leading levels of Omega-6 fatty acids and K9 Strain probiotics.

4. American Journey Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best for Skin & Coat Health: Highly nutritious and well-priced dog food with great Omega Fatty Acids for healthy skin and shiny coat

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Key Features

  • Salmon oil and flaxseed provide an excellent blend of Omega fatty acids to boost skin and coat health
  • Good protein and fat content for energetic dogs 
  • Contains joint supplements for extra support 
  • DHA makes it suitable for developing puppies too

American Journey Grain Free Dry Dog Food is suitable for Belgian Malinois puppies, adult dogs, and seniors. The high-quality ingredient list offers enough protein and fat to accommodate Belgian Malinois energy levels, and a full range of supplements offers immune, joint, and digestive support. 

Its main ingredient is Salmon which is an excellent protein and Omega Fatty Acids source. Not only will it support healthy muscle development, it will also keep your dog’s skin healthy and add extra shine to its coat.

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Versatile Dog Food for Malinois of All Ages 

The fat level (14%) supplies enough energy for moderate to highly active Belgian Malinois. 32% protein maintains strength in the muscles. Glucosamine and chondroitin keep your bouncy dog’s joints well-supported. 

DHA is an essential fatty acid that helps puppies’ brain cells and eye cells to develop properly. It can also be helpful for an adult Belgian Malinois, to support healthy eyes. A senior dog can benefit from it as it keeps their eyes and brain healthy for longer as they age. 

Vitamins and minerals from healthy fruits and vegetables boost your dog’s immune system.

5. ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food

Best for Beligan Malinois Puppies: Protein-rich puppy-specific dog food formulated for growing Belgian Malinois pups

ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
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Key Features

  • 85% animal ingredients providing concentrated amino acid blend
  • Perfect calcium/phosphorus ratio for large breed puppies 
  • DHA and EPA facilitate healthy eyes and brain development 
  • Good levels of joint supplements to support growth

Belgian Malinois puppies will get all the nutrition they need from ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food. The nutrient counts are designed to cater for large breed puppies. A carefully balanced calcium/phosphorus ratio and glucosamine help to protect your Belgian Malinois puppy from damaging their bones and joints while they’re still growing.

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Dog Food to Help Belgian Malinois Puppies Develop 

Apart from the obvious bone and joint gains, your Belgian Malinois puppy will benefit from DHA and EPA. These fatty acids assist in the healthy development of eye and brain tissue. 

High protein and fat counts give your little Belgian Malinois strength and energy. Elevated levels of Omegas nourish your puppy’s skin and coat and aid in digestion. Probiotics also boost the digestive system. 

The ingredient list is packed with great quality real food ingredients. A group of proteins including chicken, turkey, egg, and a variety of fish provide the 38% protein count. Orijen also uses muscle meat, organ meat, and cartilage, which provide cell-building amino acids. 

6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Dry Dog Food

Best for Belgian Malinois Seniors: Lower fat count prevents weight gain as seniors slow down 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken 24-lb
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Key Features

  • High protein to maintain healthy muscle mass 
  • High in fiber for easier digestion 
  • L-carnitine helps to regulate metabolism 
  • DHA and EPA keep eyes and brain cells stronger for longer

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior dry dog food is ideal for senior Belgian Malinois dogs who are becoming less active as they age. A lowered fat count accommodates a lower activity level. This prevents your dog from gaining weight as they would if the fat content was high, as they may not be able to burn off all the calories fat. 

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Helpful Supplements for Aging Belgian Malinois 

As well as burning less fat, senior dogs’ digestive systems may struggle to digest as effectively. This dog food promotes healthy digestion as it’s grain-free, high in fiber (7%), and contains L-carnitine. This helpful supplement regulates metabolism and helps your senior dog to use the fat in their food effectively for energy. 

