In the wild, dogs are natural-born hunters. Domestic dogs, however, rely on their owners for their food needs. The question becomes: what kind of food to feed your dog? That’s the hundred dollar question!
Dog food brands come a dime a dozen. There are so many different choices out there that it can be hard to discern the good from the not-so-good. That being said, we’re here to help you! We’ve done the research for you and chose some excellent dog food brands.
Our Top 10 Favorite Dog Food Brands
Taste of the Wild is one of the leading dog food providers. They offer both dry food and canned food as part of their product line, and each comes in a variety of flavors for even the pickiest dog.
Their line of canned dog food is among the best on the market today. Each Taste of the Wild flavor is formulated with animal protein sources and fruits and vegetables which provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for any stage in a dog’s life, whether they’re a puppy or adult.
The grain-free formula in both wet and dry foods adds another benefit. Although most dogs can easily metabolize grains, some dog owners might feel happier knowing their dog is not consuming grain. Or, this is a great option if your dog has a grain allergy.
The first ingredient in every formula comes from unique and highly digestible protein sources including venison, boar, salmon, bison, or birds. Protein from reliable sources supports a healthy skin and coat, muscles, organ function, and other areas of your dog’s body.
The Taste of the Wild brand tends to be more expensive than some other dog food brands out there. That being said, you’ll certainly pay for quality.
- Quality brand
- Variety of flavors
- Formulated with animal protein sources, fruits, and vegetables
- Quite expensive
You might be curious to know that not all dog food formulated for your dog is suited for all dogs. There’s a very real chance that your dog could be at an increased risk for health issues if you happen to purchase the incorrect food for them.
This is why it’s important to purchase food specifically designed for your dog’s age and breed sizes. For some dogs, we love the Farmina brand. The first five ingredients usually consist of animal protein, other animal by-products, animal fat, vegetables, and other recommended products like dehydrated egg product.
Farmina’s formulas offer higher-than-average protein and fat content and lower-than-average carbohydrate content. It’s formulated to provide a well-balanced diet for your dog at any age, life stage, or breed!
Although this dog food is highly-rated, it has been mentioned that the high concentration of vegetables may be too rich for your dogs stomach. If possible, try getting a small bag to see how your dog reacts to the new food.
- First and second ingredients are deboned and dehydrated animal protein
- Well-balanced nutrition for your dog
- Perfect for dogs of any breed, size, or life stage
- High concentration of vegetables may be too rich for some dogs
3. Dr. Tims
The Dr. Tim’s brand formula is created through the collaborative efforts a PhD canine nutritionist and an experienced veterinarian. Rest assured this dog food was crafted to offer the best for your canine companion.
Even better, this formula uses all-natural ingredients so you know you’re giving your dog nature’s best instead of anything artificial.
Dr. Tim’s is especially known for their Metabolite Weight Management dog food which comes in at the top for weight loss. This formula combines wholesome protein sources with a special fiber blend to help your dog lose weight safely and effectively.
Dr. Tim’s also comes in a variety of other formulas including Highly Active, Ultra Athletic, Ancient Grains, Active Dog, and many others. This is a great brand if you’re looking for a dog food that depends on your dog’s activity level.
There’s always a chance your dog may not like any Dr. Tim’s formula. Others have noted that the bag this food comes in is not resealable.
- Perfect for owners looking for a dog food brand specifically formulated for active dogs
- All-natural ingredients
- Also offers a weight management food
- Not all dogs will enjoy the formula
If your dog has an allergy to grain, you’ll want to find something that’s grain-free. Fortunately, there are several options on the market today. Merrick makes one of the best grain-free dog foods out there.
Real deboned animal protein forms the first ingredient followed by animal meal, sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes. This is a well-balanced food that gives your dog the protein and nutrients he needs to stay active.
Merrick also includes additional ingredients for your dog’s optimal health. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat and glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy hips and joints.
For dogs that might have other food sensitivities, Merrick, in addition to grain-free options, also offers a limited ingredient formula.
This formula also does not contain poultry for those dogs that might have a sensitivity to it.
This dog food is a little more expensive than others out there. Also, some dogs have encountered skin or digestive issues when they’ve been switched.
- First five ingredients are deboned animal protein, animal meal, sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes
- Includes other nutrients and fats for additional health
- May cause skin or digestive issues with your dog
5. Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo is one of the best brands of dog food on the market today. Their Life Protection brand is specifically formulated to keep your adult dogs at their peak for longer.
Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection formula contains essential proteins and carbohydrates to help keep your dogs active and energetic! Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids also promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.
One trademark of Blue Buffalo are their Lifesource Bits. Lifesource Bits comprise antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals selected by veterinarians and animal nutritionists for a more robust immune system and additional health benefits.
Lastly, Blue Buffalo doesn’t contain meat by-products, corn, soy, and artificial flavors or preservatives.
Some dogs may not like the Lifesource Bits. This formula has also been known to cause some digestive discomfort to some dogs.
- Well-known and trusted brand
- Contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for optimal healthy skin and coat
- Contains Lifesource Bits with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for a well-balanced meal
- Lifesource Bits might cause some gastrointestinal discomfort in dogs
Some dogs have digestive issues or sensitivities and might require special diets for their unique needs. Canidae, a brand which prides itself on “simple recipes for sensitive pets”, fits the bill! They offer not only grain-free formulas but also limited-ingredient ones.
