The loyalty and love of a dog is unmatched. It’s important to give back to your beloved companion with quality, delicious dog food. There are many brands out there from which to choose. Several of them have the right recipe to make your dog healthy and happy. We took a look at the most popular choices and compiled a list of the best dog food brands, based on a variety of factors.

Dog Food FAQs

Before getting into the list of brands, we’ve answered some common dog food related questions. Reviewing these will give you a good start to your dog food search.

Which is best, dry or canned food?

Generally, dry food is superior to canned food for an everyday diet. Dry kibble is better for canine teeth, but canned food is acceptable as a treat or if a dog has temporarily lost its appetite due to illness or stress.

How do I stop my dog from gulping food?

Some dogs gulp food too fast, leading to vomiting or gas. Placing a large object in the bowl forces the dog to work around it and slows down eating. There are also specialty bowls designed to have the same effect.

dog food in a dog bowl

Is grain-free healthier?

While a grain-free diet is not necessarily required for dogs, some owners prefer it. Some dogs are allergic to grains, resulting in itchiness, hair loss, sores, and similar symptoms. For these pets, a grain-free diet may be required. While many dogs have evolved some ability to digest grains through domestication, grains are still more difficult for them to digest. Some dogs with sensitive stomachs may benefit from omitting grains. Other positives to grain-free foods include weight management and higher protein content.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances found in natural foods such as produce. Oxidants are free radicals that exist in the body. Oxidants can have a beneficial purpose such as fighting a cold, but as they build up, they cause damage by breaking down cells. By counteracting these harmful effects, antioxidants slow aging and boost the immune system. Common antioxidants are vitamins C and E. Many dog food brands now contain antioxidants so our canine friends can reap the benefits of these superfoods.

Do dogs have taste preferences?

Indeed, they do. Though they have significantly less taste buds than humans, they can taste sweet, sour, bitter, and salty flavors. However, smell matters more to a dog when it comes to whether or not a food will be enjoyed. Exposing a puppy to many different flavors may help it be a less finicky eater as an adult. While most dogs are happy to try anything, despite your best efforts, there’s always a chance you’ll end up with a dog who only prefers a few dog foods.

dog eating its food

Does dog food expire?

Dog food typically has the “best by” date on the package. This usually ranges from four months to three years. It’s best to heed the date listed on the bag.

How do I store my dog’s food?

It’s best to keep dog food in a cool, dry place. Garages often get very hot, and food may become rancid. A closet or pantry inside the home work well. Pouring dry food into an air-tight container can aid in keeping it fresh.

How We Reviewed

The products in this article were reviewed based on information provided by the brands themselves, outside sources, and customer reviews. Factors were considered such as grain content, ingredient quality, nutrition, and customer experience. Prices are noted, but that did not factor heavily into whether a brand made it onto the list. Priority was given to quality food rather than price. That said, most of the products listed fall into the middle range cost-wise, with a few outliers.

Overall Price Range

Prices for dog food range from about $10 to $50 for a small bag. The price increases based on the size of the bag and the quality of ingredients. Generally, the higher the ingredient quality, the higher the price. Specialty diets such as grain-free or weight management tend to be more expensive than basic formulas.

best dog food

Top 10 Best Dog Food Brands – Comparison Table

Top 10 Best Dog Food Brands

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey &...
  • ADVANCED NATURAL NUTRITION TO FUEL YOUR DOG'S BEST LIFE: Premium protein expertly balanced with nutrient rich superfoods...
  • SAVORY FOOD DOGS LOVE: Wellness CORE is available in grain and grain free recipes, as well as limited ingredient diets...
  • LEANER BODY MASS AND MUSCLE TONE: Wellness CORE dog food is made with a high concentration of protein from fresh meat...

#1 Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, & Chicken Meal Recipe Dry Dog FoodThe first ingredients you’ll see on this brand are meat. No by-products can be found. That speaks to the quality of this grain-free, nutrient-packed product. Customers are passionate about this food because it is high in protein and doesn’t contain products that dogs do not need and can be hard on their stomachs, such as corn, soy, wheat, and chemicals. This kibble even contains probiotics to help with digestion. Omega-3 fatty acids will put a shine on your furry friend’s coat and will alleviate skin allergies in some dogs.Find it here on Chewy. A 4-poung bag is listed at $16.49, but at Chewy it’s currently sold for $14.87.

