Best Dog Food for Irish Setters

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Dog Food By K9 of Mine Staff 27 min read December 5, 2023

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best dog food for irish setters

Hey there, Irish setter aficionado! You’ve landed in the right spot if you’re hunting for mighty fine chow for your copper-coated comrade. Being the proud pawrent of an Irish setter is no small feat -– this pooch is energetic, super social, and can have an appetite that rivals a small horse. 

Stay tuned, and we’ll help you navigate the labyrinth of labels and “good-for-your-pooch” promises to fetch the best dog food for Irish setters and share tips on picking the right food for any floof.

Best Overall Dog Food for Irish Setters
Best Kibble/Dry Dog Food for Irish Setters
Best Wet Food for Irish Setters
Best Overall Dog Food for Irish Setters
Best Kibble/Dry Dog Food for Irish Setters
Best Wet Food for Irish Setters

How to Choose a Food for Irish Setters

how to pick Irish setter dog food

The saying goes, “An Irish setter is a joy to own.” But like owning any bundle of joy, it comes with its own set of responsibilities, one of which is selecting the right food for your pup.

This statuesque auburn beauty is at risk of certain health problems, and understanding them can help guide your food selection, as some ingredients can help ease issues.

When browsing food finds for your Irish setter, check the ingredient list for:

  • Joint Health Compounds: Par for the course with many large breeds, Irish setters can suffer from hip dysplasia and develop osteoarthritis. Foods enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin can help your Irish sweetie keep bouncing around the yard comfortably.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The Irish setter’s famous red coat could use some support in maintaining its sheen, which is where these healthy fats derived from fish oil come in handy. Omega-3s also keep dry, itchy skin at bay and combat inflammation.
  • Vitamins: Irish setters can develop several eye problems. While you can’t prevent every issue with diet alone, boosting your pup’s diet with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zinc, and the omega fatty acid DHA support her system. Vitamins C and E are in produce like sweet potatoes, carrots, berries, and pumpkin, while zinc is in seafood, lamb, and beef. DHA is primarily derived from fish, such as salmon.
  • Antioxidants: Irish setters are at risk of leukocyte adhesion deficiency (LAD), an immunodeficiency that leaves your Rover plagued by recurrent infections. While the condition is rare, keeping your setter’s immune system in tip-top fighting shape with plenty of antioxidants and foods rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is never a bad idea.
  • Limited Ingredients: Irish setters can sometimes suffer from food and environmental allergies. If your setter seems to be showing signs of food allergies like itchy skin, consider limited-ingredient dog food or a single-protein recipe after speaking with your vet. In extreme cases, hypoallergenic dog food may be best.

Health-conscious food choices for your Irish setter can’t solve or prevent every condition, but they do promote overall well-being, letting your pup start each day on the right paw, one bite at a time from her bowl. 

If you’re concerned about specific health concerns, speak with your vet.

Grains & Irish Setters: One Additional Factor to Consider

The vast majority of dogs digest cooked grains without issue. But a small number of Irish setters suffer from a disease that may necessitate the use of grain-free dog foods.

Called gluten-sensitive enteropathy (more commonly known as celiac disease), this inherited disorder causes afflicted dogs to suffer from poor growth, poor coat quality, and diarrhea when they consume grains containing gluten.

This is not a common ailment — it has only been documented in Irish setters hailing from the UK. But it is worth bearing in mind and discussing with your vet if you note any of the symptoms mentioned above.


The 11 Best Foods for Irish Setters

best dog foods for Irish setters

Now that we know what to look for in a prospective pick, we can dig into the best foods for Irish setters, including fresh finds, convenient kibble, and allergy-friendly eats. Check ‘em out!

1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food [Best Overall Dog Food for Irish Setters]

Best Overall Dog Food for Irish Setters
Ollie Fresh Dog Food
A customizable fresh food made with human-grade ingredients and delivered to your door.

Special Discount: We've cut a deal with Ollie -- new customers can get 50% off!
Buy Now (Get 50% Off) Read Our Review


Setter owners seeking the crème de la crème in ingredients, taste, texture, and customization.

About: Ollie is a pre-portioned, fresh food feast crafted with ample whole-animal proteins and minimal processing to meet the unique nutrient needs of your Irish setter based on her activity level, body condition, and more. Made in the USA using globally sourced ingredients, Ollie is shipped fresh from USDA kitchens straight to your doorstep! Plus, your delivery comes with a nifty “leftovers” container to help you keep your setter’s food perfectly preserved in the fridge.

