Disclaimer: Please note that this article is meant to serve as a guide and reflects the opinions of the author. Consult your veterinarian personalized recommendations based on knowledge of your pet.
There’s no question – we all want the best for our pup. A healthy diet is at the top of the list of a happy dog’s essentials, right alongside exercise, love, care, and attention.
But, with so many brands and options for dog food lining the shelves these days, how can you know what’s right for your furry friend?
Lets break down the common brands and food types to help you find the best food to meet your dog’s nutritional needs, regardless of it’s age, size, or breed.
- 1 Top 10 Dog Foods: Dry, Wet, and Grain-Free
- 2 Choosing The Best Dog Food For Your Pup
- 2.1 Dog Food Brands
- 2.2 Dry Dog Food
- 2.3 Wet Dog Food
- 2.4 Grain-Free Dog Food
- 2.5 Vet-Recommended Dog Food and Food for Dogs With Allergies
- 2.6 Food for Puppies
- 2.7 For Small Dogs Like Chihuahuas, Yorkies, and Dachshunds
- 2.8 For Medium-Sized Dogs Like Huskies, Boxers, and Border Collies
- 2.9 For Large Dogs Like Pitbulls, Labs, German Sherpherds, Great Danes, and Golden Retrievers
- 2.10 For Senior Dogs
- 3 Dog Food Reviews
- 4 Conclusions
Top 10 Dog Foods: Dry, Wet, and Grain-Free
Choosing The Best Dog Food For Your Pup
Our ultimate dog food buying guide is designed to help you navigate the highly competitive dog food market. Walk into a pet store or conduct a cursory online search for dog chow and you’re greeted with hundreds of different choices. Nowadays, you’ll see organic and grain-free dog food, dry dog chow, wet food, high-protein puppy food, freeze-dried dog chow, frozen canine grub, and dog food that has been specifically designed to help dogs manage their weight lining the shelves of your local big box pet shop. All of these options probably leave you wondering to yourself, “Which food type is the best for my dog? Is one dog food brand better than another?”
This guide will help you identify which food is ideally suited for your pet. Our goal is to help you find dog food that not only maximizes your dog’s nutritional health, but also stays within your budget. Along the way, we’ll teach you about the different types of dog cuisine that are currently on the market, and also how you can avoid buying low-quality food for your best friend.
Dog Food Brands
In recent years, the dog food market has become extremely competitive. The reason for this is that tons of smaller, local companies are now producing specialized dog food recipes. These smaller companies often specialize in grain-free or organic dog food, giving pet owners who are seeking natural dog food more options to choose from.
Similarly, dog breeders are often formulating their own dog food recipes these days, too. One reason these breeder-owned dog food brands are becoming popular among dog enthusiasts is that dog breeders have an intimate and in-depth knowledge of a particular dog’s nutritional needs. For example, buying a Labrador-specific dog food formula from a Labrador breeder is a great way to ensure you’re getting a healthy, high-quality food for your Labrador Retriever.
At the same time, there are a number of nationally-recognized brands that are also creating high-quality dog food formulas. Some of the best dog food brands to look for include Purina, Iams, Milkbone, Merrick, Hill’s, Pedigree, and Blue Buffalo. What makes these companies superior to some of the less established brands on the market is that they all place equal amounts of importance on maintaining the quality, safety, and nutrition of their products.
Dry Dog Food
When you think about dog food, what immediately comes to mind? If you’re like us, you’ll probably picture hard, crunchy pellet-shaped bits that are usually brown in color. This type of dog food is called dry dog food. Sometimes referred to as kibble, the reason dry dog food has been popular for so long is that it’s easy to store, it’s cheaper than more gourmet alternatives, it can be purchased in bulk, and it does not spoil easily.
From a storage standpoint, kibble can be stored in large plastic bins in a room temperature environment. You don’t have to worry about dry dog food spoiling if you leave it for too long. You also don’t have to worry about clearing out fridge or freezer space for dry dog food — just find a room-temperature, moisture-free area in your home’s entryway or garage and you’ve got all you need to keep kibble fresh for your pup.
In terms of ingredients, the wide range of vegetables, grains, and meats included in different types of kibble is truly eye-opening. The most common meats found in dry dog food include chicken, various types of fish, beef, and lamb. Some dry dog food formulas also include meat and bone meal for added protein.
High-end dry dog kibble also includes vegetables like beet pulp, ground whole corn, and potato, while those same formulas contain healthy grains like brown rice and ground whole wheat. This commitment to utilizing only the best-quality ingredients has revolutionized the dry dog food industry in the last few years.
Wet Dog Food
Although wet dog food is less popular than its dry food counterpart, wet food offers a range of benefits to your dog. Veterinarians indicate that wet dog food formulas are a good choice if you are concerned about your pet’s hydration. The reason for this is that wet dog foods are an excellent way to covertly add more water to your dog’s diet.
Adequate hydration is extremely important during the summer months (or for those who live in year-round warm climates), where the heat of the sun can quickly sap your dog of energy. Switching your pet to a wet food-based diet is a great way to effectively combat this and help give your dog energy when it needs it most.
Wet food is also an excellent option if you’ve got an older dog that suffers from sensory perception issues. Wet dog food formulas tends to have a richer scent and more substantial flavor than kibble, which means they’ll work well for canines that have a weakened sense of smell due to age.
If you have a dog with jaw, mouth, or dental problems, wet food is also softer and easier to chew and swallow than harder dry food.
Some popular wet food recipes include things like beef stew, filet mignon, and chicken with brown rice and garden vegetables.
Grain-Free Dog Food
One of the most intriguing recent developments in the dog food world is the availability of grain-free dog kibble. Although grain-free dog food is more expensive than an industrial-sized bag of dry dog kibble, a grain-free dog formula touts a range of health benefits not offered by other types of dog food.
According to veterinarians, grain-free dog formulas are ideal for pups suffering from various food allergies. While there has been a big push to recognize gluten intolerance in humans over the past few years, it’s interesting to consider that canines are also afflicted with gluten sensitivity.
Grain-free dog food will also improve the external appearance of your pup. More specifically, grain-free dog food will give your pup healthier skin, a shinier coat, and reduce hair shedding. Grain-free food will also regulate your dog’s stools, limit flatulence, and boost your pet’s energy.
If you do decide to switch to gluten-free kibble, you’ll find that the established dog food companies — like Pedigree, Purina, and Merrick — utilize the same great ingredients in their grain-free formulas as they do in their more conventional dry food offerings. Instead of adding grain to their grainless recipes, though, companies are adding sweet potato as a delicious and nutritious substitute that your pup is sure to enjoy.
Vet-Recommended Dog Food and Food for Dogs With Allergies
Because your veterinarian has such an intimate knowledge of your dog’s nutritional needs and medical history, it’s important to consult with your vet before switching your pet’s dog food.
