Choosing the best dog food brand for your pet sometimes requires putting your trust in the expertise of dog food manufacturers in coming up with breed-specific, life-stage-focused formulations that provide the best possible nutrient profile for your pet. Unfortunately, like all things in life, not all dog food manufacturers have the same ethos when it comes to product reliability and safety, and brand trustworthiness. That being said, we’ve come up with a list of the 15 best dog food brands currently available in the market. This should give you a general idea of what kind of dog food you’re giving to your hound whenever you pick any one of these brands.

20 Top-Rated Dog Food Brands

1 Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo
Key features:
  • Animal proteins as their main ingredient
  • Finest-quality natural and wholesome ingredients
  • Grain-free, gluten-free formula
  • Limited ingredient diet formulation

Consistently ranked as one of the dog world’s best pet food manufacturers, Blue Buffalo has made its mark in the hearts of many pet parents because of the way it looks at dogs and cats. As the brand says, pets are not ‘owned’; they are invaluable members of the family. As such, one can expect that each formulation of dog food that ever comes out from Blue Buffalo’s kitchens is like a meal that is intended for a highly-valued member of the family.

From the use of the choicest ingredients to the formulation of a special diet needed by sick dogs, Blue Buffalo manages to defy the odds of being a family-owned pet food company to one that is now going toe-to-toe with big commercial brands. Blue Buffalo always boasts of grain-, artificial ingredients-, and filler-free canine diet formulations. The company also has dental dog chews and treats to help complete the overall care of modern pets. Blue Buffalo is considered one of the best dog food brands primarily because of its emphasis on what is right for your pet.

Read our full brand review.

What others say about it:
image

I bought a new kind of dry dog food that has grains in it. My dog has anal gland issues and this food with the grains are suppose to help with those issues and so far she is no longer scooting or rolling on her hind end. I’m happy with it and so is my dog. I recommend this product for any dog who has anal gland issues.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My dog has been eating various Blue Buffalo dry foods for more than 4 years. Over the last few months he hasn’t been “excited” for dinner. This Homestyle Chicken has him wound up again. I just add about 3 small spoonfuls (lasts 5 meals) and Bear acts likes he hasn’t eaten for a week. Very happy.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

2 Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild
Key features:
  • Geographic region-themed ancestral diets
  • Unique, novel, hypoallergenic animal proteins
  • Gluten and grain-free formula
  • Wholesome, healthy carbs as an energy source

The name says it all. Taste of the Wild is by far one of the best dog food brands in the market primarily because of its unique take on what modern dogs need to feed on. Both the brand’s wet and dry dog food variants come with highly unusual, novel animal proteins such as bison, buffalo, venison, lamb, salmon, and a whole lot more. What is more enticing is that the company uses geographic regions to create thematic variations in its dog food selection. It has the High Prairie version for those wanting to feast on buffalo, venison, and bison.

The Pacific Stream boasts of salmon, the Sierra Mountain comes with lamb, the Wetlands features turkey and duck, the Pine Forest comes with lamb and venison, and the Southwest Canyon gives your dog a taste of wild boar. The Canyon River gives your dog trout while the Appalachian is always a good choice for venison, duck, and lamb. This is the dog food brand that you’ll want to give to pets that may already be showing food allergies related to chicken and beef. If you want to find out more about their company, product lines, and recall history, read our overview of Taste of The Wild Dog Food.

What others say about it:
image

Bear is a 2 year old intact Sharpei Cocker Spaniel. He runs 3 miles every other day and goes for walks in between. This food makes his coat shine and his poop healthy. I do add salmon skin mixed in with his food 2x a week. He love this grain free food! I did try the ancient grains and noticed a negative change. Dry skin and his poop wasn’t looking healthy so we switched back to grain free and thats what we will stay with. He loves all the grain free choices with salmon and venison being his favorites.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My dog is super picky and is sensitive with digestive and skin issues. He usually sniffs at food and ignores it but he loves this particular food. The fish recipe seems to have helped his itchy scratching a lot!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

3 Merrick

Merrick
Key features:
  • Deboned premium animal protein as the first ingredient
  • Easily digestible proteins and wholesome carbs
  • Nutraceuticals and botanicals included in many recipes
  • No artificial ingredients and substances

The company strongly believes that pets don’t just need food; they deserve only the best that man could give to them. This has motivated the company to partner with reliable and trustworthy suppliers and local producers to provide them with the freshest and duly certified safe ingredients to put into every package that rolls out of the Merrick kitchen. At the heart of the Merrick dog food, the brand is its now-iconic use of deboned animal proteins, making sure that every bit of meat that can be placed into each pack is full of nutrients and bursting with flavors

The company has more than 200 pet nutrition products, many of which come with healthy nutraceuticals such as glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics. Each ingredient is also carefully selected to reflect the changing nutrient needs of certain dogs. They have Backcountry recipes that provide exceptional ancestral diet-like recipes to dogs; something pet parents would love to give. Merrick is by far one of the best dog food brands that pet parents trust when it comes to high-quality canine nutrition at a friendlier price than exclusive brands.

Read the in-depth review of Merrick Dog Food.

