8 Best Dog Food Brands

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Top Dog Food Brands

What are the 8 best dog food brands? The best food for your dog should always be appropriate to its age, size, metabolism, and size.

Besides wet or dry dog food, you can now find raw, frozen, dehydrated, and even vet-prescribed dog food that can be fit for your dog.

With such a wide variety of formulas, it can be hard for any pet owner to know which one to pick!

However, that has been made much easier as we have scoured all over and picked the best dog food brands that can meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

VIDEO: How To Read a Dog Food Label

Table of Contents

Premium Dog Food Brands

You will find not all dog food brands are created with the same standards.

Some dog food brands include substandard ingredients, such as ‘unnamed meat derivatives’, unhealthy preservatives,  colors, and cheap fillers just to cut costs.

That’s why it’s so important to read the label of ingredients and make sure it’s at least that it’s AAFCO approved.

Which Dog Food is the Healthiest Brand?

Top brands include quality ingredients that will provide your furry friend with the right combination of nutrients.

These premium dog food brands steer clear of low-quality ingredients and other extras like artificial flavors, preservatives, and fillers that offer no nutritional value to your puppy or adult dog.

Premium dog food brands add other extras like omega fatty acids that promote cognitive function. Glucosamine and chondroitin ensure your dog’s joints are at optimum health.

And taurine is good for your dog’s health. You are less likely to find these high-quality ingredients in cheap dog food brands.

Dog sitting infront of a bowl of healthy food
Always look for Quality Named ingredients on the label

Nevertheless, most premium dog food brands require you to dig deeper into your wallet. However, like in every other industry, what you pay for is what you get. Expect to pay cheap for low-quality dog food that has none of your pet’s health interests at heart. And the vice versa is true.

Due diligence is mandatory even when purchasing dog food from a premium brand. Look into detail on what’s included in this dog food brand labeled as premium. Check out our blog on Toxins in Dog Food and how to Read A Dog Food Label.

Healthiest Dog Food

Dog owners who are extra careful about feeding their dogs may prefer natural dog food brands.

According to AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), Natural diet is… …”A feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal, or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis, or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices”

dog food manufacturing process
Always scrutinize the dog food label, even if labelled 'Natural'

As per the definition, dog food may undergo chemical processes and still be labeled as natural. Nevertheless, don’t be swayed by the term ‘natural.’ Most dog food brands use this term for marketing purposes, so don’t trust any label you see on any food bag without scrutinizing it first!

If any dog food claims to be natural and still not per the standards set by the AAFCO, don’t pick it! Instead, prioritize dog food that is complete and balanced with no artificial ingredients that might be harmful to your pet.

What to look for in a dog food brand

It’s always good you start your dog on a healthy diet that will meet your pet’s nutritional needs. It will go a long way in saving you lots of money you to service vet bills!

Even though most brands will claim to be the best healthy dog food brands.

Here is how you can discern who is using this term as a marketing ploy:

8 Best Dog Food Brands
  • Any healthy dog food brand should have a canine nutritionist on board
  • A canine nutritionist ensures all pets get complete and balanced nutrition without deviations
  • This brand performs regular safety checks on it’s preperation areas and food.(Dog food recalls are very common amongst most brands)
  • Internal and external regular safety checks are appropriate to ensure what gets in the market is fit for pet consumption.
  •  The brand has its kitchen! No healthy dog food brand will claim to be preparing healthy dog food while using a third-party kitchen. This kitchen should also be open to the public.
  • The dog food brand is in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand .All these countries have stringent regulations about pet food manufacturing.

What are the 8 top dog food brands?

Whether you go dry or wet food, one of the easiest ways for you to determine good dog food is by reading the label and looking out for the AAFCO Statement.

All these Brands are AAFCO approved.