If you switch your pup from conventional dry kibble to a grain-free option, for example, your veterinarian will recommend that you gradually introduce the grain-less food into your pet’s diet so that your pet’s digestive system can get used to the new ingredients. When making this dietary transition, it’s important to monitor your pet’s stools to ensure that they remain regular.
Unfortunately, these days, other food allergies are becoming more common in American dogs. Some common food allergies in canines include pork, beef, fish, chicken, egg, corn, and dairy.
If your pet has a sensitivity towards one of the aforementioned foods, your vet will recommend that you feed your pup hypoallergenic dog food.
Hypoallergenic dog food, which is sometimes referred to as limited-ingredient dog food, eliminates all of the extra, unnecessary filler ingredients that exist in some dog food formulas.
Companies that are producing hypoallergenic dog food formulate their recipes so that their food offers the highest amount of nutrition with the fewest amount of ingredients. For instance, one of the most popular hypoallergenic dog foods currently available, Wellness Simple’s Natural Dry Limited Ingredient Dog Food, brings together high-quality lamb meat and easy-to-digest gluten-free oatmeal to give your dog something that is delicious and healthy.
Food for Puppies
If you’ve had a dog before, you know how important those first weeks and months in a dog’s life are to your pet’s future development. Think about it — those first few weeks and months are when you begin potty training your dog, teaching them tricks, and getting them into an exercise routine. Just as importantly, feeding your pup high-quality, nutrient-dense kibble during those first couple of weeks will ensure that your puppy will grow into a healthy and happy dog.
If you want to maximize your puppy’s health, seek out kibble that is specifically designed to nourish your young dog. Dog food companies like Purina and Pedigree are creating puppy-oriented chow for smaller dog breeds these days, while puppy-specific dog formula for larger puppies is also available in pet stores and online.
Whether you’ve got a pint-sized pup or a larger dog, look for a puppy dog food that is rich in minerals, nutrients, protein, antioxidants, and amino acids. Feeding your young pet a formula that has an ideal balance of these things will help give your furry friend the nutrition they’ll need as they’re growing up.
For Small Dogs Like Chihuahuas, Yorkies, and Dachshunds
Although they are smaller in size than Labs, German Shepherds, and Great Danes, dog breeds like Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and Yorkies actually require more calories to reach optimum health than their larger canine counterparts.
Veterinarians tell us that lap dogs sometimes need a much higher calorie-per-pound intake than bigger dogs. One example of this is that a 100-pound German Shepherd needs approximately 22.5 calories-per-pound to maintain optimum health, while a 10-pound Bichon Frise needs approximately 40 calories-per-pound to meet their daily caloric requirements.
Small breed dog chow is created to address the caloric needs of your pint-sized pet. Put simply, one highlight of small breed dog food is that these formulas are more calorie and nutrient-rich than other varieties of dog chow.
Another obvious difference found in lap dog-oriented dog food compared to more conventional varieties of dog food is that dog food made for small dogs is made of much smaller bits of kibble than regular canine chow. Smaller dogs will struggle to chew larger food pellets, which is why finding smaller, bite-sized kibble is necessary if you own a small dog.
If you have a small dog at home, feeding your pup small breed-specific dog chow is a great way to help your dog remain strong and safe.
For Medium-Sized Dogs Like Huskies, Boxers, and Border Collies
If you own a medium-sized dog — probably the most popular dog size for pet owners in Canada and the United States — you might not think much about your dog’s food, especially if you’re on a budget. Whether you’re shopping for dog food online or in store, if you own a medium-sized dog, you might just buy a bulk-sized bag of cheaply-made kibble and not think twice about the matter.
Here at The Pampered Pup, we have thought twice about the matter, and suggest you avoid buying those monster bags of low-quality chow for your medium-sized pet. Why? Protein and calorie-rich fats are very important for medium-sized dog breeds, and low-quality dog chow is often lacking in these departments.
Ideally, owners with medium-sized pups should look for dog food that has two or three high-protein meat ingredients. This is because meats like beef, chicken, lamb, and fish are high in protein and can also be rich in healthy fats. In fact, some of the best kibble formulas around today often include chicken fat as an ingredient!
Medium-sized dogs also need carbohydrates for energy. Top-shelf dog formulas for pups in the medium-sized category contain healthy carbohydrates like rice, oats, barley, and sweet potato.
For Large Dogs Like Pitbulls, Labs, German Sherpherds, Great Danes, and Golden Retrievers
If you’ve got a dog that weighs over 50 pounds, you’ll want to feed your pup food that was made for large dogs. Because large dogs can be so hefty, it’s important to purchase a formula that contains supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine. These supplements are added to some large breed-oriented dog kibble because they have been medically shown to improve joint health in big dogs. Big dogs are particularly prone to suffering from joint-related issues like hip dysplasia, and supplements like glucosamine can help combat these medical maladies.
Whereas smaller kibble pellets are preferable for lap dogs, larger kibble pellets are ideal for bigger dog breeds. Larger kibble will encourage your pet to chew more slowly, helping aid in better digestion and limiting the possibility of bloat. Giving smaller kibble bits to your dog runs the risk of your pup eating too quickly. Eating too rapidly could cause stomach issues or bathroom-related mishaps for your Great Dane or German Shepherd.
Because big dogs are so brawny and muscular, most folks believe that they need to eat extremely calorie-rich food. But as we touched on before, lap dogs actually need more calories-per-pound than big canines. So if you’re trying to feed your big pup, avoid the high-calorie dog food formulas. Instead, find kibble that has a more moderate amount of calories. Giving your large pet a more modest caloric load will ensure that your animal does not become obese.
For Senior Dogs
If your beloved pet is getting up there in years, it’s important to feed your long-time companion food that will nourish him as he grows older. The most important aspect of the senior dog-specific dog food formulas is that these formulas have fewer calories than the dog food that is made for younger pups.
The reason for the lower calorie composition of dog kibble for geriatric dogs is that older pups require less energy than younger, more vigorous canines. Older dogs also have a decreased metabolic rate, which means it takes them longer to digest food than it used to.
Low-calorie formulas also help combat an issue that is becoming increasingly common in geriatric dogs — obesity. Senior dogs also require higher amounts of fiber to keep their gastrointestinal system chugging along. The best senior dog food formulas include lots of fiber to help address this concern.
Although there are plenty of dry dog foods available for older dogs, some pet owners give their geriatric pets wet dog food. Wet dog food is softer and easier to digest for elderly animals that have difficulty chewing food because of mouth or jaw issues. These wet foods will also keep your old pet properly hydrated. If your dog is suffering from health issues, staying hydrated can be tricky, which is another benefit of feeding your animal senior dog food.
These days, there are also grain-free wet dog foods available that are great if you decide to put your geriatric pet on a gluten-free diet.
Dog Food Reviews
Now that you’ve got a good grasp of the different types of dog chow that are available to you and your pup we can jump into reviewing specific dog food formulas.
Product reviews — especially dog food reviews — are one of our favorite parts of running The Pampered Pup. Our pups love to eat, which makes it really fun to have them help us taste test different types of dog food.