First Five Ingredients: Turkey, Butternut Squash, Turkey Livers, Oats, & Lentils


  • Fit for Human Consumption: Ollie uses pure meat, wholesome grains, flavorful fruits, and veggie powerhouses that even you can enjoy!
  • Protein Pow-Wow: Real meat headlines the ingredients list in each Ollie recipe, flanked by organ meats. This protein parade assures that the recipes pack in a whopping 35% to 44% of protein (dry matter basis).
  • Suitable for All Life Stages: All Ollie recipes have been vet-formulated to meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, making it ideal for fur families of mixed ages or those journeying through all stages of life from puppyhood on.
  • Doing Good While Eating Good: Ollie devotes 1% of the brand’s proceeds to aid rescue organizations and shelters, making every bite count for dogs in need.
  • Minus the Mumbo-Jumbo: Keeping things simple, Ollie scraps artificial flavors, preservatives, or by-products from their recipes. The simpler the ingredient list, the lower the risk of triggering problems in your precious pet.

Ingredients List

Turkey, Butternut Squash, Turkey Livers, Oats, Lentils...,

spinach, blueberries, kale, tricalcium phosphate, salt, salmon oil, taurine, zinc gluconate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulphate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamine hydrochloride (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), potassium iodide


  • Human-grade ingredients offer your setter the best of the best
  • Taste a win with even the pickiest of pups
  • Customized to your setter’s current dietary needs (and adjustable for future fixin’!)
  • Softer, mashed texture is great for setters with dental issues


  • Premium ingredients come at a premium price point 
  • As a fresh dog food, Ollie must be refrigerated

Like the fresh stuff?

If fresh dog food is your jam, be sure to check out our list of the best fresh dog food brands — they’re mouth-watering options that will please even the prissiest picky eaters.

2. Nutro ULTRA Adult [Best Kibble/Dry Dog Food for Irish Setters]

Best Kibble/Dry Dog Food for Irish Setters
Nutro ULTRA Adult
A dry dog food featuring a trio of tasty proteins, a bounty of produce, and coat-conditioning fats for head-to-tail wellness.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy


Pet parents of Irish setters after a convenient yet high-quality kibble with joint-friendly perks.

About: Nutro Ultra Adult comes in grain-free and grain-inclusive versions, all brimming with a nutritious blend of proteins, grains, seeds, and produce to foster a happy, healthy pooch. Chicken, lamb, and salmon take center stage, providing the nourishment needed for lean muscle building, while whole grains are included to provide fiber and long-lasting energy. Best of all, this food includes plenty of antioxidant-rich “superfoods” to keep you setter’s immune system operating like it should.

First Five Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, & Whole Grain Barley


  • Loaded with Superfoods: Nutro Ultra contains “superfoods” reputed for nutrient-rich composition, including fiber-packed coconut and apples to chia seed and flaxseed for skin-supporting healthy fats.
  • Top-Notch Sourcing: All ingredients hail from trusted global sources after meticulous quality and safety testing.
  • No GMOs: Nutro Ultra stands tall among a handful of dog foods featuring non-GMO ingredients, pleasing pet parents who’d rather avoid them.
  • Friend to Your Pup’s Frame: It’s a joint-and-bone champion with glucosamine and chondroitin infusing strength into your Irish setter’s frame, benefiting young pups and seasoned sniffers alike.
  • Nature’s Best: Nutro Ultra doesn’t include artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives — it solely banks on real meat, fruits, and veggies to provide balanced nutrition to your dog.

Ingredients List

Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Barley...,

Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Rice Bran, Natural Flavor, Whole Flaxseed, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, DL-Methionine, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract


  • Meat-forward recipe offers a taste doggos adore
  • Use of non-GMO ingredients is relatively rare among dog foods
  • Loaded with awesome extras, like glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3s


  • Mixed proteins can be an issue for Irish setters with sensitivities
  • Pricing is higher than your everyday kibble

3. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner [Best Wet Food for Irish Setters]

Best Wet Food for Irish Setters
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner
A meaty mixture of lean protein, grains, and real produce in a palate-pleasing pate texture.
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Irish setter pawrents looking for a tasty, easy-to-eat meat mash with grains and produce.

About: Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe is a canned medley of real meat, wholesome produce, and grains – all processed into a velvety-smooth pate texture to please your precious pooch’s palate. Your Irish setter’s skin and coat will bask in the benefits of the omega fatty acids, while savory broth adds flavor and hydration. This meal confidently fits the AAFCO’s nutrient profile for adult dogs.

