“What is the best dog food on the market?” pet parents frequently inquire.
Finding the finest brands may be difficult due to conflicting advice, deceitful marketing, and dozens of dry dog food selections.
As a result, we pooled our editors’ best recommendations.
If you’ve merely gone out to grab the mail, dogs are a gift to the world, always eager to meet you with wagging tails and kisses on your hand (or face, if you allow them). That’s why your faithful friend deserves the best of everything, from the most comfortable dog bed to the most luxurious pet accessories, and, of course, the best dog food available.
However, interpreting nutrition labels in order to locate nutritious dog food may be challenging. Let’s be honest: it’s nearly impossible unless you go to veterinary school. That is why we spoke with professionals to seek some advice.
When it comes down to it, the best dog food for your pup’s unique needs should always be determined by your personal veterinarian, but if you’re looking for a starting point, here are some decent all-around alternatives.
1. Best Dog Food For Puppies – Hill’s Science Diet
This Puppy Strong Growth formula supports brain, eye, and skeletal development, as well as a healthy immune system. Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites Dry Dog Food provides everything your developing (far too rapidly) pet requires.
It’s prepared with nutritious ingredients like chicken and barley, and it’s fortified with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, and DHA to help support growing organs and learning capacity. Plus, because the kibble is smaller and simpler to digest than other dog diets, it will be easier for your puppy’s developing digestive system to handle.
Nutritional Value– DHA from fish oil for healthy brain & eye development, high-quality protein for building lean muscles, balanced minerals for strong bones & teeth
Recommended for: Puppies up to 1-year-old and pregnant or nursing dogs.
Not recommended for: Adult dogs, Adult 7+ dogs, obese or obese-prone dogs.
2. Best Dog Food For Senior Dogs – American Journey Active Life
Senior dogs may devote considerable time to their dog beds than younger puppies, but this just emphasizes the need for good nourishment. This American Journey Active Life Formula Senior Dry Dog Food has everything your senior dog requires (and nothing they don’t).
To assist healthy aging, it mixes genuine chicken with antioxidant-rich nutrients including sweet potatoes, blueberries, and marine algae. It also includes a few carefully chosen nutrients, such as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and mobility, vitamin A for good vision, and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
Nutritional Value Vitamin A, Antioxidant blend, Glucosamine and chondroitin.
Recommended for: Adult or senior dogs or nursing dogs.
Not recommended for: Young, small and pregnant dogs.
3. Best Dog Food For Small Dogs
If your lap dog is between nine and 22 pounds, the Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition is for you. Little Adult Formula Dog Dry Food contains everything a small dog needs to keep up with his or her limitless activity.
Small dogs have a shorter, more intensive growth period than larger dogs, and their calorie requirements are higher as well (to keep up with all of the bouncing around they do). This dog food provides support for both, as well as L-carnitine for fat metabolism and EPA and DHA for brain and skin health.
Nutritional Value- Meets the high energy needs of small dogs while helping maintain a healthy weight with L-carnitine
Supports skin and coat health with optimal levels of fatty acids like EPA and DHA
Recommended for: Exclusive small, highly palatable kibble adapted for miniature jaws
Not Recommended for: Large and obese dogs.
4. Best Dog Food For Large Breeds – Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
If you have a lap dog who weighs more than 50 pounds, you’ll need a special dog food recipe designed to keep lean muscles, good joints, and a healthy body condition. Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food is the answer. Its first component is chicken, and it blends firm kibble with delicate, meaty shreds to keep your big boy coming back for more.
Probiotics, prebiotic fiber, glucosamine, and EPA are added to help improve digestive, immunological, and joint health, as well as general mobility. You may also get the bundle, which contains a 34-pound bag of dry dog food and 12 cans of wet dog food if you like to alternate between dry and wet food.
Nutritional Value- Glucosamine and EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, for joint health and mobility.
High levels of protein, combined with proper exercise, help promote muscle conditioning.
Natural prebiotic fiber nourishes specific intestinal bacteria for digestive health.
Recommended for: Large and Giant Breed Dogs.
Not Recommended for: Small and lapdogs.
5. Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs -Wellness CORE Digestive Health Dry Dog Food
Wellness is a brand that Dr. Krause recommends since it “has longevity and a broad variety of tastes and formulas.” This includes the company’s Core Digestive Health brand, which offers meals with protein and brown rice.
These kibbles are highly digestible, coated with probiotics, and blended with digestive enzymes to maintain a healthy stomach. Wellness’ other health-focused variants, such as puppy, senior, raw, and low-fat formulations, are also worth mentioning.
Nutritional value- Created by nutritionists, veterinarians, and animal lovers, our recipes provide an ideal balance of nature’s finest ingredients, carefully selected to nourish and sustain your pet’s wellbeing. Digestive Health, Heart Health, Joint Health, Skin & Coat nourishment.
Recommended for- Sensitive Stomach Dog, Adult dog
Not Recommended for- Not applicable.
6. Best Budget-Friendly Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food has 26 percent protein and the optimal protein-to-fat ratio to maintain your healthy adult dog in top form, with genuine chicken as the first ingredient. It also contains probiotics, as well as prebiotics (fibers that feed probiotics and help them thrive), to support your dog’s digestive and immunological health, as well as vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids to improve his coat.
Unlike other all-kibble dog feeds, it blends dry food with delicate, shredded morsels that keep your dog engaged and content without the need for further mixing on your side. It also won’t break the bank at $50 for a 35-pound bag.
Nutritional Value- High protein formula, with real chicken as the first ingredient. Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics for digestive and immune health.