At the same time, we take testing dog food very seriously — the health and nutritional well-being of both our dogs and your animals is on the line. For this reason, all of our dog chow reviews closely analyze a particular dog food formula on several different fronts in an attempt to help you find food that will maximize your dog’s health.
Because the dog food world is so dynamic and ever-changing, we’re constantly reviewing the newest dog food formulas with our pets. If you’re intrigued by a specific dog food or brand and don’t see it reviewed, contact us and we’ll do our best to grab some and have our dogs try it!
Best Dry Foods
Best Wet Foods
1. Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult
A good wet dog food can go a long way towards helping a dog to be happy. While there are plenty of brands out there, finding the one that’s best for your dog is fairly difficult. Fortunately, you can look towards some of the bigger brands out there to provide you with what you need. Purina’s got a good reputation as a maker of low-priced dog food, but it’s also fairly good at providing dog owners with foods that can meet their dogs’ specific needs. One of the best of those foods is Purina’s Beyond Grain Free Adult Wet Dog Food.
There’s a lot to like about this dog food. The main selling point is, of course, the fact that it is grain free. While being grain free has been a huge deal in dry foods for years, it often seems like that’s skipped wet dog foods. By keeping grain out of this food, Purina makes a brand that’s not only less full of fillers but one that it is also much better for your dog. It’s also a food that most dogs tend to like, especially if they are usually picky about other brands of wet dog food.
There are a few complaints about the amount of gravy in the food, but it really doesn’t seem to be something that the dogs mind nearly as much their owners. It’s a great food if you have a picky dog, and especially useful if you are trying to make sure that your dog stays healthy even on wet food.
2. Hill’s Science Diet
It’s hard to find a name in dog food that’s more widely trusted that Hill’s Science Diet. It’s prominently displayed in most veterinarian’s offices and it is always recommended to new dog owners as the go-to food. It’s certainly a popular brand among those who are looking for something more substantial for their dogs than the store brands you’d find in a big box store, but it’s also common enough that you’ll find it almost anywhere you look for dog food. As such, it’s a good starting place for any dog owner worried about his or her dog’s health.
If you’re familiar with Science Diet in other forms, you’re going to be familiar with what you find here. It’s a good ingredient of very healthy ingredients, vitamins, minerals, and the tastes that dogs love. You won’t find anything in the food that is bad for your dog, and you certainly won’t find anything that is hard on your dog’s stomach. Consider this dog food for older dogs and those who have trouble digesting, as well as dogs who simply prefer to eat wet dog food. It’s a decent fit for almost any animal.
What you won’t get here is specificity. The dog food doesn’t deal with some allergies and it certainly doesn’t deal with any specific ailments. If you need something more than a dog food that’s good for you dog, you might need to look elsewhere. If you want a food your dog is going to like and that will help keep him or her healthy, though, you’ll find it here.
3. BLUE Homestyle Recipe
If you have been paying attention to the change in how dog food is formulated over the last few years, you know that you probably have BLUE to thank. Not only has the brand done a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to advertising healthier dog food, but it’s managed to carve out shelf space in a number of major markets. It’s a healthy dog food that keeps a pet’s needs in mind as well as its taste preferences. If you’re looking for a healthier wet food for your dog, it’s probably a great idea to start with BLUE.
BLUE’s dog food, whether wet or dry, always follows a few set rules. There’s nothing in the food that a dog doesn’t technically need, including some of the fillers that make up most low-cost dog foods. At the same time, the food is formulated to help make sure that your dog is healthier, happier, and free from most other issues. There are no specific ingredients in this type of dog food to deal with allergies or other ailments, but the food is a good fit for most dogs.
The downside to this food, as with all BLUE food, is digestibility. It’s hard on some dogs’ stomachs, which is hard to avoid. On the other hand, the food does tend to be a bit better over time. It’s probably a good idea to mix this food with your dog’s old food until he or she gets used to the new formula.
4. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural
Surprisingly, there aren’t many celebrity-endorsed dog foods out there. Maybe it’s because the market’s not exactly the most glamorous, but it’s just something that doesn’t seem to happen very often. Rachel Ray is one of the few exceptions to the rule, with her Nutrish line. This line of dog foods is, as you might imagine, geared towards pet owners who are concerned about what goes into their dog’s food as well as those who want to make sure that their dogs stay healthy throughout their lives.
Perhaps the most unique thing about this brand is that it’s inspired by human-friendly recipes. While you’re not exactly going to see a one to one translation of Ray’s recipes in the food, everything here is full of things that humans would be likely to eat. That means all-natural ingredients, with a focus on proteins and vegetables. That also means much less filler and a lot of ingredients that (hopefully) taste great to dogs. A portion of the proceeds also goes to help needy animals, which is a nice touch for those pet owners who have a soft spot in their hearts.
The downside to the food is that it can be rough on dogs’ stomachs. It’s definitely the kind of food that you don’t want to throw at your dog without warning, so ease your pet into it. Mix it with old food and give your dog some time – he or she will probably come around to Nutrish.
5. Purina ALPO Chop House
ALPO is one of those timeless brands of wet dog food that always seems to be on store shelves. While other brands might come and go, ALPO sticks around. A lot of this is due to the fact that Purina has always made sure that the food is good for dogs, but there’s also the fact that the brand seems to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to trends. That’s certainly the case for the Chop House variety, which incorporates a number of great proteins in its recipe.
In theory, this is exactly the kind of wet dog food a dog wants. It’s mostly meat with very little filler, all cooked together in a way that’s meant to attract the dog to his or her dish. All of the recipes are primarily made of high-quality protein, which is great for your dog’s health as well as his or her taste buds. It’s a solid attempt to make ALPO something more than just reliable. It’s also a really nice interpretation of new trends from a brand that’s been around forever.
What’s the downside? Honestly, it’s just the presentation. It looks like wet dog food. That’s apparently a problem for some, but it doesn’t impact the taste of the food. You can definitely care that Purina prioritized taste above aesthetics here, which most dogs will appreciate. Choose this food if you’re looking for a good way to get your dog more protein.
Best Grain-Free Foods
1. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe
Having a dog with a sensitive stomach isn’t always fun. After all, no one likes to stay up with a sick dog and it’s never pleasant to have to clean up after your dog gets sick. Fortunately, there are now more brands out there that really take a look at how dogs digest food in order to make sure that fewer dogs have to deal with upset stomachs. One of the main ways that digestion can be aided is by the removal of grains, which many leading dog brands have begun to do. One of the best brands for removing grain is definitely Whole Earth Farms.
Yes, Whole Earth Farms does remove grain in order to make sure that their foods can be more easily digested. That is not, however, all the company does. It also makes sure that the first ingredient in the food is protein so that your dog can fill up and still get the nutrition he or she needs. The brand also shies away from using poultry protein, which helps some dogs who are allergic to that type of meat. All in all, this is one of the friendliest brands for those dogs who have delicate stomachs.