First Five Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, & Peas


  • Meat to the Max: Real meat steals the spotlight as the first ingredient in this wet dog food, meaning your Irish setter gets a much-needed protein punch for lean muscle maintenance and tissue repair.
  • Ditch the Allergy Anguish: There’s no room for sensitivity triggers like corn, soy, wheat, byproducts, or artificial flavors and preservatives in this wholesome feast.
  • Veg-tastic: This meat mash is a visual treat with garden vegetables like carrots and peas, peeking out as natural sources of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
  • Protein Picks: With Blue Buffalo Homestyle, you can choose from four scrumptious proteins: chicken, beef, lamb, or the hearty turkey meatloaf – all sure to make your pup’s mealtime a mouth-watering event!
  • American at its Core: Blue Buffalo remains an American-made brand, though they do use globally sourced ingredients.

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas...,

Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Flaxseed, Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)


  • Pate texture mixes easily into kibble and lets doggos with dental woes dine without issue
  • Great for boosting your barker’s hydration
  • Most doggo diners adore the taste of this food
  • Pricing isn’t too bad, considering the quality


  • Pickier pooches might demand a stew-style wet food with savory gravy
  • Some pet parents prefer dog food without peas

4. Taste of the Wild High Prairie [Best Grain-Free Food for Irish Setters]

Best Grain-Free Food for Irish Setters
Taste of the Wild High Prairie
A protein-packed, grain-free dry dog food featuring complex carbohydrates, including sweet potatoes and peas.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy


Owners of Irish setters with vet-diagnosed grain allergies or intolerances.

About: Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Prairie is a high-protein banquet that’s sure to make your furry friend drool. Boasting a mouthwatering mix of roasted bison and venison, this kibble provides a variety of proteins, perfect for an Irish setter. Enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, your pup’s skin and coat will get the TLC they deserve. Talk about giving them butterflies in their bellies, thanks to the added prebiotics and probiotics!

First Five Ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, & Peas


  • Protein in the Front Seat: Water buffalo starts the ingredient list, backed by high-quality lamb meal and chicken meal. Also strutting their stuff are roasted bison, venison, beef, and ocean fish meal!
  • Plateful of Fruits and Veggies: This food is nothing short of a veggie fest! Sweet potatoes, peas, and blueberries are just a few of the wholesome fruits and veggies that make their way into this delightful food, providing fiber, antioxidants, and much more.
  • Grain-Free Party: Sweet potatoes, peas, and pea flour are the carbohydrate sources in this grain-free kibble, meshing well with waggers with vet-diagnosed grain allergies.
  • Nutritionally Spot-On:High Prairie dutifully meets the AAFCO nutrient profile for adult maintenance.
  • Ultimately American!: Every Taste of the Wild recipe is proudly made in the USA, with meticulously picked ingredients from reliable suppliers worldwide.

Ingredients List

Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas...,

Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Roasted Bison, Roasted Venison, Beef, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Ocean Fish Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.


  • Protein-rich nature that’s ideal for active Irish setters
  • Grain-free recipe suits setters with vet-diagnosed grain allergies
  • Blend of prebiotics and probiotics promotes healthier canine digestion


  • Mixed proteins can be an issue for setters with sensitivities
  • Some pet parents prefer pea-free dog food
Exercise Caution with Grain-Free Foods

Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before selecting a grain-free food for your doggo.

Veterinarians have established a correlation between grain-free foods and increased rates of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

It isn’t yet clear whether grain-free foods are causing these problems or if it is coincidence.

Nevertheless, caution is warranted.

Additionally, the overwhelming majority of dogs digest grains without issue, and few four-footers are actually allergic to grains (most food allergies are caused by things like chicken, beef, or dairy products).

5. Natural Balance LID with Healthy Grains [Best LID Food for Irish Setters with Food Allergies]

Best LID Food for Irish Setters with Food Allergies
Natural Balance LID with Healthy Grains
A limited-ingredient dry dog food that sticks to the basics of canine nutrition to avoid upsetting your pup’s system.
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Irish setter owners needing a focused ingredient list free of potential problem triggers, like artificial colors, mixed proteins, and corn.

About: Natural Balance’s LID With Grains brings a short list of ingredients to the table, including your choice of novel proteins to avoid triggering food allergies and intolerances. The grains in this solution offer quality carbs to fuel your Irish setter. The cherry on top? Your doggie’s skin and coat health will be boosted by the added omega-3s.