Mid-range levels of glucosamine and chondroitin fortify your older dog’s joints, protecting them from wear and tear as they age. Although DHA and EPA are known as puppy-specific nutrients, they’re great for keeping aging eyes and brain cells healthy and sharp.

7. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties

Best Raw Diet: Minimally-processed food with concentrated protein content from premium quality animal ingredients

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Surf 'N Turf (Salmon & Beef) Dinner Patties Dog Food, 15 oz. Bag
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Key Features

  • Range of delicious raw meat recipes 
  • All recipes are extremely high in protein and fat 
  • Single source protein with concentrated amino acid blend
  • Contains organic fruits and vegetables loaded with fiber and antioxidants

A raw food diet is ideal for highly energetic dogs, as it doesn’t take much digesting to make the nutrients usable. Every flavor of Stella and Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties has a very high fat count (between 28% and 38%) and an equivalent protein count (38% to 48%). 

The high nutrients content of these dinner patties are thanks to minimal processing. Freeze-drying locks the nutrients in, and you can simply add water to rehydrate the freeze-dried patties before feeding your Belgian Malinois. 

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Freeze-Dried Raw Nutrition With Minimal Processing 

Each of these freeze-dried raw recipes contains a single source animal protein, which makes them ideal for dogs with food allergies. Muscle meat, liver, kidney, and bone offer more nutrients than just muscle meat. The range of flavors also makes it easy to avoid problem proteins. 

The high-quality protein is complemented by an array of organic vegetables and fruits. These provide vitamins and minerals. Although the premium quality ingredients are highly digestible, probiotics have been added as extra digestive help.

8. Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food Topper

Best Wet Food/Kibble Topper: Add extra calories and fat for an energy and immune boost 

Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain Free Gut Health Grain Free All Natural Dog Food Topper by Nature's Variety, 5.5 oz. Bag
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Key Features

  • Four different recipes to address specific health issues 
  • Freeze-dried raw food to maintain nutritional integrity 
  • All-natural, premium quality ingredients loaded with fiber and antioxidants

Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food Toppers are the ideal way to increase your Belgian Malinois’ calorie count if they need more fuel. Made from all-natural ingredients, every one of the four recipes offers health-promoting properties, a high fat count, and are free from allergy-causing corn, wheat, or soy. 

If your dog is running out of energy during the day, this recipe range contains almost 300 calories per cup and is perfect for adding more calories to your Belgian Malinois diet. 

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Ideal Kibble Topper for Belgian Malinois Dog 

It offers four different formulas for different health issues. While each one is high in protein and fat, they offer different supplements. Gut Health recipe has extra probiotics added. The Immune Health formula is packed with extra vitamins and minerals. 

Skin and Coat formula offers unusually high levels of Omega fatty acids, while Mobility Support will give your dog extra joint support.


Belgian Malinois Dietary and Nutritional Requirements 

Determining the Appropriate Caloric Intake 

Your dog’s correct calorie intake is based on his or her ideal weight and activity level. An adult female Belgian Malinois can weigh between 40 and 60 pounds, and males weigh between 60 and 80 pounds. Activity levels can also vary depending on your dog’s age, temperament, and health. 

You can use an online calorie calculator such as this one. But we recommend asking your dog’s veterinarian about their weight and ideal calorie intake. They can examine your Belgian Malinois and inform you if they need to gain or lose weight, or maintain their current weight. 

You’ll need to reevaluate their calorie count regularly. Any change in health or energy levels can affect their activity, which in turn means they could be burning more or less calories. As a general rule, adult dogs need fewer calories than puppies, and seniors need fewer calories than adults. 

You don’t need to go back to your vet every time you want to reassess your dog’s calorie intake. If they’re looking slightly chubby, reduce their daily calories by 50 and see how it goes for a few weeks. If they’re looking thin or don’t have enough energy, increase their calories by 50 per day and see if it helps. 

Puppies 

Large breed puppies like the Belgian Malinois need a large breed puppy food. These are designed to meet the nutritional needs of large breed puppies, as they need different nutrient counts to other breeds. 