There are a few minor issues with this food. Perhaps the most pressing is the size of the kibble, though. Because this has very large kibble, smaller dogs really won’t be able to handle the food. Older dogs may even have difficulty, so seek this one out only if your dog is used to bigger bites in his or her food.
2. NUTRO MAX Grain Free Natural Adult
Going natural is usually a good way to ensure that your dog stays healthier. It isn’t that artificial ingredients are necessarily always bad, but rather that those companies that choose to stick to natural ingredients tend to put a bit more care into what they feed dogs. NUTRO Max’s grain-free formula is a very good example of this, as everything in the food is formulated to make sure that your dog not only stays healthy but also that he or she stays happy.
NUTRO MAX is, as you might expect, a brand that puts a lot of stock in proper nutrition. In most cases, this just means making sure that everything in your dog’s food is actually something your dog would choose to eat in the wild. In the grain-free formula, it also means removing grains so that your dog is able to digest the food more easily. It’s a great choice for those dogs who often have a hard time with certain brands of dry or wet dog food. It’s simple, but it is no less effective for that.
For some reason, this isn’t a food for picky dogs. Ninety-nine out of a hundred dogs seem to love the food, but that last one percent can’t stand it. If your dog is used to eating from the table or only eats wet food, it may be a chore to get him or her to try the food. Otherwise, you should have a fair amount of success.
3. Merrick Grain Free
Going grain free is good for most dogs. While grains aren’t inherently bad for your dog, they aren’t the kind of thing that a dog’s digestive tract is really meant to deal with. As such, most dog foods that go for high grain content tend to be a little too hard for some dogs to digest. Fortunately, Merrick’s Grain Free Dry Dog Food is a little easier on delicate stomachs because it removes grain from the equation.
There’s no corn, wheat, gluten, or soy in this dog food. That means that it’s not only easy on a dog’s stomach, but it avoids some of the issues that can cause a dog to have skin conditions or to feel sluggish. Instead, this food is full of proteins, which help dogs stay healthier and improve the condition of a dog’s coat.
While it’s meant to be easy on stomachs, this is not an easy switch for most dogs. Expect upset stomachs while your dog gets used to the higher level of protein. Once your dog is comfortable with the food, though, the issues should stop and your dog should feel much better.
4. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain
While Rachel Ray may not be as big a name in food as she was a few years ago, she’s still popular enough that seeing her face on a dog food bag takes many people aback. After all, there aren’t a lot of celebrity dog foods – and there certainly aren’t any from famous human cooks. Fortunately, Rachel Ray’s Nutrish brand is more than just an advertising stunt, combining a number of unique ingredients to make sure that dogs get not only what they need, but also exactly what they crave when they eat her dry dog food.
The hook behind the Nutrish brand is that Rachel Ray adapts some of her traditional recipes into a form that dogs love. While you won’t exactly see anything you want to eat in a dry dog food, this does mean that the ingredients are typically of a higher quality than what you’d see in most dog foods. This grain-free version doubles down on the healthy ingredients by also making sure that the food is free of grain fillers, which aren’t great for your dog. It’s still got plenty of protein and vitamins, but it cuts out the stuff that just fills your dog up.
There aren’t many problems with this brand, fortunately. Some picky dogs aren’t fans, which is to be expected from almost any dog food. There are also issues with dogs making the switch over to the brand, which can also be fixed by mixing it with the old food before you switch over completely.
5. Diamond Naturals Grain Free Real Meat Recipe
As you might imagine, one of the real selling points of Diamond Naturals is that it uses natural ingredients. While that’s more common these days, it’s still a good thing to see. Fortunately, it doesn’t stop at just making sure that the ingredients are natural – the company also makes sure that the ingredients are good for your dog. That’s largely why the company makes a grain-free recipe.
Going grain free has a few advantages. The biggest, of course, is that it helps your dog’s digestion. It also helps the shine of a dog’s coat and cuts down on the amount of itching your dog feels after eating. Going with real meat in the recipe also helps your dog to feel more energetic and even makes him or her just a little healthier than he or she might be with a more traditional kind of dog food.
No dog food is perfect, though. It’s a good food, but it’s not for picky eaters. It’s got a very different formula than that to which some dogs might be used, so some dogs do turn their nose up at this brand. Most dogs seem to like it, though, and the health benefits cannot be beaten.
Best Foods for Dogs with Allergies
1. Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
Having a dog who is allergic to regular dog foods isn’t easy. After all, most foods aren’t very good at even listing what’s in them, to say nothing of separating out the various ingredients. That’s why it’s nice when you’re able to find an allergy-friendly food like this one. While some dogs might still have allergies to the food, knowing that it has a limited number of ingredients makes it far easier to determine whether or not it is safe for your dog. This easy bit of simplification can pay off huge dividends for owners of dogs who have severe food allergies.
Simplification is the key word here because that’s what makes the dog food so useful for those who have pets with allergies. The brand sticks to just a single kind of protein and only contains simple carbohydrates. This means that you won’t have to scan through an ingredients list to figure out if your dog is allergic to something in the mix. The brand also gets rid of a lot of the things that tend to upset dogs with allergies, including gluten and dairy products. It’s a nice compromise for those dog owners who really need to find a good kibble for their dogs.
Unfortunately, this food isn’t going to work for all dogs. If your dog is allergic to the protein used in the mix, he or she isn’t going to be very happy with what you bring home. This is a given with any brand, though, so you can’t really blame this one for the problem. If your dog isn’t allergic to the limited ingredients, he or she should do just fine with this food.
2. BLUE Basics Limited-Ingredient Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
It shouldn’t be that surprising that BLUE makes a brand of dog food that is allergy-friendly. Since the company has always had such a focus on keeping dogs healthy, it follows that they would go out of their way to take care of dogs who needed a little extra help with their diet. In this case, you get a great limited-ingredient dog food that still has BLUE’s commitment to quality. It’s really the best of all possible worlds for most dog owners.
As with most other similar types of dog food, BLUE’s limited ingredient mix helps to prevent allergic reactions by dialing down the number of different foods used in putting together the meal. Cutting down on problematic secondary ingredients also helps, especially for those dogs who are allergic to multiple ingredients. Most of what you’re getting here, though, is a sense of safety. If you buy this dog food, you’ll know exactly what’s in it and exactly what’s going into your dog’s body. That’s a great advantage for all of those who have to be careful about their dogs’ diets.
The big downside to this one is, of course, the usual downside with BLUE. It’s not always easy on the dog’s stomach when you make the switch, so expect a couple of rough days. This is something that typically clears up quickly, though, so consider just mixing your dog’s old food with this new brand in order to cut down on problems.
3. Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice
One of the more common ways that a dog can show that he or she is allergic to a type of food is by having skin problems. These issues are not only unsightly, but they are also incredibly problematic for your dog. At the very least, skin problems are uncomfortable and can cause your dog annoyance. At worst, they can cause major distress. That’s why it’s so important to look for allergy-friendly dog foods that keep sensitive skin in mind. Fortunately, this dog food manages to do a good job of keeping dogs comfortable.