First Five Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, & Canola Oil


  • Sans the Unnecessary: This limited-ingredient pick sticks with the essentials only, offering a menu free of soy, gluten, synthetic colors, and flavors.
  • Meat Takes the Lead: With Natural Balance Limited ingredient food, real meat steals the show every single time, with an array of proteins to pick from, ranging from classic meats like chicken and beef to unique options like duck or salmon.
  • Pro Heart: The heart-helping taurine ensures your dog’s ticker is always ticking right.
  • Safety First: Every batch of Natural Balance dog food is scrutinized at several stages of production to ensure safety and quality.
  • American Made: Each serving of Natural Balance dog food is proudly made in America, sourcing the ingredients globally from reliable suppliers.

Ingredients List

Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Lactic Acid)...,

lamb, dried tomato pomace, brewers dried yeast, natural flavor, salt, potassium chloride, taurine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Inositol, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin), minerals (ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), choline chloride, citric acid (used as a preservative), rosemary extract


  • Pricing isn’t too bad compared to other limited-ingredient kibbles
  • This is one of the relatively few grain-inclusive, limited-ingredient dog foods on the market
  • Many pet parents report an improvement in skin and coat appearance after switching to this food


  • Doesn’t include any joint-friendly ingredients or probiotics
  • As a limited-ingredient food, it lacks produce (but that’s intentional)

6. Nutro Lamb & Brown Rice (Senior) [Best Dog Food for Senior Irish Setters]

Best Dog Food for Senior Irish Setters
Nutro Lamb & Brown Rice (Senior)
A crunchy kibble specially formulated for senior sniffers with glucosamine, chondroitin, and immune-boosting antioxidants.
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Owners of mature Irish setters needing extra joint, belly, and skin support.

About: Nutro Natural Choice Lamb & Brown Rice Senior is a delicious recipe packed with good grains (we’re looking at you, rice and barley!) to keep your golden girl full of pep. Deboned lamb leads the protein pack, followed by chicken meal that provides glucosamine and chondroitin that aid in canine joint health. That protein combo also helps support lean muscle development, keeping your cutie strong and ready to go!

First Five Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, & Rice Bran


  • Dripping with Healthy Fats: Omega fatty acids boost your setter’s skin and coat from the inside out. This is particularly valuable for older fur friends who sometimes suffer from dry, itchy spots and dull coats.
  • Fruit-tastic and Vegtacular: Non-GMO fruits and veggies like dried pumpkin, kale, and spinach appear in this kibble. These provide just the right fiber, vitamins, and minerals for holistic health.
  • Boosts Immunity: The antioxidants packed in this blend lend a helpful paw to our furry friends’ immune system – perfect for your senior sniffer, who may be more susceptible to illness than the youthful yapper.
  • Old Dog, New Tricks: This senior dog food is expertly crafted for dogs that are seven years and older. It considers the unique dietary needs of mature mutts, tossing in a healthy chunk of calcium for strong bones and more!
  • Born in the USA: Each scoop of this Nutro dog food proudly carries the “Made in America” badge, using ingredients sourced worldwide.

Ingredients List

Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran...,

Whole Grain Oatmeal, Lamb Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Soybean Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Selenium Yeast, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.


  • Excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
  • Formulated to meet the unique needs of seniors with omega-3s, protein, fiber, and more
  • Use of non-GMO ingredients a win with more natural-leaning pet parents


  • Mixed proteins can upset sensitive systems
  • Lack of exotic protein options may be a concern for senior setters with meat allergies

7. Wellness Complete Health (Large Breed Puppy) [Best Dog Food for Irish Setter Puppies]

Best Dog Food for Irish Setter Puppies
Wellness Complete Health (Large Breed Puppy)

A dry dog food focused on the needs of large-breed puppies with balanced nutrients for slow, steady growth.

Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy


Parents of Irish setter puppies looking for quality kibble for proper development.

About: Got a beautiful Irish setter puppy to feed? Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy specifically caters to developing bones and muscles with balanced vitamins and minerals. Besides the regulars, it throws in a spread of antioxidant-loaded fruits and veggies and powerful omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and salmon oil to keep your Irish setter puppy looking gorgeous from snout to tail and aid in brain and eye development. Plus, it says a big “No” to corn, soy, and wheat that may trigger allergies or intolerances in some pups.

First Five Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Ground Brown Rice, & Salmon Meal


  • Cluckin’ Fantastic: Chicken (the real deal, mind you) rules the roost here, serving up a protein-rich, tantalizing meal your Irish setter puppy will swoon over.
  • Probiotic Power: Important news flash – gut health is key! This food brings in the cavalry with four different probiotic strains, ensuring your pup’s tummy gets well-rounded support.
  • Twist of Taurine: Canine heart health is supported with the inclusion of taurine.
  • Grains of Nutrition: A variety of wholesomely nutritious grains are mixed into this kibble, providing your furball with essential nutrients and energy.
  • Made in the USA: Crafted with love and care in the USA, this food promises top-tier quality and safety – only the best for our Irish setter sweeties!

