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Just as we all do our very best to keep our dogs happy and healthy with the food that they are consuming, it can be tough to know of which brands are the best for our pets. Do you ever go to a store to buy dog food and are just completely overwhelmed by all the options available to you? Or maybe sometimes your dog does not seem to be interested in the option you chose for them?
Whether the decision is hard for you or for your pet, I am here to help weigh out some options so that you can get a good idea of what the best dog food is for your dog.
If you have a particular brand that you already like but are looking for options that are similar and will benefit the health of your animal, please feel free to read below!
As you read, build your own opinion of which brand you see most fitting for your pet’s needs!
Best Dog Food (Dry & Wet) Reviews
Blue Buffalo Protection Formula Dry Dog Food
The Life Protection Formula is a recipe made for full-grown pups that have strong teeth for this dry food. Blue Buffalo only uses real meat inside of each type of dry food. Three of the real meats used in the different flavors of formulas are chicken, lamb, and fish.
Each of these flavors includes brown rice which is a whole grain of which is very beneficial. The bag sized come in weights of 6lbs, 15lbs, and 30lbs. The Protection Formula has many proteins that are vital for any canine’s health.
It also includes omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are great for ensuring their skin to be healthy and their fur to be shiny. Blue Buffalo mixes many different types of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to support the animal through its life of health and comfort. All of the ingredients are real and not replaced b any unhealthy or processed foods or by-products.
Purina Pro Dry Dog Food
This dry dog food is blended with up to 26% proteins from the added ingredients! The only carbohydrate that is included in the Purina Pro Plan Formula is rice, which actually is a healthy carb which will help them maintain energy and will not cause them to gain too much weight.
The four delicious flavors that animals often love include salmon and rice, beef and rice, chicken and rice, and lamb and rice. The meat is very flavorful which the pups really enjoy which helps them to ingest life probiotics (that provide support to their digestive system) without the need for any added pills or supplements!
The seven sizes that are available for the Purina Pro Plan Shredded Formula are the 5lb. bag, 6lb. bag, 17 lb. bag, 18lb. bag, 33lb. bag, 35lb. bag, and lastly the 47lb. bag.
The vitamins and minerals within the food help their skin to grow healthy and strong as well as their fur, which will also gain shine.
Crave Grain Adult Dry Dog Food
Before I list the numerous health-promoting additions that Crave adds to their food, first I would like to list everything that Crave ensures will never be included in their formulas. The Crave Grain-Free dog food has no chicken by-product, no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors, and no corn, wheat, or soy proteins. How great is that?!
The proteins that are included by the means of meats and other natural foods adds up to a high of 34% protein in each meal. The nutrient-rich chow has been known to be so good for the skin of your animal that it can even stop them from being itchy or having red skin.
Many healthy vitamins make up the recipe which keeps your pet healthy and supports an excellent immune system.
The flavors available to choose from are beef, chicken, lamb & venison, and salmon & ocean fish. The sizes that these come in are 4lb. bag, 12lb. bag, and a 22lb. bag.
Taste of the Wild Protein Mountain Premium Dry Dog Food
Taste Of The Wild is a brand that promotes the ingestion of foods that were natural to the very first carnivorous canines. In the wild, there are wolves, dingoes, coyotes, and other canine breeds that thrive off of raw meats and other wild foods from nature.
Although Taste Of The Wild is not going to sell you slabs of raw meat, it will give you something much cleaner, more nutrient filled, and less smelly.
The highly digestible ingredients such as roasted lamb, probiotics, and superfoods are all mixed together to make a mixture of food that will be very healthy for your pet. These included ingredients just listed help to support lean/strong muscles, healthy skin, and a shiny coat.
Just like is your pet were from the wild, there are absolutely no grains, corn, wheat, fillers, or any type of artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors.
The bags come in the sizes of 5lbs, 14lbs, and 28lbs.
Give your pet the natural experience that they deserve and bless them with Taste Of The Wild which provides them with a real feeling of what it is like to be wild.