It turns out that making a dog food for sensitive skin really isn’t all that hard, as long as your company follows decent nutritional practices. This dog food jettisons all of the bad fillers that tend to be in lower-end dog foods, replacing them easy to digest carbohydrates. Even the protein is a bit easier on dogs, with salmon that can typically be digested easily even by dogs who tend to have weak stomachs. Taken together, you get a food that’s nutritious and easy on dogs. This, in turn, helps to ensure that your dog’s skin will stop breaking out and should help any stomach problems that also tend to follow that condition.
The biggest problem with this food is the smell. Salmon is the primary ingredient, which you’ll be able to figure out within about a second of pouring the food. It’s a very strong smell and it also tends to be expressed in the dog’s gas. This isn’t necessarily something that’s pleasant, but you may have to deal with it to keep your dog healthy.
4. PS For Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Finding dog food that will solve all of your dog’s health problems can be difficult. After all, you might be trying to figure out how to deal with a number of conditions at once. What can you find that will help an upset stomach, skin problems, and excessive paw licking at once? And if you can find a product that solves all of those problems, will your dog even want to switch away from his or her old dog food? If you choose PS For Dogs’ 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food, the answer will definitely be positive.
PS For Dogs goes out of its way to take care of some of the most common allergy problems in dogs. Its food targets not only some of the more common skin problems like itching and red bumps, but it also helps to reduce bad smells. The food even helps to reduce the amount of yeast build-up on your dog’s paws, which will keep him or her from excessively licking. Perhaps best of all for the dog, though, is that this food is actually formulated for taste. It’s a rare food for allergic dogs that most actually enjoy eating.
Unfortunately, this food isn’t great for bigger dogs. It’s not that it won’t work, but rather that it only comes in very small bags. This is definitely a much better fit for small dogs who eat less and won’t go through a bag quite so quickly.
5. Brothers Complete Lamb & Egg Advanced Allergy Formula
Getting a good allergy-friendly food isn’t always easy. If your dog is allergic to some of the most common ingredients, you might even feel like you can’t buy food from any manufacturer. Fortunately, this lamb and egg formula dog food really does the trick for most dogs. It’s a simple combination of ingredients that end up having some fairly major effects. If you’re looking to deal with allergies that typically express themselves in skin problems, this may be one of the best foods you can give your dog.
There’s a lot to like in this food. The simple formula is good for a dog’s skin, and you’ll see major changes in rashes or bumps very quickly. The results aren’t overnight, of course, but you should see the effects within a relatively short period of time. More surprising, though, is the amount of energy that it tends to give dogs. Even older dogs seem to have a little more pep in their step after eating this food, which is a nice bonus benefit.
The downside here isn’t really objective. Sometimes, dogs just don’t like the food. Lamb and egg apparently aren’t for every dog, even if it is good for them. If you have a particularly picky animal, you might see him or her turn his or her nose up at this food. It’s a matter of preference, though, so it has little to do with the food itself.
Best Foods for Puppies
1. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food (Dry chicken meal)
Giving a puppy the right food is incredibly important. You’re not just helping him or her to get fed, you are setting the bar for his or her nutrition for years to come. If you want to make sure that your dog has the best chance to grow up healthy, you’ve got to start with the right food. One of the best ways to get started is with Science Diet’s Puppy Food – a formula that has been praised by vets for many years and continues to be a favorite of many dog owners.
Hill’s Science Diet is a dog food you’ve probably seen at the vet’s office before, and for good reason – it’s recommended by most vets when people bring puppies into the office. It’s got a good balance of nutrition and taste, something that will help a puppy to put on healthy weight and keep up with its quick metabolism. It’s also fairly easy on a dog’s stomach, which is a necessity as a puppy is weaned off of its mother and onto dry food. This food is recommended so often that it’s really hard to see why anyone doesn’t give the food a try.
Unfortunately, you can’t make a puppy love a dog food. Some puppies just don’t like this brand, for good or for ill. If your puppy refuses to eat it, it’s probably a better idea to move on than to force your dog to eat something it doesn’t like. Give it a try first, though – most puppies do enjoy this food when it is presented to them.
2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Natural Dry Puppy Food (Venison & Bison)
Picking out the right food for your puppy is an important decision. After all, the way that you start them off will play a huge role in how they eat for the rest of their lives. While there’s always a temptation to go a little cheap with puppy food, the truth is that a puppy’s digestive tract is usually even more temperamental than that of a full-grown dog. As such, you’ll always want to make sure that you start your puppy out with a good food like that provided by Taste of the Wild.
This dog food really shines when you take a look at the ingredients. Not only is everything in hte food all-natural, but everything you feed your puppy also plays a role in making him or her a bit healthier. There are ingredients here not just to help your puppy to build up muscle, but also to help him or her build better reaction times and even to improve his or her vision. This amazing dog food really can do a lot for your dog, so long as you are willing to make sure that you commit to making the right nutritional choices.
There are, however, some fairly typical shipping problems with this dog food. The good news is that if you buy it from Amazon, the company will be quick to rectify the problem. This can be a little annoying, but it’s ultimately something that can be fixed with a quick phone call and a few words.
3. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Lamb
Diamond Naturals is a leading name in dog nutrition. It’s a good thing, then, that those who have become so dependent on the brand to provide good dog food have a stellar puppy food option from that company. Diamond Naturals has a great dog food formula that’s specially made for large breed puppies that will not only keep them well-fed, but that will help them to grow.
This particular formula has everything your puppy needs to grow. It’s got a series of proprietary ingredients that actually help your puppy’s brain and eyes, as well as the usual ingredients that promote a good coat and strong muscles. This is simply a great choice for any dog owner who wants to make sure that their big puppy grows up to be a very healthy dog. The fact that it comes from a company that you probably already trust is just a bonus.
The only bad news about this food is that it has a fluctuating price point. That’s more of an annoyance than anything, though, and certainly not a problem with the food itself. It’s still one of the best overall puppy foods and definitely one of the best brands for large-breed puppies.
4. BLUE Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice
BLUE is one of those brands that you’ll automatically turn to when you need good, healhty dog food. The great news is that you can start your puppy off early with the company’s puppy formula, which contains the same kind of great ingredients that make its other types of dog food stand out. It’s a fantastic way to get your puppy up to its ideal weight to help him or her lead and long and enjoyable life.
If you’re already familiar with BLUE, you know the drill with this dog food. The ingredients are natural, the filler is gone, and the food is formulated to keep your dog healthy. It’s also got a little extra nutrition that helps puppies to grow up healthier and that supports the extra energy a puppy needs to grow and learn. This is an ideal dog food for any puppy.
The downside to this food is that it can be rough on a puppy’s stomach. If you’re making a change over from another dog food, you should probably expect a rough night or two. Once you get past that point, though, it’s likely that your puppy won’t be able to get enough of this brand.
5. Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Over the past few years, it’s become common knowledge that grain isn’t exactly great for dogs. While it doesn’t do them much harm, it’s been used as a filler in dog food to an extent that many dogs have to over-eat just to get the nutrition they need. While this is bad for a full-grown dog, it’s even worse for a puppy. That’s why it’s nice to have products like Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food around.
Nature’s Recipe isn’t filler free, but it swaps out grains for pumpkin. Not only do dogs tend to love the taste, but it’s actually great for their digestion. This can be a fantastic bonus for a puppy, especially as he or she gets used to eating dry dog food. Adding in the fact that the food also has all of the proteins a growing puppy needs, you get a dog food that’s more than worth your time.
If your dog doesn’t like pumpkin – which is fairly rare – this won’t be a great pick. Considering how most puppies feel about it, though, this dog food is usually a safe bet. If you’re looking for a great food for a puppy who has a sensitive stomach, you absolutely cannot beat this mixture.
Best Foods for Small Breeds
1. Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural (Appalachian Valley Small Breed – Venison)
Feeding a small dog isn’t always easy. In fact, it seems that far too many brands concentrate on keeping bigger dogs healthy without putting quite as much care into the nutrition of smaller dogs. Fortunately, Taste of the Wild does make a very good variety of dog food for dogs of this size, full of everything they need to stay healthy and happy. It’s a great formula that not only ensures that smaller dogs stay healthy, but that they aren’t bothered by harsher ingredients that have a tendency to make them sick.
It should go without saying that good dog food will always include natural ingredients. Putting venison as the primary ingredient helps owners to know that their dogs won’t be getting nothing but filler, but the commitment to only using natural proteins for all of the major ingredients really goes a step beyond what most would expect. The food is also specially formulated to be easy on the dog’s stomach, which is incredibly beneficial for those who have dogs with finicky stomachs. It’s not always easy to make the switch to a new brand, but Taste of the Wild does a great job.
The biggest issue with this dog food tends to be one of shipping. There have been issues in the past with bags sent by Amazon, but the company has been very good about resolving those issues quickly. It can be an inconvenience if you get a bad batch, but it’s one that can be remedied with little effort on your part.
2. Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free (Small Breed)
Good dog food is always a balance between finding something that your dog likes and something that will keep him or her healthy. While Wellness Core is definitely a dog food that checks off all the major boxes for humans, it’s also a food that dogs tend to love. If your small dog is a fan of kibble and you think that he or she needs a little extra health support, this can be a great food for you to try out.
Wellness Core does a very good job of hitting all the important notes with their dog food. As a small dog owner, your primary worry is probably about the size of the food – and yes, this food is very easy for small dogs to chew and to digest. It’s also got a great variety of vitamins and minerals that will keep their coats shiny and help with any recurring skin problems. All in all, the food is a good example of how healthy food can really benefit smaller dogs.
There is definitely an issue with packaging for some shipments of this brand, though. It’s not huge and Amazon is more than willing to send out a better bag, but you should always be on the lookout for moisture when buying kibble online. If you’re careful to inspect the bag before you feed the food to your dog, you shouldn’t have any major problems with this food.
3. Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs Adult
Getting food for very small dogs is harder than you think. It’s not just that their biological needs are specific, but rather that so much food seems to be created for bigger mouths. Finding something a little dog likes is hard enough, but finding something that won’t be painful to eat can seem almost impossible. Fortunately, Purina’s IncrediBites has a little of everything. Not only is it easy to true, but it has all of the great ingredients that you have come to expect from this brand. It’s definitely a great fit for all kinds of small dogs – and for their owners as well.
Beyond all the health reasons, the thing that most dog owners seem to love about this food is the fact that it comes in truly little bites. This can’t be overstated, especially if you have a toy breed. This is a kibble that really won’t hurt your dog’s mouth, even if they’re used to wet foot. It’s a great alternative to small breed foods that seem to be better suited for big and medium dogs.
The biggest issue customers tend to have with this dog food is that it definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. If your dog needs a great deal of extra protein, you definitely won’t find it here. That’s not an issue for small dogs that need to lose or maintain weight, but it’s definitely not a good fit for bulking up. If your dog doesn’t fit that category, though, you’ll find what you need here.
4. Iams PROACTIVE HEALTH (Small & Toy)
Iams is one of those brands that has been big in the dog food business for years. While they’ve always had good products, it’s especially nice to see that they’ve continued to make food that is really healthy for dogs. It’d be easy for them to stick with budget foods, but PROACTIVE HEALTH really is targeted towards those owners who want to make sure that their small dogs stay healthy. It’s a good mix of everything you’d want in a small dog’s food, coming from a name that you can trust.
If you’re looking for the big selling point here, it’s this – the formula used in this brand doesn’t tend to upset the stomachs of small dogs. While that might not seem like a big deal to some dog owners, the truth is that many kibble brands tend to be hard on little stomachs. It’s not universal, but finding a food that won’t make your little dog sick really is a big deal. Iams does a very good job combining this with an easily-chewable formula that dogs tend to like, making it nothing short of a miracle for those who have dogs with sophisticated palettes and weak stomachs.
There are complaints, though. A few picky dogs don’t like the food, and there have been recurrent shipping issues with the brand. Luckily, the shipping problems are easily fixed and more dogs like the food than not. While you can’t predict what your dog will like, this food is generally a very good choice.
5. Nature’s Recipe Adult (Small Bites Chicken Meal & Rice)
Natural foods are all the rage for humans and dogs alike. There’s certainly nothing wrong with making sure your dogs get the best, and Nature’s Recipe does go out of the way to make sure that you know exactly what’s in their food. Having a small bites formula available makes it a perfect fit for smaller dogs, especially if those dogs have difficulty chewing some larger brands. Combining a healthy formula with the right size of kibble makes this dry dog food a great fit for anyone who has a smaller dog.
While many dog foods try to boast that they include nothing but meat, Nature’s Recipe is very upfront about the fact that their food includes rice. Rice has been chosen as an ingredient because it’s a healthy way for dogs to get carbohydrates, and it makes for a much healthier inclusion than some other fillers. There’s still a great deal of meat in the food, though, which is good for building up muscle and keeping dogs healthy. All in all, it’s a great choice for those dog owners who want to make sure that their little dogs get everything they need.
Be aware that this isn’t the same dog food recipe that the company released a few years back. That’s not a big issue if your dog hasn’t had the food before, but it can definitely throw your dog for a loop if they were expecting something different. As long as you are aware of the change, there are no real problems to report with this food.
Best Foods for Medium Breeds
1. NUTRO ULTRA Adult
What if a dog food just included the good stuff? No weird byproducts, no artificial colors, none of the things that make dog food a little less healthy and wholesome than it should be. That’s the question asked by NUTRO ULTRA, and one that it answers with the company’s adult dry dog food. By just providing number of the foods that a dog likes and needs in one place, it allows owners to feel more comfortable with what they feed their dogs.