What others say about it:
image

Nothing but the best for the BAM DOG This 75 pound Tank Dog eats 4 to 5 cups a Day and has access to it around the clock Customer service has always stepped up if needed! I love the Protein and balanced nutrition for the joints and a shined Coat. He always looking Good!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

High quality canned food that my dogs loved! My dogs don’t really enjoy the pâté style canned food so I was happy to find an alternative with large beef chunks that they like! My only concern is that if your dog is a fast eater, you might want to break up the beef a bit more so you won’t have any choking issues, but I think the meat is soft enough that it won’t be a problem.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

4 Fromm

Fromm
Key features:
  • Fresh meats, fish, vegetables, and fruits
  • Well-balanced and complete canine nutrition
  • Artisan gourmet meals for dogs
  • Small controlled batches of food production

The Fromm Family Pet Food offers a bevy of artisan dog food recipes that are unique in themselves while remaining true to the ideals of optimum canine nutrition. This dog food brand provides 4 different product lines that cater to the needs of various canines. Its Four-Star products are easily recognizable because of their gourmet style of preparation, giving dogs a taste of what a sumptuous yet equally nutritious meal should taste like.

The brand strives for variety and offers a perfect break from your dog’s daily routine of bland dog food. The Heartland Gold is what folks call the best for all life stages while still indulging canines with artisan gourmet meals. The Classic is best for dogs requiring a truly balanced formulation sans the fancy preparation. Pate is for lovers of the wet dog food variety.

Check out our review of Fromm Dog Food.

What others say about it:
image

Best doggie food! I have found it much cheaper on another website so I won’t be ordering from amazon any longer, but this food is amazing. My tiny baby girl does very well on it.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

My dog LOVES this stuff. She has since she was a puppy. I am very glad I did my research on quality food choices when she was a pup and chose Fromms. She’s now 7 years old, has always been a picky eater, but this remains her favorite. Time to move onto their Senior formula. I sure hope she likes that just as much.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

 
Show More

5 Orijen

Orijen
Key features:
  • Biologically appropriate formulation
  • WholePrey ratios consisting of up to 10 meats
  • 85% high-quality meats
  • Free from plant-based proteins

Pet parents who strongly believe in the value of biologically appropriate dog food can trust Orijen to give their pets one of the best dog foods in the world. Orijen strongly advocates for the use of locally-grown or – farmed ingredients to go in every packaging. This dog food brand boasts of WholePrey ratios allowing dogs to get the right amounts of proteins and other nutrients that they would otherwise get if they were hunting for their own food in the wild.

Orijen also includes fresh vegetables and fruits in every formulation, providing a more nutritionally balanced and biologically appropriate food for any dog. Each pack contains 85% premium quality meats, two-thirds of which are fresh while the other third are dehydrated meats. Also included in the formulation are organ meats and cartilage, essentially the kind of parts that make up a whole prey. There are lentils, chickpeas, and a variety of low-glycemic index foods for better glucose control. To sum it up, giving Oijen to your dog is like giving it a whole prey to devour on. This is basically the principle of giving raw foods to dogs.

For more information on the brand, check out our review of Orijen Dog Food.

What others say about it:
image

This is awesome dog food, I have a very picky, 120lb GShep and he loves this stuff!

Try to find a pet store near you that carries it though, I can find this same bag for $78.99 before taxes at my local Bark Pet Store! If you plan on purchasing this food long-term, that’s an easy way to save some money!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

‘ve loved Orijen food for over two years. Maybe the company grew too big or were purchased by a larger company, but sadly they no longer produce and source in Canada but is now in Kentucky. (So far “Tundra” dog food seems to be the last one from Canada – which is subject to change I’m sure?!) Its been my experience and understanding that Canadian regulation for animal food is more stringent than US food regulations. When this company was smaller I truly believed they had a direct relationship with their food sources and could manage to maintain a higher standard of quality food…

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Show More

6 Nutro

Nutro
Key features:
  • High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free formulation
  • Simple but purposeful dog diets
  • All ingredients are easily recognizable

Nutro brands its dog food products as naturally clean. They are best known for creating relatively simple dog food recipes that pet parents can trust to deliver the right amounts of nutrients. This dog food brand utilizes non-GMO ingredients sourced only from credible and reputable producers and suppliers. The Wholesome Essentials are perfect for all breeds and life stages while the Grain Free formulation, as can be expected, is ideal for dogs with gluten allergies.

Nutro also has limited ingredients, hearty stews, and wild frontier formulations that boast of novel animal proteins like venison. The Max version comes with organic, farm-raised chicken while the Ultra formulation features a unique blend of salmon, lamb, and chicken for optimum brain development in pups. Both the Max and Ultra are specific for puppies. Nutro has been in the market for almost a century, providing the dog world with simple and trustworthy diets that can bring out the best in their breed.

Take a look at our Nutro Dog Food Review.