Orijen Original Dry Dog Food
Orijen is one of the very top dog food brands in the industry. While competing with many other brands similar in product, Orijen always seems to blow the others out of the water. This brand makes it’s number one goal to provide canines with “biologically appropriate” food.
You may be asking yourself what “biologically appropriate” means. Well put short, it means that the food they want to provide your pet with matches the same food groups and naturalness or what they would be eating if they were not domestic pets.
Made in the United States of America and coming in bag sizes of 4.5 lbs, 12oz, 13lbs, and 25lbs, Orijen delivers a nutrient-rich mix of ingredients in each bag they sell.
Just some of the examples of the nourishment that your dog could get from this food brand are 38% protein, 20% healthy carbohydrates, and many fruits and veggies to give them vitamins that keep them energized.
As one of the top choices for pet owners, Orijen exceeds their expectations of keeping people’s pets both happy and healthy!
Diamond Naturals Premium Dry Food for Adult Dog
Diamond Naturals Premium Pasture Protein formula is made especially for full-sized/adult aged canines. This is known as a “premium” formula because of the high quality and large amount of nutritious protein that is included from the real beef. Pet owners who have enjoyed this product have said that their pets have been thriving off of this healthy food option!
The vital amino acids in this formula support canines to grow/keep lean and strong muscles made for optimal canine living.
Besides just the flavorful beef, many fruits and veggies are included as superfoods to give your pup the vitamins and antioxidants that it needs to maintain a healthy life for their insides as well as their outsides (skin and fur).
This product is made in the USA and is highly trusted by consumers to keep their ingredient list true and factual to what is actually inside the product.
Some things that Diamond Naturals makes sure to never include in its products are corn, wheat, fillers, by-products, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, preservatives.
Hills Science Diet Chicken Barley Dry Dog Food
Hill’s Science Diet produces dog food that is dry and made for adult aged pets. Great for (however, not subjected to) larger canine breeds, this #1 veterinarian-recommended dog food brand is highly loved by many animal owners!
The formula used to create this specific brand of food was well thought out and efficiently pumped with many healthy fuel-foods that provides energy and radiance that big breeds need to live their lives to the greatest!
The naturally added sources of vitamins and minerals such as glucosamine and chondroitin provides your pup with much needed joint support for their adult years. Also, healthy skin and a shiny coat are provided by the fatty acids and vitamin E that is naturally included in the recipe.
The meats, fruits, and veggies in this formula provide quality proteins of which ensure strong and lean muscles.
Every ingredient that is in this (either 15 lb. or 35 lb.) bag is all natural and added for the benefit of your dog’s health. Both veterinarians and pet owners have really loved the energy, health, and happiness that Hill’s Science Diet has given to their dogs.
Wellness Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Wellness Core makes natural dog food made of healthy, real ingredients. Without any grains added to the mixture of flavor, there is a lot of room for better, for beneficial food items to go into the blend.
Wellness Core ironically focuses on the wellness of your dog! This brand takes into consideration all of the nutrients that a pup must have in its body to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the natural foods added into the blend of the dry dog food are minerals, chicken, turkey, veggies, and vitamins that are essential for your dog. Only all natural ingredients are allowed to be added into this recipe according to Wellness Core—they will not settle for anything less.
Some examples of what are not included are wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, grains, or anything artificial.
This USA-made bag of dog chow comes in bag sizes of 4lbs, 12lbs, and 26lbs… all of which were made with the same amount of love and care.
Diamond Natural Lamb & Rice Formula
Diamond Natural is a well-respected animal food brand because it is trusted not only by pet owners but also by veterinarians. The quality filled bags of chow are completed with high percentages of protein and amino acids that will support their strong muscles.
The minerals and vitamins from the all-natural meats, fruits, and veggies provide your pup with lots of energy that will help them to live a joyous life. Superfoods and antioxidants such as fatty
acids are carefully mixed into to recipe to help your furry friend to have great skin and shiny/smooth fur.
The probiotics that are blended into the mixture send great natural support to the digestive tract inside of your animal’s body. With the nutrients that fill the food, there is no room left for any unwanted ingredients like corn, wheat, fillers, or anything artificial.
