Yes, it is necessary.
Yes, it seems daunting.
Yes, most dog food companies want to make you believe that you cannot figure it out on your own.
Yes, even some vets do that, too.
No, it is not impossible to learn how to feed your dog, just as you learned to feed yourself (hopefully healthfully!).
It took over 9 months of pure research while my dogs survived on kibble before I was brave enough to take the plunge into feeding raw. It took another 2 months of management and logic to realize that prey model raw wasn't going to work long term because of limited availability of protein sources and cuts of meat. However, feeding raw was much, much easier than I thought it would be (she said armed with a folder full of articles...)
I started to incorporate pre-made raw, dehydrated raw, and other feeding principles to create a balanced diet that was grain free and readily available.
It's been said that the most important mantra a dog owner can have is "KNOW THY DOG", and I do. I believe I am doing what is best for my own two dogs and their total wellbeing.
I will be creating link-lists on the side bars of this blog of all the web sites, forums, books, groups, companies, etc., that have helped form the ongoing research for the optimal canine diet for my dogs.