What others say about it:
image

It’s not easy to pick a good dog food I must have read a hundred labels and googled everything, but I feel good about Nutro as far as dry food goes. My Danes and my Corgi seem to get very excited for it which was a shock because they often left food in the bowl from the other food brand.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

I’ve tried a lot of different canned foods for my dogs but they seem to like this a lot better. The chunks are smaller so it’s also easier to mix into kibble.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

7 Pure Balance

Pure Balance
Key features:
  • Well-balanced formulation
  • Real animal proteins as the first ingredient
  • Wholesome and healthy carbs
  • Accessibility and friendly pricing

This dog food brand is perfect for pet parents who require a good balance of fats and proteins, using premium-quality ingredients but without the hefty price tag of some high-end dog food brands. It’s actually a product of Walmart, taking full advantage of the retail giant exceptional coverage for both marketing and distribution. This makes it readily accessible as one only needs to visit the nearest Walmart in their area. Its friendly price aside, Pure Balance comes off as a good alternative especially if you want variety in your pet’s diet.

While there really is nothing remarkable that can truly set Pure Balance apart from the rest of the competition, it does use real and natural animal ingredients as the principal source of its proteins. The selection of meat proteins may not be as extensive as in other brands, however. This has not dampened the desire of some pet parents in using the brand for their pet’s nutritional needs. In some formulations, novel carbs are included to go with its grain-free formula as well.

For a full list of our favorite options, see our round-up of Pure Balance Dog Food.

What others say about it:
image

My dog loves this with two parts dog food, one part warm water or wet dog food. She is one year old. She has a beautiful coat, & very full of energy. Her skin rash went away when we switched to grain free. We tried many, this is her fave.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

My dog has a sensitive digestive system. This food nourishes him and doesn’t upset his tummy at all. It’s also considerably less expensive than similar brands.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Show More

8 Wellness Natural Pet Food

Wellness Natural Pet Food
Key features:
  • Real meats and animal proteins as principal ingredients
  • Wholesome recipes designed for optimum whole-body canine health
  • Easily digestible and tissue-utilizable ingredients
  • Grain-free formulations without unnecessary ingredients

The philosophy of Wellness Natural Pet Food is grounded in the belief that nutrition is the foundation of a healthier life for every living organism, man and pets included. This philosophy is very evident in the brand’s insistence on using only all-natural ingredients sans the fillers and fluff that many dog food manufacturers put into their respective formulations. Wellness Naturals is actually just a part of a long line of products from Wellness Pet Food which also includes CORE, Complete Health, TruFood, and Simple.

The latter formulation boasts of limited ingredients making it an ideal meal for dogs that are being subjected to an elimination diet. TruFood is Wellness’ take on deliciously-baked goodies and treats that are perfect for positive reinforcement purposes. Its Complete Health is the product line that has gained wide recognition among avid pet parents for ensuring optimum health to dogs because of its wide selection of natural grain-free formulations.

You may also like our review of Wellness Core Dog Food.

What others say about it:
image

Hooked up with Core after controversy with another dog food. Liberty took right to this food, no tummy upsets. She is 70# and not a gobbler. Takes her time to enjoy!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My pup loves it & is healthier than many other can alternatives. My pup favors the gravy like wet food over pate & this is perfect for him. Small chunks with lots of gravy and veg

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

9 Hill’s Science Diet

Hill’s Science Diet
Key features:
  • Highly specific formulations for dog breeds, sizes, and conditions
  • Veterinarian-formulated prescription diets for dogs
  • Well-balanced preparations
  • Animal protein may not always be the 1stingredient

If there is one thing that pet parents and veterinarians love about Hill’s Science Diet, then that would be its penchant for creating highly specific diets that cater to specific breeds of dogs as well as for certain types of canine diseases like diabetes, hip dysplasia, and gastrointestinal conditions, just to name a few. This is also one of the very few dog food brands that do not necessarily believe in the existence of gluten allergies in dogs, with many of its formulations containing soy, wheat, and/or corn as well as other potentially allergenic cereals and grains.

It is for this reason that Hill’s Science Diet dog food products also mainly appeal to pet parents who don’t have any issues about giving their pets these ingredients. While this fact about Hill’s Science Diet may upset some pet parents, its unique formulation of breed and canine disease-specific prescription diets is simply something that even veterinarians readily acknowledge as ingenious.

Read the in-depth review here.

What others say about it:
image

Well a small miracle occurred. They had started refusing their previous food. So I tried Science Diet for Sensitive Stomachs AND THEY ATE THE FOOD! I tried mixing with their old. Nope they picked out Science Diet. So I just changed them. No diarrhea, no gurgling stomachs. This is the 3rd day. This is huge for me!!! Additionally, I’ve always had to put something on their food to entice them to eat. Cooked beef, a hot dog…. no more. They just eat.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Mom got this for me when the doc told her that now I need a tasty food with less fat. It took me a bit to get used to it but Im feeling really good and my blood tests from my last checkup were excellent. Mom added some real boiled chicken breast meat so I could get used to it and that worked! Thank you Hills and Chewy!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

10 Rachael Ray Nutrish

Rachael Ray Nutrish
Key features:
  • High-quality animal proteins as the first ingredient
  • Wholesome and all-natural ingredients
  • Specialty diet formulations available
  • Renowned shelter pet philanthropy

The Nutrish line of dog food is actually a collaboration between celebrity chef and TV personality Rachael Ray and leading pet food manufacturer Ainsworth Pet Nutrition. The recipes included in the formulation are inspired by the very same recipes that the celebrity has formulated. Despite its heftier price tag, pet parents love the Nutrish because of the wide assortment of dog food that only features premium-quality animal proteins as the main ingredient. The ingredients are all-natural with an emphasis on using only real, not manmade, ingredients.