Diamond Natural Lamb and Rice Formula is a USA made with trusted ingredients. The bag sizes include 6lbs, 20lbs, and 40lbs. Within each bag is the natural pasture raised lamb that provides the meaty taste for your animal.
Purina Beyond Natural Dry Dog Food
As I have said before, Purina is a super popular canine food brand that is loved and trusted by dog owners everywhere! This grain-free and all-natural bag of chow is made specifically for full grown adult canines. The dry food is very flavorful for pups because of the delicious meats combined into the mixture.
There are a total of six different flavors that you can choose from to let your furry friend try out. The six include chicken, white meat chicken and egg, tuna and egg, texas beef and lentil, beef and egg, and hake and lentil.
The four sizing options include a 3, 7, 13, and 23 pound bags. Purina Beyond puts a lot of thought into the ingredients that your pet will consume so they add essentials that your pet needs to thrive and they take out unneeded components such as grains and preservatives.
Since animals need a lot of protein to maintain a good amount of energy throughout their day, Purina packs the food with 30% protein that will help enrich your canine!
Merrick Grain Dry Dog Food
Merrick is a pet-friendly canine chow brand that keeps in mind what is best for your pet at all times. The naturally crafted formula was blended in the USA, and it trusted to include only healthy foods into the chow. Just like when we eat chicken or sweet potato and the flavors excite our taste buds, the same sensations are provided for your dog when they eat Merrick.
There is absolutely no gluten added whatsoever which makes the chow much easier for digestion. There are also no preservatives or anything unhealthy that you would not want your
dog to consume. If you would not ingest something, why would you want them to? Besides chocolate of course… every human should enjoy loads of that!
There is a large quantity of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids which goes straight to the skin and fur of your animal. These fatty acids ensure good and non-itchy skin as well as a shiny coat.
Another great ingredient that will help your pet to maintain its health is glucosamine and chondroitin. These two vitamins support the health of joints and hips.
Purina Pro Plan Formula Chicken
Given that Purina is a very well established dog chow company, they know exactly what formulas would be able to benefit your pet no matter the age, size, or medical issues. Purina formulates several different types of options that you can choose from to let your pet try out.
Purina Pro Plan Formula is designed to benefit large breed dogs (usually adult aged as well). Whether your large breed pup is a puppy or an adult, Purina keeps in mind the size of bites your canine is able to make which is why they made three styles of chow.
The styles include small bites, large breed, and giant breed. The styles, however, are different from the size of bags (which are 6lbs, 18lbs, 34lbs, 37.5lbs, and 47lbs). The Pro Plan formula includes three options of flavoring as well which are chicken, lamb and rice, and chicken with shreds.
Each flavor is guaranteed to satisfy your pet’s taste buds!
In each serving of chow, there is 26% protein and 12% healthy fats which benefits their insides, and their outsides (skin and fur).
Blue Buffalo Small Breed Chicken
Blue Buffalo does not only make food specifically geared towards big breeds, but also towards those who have smaller breed dogs as well. The Life Protection formula for small breeds is also a dry food, just like the one for larger breeds.
Since the smaller breeds do not eat as much as the larger ones, the sizing options for the bags available to buy are 6lbs and 15lbs. These bag sizes would last your small pup just as long as a 40lb bag would a large breed.
Blue Buffalo prides itself in always keeping real and natural ingredients in all of its formulas! Delicious meats such as chicken, fish, and lamb are offered as flavors that your pet is guaranteed to love! There are wholesome whole grains, fruits, and veggies that add more flavor and healthy vitamins to the mixture.
Blue Buffalo also ensures that large percentages of healthy proteins and carbohydrates are packed into each serving.
There are no traces of preservatives, corn, wheat, soy, or anything artificial that you would not want your pet to consume.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain
Wellness Core does a good job at keeping grains and other unwanted foods out of the chow that they make to benefit the wellbeing of your small dog. Small canine breeds have different nutrition needs from breeds with bigger bodies. Wellness Core proudly makes all of its bags of dog food in the USA and is trusted by many vets and pet owners.