Pros

Quality ingredients – no byproducts

High protein

Probiotics for digestion

Great for skin and coat

Cons

Some versions of the bag do not reseal.

No products found.

#2 Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog FoodThe name says it all, this brand provides a diet suitable for a wolf, but made for your dog. Uniquely, the main ingredients are lamb. Real fruits and veggies provide extra nutrients. Chicory root aids in healthy digestion. The formula is designed to provide optimum absorption of minerals so they can do their job of keeping your companion healthy. There’s even a proprietary probiotic to aid in digestion. Made in the USA.Find it here on Chewy’s site. A 5-pound bag goes for $13.99.

Pros

Grain-free

Natural ingredients

Sustainable sources

Probiotic

Made in the USA

Cons

Reports of inconsistent kibble from bag to bag

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein, Natural...
  • PACKED WITH REAL BEEF: A recipe inspired by the Rocky Mountains, this high protein dog food features a blend of red meat...
  • HEALTHY INGREDIENTS: BLUE Wilderness large breed dog food is made with the ingredients to help support your breed’s...
  • ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic...

#3 Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat Adult Grain-Free Dog FoodBlue Buffalo accounts for a dog’s digestive system in a recipe that emulates a raw food diet without the mess and hard work. The kibbles are packed with nutrients from red meat protein, fruits, and veggies. This brand is free from harmful chemicals and byproducts. Instead, it’s full of quality ingredients to give your dog what it needs without any harmful extras. Many owners of finicky dogs report success trying this product. This food has extremely high reviews and is a healthy choice, landing it high on our list.You can find the product here at Chewy. At the time of this article, it’s priced at $19.99 for a 4-pound bag, which is $2.00 off the list price.

Pros

Grain free

Good for sensitive stomachs and picky eaters

Antioxidants for anti-aging

Glucosamine for joints

L-Carnitine for fat burning

Cons

Not a lean source of protein

No products found.

#4 Earthborn HolisticDoes your dog love red meat, but you want it to have something healthier? Made with lean bison, this may be the perfect product for you. Bison meat and egg provide a high-protein formula with L-Carnitine for healthy metabolism. There’s a delicious assortment of fruits and veggies including apples, blueberries, and carrots for balanced nutrition, digestion, and immune health.Get this unique formula here at Chewy. The price is $16.99 for a 5-pound bag.

Pros

Lean, red bison meat

Grain free

Rich protein sources

Metabolism and immune system support

Cons

May not suit a low energy dog

Now Fresh Grain Free Adult Dog Recipe - 25 lb
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Adult Dog Recipe - 25 lb
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Adult Dog Recipe - 25 lb
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Adult Dog Recipe - 25 lb

#5 Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Recipe Dry Dog FoodFormulated for large dogs, there are a lot of delicious ingredients on this menu. Fresh turkey, duck, and salmon are complimented by coconut and canola oils for healthy fats. There’s a cornucopia of produce, including spinach, cranberries, pumpkin, blackberries, kelp, lentils, and a whole lot more. There are no by-products, grains, gluten, or corn. The fresh, high-quality ingredients come with a higher price tag than other brands on the market. However, if you have a big dog and can afford the investment, most dogs love this high-quality food. Get it here at Chewy. A 12-pound bag is $47.99.

Pros

Grain and gluten free

Fresh, quality ingredients

Active dogs

Prebiotics and probiotics for digestion

Cons

Pricey

Large dogs only

NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe...
  • Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe for dogs 1 year and...
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients*; no chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy*
  • High quality protein source is the #1 ingredient in the delicious dry kibble

#6 Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Farm Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog FoodThis product is a winning combination of nutrients, value, and ethics. The recipe is made from U.S. farm-raised chickens, making this a great choice for those concerned for the ethical treatment of animals. As a bonus, healthy chickens result in high-quality protein. There are no artificial colors and flavors, and it’s preservative-free. There are antioxidants, which is a plus for cellular health. While there are grains, this is free of corn, wheat, soy, and GMOs.Get it here at Chewy. The list price is $11.99 for a 4-pound bag, but it’s currently priced at $10.96 through Chewy.