Rachael Ray’s Nutrish line comes with venison, turkey, salmon, and lamb in addition to the more usual chicken and beef. Wholesome grains and healthy fruits and vegetables are also added in place of allergenic cereals as well as other ingredients that may contain gluten. The Nutrish line also features specialty diets which can come in handy for pet parents who may have dogs with very specific nutritional requirements. This is one brand that you can also be proud of supporting as part of the proceeds of each product sold goes to the care of pets in shelters.

Read here our detailed review of Rachael Ray Dog Food.

What others say about it:
image

I had my dogs on a different brand and they stopped wanting to eat it. I tried the Rachael Ray Nutrish and I add a little warm water and they both eat it all. Plus this food is much better for them.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My Havanese, Paco, is very picky. He turns his nose up at anything new and often tries to bury his dinner under the kitchen cabinets. However, I introduced this Rachael Ray wet dog food and he gobbled it up! Amazing!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

11 Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan
Key features:
  • Premium-quality ingredients with animal meats as protein sources
  • Easily digestible and antioxidant-rich carbs
  • No fillers, soy, corn, wheat
  • No artificial ingredients

One of the best things about Purina Pro Plan dog foods is that they come in 4 different variants that cater to specific requirements of dogs. The Savor is basically the brand’s go-to for optimum canine nutrition daily. The Focus is primarily geared for dogs with special or unique needs such as those that may have obesity, diabetes, or even arthritis, or any other joint abnormalities. The Sport variant is basically the Purina Pro Plan’s way of supporting the lifestyle of highly active working and sporting dogs to provide them with the necessary nutrients for endurance and strength.

The Pro Plan Bright Mind is perfect for puppies as it is intended for the promotion of optimum brain development in dogs. The other good news about the Pro Plan line of Purina is that it always uses high-quality animal proteins to go with its array of wholesome carbs, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and healthy fatty acids. As the brand believes in tailor-fitting a dog’s diet to meet its nutrient requirements, pet parents can always rely on Purina Pro Plan products to give their hounds the kind of nutrition they need.

Check out our Purina Pro Plan Dog Food review.

What others say about it:
image

My dogs were having yeast issues in their paws and ears after switching to this food the issues have cleared up, they also LOVE the salmon flavor. It is quite a strong smell, so if your dog doesn’t like the smell of fish they probably won’t like this food. I have 5 dogs, 3 of them eat this food, the others love it as well. They just do well on the food I was feeding before and it is a tad cheaper so I kept them on what works for them. All dogs are different, so they can’t always eat the same thing.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My dogs love this Purina Pro Plan Salmon & Rice. It has a lot of moisture which makes it easy to dispense from the can and makes it easy to mix medicine or probiotics. I will continue buying this product for my dogs.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

12 Natural Balance

Natural Balance
Key features:
  • High-quality animal proteins as the first ingredient
  • Specialty diets for specific canine needs
  • Wholesome grains, legumes, lentils, vegetables, and fruits
  • Safety-tested dog food products

Natural Balance prides itself on the ability to craft not only tasty food that dogs love, but also nutritionally complete and well-balanced diets that can provide dogs with healthier digestion, better weight management, improved allergy symptoms, and a whole lot more. Natural Balance comes with specialty diets that feature high-protein content, strictly vegetarian formulation, and grain-free preparations.

Their choice of animal proteins includes chicken, venison, lamb, and salmon. It’s quite limited compared to other dog food brands that also provide novel proteins, but it should suffice considering they also add legumes, sweet potatoes, and brown rice into their formulations. Additionally, each batch of dog food is carefully tested for safety before these are sent for distribution. Natural Balance offers pet parents a good alternative to other brands especially if one is looking for something friendlier on the pocket yet does an amazing job at meeting the nutritional needs of dogs.

Read Our Full Brand Review.

What others say about it:
image

I own a bulldog and had always used Authority Skin and Coat, until the discontinued it about a year ago. I needed to find a very similar product. Looked at almost every kind of dog food before deciding on this one. I had no problems with the adjust. His coat is nice and shiny, dosent have upset stomach problems or problems with gas on it and the good part is I can find it at all kinds of pet stores and online, I’m not limited!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

I have been giving Natural Balance to my dogs for years. I like their other canned dog food but the duck and potato is my favorite. I like the consistency and, of course, my dogs like it also!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

13 CANIDAE

CANIDAE
Key features:
  • Premium animal proteins as the first ingredient
  • All grain-free formulation
  • Limited ingredient and specialty diets for various dogs
  • Most ingredients are grown by the brand

CANIDAE is a relatively new dog food brand that only started out churning delicious and nutritious dog foods in 1996. It’s a family-owned business that has grown substantially through the years, formulating and manufacturing a variety of canine foods that utilize natural ingredients that have been proven to be well-loved by dogs themselves. The best thing about CANIDAE is that they don’t source out all of their ingredients.