The natural blend of premium flavors keeps anything bad out of the mixture. Meaning there is no grain, soy, wheat, corn, anything artificial, or any by-products of meat. Basically, if it is unhealthy or would not do anything to benefit your canine, then it is not added to the Wellness Core formulas.
The two meat flavor options are chicken and turkey which supply a very great amount of healthy calories and proteins to give your pet optimal energy in its daily life!
The two bag sizes available to choose from are 4lbs and 12lbs which will last your small dog a long time.
Wellness Core is loved by pet owners because they can really see the difference in the energy and health of their pets when they eat this chow.
The Healthiest Dog Food
When you love your canine unconditionally, then it is easy for you to wonder what dog food will keep them healthy and help them live a long and happy life. After reading through some of the brands above, you might be struggling to choose which one will be best for the wellbeing of your canine.
Naturally, it is hard to make just one decision without trying them out first.
One thing you want to look for is that all the ingredients in the food you choose are completely natural and nutritious.
When choosing the best quality brand, some of the pros of having such natural dog food is that their energy levels go up, fur coats get shinier, teeth begin to get stronger, weight will be maintained, digestive tract will get healthier, and so much more!
When on your search for deciding what brand would be the very best for your pet’s health, there are a few tips to keep an eye out for. Some of the great things you will want to make sure are included in the brand are that the meat is real (no by-products), no fillers, nothing artificial, and lots of vitamin-rich fruits and veggies!
What To Look For in Dog Food
Dog’s Age and Breed
When you feed your pup the same type of dog food throughout their entire life, it is hard for them to benefit much from it through each age they go through. Puppies usually need specific types of ingredients to encourage their physical and mental growth out of the puppy stage.
Adult age dogs need ingredients to help prepare their bodies of that senior state and senior canines need ingredients to support their joints, bones, energy, and so on.
Different breeds also require certain amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and other much-needed health benefits.
You may be asking yourself: what exactly will be nutritious for my specific dog (no matter the age, breed, or gender)? One thing to note is that unlike popular belief, dogs are not just meat eaters. They also benefit a lot from healthy fruits, grains, and veggies.
All canines will have positive changes in their bodies from large percentages of proteins, fibers, minerals, veggies, vitamins, and other nourishing items.
There is also something called “probiotics” that are live cultures that when ingested, will help the digestive system by lining the intestinal tract with extremely healthy bacterias.
The name of the product you want to purchase is the face of the product itself. It will tell you exactly basically what is in the product itself. However, sometimes the titles or names of the item can be a little misleading.
For example: if a pet food product is titled “chicken” then this is going to tell you that there is a large percentage of chicken inside of that specific item (most likely 70% or more). If the “chicken” title is followed by another word or ingredient, then the percentage of the chicken will be much less considering that there would then be room for another main ingredient.
A rule of thumb when pondering over what to let your dog ingest or not, is if you would not eat it, then they should not have to either. Just like we would want to do our best to avoid eating preservatives, artificial flavorings or colors, corn syrup, and unhealthy sugars, we should keep those away from our furry friends as well.
Healthier ingredients to look for that will benefit your dog in great amounts are proteins, minerals, vitamins, real meats, amino acids, fruits, and veggies! These will all provide your animal with the potential to grow shinier hair, healthier teeth, and for their insides to remain healthy as well.
Complete and Balanced
Complete and balanced food for your dog, will not only keep them strengthened, but it will also make them happy! Products that are said to be complete and balanced are known to be filled with the right amount of meats, veggies, vitamins, and other benefits to help the pet in your home to thrive.
Food bags that have this trait of being both complete and balanced provide each canine with the nutrients it needs to live every day to its very fullest.
This is a great thing to look for when considering your options.
Being a veterinarian, there is a lot of power put into their hands when choosing which products are the finest choice for your animal. They are trained to learn what the first-rate products are for animals with specific needs. To go see a vet in order to be told what the perfect product choice would be for your particular dog, follow these simple steps:
- Call a trusted or close veterinarians office to schedule an appointment
- After the appointment is scheduled, be sure to note down what you want to change(health wise) about your animal and prepare questions if needed
- Now go to your appointment!
