What Is My Take
Choosing a high-quality food from the hundreds of available brands and formulas can be challenging. The pet nutrition industry is very competitive, and most commercially available foods are very good balanced diets. Ask your veterinary health care team to help you select a diet that is backed by scientific principles and research and that meets your dog’s individual needs. If you have any questions about a particular food, your best source for help is your veterinary health care team.
Iams Proactive Health Dry Dog Food
Iams Lamb and Rice Adult formula is one of 15 dry recipes included in our review of the Iams Proactive Health product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Lamb, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, ground whole grain barley, ground whole grain corn
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Large breed, small breed, puppy, chicken, turkey, senior weight management and more
- Price: $
- See all 15 available recipes
Iams Lamb and Rice derives a large portion of its animal protein from fresh lamb. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
An affordable, classic design offering multiple recipe options. A top selection popular with veterinarians and professional breeders. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewMy bulldog has terrible allergies and colitis, and even with taking allergy medication, so many foods worsened her problems. Even grain free limited ingredient dog foods did not help. This red bag lamb and rice iams formula is one of the very few foods she can eat and once I changed her to this food, along with her continued apoquel, her skin allergies are getting better and her hair is growing back, with no colitis flare ups.
Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food
Nutro Ultra Adult is one of 10 dry recipes included in our review of the Nutro Ultra product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Beef, duck, lamb, fish, small breed, large breed, puppy, senior and more
- Price: $$
This Nutro formula derives most of its meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Available in a wide range of flavor and recipe options. One of our top value picks.
Sample buyer reviewI have 5 dogsranging in different sizes and breeds. This is the ONE food I can get them all to eat without having to buy a bunch of different brands or formulas. Thank you Nutro!
This Go! Carnivore formula derives the majority of its animal protein from chicken, turkey and salmon meals, as well both chicken and turkey. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 18% fat and 36% estimated carbs resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
Free of GMO ingredients and loaded with meat. A rare find. Highly recommended.
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Best Overall: Taste Of The Wild Dry Dog Food
Its hard to compare the nine different recipes that Taste of the Wild offers with their dry dog food including one recipe for puppies and one for small breeds. Each of the other seven recipes, however, is formulated specifically for the nutritional needs of adult dogs.
With Taste of the Wild dry dog food, the first ingredient is always real meat, no matter which recipe you choose. The Wetland Canine Recipe, for example, includes duck, duck meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, and peas as the first five ingredients.
And, if your dog is particular about their preferred flavor of kibble, you have multiple combinations to choose from . Youre bound to find something theyll love.
Nutritional Requirements Based On Breed Size
Weve said it before, and well say it again all dogs have the same base nutritional needs. When it comes to things like caloric density and beneficial supplements, however, there are some subtle differences from one breed size to another. Here is a summary of the nutritional needs of different dogs based on their breed size:
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Wellness Complete Health Senior Dry Food
Best Senior Dog Food As your dog gets older, his body and his metabolism will start to slow down which means that the food of his younger years may not work as well in his older years. This Wellness Complete Health Senior Dry Food is specially formulated to meet your senior dogs nutritional needs, made with plenty of protein to support lean muscle mass with moderate fat content to prevent obesity. This recipe features high-quality proteins like deboned chicken with digestible carbohydrates like oatmeal and brown rice. It also features glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support as well as probiotics for healthy digestion.
- Pros: Formulated for senior dogs, high-quality protein for lean muscle mass, moderate fat to control calories, digestible carbohydrates, glucosamine and chondroitin for joints, probiotics for digestion.
- Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken, first source of fat is plant-based
Recommended Serving Size For Homemade Dog Food:
The amount of homemade dog food that your dog will require is dependent upon how much your dog weighs and how active he or she is. This amount varies from dog-to-dog. I suggest talking to your vet and getting their advice on a good starting point.
You can also monitor your dog to make sure they are maintaining their weight and staying happy and active.
This recipe makes about 6 cups of food, which is 3 days worth of food for Charlie who is about 45 pounds. You can easily adjust this amount based on the weight of your dog. Also, feel free to scale this recipe up and double or even triple it, if you wanted to cook less often.
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What Nutrition Do Dogs Need
Dogs are carnivorous, meaning the primary component of their diet should be meat. But they arent obligate carnivoresor only meat-eating. In the wild, dogs survive mainly off of prey animals and some seasonal vegetables. Wild dogs will also occasionally eat fruits. When youre deciding on your dogs diet, it should primarily revolve around these food items.