Recommended for- Adult dogs, large breeds.
Not recommended for- Young and sensitive stomach dogs.
7. Best Raw Dog Food
Dr. Krause says Stella & Chewy’s Raw Coated Kibble is a favorite among her four-legged patients because it combines the convenience of kibble with the taste of raw freeze-dried meat. To satisfy your companion’s carnivorous hunger, this high-protein mix contains beef, hog, lamb, bison, deer, and goat.
The company exclusively employs natural, ethically obtained materials and never adds dangerous chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, or other artificial additives. Grain-inclusive or grain- and legume-free variants, such as this Red Meat Recipe, are also available.
Nutritional Value- Fortified with vitamins, minerals and amino acids, our Raw Blend formula helps improve your dog’s entire well-being, with fiber and probiotics for digestive support and taurine for heart health. Antioxidants from fruits and veggies help support a healthy immune system, while naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin help support hip and joint health. Great for the Skin & Coat: Omega fatty acids from chia seeds and salmon oil provide skin and coat support.
Recommended for- Adult, Transition Dogs.
Not Recommended for- Young and sensitive stomach dogs.
Which dog food is best for my dog?
This is by far the most often asked question on any dog food guidance website, and although we’d love to tell you that “Brand x is the finest food for your dog,” it’s seldom that easy. The easiest place to start for most dog owners is our “Dog Region” where you can enter your dog’s information to obtain a list of meals that should suit the bill.
The more information you provide about your dog, the more personalized the list will become. The results will be shown in order of expert rating, so the closer to the top, the better we estimate them to be for your dog. However, because each dog is unique, finding the right match for your dog may need some trial and error. For more information, you can go through our articles “10 Best Dog Food Tips” and “General Factors in Finding Best Dog Food”.
Is mixing dog food brands a bad idea?
“At Lakeside Animal Hospital, we advocate sticking with one type of diet because switching food on a frequent basis has been shown to cause gastrointestinal irritation,” Dr. Frione adds. If the dog food you’re giving your dog isn’t providing enough nourishment, talk to your veterinarian about moving to a different food or boosting your dog’s diet.
What is the best way to find out if a dog food brand is recalled?
“If you hear dog food has been recalled, talk to your veterinarian,” Dr. Frione advises. “Recent recalls will also be reported on the FDA website.” On the FDA’s website, you may discover a current list of recalls and withdrawals, as well as the cause for the recall.
An example of such an article can be found in the Research Paper Hill’s Pet Nutrition Expands Voluntary Recall of Select Canned Dog Food for Elevated Vitamin D by the US Food And Drug Administration.
Why do the nutritional ratings fluctuate over time?
Naturally, if a manufacturer’s recipes change, the nutritional grade must be revised. You’ll see a blue ‘updated’ ribbon on the food’s directory entry if this is the case.
We’re also constantly fine-tuning the rating system as new components and manufacturing processes emerge, as well as our nutritional knowledge grows. We update all of the ratings on the site with the most recent version of the algorithm every few months, so if your meal’s rating has changed but you don’t see the blue ‘updated’ ribbon, the change is on our end, not with the item.
Is it necessary for me to be concerned about nutritional levels?
Most likely not. As long as your dog is healthy and has no history of health problems, you won’t have to worry about the macronutrient amounts in his dog food. If your dog, on the other hand, falls into one of the following categories, nutritional levels may need to be evaluated.
Overweight dogs: If your dog needs to reduce weight, search for a meal that has lower fat content than typical.
Hungry dogs: A high-fiber diet can aid dogs that are particularly food-oriented by delaying digestion and helping them feel satisfied for longer.
Highly active dogs: Fat and protein are the best sources of energy for a dog, so if your dog engages in a lot of activity on a regular basis, he can benefit from a diet with higher fat and protein content.
Puppies: Puppies require a lot of protein and fat to grow properly, therefore any puppy formula should suffice.
Many health problems may be alleviated or even treated with dietary adjustments, so if your dog is suffering from anything from itchy skin to cancer, ask your doctor what macronutrient levels are optimum.
Do I need to switch my dog’s food?
There’s no reason to modify your dog’s diet if he’s fit and healthy and you’re both satisfied with it. While the components list helps us to forecast which foods are likely to be better for the majority of dogs, there will always be situations when an individual dog is better suited to some of the lower-rated foods than some of the higher-rated foods. Our goal is to simply assist you in finding a diet that keeps your dog healthy and happy, so if you’ve already done so, no matter what grade we give it, we strongly advise you to remain with it.
If your dog, on the other hand, is displaying indications of disease, even if just periodically, a change may be the best solution. Early warning indicators of dietary issues include:
- Disturbances indigestion: loose stools (typically increasing looser over the day), excessive or foul-smelling wind, and frequent vomiting (particularly after meals).
- Skin/coat problems: Itching, bald spots, scurfiness, severe dandruff, continual molting, greasy, and stinky coat are all symptoms of skin/coat disorders.
- Eyes that are watery
- Bad breath and/or plaque buildup on a frequent basis
- Anal gland difficulties on a regular basis
How is the cost of daily feeding calculated?
Feeding expenses are determined by feeding the required daily quantity from the biggest pack size purchased at full retail price. Because prices are always changing, some costs may be incorrect.
Now that you know about the best dog foods on the market, you can make your correct choice according to your dog’s breed and needs. It is also a good choice if you can feed him home-cooked food. But the above foods are recommended and reviewed by various veterinarians given their utility and nutritional values. Now it’s you, who will make a perfect choice! So, good luck!
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