Class

Dog Food Brand

Best Dry Dog Food Brand

Taste Of The Wild

Best Wet Dog Food Brand

Purina Beneful

Best Raw Dog Food Brand

Stella & Chewy

Best Prescription dog food Brand

Hill’s Prescription Diet

Best Frozen Dog Food Brand

Justfoodfordogs

Best Puppy Food Brand

Blue Buffalo

Best Working Dog Food Brand

Country Vet Naturals

Best Freeze-Dried/ Dehydrated Dog Food Brand

The Honest Kitchen

Best Dry Dog Food Brands

Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food is always a convenient option as it is easy to serve and more economical.

Even though you will find many brands of dry dog food, none comes close to what the Taste of the Wild produces.

This dog food brand in Missouri, USA, prepares a biologically appropriate diet that puppies, adults, or senior dogs will be happy to eat.

Moreover, the ingredients here are top quality, so you will feel proud to serve your dog.

Taste of the Wild uses premium meats like wild boar, buffalo, smoked salmon, turkey, and bison to provide needful protein levels.

Fruits, vegetables, and legumes are added to ensure your pet gets a complete and balanced diet.

Furthermore, the Taste Of The Wild spikes its kibble with gut-friendly probiotics and omega fatty acids, ingredients you are less likely to find in other brands of dry dog food.

Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

First Five Ingredients: water buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas

Guaranteed analysis

Crude protein

32% minimum

Crude fat

18% minimum

Crude fiber

4% maximum

moisture

10% maximum

Pros

  • Enriched with chelated minerals for increased nutrient absorption
  • Manufacturing facilities are located in the USA
  • Premium meat sources

Cons

  • Not all ingredients are sourced from the United States

Best Wet Dog Food

Purina Beneful IncrediBites Variety Pack Canned Dog Food

If your Fido prefers wet dog food, you won’t go wrong if you choose Purina Beneful canned food. 

With a 4.24 average rating, purine is one of the best-wet dog food brands that prioritizes filling your dog’s food bowl with recognizable wholesome ingredients.

Each line of wet dog food is formulated with real meat, poultry, or fish as the first ingredients.

There are accents of real vegetables and fruits that provide necessary multivitamins and antioxidants.

Purina endeavors to enrich your dog with complete and balanced nutrition with no added fillers, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Purina Beneful Incredibites Variety Pack Canned Dog Food

First five ingredients: Beef broth, beef, wheat gluten, liver, meat by-products

Guaranteed analysis

Crude protein(min)

11%

Crude fat ( min)

2.5 %

Crude fiber ( max)

1.5%

Crude moistures( max)

76%

Best Dog Food Brands - Dog Food Specialist

Pros

  • High protein content
  • Perfect for small dogs
  • No artificial flavors, fillers, or additives

Cons

  • Not great for pets with gluten allergies

Grain Free Dog Food

Stella & Chewy's Chewy's Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

With many pet owners preferring to give their dogs a biologically appropriate diet, many raw dog food brands have mushroomed, all set to meet the demand.

Stella & Chewy’s is one of the best raw dog food brands that has been there for the past 20 years, ensuring pets get the right nutrition.

Stella & Chewy’s started with two dogs, Stella and Chewy, who were rescue dogs. Their owner Marie moody, started them on raw dog food to help them thrive.

After seeing the dogs thriving after eating raw dog food, she decided to pursue her passion for pet nutrition.

That saw her start – Stella & Chewy’s.
This brand is above the rest as it ensures independent labs test each batch before being released to the market.

At Stella and Chewy’s, food safety is a top priority. Any raw dog food goes through high-pressure processing (HPP), to inactivate any pathogen while retaining nutritional value.

Stella and Chewy use responsibly sourced animal proteins that are grass-fed, cage-free, wild-caught, or farm-raised.

This raw dog food is fortified with vitamins and minerals to ensure your dog gets complete and balanced nutrition.

Stella & Chewy Super Beef Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

First five ingredients: beef, beef liver, beef kidney, beef heart, beef tripe

Guaranteed analysis

Crude protein ( min)

44%

Crude fat ( min)

35%

Crude fiber (max)

5%

Crude moisture ( max)

5%

High-quality Dog Food Brands - Dog Food Specialist

Pros

  • Made of 100 organic fruits and vegetables 
  • No grains, artificial flavors, or glutens
  • Enhanced with prebiotics

Cons

  • Most pet owners stay the food can be crumbly at times

What is the best dog food recommended by vets?