They grow many of their ingredients so they can ensure the highest possible quality and nutrient value of every single ingredient they put into their formulations. Its PURE formulation uses fresh meat or fish as its principal ingredient while the PURE Petite only contains 8 ingredients, making it highly suitable for puppies that still have to develop digestive integrity. The PURE Ancestral formulation is ideal for dogs that require higher amounts of higher-quality animal proteins, although the Under The Sun variant is what pet parents consider the best all-around diet for dogs of any breed and age. For more information on the brand, check out our CANIDAE Dog Food Review.

What others say about it:
image

Cooper approves! He’s not a picky eater, but this came highly recommended to me. We planned on getting another dog and also my parents’ dog visits and this takes the guess work out. Everyone can join in on the chow!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My dog has never eaten new food with gusto until now. He really surprised us by eating without any coaxing. This is the first time, and we were thrilled. No more dry food. We’ve tried everything. Now, if I could get my husband to stop giving him too many treats!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

14 Royal Canin

Royal Canin
Key features:
  • Highly successful for over 50 years
  • Cater to a wide range of dietary needs and health conditions
  • Frequently recommended by vets
  • Offer grain-free dog food recipes

Royal Canin is an internationally renowned dog food brand, which produces some of the best dry dog food and wet food for an extremely wide variety of pet needs. We’re talking dog food as in-depth as ranges specifically designed for dogs with urinary tract problems. Every one of their dog food lines meets the nutritional adequacy standards of American Feed Control Officials.

Royal Canin is an ever-growing brand that produces some of the best dry food options for most dogs and cats, hence the trust put in them by thousands of veterinarians that recommend Royal Canin as the ideal balanced diet. Their wet and dry food can be mixed for easier digestion, and very few pet owners have ever reported problems with getting their dogs to eat a meal – so clearly it’s tasty! Furthermore, they don’t only meet various dietary needs, but they include puppy food and senior food in their ranges too, so your dog won’t have to switch its diet at a crucial stage in its development.

Find out our detailed review of Royal Canin Dog Food.

What others say about it:
image

My dog was having issues for over a month with her stomach. Diarrhea every single time she would go. My husband and I tried everything. We switched her to chicken and rice, she was on antibiotics for about 2 weeks and no change. We got multiple tests done (blood and stool exam) and she came back positive for c diff in her stool. We didn’t want to give her more antibiotics so the doctor had us switch her to this food. Instantly after she started taking it she started having normal hard poops again. This food has been a life saver! It is safe for her to take long term and she LOVES it so we will probably just keep her on it for good

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Murphie jumps for joy when I open Royal Canin G.I. diet. She is so eager and excited! Her G.I. problems were immediately alleviated, and I am so grateful for this product.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

15 Diamond Naturals

Diamond Naturals
Key features:
  • Typically high in protein across the board
  • Options for both grain-inclusive and grain-free diets
  • Food available for all life stages
  • Canned food and dry food options

Diamond Naturals offers a great range of pet food that has proven highly popular across the board for many years. Their high-protein formulas are ideal for any dog to keep them fueled and aid them in rapid muscle recovery after a busy day. They’re not only loved for their percentage of protein, however. As they also offer a range of options to fit multiple dietary requirements.

The inclusion of superfoods, probiotics, and antioxidants in all of their dietary options ensures they provide well-rounded support for dogs of all ages. Their Diamond Pro89 range is the ideal performance food, with an extremely dense, high-quality supply of protein, whilst the Diamon Care range is designed to help specific physical ailments such as sensitive skin, renal care, weight management, and sensitive stomachs. They also offer a balanced grain-free option for those pups that experience difficulty digesting grains, which supports smooth digestion and lessening stomach irritation.

What others say about it:
image

We have a tiny 10# dog and a 65# dog. We bought the lamb small bites for our little dog and the big dog kept eating it, so we bought her the larger dog version of the lamb. She didn’t love it, so I switched to this beef version. It’s a different shaped kibble than the lamb version. This beef food is flat disc shaped which is really cool and our dog eats it enthusiastically!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My husky is so picky about his food and I decided to switch brands because his vet told me to stop giving him grain free food. So I did my research for best foods for huskies and this had the best ingredients, made in the USA and he LOVES it!! Normally he would eat a few bites everyday on the same bowl. This food he eats the bowl in two days and can’t wait for me to fill it again. He hasn’t gained any extra weight and is doing well on it. He does have more bowl movements but I think it’s because of the better ingredients in it.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

16 Nulo Dog Food

Nulo Dog Food
Key features:
  • Offers five diet ranges for a variety
  • 16 main sources of protein used
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Provide choice of full diets, toppers, and treats

Nulo dog food comes highly recommended, owing to the fact that this brand gives each owner the chance to select their preference of protein, age range, dietary requirement, and food type. With options for high-performance, grain-free, weight control, limited ingredient, and large and small breed diets, it’s hard to find fault with Nula dog food.