Puppy foods are higher in calories, protein, and fat to accommodate their growth. Also essential in a large breed puppy food is an appropriate calcium/phosphorus ratio. 1:1.2 is ideal, being enough to facilitate healthy bone growth. This amount won’t compromise bone strength by forcing the bones to grow too fast, making them brittle and weak. 

Also important are glucosamine, DHA for eye and brain development, and health levels of Omegas. 

Senior Dogs 

Senior dogs tend to be less active than adults, so they need a lower calorie count as they’re burning fewer calories. This is usually facilitated by lowering the fat content of a dog food, as fat is the primary energy source for dogs. 

While a lower count is essential to prevent your older dog gaining weight, the protein count should remain high to maintain muscle mass and strength. 

Other important nutrients for senior dogs include glucosamine for strong and healthy joints, DHA for keeping the eyes sharp and the brain cells healthy, and L-carnitine, which helps to keep the metabolism working as it should. 

Pregnant Belgian Malinois  

Pregnant dogs need more calories, fat, and protein than usual. She’s eating for more than one at this time, so a fat count of more than 20% and a protein count of more than 30% is excellent. She will need to continue with these higher nutrients until she has stopped producing milk. 

It’s also advisable to choose a dog food containing DHA. Her puppies are being nourished through her food, and they need DHA from as young an age as possible. 

If you can, feed your Belgian Malinois a puppy-specific food instead of an adult dog food while she’s pregnant. You can add some high-protein or high-fat treats to keep her energy up. 

Dogs With Allergies 

Although Belgian Malinois aren’t prone to sensitive stomachs, food allergies can develop at any time and at any age. Although having a food allergy won’t change your Belgian Malinois’ nutritional requirements, it does mean that you need to be more careful what you feed your dog. 

The best dog food for Belgian Malinois with allergies is a limited ingredient diet. Having just one protein source and a select few healthy carbohydrates can reduce allergies significantly. 

Limited ingredient recipe ranges like Acana Singles and Blue Buffalo Basics offer a variety of flavors. This allows your dog to avoid ingredients that cause allergies, but still gives them a choice of flavors so even picky eaters won’t get bored. 

Common allergens include chicken, lamb, egg product, beef, potatoes, and legumes


Common Health Problems In Belgian Malinois 

Joint Dysplasia 

Elbow, knee, and hip dysplasia are common in Belgian Malinois. Their high activity levels make them prone to poor joint health. For this reason, it’s important that Belgian Malinois dog foods contain glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints. 

Symptoms include limping, changes in gait, and an unexplained decline in physical activity. Take your dog to the vet if they show signs of hip dysplasia, as it can be painful and limit their range of motion. 

Cataracts 

Belgian Malinois are also prone to cataracts. They are more common in seniors, but can start to develop at any age. 

You may notice changes in the color of your dog’s eyes, or a difference in the size of their pupil. Cloudiness in the eyes is one of the most common signs. As your dog loses vision, they may become reluctant to jump on or off of things. They may also become more clumsy than usual. 

Take your Belgian Malinois to the vet if you notice any sign of eye problems. A range of treatment options exist for cataracts, including eye drops and surgery, depending on the severity. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy 

Progressive retinal atrophy is an inherited degenerative disease that causes the retina to deteriorate, eventually leading to blindness. It’s not painful, but it can’t be cured. 

It can be early-onset or late-onset. Belgian Malinois are prone to both. The early-onset form starts to display symptoms in puppies as young as 2 months old. Late-onset retinal atrophy is usually diagnosed from the age of 3 years and onwards. 

Bloat 

Bloat is a life-threatening condition that occurs in wide, deep-chested dogs. It’s often triggered by eating too much, too fast, so it’s important to choose a larger sized kibble so your dog has to eat more slowly. 