Hill's Prescription Diet I/D Digestive Care Low-Fat Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

Besides over-the-counter wet or dry dog food, dogs with health issues can benefit from prescription-only dog food.

This vet-prescribed dog food attends to a dog’s health issues while still delivering the right nutrition.

Two popular dog food brands that manufacture vet-prescribed dog food are the royal canin and Hill’s prescription.

Hill’s prescription is superior to its competitors since it collaborates with vets, canine nutritionists, and scientists in all its manufacturing processes.

Moreover, Hill’s Prescription has over 5 million safety quality checks yearly, ensuring what they promise is what they deliver.

Also, Hill’s Prescription has stringent procurement channels ensuring at no time do any substandard ingredients gain entry into your dog’s food bowl.

Even though it is thought vet-prescribed dog food brands are tasteless, that is not the case with Hill’s prescription dog food.

Hill’s prescription dog food has savory ingredients with an enticing aroma and texture.

You can find Hill’s prescription dry and wet dog food. This brand has other recipes that address health issues and conditions like weight management, food allergies, heart issues, and kidney and liver disease.

Nevertheless, consult your vet if you think your pet needs prescription-only dog food.

Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Digestive Care Low-Fat Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

First five ingredients: brewer’s rice, corn gluten meal, chicken meat, chicken product meal, hydrolyzed chicken flavor

Guaranteed analysis

Crude protein ( min)

21%

Crude fat ( min)

5%

Crude fat ( max)

9 %

Crude fiber ( max)

4 %

Premium Dog Food Brands - Dog Food Specialist

Pros

  • Stringent procurement channels
  • No artificial flavors or ingredients
  • A wide range of vet prescribed dog food

Cons

  • Hard to chew for some dogs

Best Frozen Dog Food brand

JustFoodForDogs Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni Recipe Fresh Frozen Dog Food

One top-rated dog food brand above its competitors in producing the best-frozen dog food is Justfoodfordogs.

Justfoodfordogs Frozen dog food is made with minimally processed ingredients, ensuring the nutrients are not denatured or the flavor is distorted.

Frozen dog food is a lifesaver for those dog parents who want to provide their pets with healthy cooked food without spending much time preparing it.

All one has to do is store it in a refrigerator and serve it to the dog when needed!

All ingredients are human-grade. According to Justfoodfordogs, they don’t include anything artificial.

The ingredients you can find in all their ranges are the exact same you can find in any grocery or restaurant!

Justfoodfordogs has an open public kitchen that ensures that all ingredients are hygienically handled, and nothing but the finest ingredients goes into making these recepies.

Justfoodfordogs Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni Recipe Fresh Frozen Dog Food

First five ingredients: lean ground turkey, whole wheat macaroni, broccoli, zucchini, carrots

Guaranteed analysis

Crude protein (min)

10%

Crude fat (min)

4 %

Crude fiber (max)

1%

Moisture ( max)

69%

Best Frozen Dog Food Brands - Dog Food Specialist

Pros

  • Crafted with fresh human-grade ingredients
  • Best for large or active dogs
  • Variety of sizes available

Cons

  • Expensive

 

Best Puppy Dog Food Brand

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

The dog food brand you choose for your puppy can determine how healthy your dog will be in the future.

One of the best puppy food brands that continue to fly off the shelves is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula.

This puppy dog food brand is all about your pup’s health and nutrition needs as it entails only recognizable and healthy ingredients.

Besides being rich in real meat, Blue Buffalo has whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruits selected by holistic vets and animal nutritionists to help promote the pup’s wellbeing.