Peanuts For More Protein
Peanuts are one of the only nuts that your dog can eat. Macadamias, walnuts and pecans are highly toxic to dogs, whilst almonds pose a choking risk due to their shape. Peanuts on the other hand are completely safe and are a good source of protein and healthy fats. Just make sure you feed your dog shelled, unsalted peanuts to keep this snack healthy.
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Taste Of The Wild Dog Food
Most Popular Pick: If youre looking a premium food dogs like Taste of the Wild is a very popular brand. Taste of the Wild uses real roasted meats in protein-rich formulas that are free from grains, fillers, and artificial additives. Their most popular recipe is the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy formula which features real buffalo as the first ingredient with other proteins like bison, roasted venison, and beef to support strong muscles. This recipe also contains plenty of healthy fats as well as beneficial supplements like antioxidants from real fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, and dried fermentation products which act as probiotics for healthy digestion.
- Pros: Real roasted meats, rich in protein and healthy fat, grain-free, no fillers or artificial additives, mimics a dogs natural diet, supports skin and coat health, probiotics, chelated minerals
- Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to beef, contains some plant protein concentrates
The Healthiest Fats For Dogs
Is your dog eating the wrong kind of fat? Many raw-fed dogs get fatty chunks of meat in their bowls and that means your dog might be eating too much animal fat. Too much animal fat could deprive your dog of other nutrients he needs. So, you want to control his animal fat and give him enough of the healthy fats he needs.
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Eggs For Extra Calories
Your pup can enjoy eggs cooked or raw. Raw eggs can be given to your dog whole including the shell as this contains a lot of great nutrients such as biotin and riboflavin. If youre not sure about raw eggs then try a hard boiled egg, peeled with no seasoning. High in protein and a good calorie boost for a growing pup!
Victor Classic Dry Dog Food
Victor Hi-Pro Plus is one of 4 kibble recipes included in our review of the Victor Classic product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat, pork meal, chicken meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Chicken, puppy, active sporting dog formula and more
- Price: $
Victor Hi-Pro Plus derives the bulk of its meat protein from beef meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 22% fat and 37% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
An affordable, all life stages kibble recently added to our budget-friendly dog foods list. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewI have 5 active dogs of all different ages. Its been a struggle to find a quality, decently priced food that kept a good weight on all of them and didnt mess with their allergies. Theyve been on this food since April and its been amazing! No bad reactions when switching to Victor, no allergies, and they are all a good weight. Highly recommend.
Annamaet Ultra is one of 7 kibble recipes included in our review of the Annamaet product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, whole dry eggs, herring meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Puppies, salmon, small breed, senior, weight loss and more
- Price: $$
Especially popular with sporting dog professionals. Enthusiastically recommended.
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Best Dry: Royal Canin
Formulated by scientists and nutritionists
Highly palatable to most dogs
Some formulas can be expensive
Dry dog food is a popular choice for many pet owners thanks to its convenience and shelf stability, and one of the best dry dog food brands is Royal Canin, which offers more than 80 dry formulas. In addition to dry food for adults, puppies, and senior dogs, Royal Canin has a unique line of breed-specific foods, each of which is tailored to that dog breeds traits and common problems. Even the kibble shape is selected based on the breeds jaw structure and biting pattern.
Royal Canin is another brand that Dr. Frione personally recommends, and the company employs nutritional and research teams that help create its products. The brand takes a nutrient-focused approach to pet food, evaluating the specific nutritional needs of dogs and creating optimal diet profiles based on scientific findings.
Offers both regular and prescription wet foods
Multiple can sizes available
Brand focus on quality and safety
Formulated by team of nutritionists and vets
Hills Science Diet is another brand that gets the seal of approval from Dr. Frione, and its especially popular for those who prefer to feed their dog wet food. This brand offers an impressive selection of wet dog foods, including formulas for puppies, adults, and seniors, and it also has a highly regarded line of prescription foods for dogs with specific medical problems.
Peanut Butter And Peanuts
Peanut butter is a great source of protein for dogs. Its packed with heart-healthy fats, vitamin B, vitamin E, and niacin. The AKC advises that raw, unsalted peanut butter is the healthiest option for your dog. Thats because it doesnt contain xylitol, which is a sugar substitute toxic to dogs.
