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The 9 Best Dog Food Brands

Sure, the appropriate dog food gives comprehensive nutrition and nutritional support, but it also has to be a meal that your dog enjoys.

"When reviewing dog diets, there are various factors to consider," says Dr. Jennifer Frione, DVM, owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital. "Aspects to consider include the pet food label, ingredients and guaranteed analysis, the pet's age, and the pet's medical condition or status."

To find the most trustworthy dog food products, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) assessed a wide selection of the best dog food brands, consulting veterinarians and investigating nutritional certifications. 


Pro Plan Purina

What We Enjoy

  • Formulas for various phases of life are available.
  • The brand employs a staff of dietitians and veterinarians.
  • Products created in the United States

What We Dislike

  • It may be costly.

Purina Pro Plan has over 80 dog food options, and Dr. Frione frequently recommends them to her patients.

Purina Pro Plan formulations include food scientifically tailored for adult dogs, puppies of various sizes, elderly dogs, and specialist diet assistance for overweight dogs, sensitive stomachs, and other conditions.

Various recipes also feature cutting-edge nutritional research, with nutrients like gut-health boosting probiotics, vitamin A, and omega-6 fatty acids that can help support a healthy coat.

Purina Pro Plan’s puppy formula has additional calcium for bone health, while its “Performance” recipe for active dogs contains a 30% / 20% protein and fat combination designed to preserve lean muscle mass.

Purina Pro Plan contains high quality ingredients, including genuine meat as the primary ingredient, in addition to well-researched and approved formulas.

Purina Pro Plan dog food complies with FDA regulations as well as nutritional requirements established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

The company also sources its ingredients sustainably and manufactures 99% of its pet products in Purina-owned facilities in the United States.



What We Enjoy

  • Reasonably priced
  • Options for a wide range of dog breeds
  • Scientists and dietitians collaborated to create this product.

What We Dislike

  • The ingredients aren’t of the highest grade.

There’s a prevalent fallacy regarding dog food that more costly goods are always better, but there are many of budget dog food brands, including Pedigree, that offer nutritious and nutritionally balanced solutions for your pet.

This brand is owned by Mars Pet and offers over 60 different varieties of wet and dry dog food. Pedigree offers products for both pups and adult dogs, as well as a few formulae for dogs with particular needs, such as high protein and weight loss.

Mars owns The Waltham Petcare Science Institute, a pet research facility where scientists and pet nutritionists create pet food recipes for all of its brands.

While the components in Pedigree dog meals are not always of the highest quality, the products are nutritious and simple to digest.


Canned Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Food

What We Enjoy

  • Wet meals are available in both conventional and prescription forms.
  • There are several can sizes available.
  • Quality and safety are important to the brand.
  • Developed by a team of dietitians and veterinarians

What We Dislike

  • Expensive

Hill’s Science Diet is another brand that Dr. Frione recommends, and it’s especially popular among individuals who want to feed their dog wet food.

This brand features a large assortment of wet dog meals, including recipes for pups, adults, and seniors, as well as a well-regarded line of prescription diets for dogs with special medical issues. (Purchasing Hill’s Prescription Diet products requires a veterinarian’s approval.)

This company is dedicated to producing high-quality dog meals, and all of its products meet or exceed the AAFCO and World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s nutritional profiles and production criteria (WSAVA).

Over 220 Ph.D. nutritionists, veterinarians, and scientists work for the firm, and its safety standards are fashioned after those of human food makers.


One Purina

What We Enjoy

  • Wdely accessible
  • Purina Pro Plan is less expensive.
  • The brand employs a staff of dietitians and veterinarians.
  • Products created in the United States

What We Dislike

  • Products are in short supply.

The companies mentioned above all provide high-quality puppy food, but Purina One is another excellent option for pups. Purina One, like Purina Pro Plan, is a science-based meal that provides excellent nutrition for developing dogs.

This company provides three puppy-specific diets, including ordinary dry food, large breed puppy dry food, and wet food, and these goods are often available at major retail and grocery shops, not only specialist pet stores.

Purina One formulations, like those of other Purina products, are developed by the company’s team of nutritionists, veterinarians, and scientists to offer balanced and complete nutrition for growing puppies.

The meal adheres to AAFCO requirements and is free of needless filler components.


Whole Grain Turkey Recipe from Honest Kitchen

What We Enjoy

  • Contains human-grade components
  • A good product selection

What We Dislike

  • Expensive
  • It is unknown whether the brand employs a veterinarian nutritionist.