This dog food is split into three different types of ingredients. As you might expect, the primary ingredient is proteins – real meat that dogs actually like and that helps to keep them hearty and healthy. There are also whole grains and superfoods included, which provide the dogs with extra vitamins and minerals. This is a dog food that’s not necessarily formulated as a health brand, but that nonetheless does everything that you’d expect from that kind of food. It’s a good fit for any dog owner who wants to make sure their dogs get the best without having to sacrifice taste.
Unfortunately, you really can’t predict what a dog is going to like or dislike. Most dogs tend to like the food, but it does upset the stomachs of others. It’s a good idea to try this one out slowly, usually mixed with other dog food. It’s a definitely a food that most dogs like, though, so don’t be afraid to give it a try.
2. BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult – Fish & Brown Rice
BLUE is absolutely one of those brands that dog owners trust. The company has done a lot to change the way that people look at dog food, and it’s been successful in its quest to educate dog owners about what’s in their pets’ food. It should come as no surprise, then, that the company makes a very solid dog food for medium size dogs. By using good ingredients and not skimping on what matters, BLUE has successfully made a formula that most dogs will like.
If you know the company, you already have a good idea of what’s in the food. Real meat, natural ingredients, and none of the fillers that make dogs gain weight without providing nutrition. Dogs seem to be a big fan of this particular formula, especially when they get a chance to choose for themselves. The Life Protection aspects of the food are definitely impressive, of course, but the thing that most owners will be happy about is how happy their dogs seem when they eat this food. it’s just a nice, healthy alternative to most of what’s already out there.
The big downside to this food is the same as with any other BLUE food – it’s not exactly easy on the stomachs of some dogs. It takes a bit for a dog to get used to this food, so be gentle with the switch over to the new brand. If you can make it work, though, you’ll have a healthier and happier dog.
3. EUKANUBA Adult
At some point, your primary goal for your dog has to be maintaining his or her health. He or she might not be growing any longer, but he or she can definitely stay in shape. Finding a good dog food that will help your dog absorb nutrients and stay healthy is tough, but there are a few good brands out there. EUKANUBA makes a great dry dog food for adults that not only helps with digestion but also with joint health.
Joint health really shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a huge part of a dog’s life, especially as your dog gets older. This dog food is specially formulated to help keep your dog’s joints healthy, so he or she will be able to play harder and run longer than might otherwise be possible. It’s a great choice once your dog is past the puppy stage, but it really shines if you want to help support your dog in the back half of his or her life.
The big downside to this brand is the inclusion of corn. It’s definitely something of a negative these days, though it’s not bad for dogs. It’s a filler to be sure, but the other ingredients more than make up for its inclusion.
4. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium Adult
If your dog is in good health, the best thing you can do is to help him or her maintain that help. That means helping to aid in his or her digestion, keeping up his or her muscle mass, and helping him or her to maintain a healthy weight. Royal Canin’s dry dog food is great for fulfilling all three of those goals.
It might not have all the fancy buzzwords surrounding its dog food brand, but Royal Canin does a good job of making sure that all the important boxes are checked. If you’re looking for a way to make sure that your dog is in the best health possible, this is a very good place to start. Consider it as the foundation for making sure that your dog is able to live a longer, more active life.
The big problem here is with shipping. The bags in which the dog food is shipped aren’t great, so be prepared to look over your shipment after it arrives. Luckily, Amazon is amazing about replacing problematic bags, so you shouldn’t have to worry about wasting your money.
Best Foods for Large Breeds
1. Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free
Larger dogs tend to need more protein to stay healthy. While that’s probably not much of a problem in the wild, it can be difficult to accomplish with a dry dog food. That is, perhaps, why so many brands that target larger dogs tend to push protein so hard. Finding one that’s got everything a big dog needs can be difficult, though, especially if you don’t know the brands very well. If you take some time to look at the ingredients list for the Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, though, you’ll see exactly why it’s such a hit with owners of bigger dogs.
The big selling point of this dog food is that meat is the first ingredient. If you’re not familiar with how most dog foods tend to list their ingredients, this means that the food is actually primarily meat-based. This means that your dog’s not only getting more protein but more protein from natural sources. Dogs also seem to really like the taste of the food, especially if they are used to something that’s made of a bit more filler. All in all, dogs who eat this food seem to be healthy and really tend to enjoy their new diets once they get used to the switch.
If there’s a downside to this food, it’s quality control. The company that makes the food has had some issues in the past, though generally not with this brand. There’s no good reason to think that there is any kind of problem with this food, but dog owners do tend to have long memories when it comes to food-related problems.
2. BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult
BLUE has done a very good job of becoming one of the top names in health-conscious dog foods. The company has been one of the major voices helping push forward the idea that dogs need more than just grain-based filler in their diets, especially when the dogs in question are bigger than pocket-sized. BLUE’s line of high protein foods is especially good for bigger dogs, giving them everything they need to stay healthy and active.
BLUE’s quality promise means that the main ingredient in the dog food will always be real meat, but the company has also put fruits and vegetables into the mix to ensure that dogs get all of the vitamins and minerals they need. Despite the fact that it isn’t all meat, there’s not any filler in the formula – it’s high-end ingredients all the way, something that most dog owners will appreciate. As always, the food tends to be especially attractive to big dogs who tend to relish getting a chance to eat something that’s not mostly made of grain filler.
BLUE doesn’t do well for dogs with temperamental stomachs, though. It’s a hard switch for many dogs to make, but those with weaker guts won’t have a pleasant time. The issues do tend to fade as the dog gets more used to the food, but that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily enjoy dealing with the fallout.
3. BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult
Keeping up with a dog’s health is one of the primary responsibilities of any dog owner. Things tend to be a bit tougher with larger dogs, who have bigger problems and tend to experience distress in much larger ways. As such, it’s always a good idea to start thinking about ways to keep one’s dog healthy – even if that means switching up dog food brands. If you’re concerned about the long-term health of your bigger dog, it might be a good idea to take a look at BLUE’s Life Protection Formula as your next dog food choice.
The big sellign point of this dog food variety is its inclusion of extra minerals and vitamins to strengthen a dog’s bones and teeth. While this might not seem like a big deal when you have a puppy, it can vastly change the quality of a dog’s life as he or she gets older. In addition to the extra health supplements, the food also includes all of the other ingredients a dog needs to get a good meal. It’s a quick and easy way to change up your dog’s health for the better.
As ever, BLUE’s biggest failing is one that only tends to impact certain dogs. If your dog’s stomach is one the more refined side, he or she won’t have a great deal of fun switching foods. Be patient, though, as this will pass and you’ll eventually get a chance to watch your dog enjoy a new food.