The stomach fills with gas and begins to twist, restricting blood supply. Telltale signs include a bloated abdomen, retching without vomiting, and pain. This is a medical emergency and needs a vet’s assistance as soon as possible. 

Pannus 

Pannus is an eye disease that Belgian Malinois are susceptible to. It’s considered to be a hereditary autoimmune disease

Unlike cataracts or retinal atrophy, it affects the cornea – the clear part of the eye. It can show itself as early as the age of two. 

Common signs include clouding of the cornea, and an increase in visibility of blood vessels in the eye. It’s easy to confuse with other eye conditions so a vet’s visit is essential to diagnose it. 

Weight Issues 

If your Belgian Malinois is energetic and gets daily exercise, weight issues should never be a problem. But when they don’t get the exercise they need, a Belgian Malinois can become overweight. 

Excess weight can place stress on joints and decrease the immune system. The best way to prevent this becoming a problem is to make sure you’re feeding your dog the right amount of calories and ensure they get a daily run, at the very least. 


Key Nutritional Needs of Belgian Malinois To Consider 

Animal Protein

The first ingredient of any dog foods for Belgian Malinois should be an animal protein source. Look for protein ingredients like real chicken, chicken meal, beef, lamb, turkey, or salmon. 

Although AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) recommends a minimum protein content of 18%, large breed dogs like the Belgian Malinois will need a high protein diet. A protein content of 25% or more is optimal. 

The best dog food doesn’t have to contain more than one protein source. Just one type of protein (eg. deboned chicken, beef, lamb, etc) is perfectly fine as long as it’s the first ingredient in the dog food. 

You may want to consider raw food for your  Belgian Malinois. You can choose to make it at home or buy a prepared raw dog food or kibble topper, like Instinct Raw Boost. The protein content is generally higher in raw food, and you can add healthy vegetables like sweet potatoes or even gluten-free grains like brown rice to make it a well-rounded meal. 

Fat/Fatty Acids 

There’s a difference between crude fat and fatty acids in dog food. Crude fat is what provides your dog with energy. Fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) support the body’s development and nourish the skin and coat. 

Dog foods for Belgian Malinois will contain both. Your dog will need around 15% fat to see him through the day comfortably. Fatty acids will vary in level, but a minimum of 2% Omega-6 is considered good. 

If you choose a food for your Belgian Malinois that’s lower in fat, you may need to add a few high-fat treats to provide him with enough energy for his day. 

Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates are used more for fiber and flavor than for energy, and should never outweigh the protein content of a dog food. But it’s still important to choose high-quality ingredients. 

There’s no need to choose a grain-free dog food. Grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley are gluten-free and a great source of fiber and vitamins and minerals. 

If you would like to go for a grain-free recipe dog food, look for healthy fruits and veggies like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots. These add flavor, texture, and vitamins. 

An ingredient list should never contain corn, wheat, or soy. These are low-quality, non-nutritious fillers that may cause allergies. 

Fiber 

You’ll find dog foods’ fiber content on the guaranteed analysis list. A moderate fiber count is best, between 2 and 4%. Higher fiber counts can be helpful for seniors and for dogs who struggle with anal gland problems

Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin are great fiber sources. Gluten-free grains like brown rice and oatmeal are also recommended. Corn, wheat, or soy are to be avoided. 

Vitamins 

All dog foods for Belgian Malinois contain vitamins. They’re found in most ingredients, but are abundant in fruits, vegetables, and botanical inclusions. 

Most dog foods have extra vitamins added. You may find vitamin E, vitamin A, or vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) on an ingredient list. 

Probiotics 

Like us humans, dogs have live bacteria in their digestive systems. These are essential to the digestive process, as well as keeping your dog’s immune system healthy. 

Probiotics are live cultures in dog foods that aid in digestion, serving the same purpose as those live bacteria already in your dog’s stomach. 

Prebiotics are less common to see added to dog foods. They are a food source for these live bacteria. 

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.