While there are no formal rules defining “human-grade” dog food, the word is most commonly used to suggest that the food is stored, handled, processed, and delivered in the same manner as human consumable items.

(However, “human-grade” does not automatically imply adequate nutrient levels, so it’s critical that the food also meets AAFCO guidelines.)

The Honest Kitchen is one of the top brands that offers human-grade dog food, and its products are made without any “feed grade” ingredients or meat meals, fillers, feed grade by-products, corn, wheat, or soy.

The Honest Kitchen sells a variety of dog foods, including dried, wet, and “whole food clusters,” which are dry food equivalents. It contains adult, puppy, and senior formulations, as well as a range of protein tastes.

The recipes adhere to AAFCO nutritional requirements, although it is unclear whether they were created by a veterinary nutritionist.



What We Enjoy

  • Taste and soft texture
  • Small, medium, and large dog formulas
  • The major component is fresh chicken.
  • Made in the United States

What We Dislike

  • It is unknown whether the brand employs a veterinarian nutritionist.

If your dog dislikes normal kibble, you may try giving them Bil-Jac, which has a special soft recipe that many dogs appreciate.

Picky No More is a range of goods for dogs with discriminating preferences that includes dry, moist, and even frozen food. Bil-Jac has dog food formulae for small, medium, and big breeds, as well as puppy and geriatric feeds.

Bil-Jac cuisine has a distinct texture due to its slow-cooking procedure, which the manufacturer says improves the flavor.

Many pet owners like that fresh chicken is the first ingredient in many Bil-Jac dog diets, and that the food is AAFCO-compliant.


Dry Dog Food Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet with Healthy Grains Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe

What We Enjoy

  • Made using ten or less components
  • There are numerous varieties available.
  • Designed by veterinary nutritionists

What We Dislike

  • Expensive

Merrick Limited Ingredient dog meals are formulated with 10 ingredients or less for dogs with specific dietary allergies, yet they still provide comprehensive, balanced nourishment to your pet.

This meal is available in both wet and dry formulae and a range of tastes, with the first component being deboned meat, fish, or chicken.

Merrick is a subsidiary of Nestlé Purina, which means that its dog food formulae are developed by the same team of nutritionists, veterinarians, and behaviorists. The company also employs Ph.D. nutritionists.

Merrick dog meals are prepared in the company’s Texas kitchen and include no fillers, additives, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives.


For the best dog food brandsPurina Pro Plan dog food is BestForPets‘ (bestforpets.org) choice for any breed of dog. This well-known company is exceptionally clear about its methods, and it provides a diverse choice of formulations for dogs of different sizes, ages, and lifestyles.

What to Look for in a Dog Food Brand?

Life Stage Desired

Your dog’s age, size, lifestyle, and medical issues should all be considered when selecting a dog food brand.

A developing puppy’s nutritional demands differ from those of an adult dog, and an overweight dog should not be fed the same food as a highly active athletic dog.

If you’re unsure about your dog’s life cycle and specific feeding requirements, consult with your veterinarian to determine what sort of food would work best.

Statement of Nutritional Adequacy

Dr. Frione notes, “The Association of American Feed Control Officers (AAFCO) has produced particular rules for identifying components, testing, feeding trial techniques, and official language for dog diets.”

“When selecting dog food, check sure it satisfies AAFCO requirements, which should be indicated on the box.”

If the food is labeled as “short-term,” “intermittent,” or “complementary,” it is not a complete source of nutrition for your dog. The AAFCO also provides detailed instructions for reading dog food labels.

Formulated by a Veterinary Nutritionist

Another approach to evaluate the quality of a dog food brand is to look at how its goods are made.

Both Dr. Frione and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) advocate looking for a brand that employs a veterinary nutritionist, preferably with a Ph.D. in animal nutrition, because recipe formulation is a difficult process that is not taught in most veterinary school programs.


How can I find out whether a dog food brand has been recalled?

“Talk to your veterinarian if you hear that a dog food has been recalled,” Dr. Frione advises. “The FDA website will also disclose recent recalls.” The FDA website has a current list of recalls and withdrawals, as well as the rationale for the recall.

Is it dangerous to combine dog food brands?

“At Lakeside Animal Hospital, we advocate sticking with one type of diet because altering food on a regular basis has frequently resulted in gastrointestinal distress,” Dr. Frione adds.

If the dog food you’re giving your pet isn’t a full source of nutrition, see your veterinarian about moving to a different meal or supplementing your dog’s diet.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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