Nulo focuses on providing healthy, balanced dog foods for dogs of all walks of life. They have five major lines; Challenger, Freestyle, FrontRunner, Hydrate, and MedalSeries. Each line offers a unique take on each dog’s needs in order to provide them with the best possible nutrition. Furthermore, their protein sources are not simply limited to mammals, but also include fish and poultry, ranging from mussels and salmon to guinea fowl and duck. They also offer dry and wet dog food options, along with water enhancers, toppers, and freeze-dried raw food bites.

Read the in-depth Nulo Dog Food review.

What others say about it:
image

Our boxer is now a senior and needed a dietary change. The switch was easy and she loves the new food. Her gas seems to have reduced, along with a slight reduction in her poop size . She had areas of hair thinning that have started to fill back in. It’s been a month and we will be staying with this product.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

I ordered this after a suggestion by Chewy customer reps after my female border collie had a bad experience with another brand. She loves the Turkey and Sweet Potato and her coat is soft and shiny (seeing less shedding too – miracle of all miracles).

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

17 Eagle Pack

Eagle Pack
Key features:
  • Uses one key formula across the board
  • Canned food is fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • Offers a separate range for puppies and adults
  • Proteins include chicken meal, lamb meal, and pork meal

Trusted and recommended for over 30 years, Eagle Pack has generated a loyal following of dog owners that just keep coming back. Eagle pack is an old-school brand, in the sense that they have created one solid formula made to fulfill the nutritional needs of all dogs, large and small. This formula is available both as wet food and dry food and can be easily mixed for fussy pups.

Whilst the idea of a single formula may be trouble for owners of dogs that have difficulty with food digestion. The Eagle Pack has proven time and time again to be one of the best dog food brands for anyone looking for a diet that can provide the omega fatty acids, fiber, and balanced nutrition needed to fuel less sensitive dogs. Their use of high-quality protein and carefully selected carbohydrates is ideal for keeping your dog at optimal health. They also offer a reduced-fat option for senior dogs that may struggle with maintaining a healthy weight as they get older.

What others say about it:
image

I had been trying to figure out why my dog had loose stools forever. Changed foods a few times. Stopped giving her certain treats. Had to give her pumpkin with every meal to firm her up. Nothing seemed to work. I read about “go” online and decided it was worth a shot. My dogs stools are firm now. She sleeps through the night. I don’t need to give her pumpkin anymore and she loves the food. Wonderful!!!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My vet recommended this for our dog who is a little bit picky and a chronic grass eater/thrower-upper. She really likes it on its own, which is surprising because my dog rarely likes plain dry food. I mix it with a couple table spoons of pumpkin puree to help further with digestion, and to help her extra probiotic (recommended by the vet) ‘stick’ to the kibble, and she especially loves it! Even better, it’s beginning to help a bit with the grass issue. I would highly recommend this food. The proof is in the empty bowl!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

18 Go Solutions

Go Solutions
Key features:
  • Optional food range for sensitivities
  • Available in both dry and wet form
  • Uses only premium protein sources
  • Provide both grain-inclusive and grain-free

Go Solutions is one of the best dog food brands on our list for providing a good range that covers a variety of doggy needs without being over-complicated. Simply select one of their three dog food lines and whether or not you want it in dry or wet form. You’re then presented with an easy, manageable selection of delicious dog foods to choose from.

Go Solutions offers predominantly grain-free dog food, to limit the risk of your pup having a reaction. Whilst still filling both their wet food and dry dog food with protein, probiotics, nutrients, and vitamins vital to proper function. Their Carnivore line is fully grain-free and contains 6-11 animal proteins in each recipe, designed to cater to a dog’s natural hunting instinct. Whereas their Sensitivities and Skin + Coat Care lines are more specifically formulated to support and protect dogs against troublesome allergens and reactions. However, it is worth noting that the Skin + Coat Care line is grain-inclusive.

What others say about it:
image

This is the only brand we use for our Great Danes. It has everything they need and nothing they don’t. We tried another brand and it caused all kinds allergic reactions. We went back to Eagle Pack and all is right again. Great product! Our vet approves too!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My Lab and Toy Aussie love this dog food and switching them over went well. I even hurried the switch because they weren’t doing well on their former food.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

19 Holistic Select

Holistic Select
Key features:
  • Highly focused on good digestion
  • Provide a satisfaction money-back guarantee
  • Ingredient dictionary provided for transparency
  • Special formulas included for food sensitivities

Holistic Selection works on the belief that in order for a dog to get good nutrition, it needs to be able to digest its food more efficiently. Better digestion means better nutrient absorption. By absorbing more from their food your dog won’t need to eat as much and will have less waste with each meal – streamlining the entire mealtime process.

All ingredients used are natural and carefully selected for maximum health benefit. For anyone with doubts about the selected ingredients, Holistic Selection provides a clear and concise ingredients dictionary on their website so you can check the reason for every single ingredient they have chosen. Additionally, they offer more selective ranges still, in which they have avoided the use of grains and potato, and have chosen the best ingredients for weight loss. This delicious dog food brand is suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes and perfect for keeping your pup fighting fit.