4. Wellness Complete Health Natural Large Breed, Chicken & Rice
Going all natural matters when it comes to dog food. It’s not that there aren’t some great foods out there that have artificial ingredients, but rather that all-natural foods tend to be a little better for dogs in general. These foods tend to be better formulated to keep your dog healthy and happy while making sure that he or she gets a full stomach at the same time. A good example of this is Complete Health brand from Wellness.
Wellness’ food is specifically balanced to make sure large dogs get the nutrition they need. This doesn’t just mean making sure it’s all meat – it means balancing everything so that the dog stays lean, energetic, and ultimately a bit happier. This is done by using a precise formula for every ingredient and making sure that everything included is something a dog would eat on his or her own. It’s a good way to make sure that big dogs don’t fall prey to some of the late-life conditions that tend to shorten their lifespans or cause them pain.
Unfortunately, there are some filler ingredients here. It’s used to pad out the food, so you’re going to have a to feed a big dog more in order to keep him or her full. This can be a real problem for some customers’ wallets, but it won’t put any animals in danger. This issue is disappointing, but ultimately shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
5. Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Adult, Large Breed, Chicken
One of the biggest changes in the dog food market over the last decade has been the switch towards natural foods. While many owners have long known that natural is better for dogs, it’s taken some time for the market to catch up. Even now, it’s a rare food that goes all-natural and that tries its best to give dogs what they need without resorting to any shortcuts. In this case, Diamond Naturals’ Real Meat dog food goes a long way towards making sure that your dog gets exactly what it needs in its diet.
This dog food checks off a lot of the boxes that dog lovers want in a good dry food. It has a primary meat ingredient, but it’s also got a number of other ingredients formulated to help maintain muscle, bring down weight, and help prolong a dog’s life. It’s got a good taste profile that dogs love, but it still manages to sneak in everything they need to get through the day. In short, it’s one of the few dog foods out there that does a little bit of everything so that big dogs can live longer and healthier lives.
Picky dogs don’t tend to be huge fans of this food, though. There might be something about the higher calcium content that sets them off, but some dogs just don’t love this food. Most dogs are fans, though, so if your dog isn’t usually picky you should have a hit on your hands with this brand.
Best Foods for Senior Dogs
1. Hill’s Science Diet Senior
It can be a little difficult to accept that your dog is getting older. A lot has to change when your dog turns that corner, but that doesn’t mean that your dog has to go downhill. It just means that you need to start making choices for him or her that will help to keep him or her healthier longer. One great choice is this Science Diet dog food that helps to boost the immune systems of dogs who are over seven years old and who need a little extra help getting the right kind of nutrition.
Hill claims that its dog food formula promotes a more youthful type of energy in a dog. While it’s hard to know if that’s exactly true, what is clear is that the food’s formula doesn’t leave an older dog feeling sluggish. It also helps older dogs to ignore some of those aches and pains that come with aging, including those that come from recurrent illnesses. It’s not going to make a dog immortal, but it will help the dog to feel much better than you’d expect him or her to at an advanced age.
The downside here might be that the food promises too much. It will keep your dog healthier and help him or her regain some energy, but it can’t fully turn back time. In the end, this is just a good food for making sure your dog is in great shape even as he or she starts to get a bit older.
2. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Senior, Chicken & Barley
Weight gain is a big issue for older dogs. As they slow down a bit, they tend to put on some extra pounds – something that can be very detrimental to their health. Unfortunately, it’s hard to force your dog to get extra exercise as they get older, and even if you could they do tend to have slower metabolisms as they age. That may be why there are dog foods like Wellness Complete Health Natural out there, which can help to do a bit to solve that problem.
This dog food is formulated to help your dog keep some of the age-related weight off without starving him or her. The dog will still get plenty to eat and all of the vitamins that he or she needs but without some of the filler that causes them to put on the pounds. It’s a good solution to an age-old problem and one that your dog really won’t mind. The food will also help to give your dog a little bit of extra energy, which should, in turn, give you a great chance to enjoy more time with your dog even though he or she is getting older.
Unfortunately, not all dogs love this food. Switching to a new brand isn’t easy, especially for an older dog. It may well be worth the effort, but don’t expect your dog to be particularly happy right after you switch away from an old favorite – even if this food is better for his or her health!
3. Blue Buffalo BLUE Senior Dog Chicken & Brown Rice
It only makes sense that Blue Buffalo would get involved with the senior dog food market. After all, the brand has done a lot to help change the way that people look at dog food in general, so why wouldn’t they take a few steps to make sure that older dogs get the food that they need? Their senior brand is up to their usual quality standards, with a few extras that help to make life easier for older dogs.
This dog food is generally formulated to do three things. First and foremost, it helps keep the dog’s immune system in top shape – something that is vital as your dog gets a bit older. The food also helps to build up stronger bones, which helps to prevent injuries that will then cause a reduction in your dog’s quality of life. Finally, the dog food is helpful for making sure your dog’s teeth stay strong, which stops feeding-related problems for your dog.
Of course, there are always problems with any dog food. This one tends to be less about taste and more about how it impact’s a dog’s stomach. If your dog has a weak stomach, switching over to this brand will be a bit rough at first. Once the dog is used to the product, though, you shouldn’t see any major issues.
4. Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry (Senior)
There are plenty of dog foods out there that are now all-natural. While it’s great for dogs in general, there seems to be something specifically helpful about this when it comes to older dogs. That’s why it’s so nice to see Diamond Naturals making a brand specifically for dogs who have gotten a bit older, one that doesn’t sacrifice good ingredients in its quest to make sure that your dog stays healthier longer.
There’s a lot to like about this dog food. It’s got all natural ingredients, which means that most dogs will love the taste. It also avoids filler, which will help your dog to keep weight off while he or she eats. Perhaps best of all, though, the food seems to be made in a way that keeps older dogs happy. Maybe it’s the texture or maybe it’s the taste – either way, older dogs really do tend to love this food!
The biggest issue with this dog food is a lack of quality control. The food isn’t dangerous in any way, but some batches just don’t seem to taste right to dogs. Fortunately, the company’s very good about replacing bad batches, so this ends up being more of a minor inconvenience than anything else.
5. NUTRO MAX Natural Adult Dry (Senior)
Dog food for older dogs needs to do a few things well. It needs to promote better overall health in the dog. It needs to provide the proper nutrition so that the dog doesn’t over-eat. It even has to be easier for the older dog to eat, whether through having a great taste or just smaller bites. Above all else, though, it needs to live up to the standards set by every other great dog food on the market.
Fortunately, this food from NUTRO MAX does a lot to keep older dogs happy. It promotes health and wellness, even helping to keep your dog’s coat shiny. It can also be easily mixed with other wet and dry foods, so you can sneak in a bit of extra nutrition without having to switch up your dog’s routine. This is one dog food that seems designed to make life a little easier on your canine friend.
The biggest issue that people tend to have with this brand is the fluctuating price. In truth, it moves about as much as any other brand does. Food for older dogs does tend to be specialized, so you won’t see anything with this brand that you wouldn’t see with any other food on the market. Consider this one to keep your older dog healthier and happier.