(source: How to Have a Successful Visit to the Vet)
It is wise for you as a pet owner to stay up to date with any food or product recalls that could affect your canine. Doing so will give you the constant peace of mind that your animal is safe from any harm.
A well-known site that is used to show you of any recent (pet related) recalls is AVMA.
For the safety of your pet, please always stay up to date to ensure the proper wellbeing of your loving animal!
Recalls are rare, however, when they do happen it is good to know what products to stay away from.
Different Types of Dog Food
Dry Dog Food
Dry food is just how it sounds: dry. While some puppies and older aged dogs may have some trouble eating dry food because of their sensitive teeth, it otherwise is a good source of nutrition.
The option of dry food is usually more popular because it is simple to serve and to eat. The amount of carbohydrates in dry food is much higher than that of wet/canned dog chow.
With dry, you do not need to refrigerate to keep cool or throw out after a few weeks. Dry lasts much longer than canned food.
Wet (Canned) Dog Food
Wet/canned food, however, is known to be much higher in protein, natural fats, and had a larger amount of meat. Dogs seem to like wet food more because it is easier to eat, yet it can get a little messy at times.
Wet food is also more filling than dry food which explains the price difference. It also holds more flavor than dry food which can be beneficial for picky eaters.
One of the only downsides about wet/canned is that you have to keep it refrigerated to keep it fresh.
Grain Free Dog Food
It is debatable whether grain is good or bad for your animal. Many people like the addition of grain as an ingredient and other owners do not. Grains do have some benefits to the health of the dog, but it may have some downfalls as well.
Some animals gain much-needed energy from the grains, while others may gain unwanted weight or become lazier.
Depending on the energy and the breed of dog you have, the effect that grains can have on them vary. Talk to you local veterinarian to find out if grains are right for you.
Raw Dog Food
The raw form of food is healthy for some canines; however, it is not always the safest choice to switch from cooked food to raw food so quickly. If you want to switch your pet’s diet to raw foods only, then you should first take a few months of slowly transitioning them onto the new diet.
To do this (with their regular kibble or wet food) add some little bits of raw meats into their meal to start to get their bodies used to the uncooked meat. After a month or two of slowly taking out the cooked food from their bowls at mealtime, then you will eventually make your way to 100% raw meat meals.
Different breeds and sizes of dogs have different requirements that need to be fulfilled to give them the best quality of life. For larger breeds such as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Rottweilers, will need for protein and energy-rich foods is vital. Vitamins and amino acids are also great for breeds this large.
Medium sized breeds such as English Bulldogs and other breeds of similar sizes have a specific ingredient routine to include in their daily diet as well. Weighing in at around 40-50 pounds, this low energy-level breed does not need as much protein as a more energetic breed might need.
Small breeds like the Miniature Schnauzers hold a different standard from both the large and the medium breeds. This dog, in particular, is going to have to consume a larger number of calories per pound than most bigger breeds intake.
Certain breeds are more in need of certain ingredients than others, and according to what is the best food choice for your breed size, size does matter!
Maybe in the spring, your dog may have some itchy or dry skin. Maybe their eyes redden or water, or they sneeze frequently. If your pet is showing any signs of allergies, the first step is changing their food. The best option here is to get an all natural brand that has healthy options of ingredients in their chow.
The troubling thing about troubleshooting changing their food is that they are not able to tell you when it needs to be done in the first place. You, as an animal owner, must pay close attention to any symptoms or warning signs of allergies in your pet that you will need to handle.
If you feel like your canine can lose a few pounds one way or another, then a good way to start doing so (besides adding more exercise into their routine) is to change up their diet. Just like in humans, a healthy diet is the main factor to help promote weight loss.
Changing the food that goes into your body is a more efficient way to get rid of some unwanted weight. Therefore, give your dog an all natural brand of dog food that is highly trusted to only include real meats, fruits, and veggies.