What others say about it:
image

We took a chance on this food as our boxers have a chicken allergy and a lot of the food we kept switching to had chicken byproduct in it as a ingredient. We felt good after looking at all the ingredients and I sure am glad we started this food. Our dogs are like night and day no more itching no more red paws. They enjoy eating and no more belly issues.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Seems to be of high quality, recommended by groomer, 3 poodles to feed, were on Hills weight management stew, I believe Hills changed the recipe, they no longer like it + their ears were a mess from touching the food + it seems more to be thinner & more liquid. Still using the Hills kibble, tried a sample of the holistic lamb, only 1 would eat it.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

20 Instinct Pet Food

Instinct Pet Food
Key features:
  • Includes frozen raw food, kibble, and wet food.
  • High-protein food centered around natural eating habits
  • Perfect for strengthening a puppy’s immune system
  • Researched and formulated by food scientists

Instinct pet food does exactly what it says on the tin – it is made to cater to your dog’s natural dietary inclinations. They have a full variety of food lines, including wet food, dry kibble, and frozen raw food. Instinct is easily one of the best dog food brands for dogs with a high prey drive, especially if you select the Raw range which contains raw chunks that can be thawed out in a matter of minutes.

Though Instinct’s food is very much centered around raw meat with lines like Raw Longevity, Raw, Raw Signature, Raw Freeze-Dried, and Raw Boost, they also offer kibble alternatives to owners that may be nervous about the prospect of raw feeding. The Instinct Original and Be Natural ranges offer rich nutrition and are the best food options for anyone thinking of making the transition to raw later down the line, as the change will be less extreme when switching within the same brand. Furthermore, they offer limited ingredient diet options as well as wet food, for especially picky eaters.

For a full list of our favorite options, see our round-up of Nature’s Variety Dog Food.

What others say about it:
image

I bought this to help my boxer’s stomach health and food grazing, hoping she wouldn’t be picky and not eat it. Let me tell you, she can’t get enough of it!!! When I touch the bag, she runs to where I am and is all over me until I sprinkle some in her food or give her one or two as a special treat. It has definitely helped with keeping her focused on eating her dog food and not grazing or barely eating just her plain dog kibble.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

My tiny Yorkie can be a picky eater. He prefers table food to his dog food but then gets digestive issues. He sits by the table and quietly stares at us begging for treats. I found a perfect solution with these food toppers. Winston gobbles them up! Now we have guilt free dinner time at our house!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

Best Dog Food Brands: Buyer’s Guide & FAQs

Each dog food brand has its own unique take on what can be considered the best for your pet. Some remain true to the principles of an ancestral diet while others would prefer to give dogs a homier take on their meals. Whatever brand you choose, you will ultimately have to pick the brand that provides the best nutrition for your pet and within your means.

What to Look for in a High-Quality Dog Food

Young cheerful positive woman with dog choosing dry food and talking with seller in pet store

Picking a really great dog food brand can be exceptionally difficult since just about every other brand will almost have the same formulation. This is where you can put to good use your nosiness. You can dig a lot deeper into the inner workings of the different food brands so you can easily identify which ones you should consider the best and which ones to stay away from. The following things are what we generally recommend to our friends whenever they have to choose a dog food brand.

Soundness of Ingredients

Manufacturers of dog food products are expected to put their ingredients as well as a guaranteed analysis of ingredients in their packaging. If the brand simply doesn’t have this information, then you can already strike it off of your list.

Make sure you understand how to read the ingredients. These are typically arranged according to their proportion in the formulation. So you can expect the very first ingredient on the list to have the most in terms of amount relative to the rest of the ingredients. As such, keep in mind that dogs need named animal proteins as the first ingredient in their dog food unless your veterinarian specifically told you that your dog needs carbohydrates as its principal food.

Be on the lookout for fillers, usually in the form of corn, wheat, soy, or other ingredients that may have very little nutrient value. Also, keep an eye on artificial ingredients such as colorings, preservatives, and flavorings. Steer clear of these.

Learn to compute the dry matter weight of the nutrient composition. The guaranteed analysis will usually come as minimum or maximum percentages. To compute the dry matter weight, you need to remove the moisture content. For example, you have dog food with a minimum protein content of 25% and a moisture content of 10%. Subtract 10% from 100% to get 90%. Now, divide 25% by 90% to get 27.78%. This means the dog food actually contains 27.78% proteins as dry matter, not 25%.

Compliance With Standards

Dog food manufacturers are also expected to specify in their products whether the recipe is for All Life Stages, Growth, Supplemental, or Maintenance. Sadly, not all dog food brands will put the appropriate classification in their labels and you really cannot help but wonder why. We cannot say to avoid these brands, but if it’s any indication, a pet food manufacturer that doesn’t put an appropriate classification for its recipe is an indication of the manufacturer’s lack of understanding or utter disregard for standards.

Company History

Some pet food companies are relatively new in the business so it will be quite difficult to gauge the trustworthiness of their brand. Some have been in the business for many decades, yet are not really popular or are very difficult to source. There are dog food brands that are under giant multinational corporations. Overall you should always pay attention to the company’s history and be on the lookout for consumer product issues such as complaints and the like.