The Blue Buffalo formula is also available for small, medium, and large puppy breeds.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

First five ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley

Guaranteed analysis

Crude protein ( min)

27%

Crude fat ( min)

16%

Crude fiber ( max)

5 %

Moisture ( max)

10%

 

Best Organic Dog Food Brands - Dog Food Specialist

Pros

  • Best for puppies
  • Follows all AAFCO guidelines
  • Enhanced with vitamins and minerals

Cons

  • Most pet owners complain their dogs get stinky poop after eating this diet

Best Dog Food Brands for Large Dogs

Country Vet Naturals 24/14 Healthy Diet Dry Dog Food

Working dogs’ nutrient needs might be different from a couch potato dog!

Such a dog needs a high diet with at least 30% protein and 20 % fat to provide the right calories for an active dog.

One brand that continues to fulfill such a ratio is the Country Vet Naturals. This working dog food brand is designed for highly active dogs requiring many calories a day.

Despite high protein content, the dog food brand is enriched with vitamins and minerals, ensuring all your pets’ dietary needs are met.

There are also considerable quantities of probiotics and prebiotics for gut health.

Country Vet Naturals 30/20 Active Athlete Dog Food

First five ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, grain sorghum, fish meal

Guaranteed analysis

Crude protein ( min)

30%

Crude fat ( min)

20%

Crude fiber ( max)

3 %

Moisture ( max)

10 %

Best Working Dog Food Brands - Dog Food Specialist

Pros

  • This dog food has quality digestible ingredients
  • High protein formula
  • Packed with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Fortified with prebiotics and probiotics

Cons

  • Not all dogs enjoy the chicken flavor

Freeze-Dried/ Dehydrated Dog Food Brand

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

Freeze-dried/dehydrated dog food is a great alternative to raw dog food. This dog food is frozen, and all moisture is removed.

Such a procedure increases the shelf life of this dog food. Moreover, since no heat is applied, all the vitamins, live enzymes, and minerals are intact.

With over 800 reviews, the Honest Kitchen is a premium brand that manufactures top-quality freeze-dried dog food.

This recipe has 100% human-grade ingredients produced in human food facilities. Moreover, each ingredient in this dog food is minimally processed, ensuring flavor and nutrient value retention.

You will also not find any by-products, preservatives, or GMO ingredients that might be detrimental to your pet’s health—this ensures your dog is eating healthy and complete nutrition.

You can use this dog food as a separate meal or a food topper for improved nutrition and flavor. Plus this dog food is best for all life stages.

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

First five ingredients: Dehydrated chicken, organic barley, dehydrated potatoes, organic flaxseed, organic oats

Guaranteed analysis

Crude protein ( min )

24.5 %

Crude fat ( min)

14 %

Crude fiber ( max)

4.0 %

Moisture ( max)

8.0 %

Top-rated Dog Food Brands - Dog Food Specialist

 Pros

  • Contains human-grade ingredients
  • No artificial flavors, fillers, or by-products
  • Best for all life stages

Cons

  • Expensive

What Makes a Dog Food Good?

Every dog comes with their own unique dietary need, but just like us humans, a good rule of thumb is balance.

Unlike cats, dogs are not strict carnivores, which means that a good dog food should include:

  • Meats: This can include premium meats, such as beef or salmon, as well as other popular options like chicken, pork, or lamb.

    Some meats, such as lamb or salmon, have less protein in them. This would require that you give more to your dog so that they reach their protein needs, but they also come dense with other healthy fats and flavors that are good for your dog.

Dog sitting infront of a bowl of healthy food
High-Value Protein is Best!
  • Vegetables: Many important vitamins come from the vegetables included in your dog’s food.

    Carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and bananas are among the popular ingredients in most dog foods. These vegetables are necessary to ensure your dog has strong muscles and healthy nerves and kidneys.

  • Grains: Although grains have become a sort of taboo word in the dog food world, some are actually necessary and good for your dog. Grains are not just a filler.
    Wheat, corn, barley, oats, and rye all contribute to a good dog food. These add vital nutritional elements, such as fiber and minerals your dog needs for a healthy diet.

 Keeping in mind your dogs’ allergies and health needs, a good dog food requires balance.

Which Dog Food is Healthier - Dry or Wet?