Pros

Made in America

Farm-raised chickens

Antioxidants

GMO-free

Cons

May have strong smell

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes, Texas Beef, 25 Pound
  • #1 INGREDIENT: DEBONED MEAT, FISH OR POULTRY: Merrick Grain Free dog food recipes contain leading levels of high quality...
  • HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT, HIPS AND JOINTS: These grain free dog food recipes contain leading levels of Omega-3 and 6 fatty...
  • REAL WHOLE FOODS FOR OPTIMAL NATURAL NUTRITION: Merrick Grain Free dog food recipes include real, whole foods like sweet...

#7 Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog FoodThis kibble is grain-free with an ingredient list that could make humans hungry. It’s made with real beef, sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries, to name a few. Made in Texas, Merrick uses local farms to source the ingredients. They’ve included chondroitin and glucosamine to keep your pet nimble as the years go by. There’s no poultry, so if your dog has an allergy to eating birds or just doesn’t like the taste, this could be a great food to try.Find this yummy product here at Chewy. The list price is $19.99 for a 4-pound bag, but Chewy is currently selling it at $17.98.

Pros

Real beef, fruits, and veggies

Sourced from local farms

Suitable for dogs sensitive to poultry

Cons

Not a lean source of protein

Purina ONE Natural Dry Dog Food, SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula - 8...
  • 8 Lb. Bag - Purina One Smartblend Natural Chicken & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Real Chicken Is The #1 Ingredient
  • Dual-Defense Antioxidant Blend To Help Support A Strong Immune System

#8 Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula Adult Premium Dry Dog FoodHere’s another protein-packed product. Delicious, high-quality chicken and rice provide nutrients for heart and muscles. There’s an anti-oxidant blend, specifically, vitamins A and E, selenium, and zinc. These boost the immune system and support a healthy coat.Get more information here at Chewy. It’s listed as $11.49 for an 8-pound bag.

Pros

Omega-6 for healthy fur

Real chicken

Glucosamine for joints

Cons

Not for dogs with weight concerns

Fromm Adult Gold Large Breed Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Large Breed 50+
  • Added cartilage to support joint health.
  • Real Wisconsin cheese Viable prebiotics & probiotics

#9 Fromm Gold Adult Dry Dog FoodChicken, duck, potatoes, and carrots are a few of the ingredients on the menu with this formula. A quality brand, this recipe does not contain fillers. There’s probiotics for digestion and salmon oil makes for a beautiful, shiny coat. This food works for all breeds so long as they are at least one year old. It’s made in the USA with no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Not only is it nutritious, but most dogs also love the flavor.Get it here at PetFlow at $26.26 for a 15-pound bag.

Pros

Dogs love it

Probiotics

Quality ingredients

Made in the USA

Lots of protein

Cons

Grains may not suit some dogs

Purina Pro Plan High Calorie, High Protein Dry Dog Food, SPORT 30/20...
  • One (1) 18 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan High Calorie, High Protein Dry Dog Food, SPORT 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula
  • Features real chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • Contains 30% protein and 20% fat to help fuel metabolic needs and maintain lean muscle

#10 Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Formula Dry Dog FoodIf you have an active pooch, this may be the perfect food to try. Its formula is 30% protein and 20% fat. This provides a performance-packed combination for muscle strength and energy. Real chicken is the main ingredient, with antioxidants, amino acids, glucosamine, and extra vitamins and minerals. It has enough nutrition for athletic and working dogs. Plus, it’s made in the USA.Get it here at Chewy. A 6-pound bag is $12.49.

Pros

High-energy dogs

Formulated for exercise

All ages

Made in USA

Cons

Gluten and corn may not be suitable for all dogs

Overall Verdict

There are a lot of wonderful dog foods out there, so rendering a final verdict on the best dog food is a challenge. While some foods will be better for some dogs than others, we were able to choose a general favorite. We picked Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, & Chicken Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food as best overall for its quality, nutritional value, and shining customer reviews. Though we all know the real final verdict will come from the cutest jury, your lovable and furry friend. As long as your pal brings an appetite, rest assured, you’ll find the best dog food in no time.

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Last update on 2021-07-28 at 06:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API