History of Dog Food Recalls

It is rare for a pet food manufacturer not to have any of its products recalled. That is why dog food brands that have no history of dog food recalls are in a much better position to command respect from the dog-loving world. A dog food brand that has been in the business for quite some time and has yet to experience a recall of its products can be considered as one of the best since they are truly taking care of the quality and safety of their dog food formulations.

3 Things to Know Before You Choose the Dog Food Brand

Young cheerful positive woman with dog choosing dry food and talking with seller in pet store

Now that we’ve shared with you the things to look for in a dog food brand, the next logical step is to identify the best dog food. Here are three things you need to know before you order your first bag of dog food.

1. Age and Life Stage

It should be clear by now that choosing the best dog food is largely dependent on the age and life stage of your pet. This is because different dogs across the lifespan and in various stages of development will have different nutrient requirements.

For example, puppies require more protein and carbohydrates plus the correct proportion of calcium and phosphorus to ensure they will have the necessary nutrients to build muscles and organs, fuel their increased physical activities, and ensure stronger and well-developed bones, respectively. They also require special substances that will be crucial in the development of their brain, eyes, coat, and skin.

The same is true with senior dogs. Their physiologic functioning may no longer be as efficient as when they were younger. As such, they may require fewer calories while increasing their protein intake. They will also benefit more from dog foods that have substances to help improve mobility.

You May Also Like: Senior Dog Food

Pregnant dogs as well as nursing dogs will typically follow the diet of a puppy, although a special formulation for lactating and pregnant dogs is ideal.

You May Also Like: Dog Food for Pregnant Dogs

2. Breed and Size

There’s this notion that dogs eat the same kind of food. After all, they’re just dogs. But the truth is that different breeds come with different needs when it comes to optimum nutrition. Some are more prone to allergies, so choosing a limited ingredient diet or dog food with less allergenic ingredients is a must.

Large dogs have different requirements from smaller ones. Small and toy breeds have very fast metabolic rates and will, thus, benefit more from a high-calorie diet. You cannot give the same high-calorie diet to large and giant breeds since you would want them to grow at a more normal pace.

So keep in mind your dog’s breed and size whenever choosing the right dog food for your pet.

You May Also Like: Large Breed Dog Food

3. Activity Level and Health

The third thing you have to know before buying dog food is your pet’s activity level and health status. If it is very active, then you go for a dog food that contains just the right amounts of calories to serve as fuel for its activities. We have to emphasize “right amounts” because you also have to be very careful not to give more calories than what your dog can burn; lest you turn it into an obese dog.

If your pet comes with arthritis, skin allergies, gluten sensitivities, diabetes, or any other medical condition, it is best to talk with your veterinarian first so you’ll have a much better grasp as to the type of dog food that you have to buy. However, there are dog foods that are formulated specifically for certain scenarios such as weight management, diabetes, hip dysplasia and arthritis, and a whole lot more.

Take a look at our guides on Weight Management Dog Food and Diabetic Dog Food.

Are There Certain Dog Food Brands for Specific-Sized Dogs?

Feed your dog and cat. High quality photo

We mentioned in the preceding section that one of the things you have to know before buying dog food is the breed and size of your pet. Here’s why.

Large dogs, especially puppies, are at-risk for developmental orthopedic disorders such as hip dysplasia. As such, their rate of growth should be allowed to proceed at a much slower rate than smaller dog breeds. This is to ensure that the bones and joints will have time to develop at a normal rate rather than supply them with loads of nutrients leading to very rapid growth and development. They need food that is less energy-dense and has slightly lower levels of both calcium and phosphorus.

You May Also Like: Large Breed Puppy Food

On the other hand, smaller dogs have a very fast metabolism. As such, they can easily consume their energy stores within hours. If this is not replenished, it can lead to hypoglycemia. This can result in weakness, muscle tremors, lethargy, seizures, and even death. Smaller dog breeds require energy-dense dog food to be given 3 to 4 times a day. Besides, the stomachs of toy and small dog breeds are way smaller than large dogs. By making sure that a single serving of dog food packs more calories than a similar serving of large-breed dog food, you don’t need to give more servings to your small dog.

Here’s neat info to remember: Small dogs need about 40 calories for every pound of their body weight. Large dogs need only 22.5 calories per pound of body weight.

You May Also Like: Dog Food for Small Breeds

As for dog food brands that have formulations for specific-sized dogs, the majority of the brands that we featured in this list have formulations for small and large breeds. These include Blue Buffalo, Wellness, Natural Balance, CANIDAE, Merrick, Fromm Family Pet Foods, and Wellness Core. Surprisingly, only one dog food brand provides size-specific formulas in all 5 size classifications of dogs (toy, small, medium, large, and giant) – Purina Pro Plan. Taste of the Wild, Rachael Ray Nutrish, and Pure Balance only provide for small breeds. Both Nutro and Hill’s Science Diet have formulations for toy, small, and large breeds while Orijen only has a single recipe designed especially for large breeds of dogs.

Eloise Hands

Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.

Leave a reply

Please enter your name here
Please enter your comment!