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.
With so many brands and options lining the shelves these days, how can you know what’s right for your furry friend?
Truth be told, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. We encourage you to browse through our selections of today’s best dog food by category.
Best Dog Food By Category
- Best Canned Wet Dog Food
- Best Cheap Dog Food
- Best Dog Food for Allergies
- Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomaches
- Best Grain-Free Dog Food
- Best Organic Dog Food
- Best Puppy Food
- Best Senior Dog Food
- Best Dog Food With Grain
If you’re looking for a quicker answer, here’s a higher-level view of our favorite dog foods:
Best Dry Dog Food: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient DietsCHECK LATEST PRICE →
Dogs often have the same kind of food issues that humans possess. These issues are often exacerbated by certain ingredients. Unfortunately, it’s rather hard to find a good dog food that leaves out common allergens – and it’s even harder to find specialty foods that leave out those allergens that are a little less common. Fortunately, Natural Balance comes to the rescue with its Limited Ingredients Diets food.
This food is grain free. Beyond being somewhat trendy, this is also incredibly helpful for those dogs with grain allergies. These allergies can make dogs uncomfortable and cause breakouts, which often make dogs miserable. By cutting down the ingredients list and filling the food with only a few ingredients, you’ve got a better chance of feeding your dog something healthy that will also ensure that your dog doesn’t suffer from the side-effects of a food allergy.
The one downside to this food is that it doesn’t smell great. That’s the fish ingredient, of course, but that doesn’t make things better for those who can’t deal with strong owners. Dogs tend to love the smell, though, and love the food – so don’t take that as too much of a strike against this brand.
Best Wet Dog Food: Purina BeyondCHECK LATEST PRICE →
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.
Best Grain-Free Dog Food: Whole Earth FarmsCHECK LATEST PRICE →
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.
Best Dog Food for Allergies: Wellness SimpleCHECK LATEST PRICE →
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.
Best Puppy Food: Hill’s Science DietCHECK LATEST PRICE →
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.
Best Dog Food For Small Breeds: Taste of the Wild Appalachian ValleyCHECK LATEST PRICE →
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.
Best Dog Food For Medium Breeds: Nutro UltraCHECK LATEST PRICE →
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.
Best Dog Food For Large Breeds: Wellness CoreCHECK LATEST PRICE →
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.
Best Senior Dog Food: Hill’s Science DietCHECK LATEST PRICE →
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.