High Calorie Dog Food
On the opposite side of the spectrum from wanting a pup to lose weight, maybe you have a very skinny or malnourished hound. If this is the case, something that will help you change that situation is adding a “buttload” of calories into their meals!
High-calorie food options are difficult to find for animals because the demand is not very high anymore. Some brands to look into in order to see if they have a high enough calorie percentage are Wellness Core, Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, and Bully Max.
Low Protein Dog Food
Firstly, before you automatically start leaning a hound onto a lower protein diet, you should first talk to your vet about other alternatives in the case that this is not the right one for you. The most likely reason why owners may want to consider this is if they have older aged hounds.
Since senior canines are less able to run around and have high amounts of energy, they may require a lower amount of protein in their system. Getting them off of normal protein amounts (that an average adult dog would consume) will help to avoid them from gaining too much weight now that they are not as active.
Every hound is just as unique as the other, but hunting dogs are a completely different ballpark. Hunting dogs could be pretty much any breed of canine because they are not breed specific, just energy-specific. Hunting hounds are bred to have much higher levels of energy than regular canines.
Keeping energy boosting meals in their daily diet can help protect them from facing injuries from them being active in the sport they were raised to partake in.
Ingredients (that benefit hunting dogs) to search for in the food brands are high levels of fats, carbs, and proteins.
Related Post: Best Dog Food For Hunting Dogs
Dog Food For Puppies
Whether you own a large or a small breed puppy, young pups need particular elements in the meals they consume. Reason being, puppies have less than one year to grow to their full size (in most cases), so they need to ingest the proper nutrients to help them sustain a healthy body that grows quickly and efficiently.
Another thing to look for is to check and make sure that the brand you choose has been tested and liked by many sources of pets and owners.
You can feed them the same dog food you would feed an adult hound; however, puppy specific food would give them better and much-needed nutrients they with thrive on.
How Often Should I Feed My Dog?
Many people think that they should feed their pets at the same time that they have their own meals. So if an owner is eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then they would feed their dog at those same times. That adds up to three meals a day which does not include any added treats or snacks they often get.
Really, they should only be fed two times a day. At morning and at night.
The only exception to this would be puppies who need to be fed three to five times a day.
Can I feed My Dog Human Food Instead?
The simple answer to this is: yes. But at the same time, you can technically feed them cat food, horse food, or bird food but they still would not be getting the nutrients that they need. Dog food is scientifically tested to benefit canines specifically.
Feeding them human food may be easier or more convenient for you, but it is highly recommended that you stick to food made special for them and their needs. You also want to be careful as some human food can be harmful for dogs.
Some foods we eat may be similar to theirs, but hounds will need different things in their diet that are not always in our kitchens.
What if My Dog is Sick?
In the occurrence where your pup is feeling ill, throwing up, or having diarrhea, it can be hard to give them the nutrients they need to get better through their food because they will not want to eat.
Even though they may be refusing to eat, try your very best to get the vitamins they need to get better. Read our guide on what to feed your dog if he or she is sick.
What Are The Most Popular Brands?
The most popular dog food brands are popular for a reason. They are trusted by pet owners, recommended by vets, and loved by canines. Each brand, even though they are all similar, have their own unique qualities to set them apart from any regular drugstore dog food brands.
Some of our favorite brands to choose from here at PuppyPointers are Purina, Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild, Pedigree, Orijen, and Natural Balance.
These are just a few of our favorites that we think both you and your pup are really going to enjoy!
We all do our very best to make sure that everything we do benefits our pets. From our choices of their food to the time we spend with them, every little detail is important in their day-to-day lives.
Choosing the right food brand to ensure health, growth, and flavor for our pets can be hard since we, ourselves, do not know exactly what they are feeling. However, with their reactions to the tastefulness and energizing proteins, we can see exactly how much they appreciate what we give them.
Depending on the breed, age, and energy of your pet, any of these top brands will bring them one step closer to a more youthful and active version of themselves.
I hope that as a pet owner you were able to learn something new about what could help your canine thrive. Remember to always treat them well and give them foods that will keep them healthy and happy!