Limited ingredient formulas are great if your dog has a food sensitivity or if you’re worried about the amount of chemicals, fillers, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients that can make their way into your dog’s food.
One Canidae formula uses only eight ingredients to provide a well-balanced food for almost any dog. Their wet food formula incorporates seven ingredients, primarily quality protein paired with wholesome vegetables.
Interestingly, they also offer freeze-dried foods. Freeze-dried dog food, while more expensive, is an excellent way to ensure your dog gets the closest possible diet as they might receive in the wild. The freeze-drying process also locks in the flavor and nutrition of the dog food.
As with many brands, Canidae can run on the expensive side. That’s not to say it’s not worth purchasing. But, this price point might be a little higher than some owners are comfortable paying.
- Well-respected brand
- Limited ingredient, grain-free, freeze-dried options
- First ingredients contain quality animal protein
- Expensive when compared to other brands
7. Eagle Pack
As mentioned above, not all dog foods are created equal. What works for smaller dogs most likely is not formulated for larger ones. That’s why it’s important for you to buy the appropriate food for your canine companion.
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food is a complete and well-balanced dog food for breeds of any size, whether small, medium, large, or giant. What a smaller breed requires in a dog food differs than what a large dog would need.
This dry food contains chicken and pork meals to provide your dog with protein. Eagle Pack formulas also provide additional nutrition from glucosamine for healthy joints and flaxseed to support skin and coat health, depending on the specific formula.
Unfortunately some dogs have experienced gastrointestinal discomfort that has resulted in increased trips outside. Some others have said the kibble size is too small for their dogs.
- Well-balanced formula
- Includes other nutrients for optimal health
- Protein is sourced from chicken and pork meals
- Causes gastrointestinal discomfort in some dogs
- Kibble size might be too small for some dogs
Wellness is hands down one of the best and most recognized dog food brands on the market today. This brand has had over 100 years to perfect their method of formulating high quality dog food for just about any dog.
The Wellness brand comprises various types of dog foods: limited ingredient options with their CORE line; a Complete Health line with differing options depending on your dog’s life stage, breed, age, or size; and others.
Wellness even has a quality assurance program to ensure their products are safe and balanced. They require their suppliers to meet strict regulations that even exceed those set by the FDA.
Wellness is a trusted brand that is committed to providing the best food possible for your dog.
Unfortunately, some dogs might suffer from bowel issues from certain formulas. Some others have mentioned that the zip-lock feature of the food packaging is not ideal and often causes some difficulty in opening them.
- Well-trusted, well-respected brand
- Rigorous quality assurance program
- Different options
- Some dogs might suffer from bowel issues
- The zip-lock feature on the packaging can cause difficulty in opening the bag
Raw freeze-dried food is easily the closest thing most dogs will get to eating what they would in the wild. It is also one of the most expensive dog food types out there. If you’re willing to spend the money on freeze-dried food, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the best of the best.
Northwest Naturals makes a wonderful freeze-dried food. Most of the formulas contain a majority of animal protein in addition to muscle meat, organ meat, raw ground bone, fruits, and vegetables.
An additional benefit is that almost any of Northwest Naturals freeze-dried food works well for all stages, from puppy to adult to senior.
A downside of some raw diets is that they can mold. One benefit of freeze-dried brands is that they will not mold so you can keep them for much longer.
Keep in mind that feeding a raw diet to your dogs can be quite expensive. Some have used these nuggets as a supplement or a treat rather than forming a main diet.
- Made with high-quality animal protein
- Freeze-dried for a longer shelf life
- Perfect for all life stages of a dog
- More valuable as a snack than a main diet
Acana makes some of the highest-quality dog food on the market today. They produce “biologically appropriate dog food”. This mirrors the “quality, freshness, and variety of meat that nature evolved dogs to eat.”
Their formulas follows what they call nature’s five rules: rich in meat and protein, high fresh meat inclusions, an abundant variety of meat, wholeprey meat ratios, and fresh fruit and vegetables. They also use regional ingredients to provide the freshest ingredients possible.
Their regional ingredients include red meats, free-run poultry and cage-free eggs, wild-caught fish, whole fruits and vegetables, and home-grown botanicals.
As with any dog food, some dogs may not like the flavor of Acana food. Additionally, some may experience some gastrointestinal issues. If you notice anything off about your dog when you start feeding them this food, cease feeding immediately and contact your vet.
- Diet mirrors what dog’s wild counterparts eat
- High protein, abundant variety of meat, fresh fruit and vegetables
- Nothing artificial
- Some dogs might not like the taste
- Some dogs might experience gastrointestinal issues
The dog food market is expansive. There is a large variety of options out there from cheap, filler-filled recipes to all-natural options that provide optimal nutrition for your dog. In this article, I’ve given you some ideas for some excellent options to suit a wide variety of situations.
Before starting your dog on any food regimen, speak with your vet. They’ll be able to help guide you as you transition your dog from one food to the next.
As a general rule of thumb, you should gradually change your dog’s food over a period of days or weeks. Too abrupt of a transition can lead to stomach or other issues. These can make both you and your dog uncomfortable.
We hope you found this guide useful!