Peanuts also are safe for dogs to eat. Just make sure you feed peanuts in moderation because you dont want your dog taking in too much fat. Avoid sharing salted peanuts.
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Turkey Rice And Greens Dog Food
- ½ cup carrots
Preheat the oven to 340F. Cook the peas, carrots, and corn on the stove until tender. Peel the apple and chop. Cook rice according to package directions. Use a potato masher to mash the vegetables. Add the egg to the vegetables WITH shell and mash completely.
Mix the chicken apple together in a clean bowl and combine thoroughly. Add cooked rice to the vegetable mix. Grease the cake pan and layer half the chicken mix in the bottom of the pan.
Layer 2/3 of the vegetable mixture over the chicken. Use the leftover chicken to make another layer. Top the cake with the leftover vegetable mix. Cook for 35 min or until cooked through. Cool before slicing and serving.
The 14 Healthiest Dog Foods: Nutritious Noms For Your Pet
Now that you know some of the things youll want to look for when picking some meals for your mutt, well share some of the healthiest dog foods on the market today. Well detail the main features of each, provide you with a sample ingredient list, and lay out the the pros and cons of each choice.
Just remember: The healthiest dog food choice will vary from one dog to the next.
There is no single healthiest dog food brand that works well in all cases, as each individual dog has unique needs, which will be best met by different dog foods.
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What To Look For When Choosing Dog Food
There are a number of factors to consider when comparing dog food brands and trying to choose the right diet for your pooch. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Nutrients: Unlike cats, dogs are not strictly carnivores, which means they can benefit from a range of high-quality ingredients, like grains, fruits, and vegetables, in addition to protein. These ingredients can also be excellent sources of minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
Dog food brand: The Canine Nutrition Expert Subcommittee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials has established minimal nutritional requirements for dogs. When making their products, dog food manufacturers are expected to adhere to these requirements.
The AAFCO-approved nutritional guarantee on a dog food label will indicate that a product meets their requirements and is considered nutritionally complete and balanced.
Recipe and preference: As a dog owner, you may have a preference about feeding your dog fresh food vs. kibble, or even decide that you want to try a raw food diet. Your dog, on the other hand, may prefer a certain flavor like venison or beef but not like others, such as salmon.
Similarly, you may decide to feed your dog exclusively kibble, solely wet food, or a mix of both. Wet dog food can be helpful for senior dogs that have tooth sensitivities.
These are all considerations youll have to make as you compare dog food brands.
Salmon Scramble For Dogs
- ¼ cup canned butternut squash
- 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
Cook chicken thoroughly in a skillet. Drain chicken fat and set aside. Blend eggs in a blender with a shell then stir into the chicken. Cook chicken and egg mix until cooked through.
Add 2/3 cup chicken mixture, 2 tbsp. carrots, 1/3 cup rice, and 1/3 cup chicken broth to blender and puree. Mix leftover chicken with carrots and rice in a large bowl. Stir in puree until combined thoroughly. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon out round portions. Allow cooling completely before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
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Keep Your Pooch Happy And Healthy
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The Spruce / Chloe Jeong
Choosing dog food for your pet is one of the biggest decisions you have to make as an owner, but it can be quite tricky, as there are so many brands and products available out there today.
There are numerous aspects to consider when evaluating dog foods, explains Dr. Jennifer Frione, DVM, owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital. Factors to look at include the pet food label, ingredients and guaranteed analysis, the pet’s age and the pet’s medical state or conditions. She also recommends looking for a dog food brand that meets Association of American Feed Control Officers guidelines and has a veterinary nutritionist on staff.
If you’re looking for reputable companies whose products are generally well-regarded across the board, the following are the best dog food brands according to our research and veterinarians.
Wide range of formulas for all life stages
Brand employs team of nutritionists and vets
Products made in USA
Can be pricey
Peanut Butter: Can Eat
Peanut butter is a healthy and safe treat for dogs to eat in moderate amounts.
However, it is best to limit your dogs peanut butter intake. Since peanut butter is high in fat and calories, it may lead to weight gain if he eats too much .
Also, make sure to feed your dog plain, unsalted peanut butter. Peanut butter commonly has extra ingredients added to it, such as salt, which could be harmful to your dog (
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