Dry or wet dog food is completely up to your style of pet parenting.

Wet dog food is generally seen as the more healthy option as it has less carbohydrates, which can be difficult for your dog to digest. It also comes with more moisture and contributes to your dog’s hydration.

Unfortunately, wet food may lead to poor dental hygiene in your dog. Since your dog will have less of a need to chew, tartar will have more opportunities to build up and require dental work.

2 trays of wet dog food next to some dry dog food

This can be remedied with additional dental chews and brushing your dog’s teeth.

With that in mind, neither is inherently better. The choice mostly comes down to your dog’s preference, your budget, and dog parenting style.

Best Dog Food Brands Rated by Experts

With all the dog food brands out there, it might be hard to choose the one that is the best. Here is a list of the top 3 dog food brands, as rated by the experts:

  1. Taste of the wild carefully crafts each of their products to provide your dog with the best option for their stage in life. Each food puts a major emphasis on protein and fat, while reducing the carbohydrates that can be difficult for your dog to digest. This dry dog food brand is perfect for your dog’s diet.
  2. Purina (Best Wet Dog Food Brand): Purina ensures that all of their products meet AAFCO standards so that you can feel safe providing your dog with their great tasting and health foods. Purina comes in with a 4.5 stars and above rating on most dog food reviewing websites, making it the best we dog food brand.

    This dog food is protein dense, with 44 percent protein and 32 percent fat. This protein to fat ratio creates a well-balanced diet for your dog.

  3. Just Food for Dogs (Best Frozen Dog Food Brand): With an impressive 5 star average among most dog food reviewing websites, this frozen dog food brand is the right pick for your best friend. Each sub brand meets AAFCO standards and will provide your dog with everything it needs for a healthy life.

Although this dog food has a higher than average carbohydrate level than some highly rated dog foods, it has a protein to fat ration of 51 percent, making it a nicely balanced meal for your dog. You can expect your dogs energy to increase and overall quality of life to improve when you switch to Just Food for Dogs.

Dr. Ibrah Ahmed DVM. Ph.D Scholar (Pet Nutrutionist)

Which Are the Worst Dog Food Brands - Checklist!

How can one discern a good dog food brand that considers your pet’s nutritional needs from a brand prioritizing profit? 

Although not exhaustive, this checklist will help you know which dog food brands to avoid.

criteria

yes

no

Does the brand has its kitchen?

 

 

Does the dog food brand has ingredients from china?

 

 

Does the dog food brand involve scientists, vets, and canine nutritionists in its manufacturing processes?

 

 

Does the dog food brand detail how they source their ingredients?

 

 

Does the dog food follow all the AAFCO nutritional guidelines?

 

 

Is the brand using anything artificial?

 

 

 

You can now use this checklist to rate dog food brands that have flooded supermarkets and pet stores.

Is Purina Good For Dogs?

Purina is one of the popular dog food brands that has been in the pet food industry for over 80 years.

Although Purina doesn’t contain quality ingredients similar to the ones you find in premium dog food brands, it’s a good dog food that fulfills all nutritional requirements set by AAFCO.

Moreover, Purina is budget-friendly compared to most dog foods.

dog eating from bowl
Purina is budget-friendly compared to most dog foods

Time to Pick the Best Dog Food Brand for Your Dog

Choosing a dog food that will provide the right nutrition to your vet is never easy. Many dog food brands have learned the art of using marketing labels to win our trust.

 With the information you have learned in this blog, you are now better positioned to know which dog food is the best for your furry friend.

Learn to scrutinize the dog food Ingredient list and read reviews of other dog owners. Nevertheless, be cautious of any dog food brand that’s more on marketing itself than providing good nutrition for your pet. Check our our blog on how to read a dog food label: Toxins in Dog Food

Did you know that a dog’s gut health has a significant influence on its overall health?

A recent scientific study reports that 70% to 80% of all illness begins in the gastrointestinal tract! discover why this supplement is essential for your dog’s immune system and overall health-Full Bucket’s Probiotic supplements.

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