Ingredients List

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Ground Brown Rice, Salmon Meal...,

Oatmeal, Barley, Oats, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Flaxseed, Tomatoes, Salmon Oil, Carrots, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salt, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Shidigera Extract, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Garlic Powder, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product , Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract


  • Designed to promote healthy growth in soon-to-be-big barkers, like Irish setter puppies
  • Flavor gets a paw’s up from most doggos
  • Packed with awesome extras, like probiotics


  • Pricing is on the higher side
  • Multi-protein recipes can be a problem for some pups
Borderline Big

Large-breed puppy foods are designed for dogs who’ll eventually exceed 70 pounds in weight. But this is a bit of a tricky thing with Irish setter puppies, as they won’t always cross this threshold. Many will hover in the 60-pound range.

So, be sure to discuss your choice of food with your vet to be on the safe side.

8. Blue Wilderness Salmon Plus Wholesome Grains [Best Dog Food for Irish Setters with Joint Issues]

Best Dog Food for Irish Setters with Joint Issues
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Plus Wholesome Grains
A dry dog food that helps nourish joints with glucosamine and combats painful inflammation with omega-3 fatty acids.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy


Owners of Irish setters struggling with joint problems like arthritis.

About: Explore the magic of joint-pleasing glucosamine with Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon plus Wholesome Grains. Not only does this dry food dish up real meat as the numero uno ingredient, but it also brings in a tasty variety of produce for natural fiber and vital nutrients. Traditional grains like oatmeal and barley, coupled with alternative carb sources such as potatoes and peas, ensure your pup stays energized and satiated throughout her adventures.

First Five Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, & Barley


  • Fabulous Fatty Acids: This kibble is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that aid in skin and coat health, plus support the brain and eyes while combating inflammation – an area of concern in doggos with joint problems.
  • Protein Party: Take your pick from the salmon, chicken, or duck-based recipes – a spread that caters to the common protein lovers and the exotic taste buds as well.
  • Gut Guardian: Thanks to prebiotics and a blend of probiotics, your doggo’s digestion gets a friendly boost, aiding in firmer and happier potty times.
  • Trigger-Free: Say ta-ta to potential irritants – this kibble formula goes without corn, soy, and wheat, often known to play spoilsport with sensitive systems.
  • Proudly American: Blue prepares its dog food right here in the USA, sourcing ingredients both domestically and globally.

Ingredients List

Deboned Salmon, Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Chicken, Oatmeal, Barley...,

Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Potatoes, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Pea Protein, Potato Starch, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Salt, L-Threonine, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Dried Chicory Root, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Choline Chloride, Carrots, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary


  • The included glucosamine supports your canine’s joints
  • Omega-3 fatty acids will help combat inflammation
  • Excellent source of protein for nourishing your setter’s muscles


  • On the pricier side compared to other kibbles
  • Some dogs refuse to eat Blue’s LifeSource Bits
Pet-Care Pro Tip: Keep your Setter at a Healthy Weight

Obesity only serves to exacerbate joint problems, so — in addition to offering your dog a food fortified with joint-supporting supplements — be sure to keep your pooch at a healthy weight. This will help avoid putting any unnecessary strain on her joints.

9. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach [Best Dog Food for Irish Setters with Sensitive Skin]

Best Dog Food for Irish Setters with Sensitive Skin
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach
A kibble that is gentle on canine systems with a short ingredient list while still supplying plenty of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.
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Pet parents of setters struggling with dry, itchy skin or other dermal concerns.

About: Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon & Rice is a unique recipe tailored for pups dealing with skin woes or recurring tummy upsets. Salmon heads the ingredient list here, ensuring your dog gets a hefty dose of high-quality protein without the usual allergy-triggering meats. The plus? An infusion of prebiotic fiber supports digestion. Not a fan of salmon smells? No sweat! Try out Purina Pro Sensitive Skin & Stomach Turkey blend. The ingredients may vary slightly, but it’s just as stellar for tackling tummy troubles.

First Five Ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, & Canola Meal.


  • Easy on Ingredients: The recipe sticks to a short list of ingredients, lessening the chances of allergens or irritants sneaking in.
  • Gut Goals: With a dash of natural prebiotic fiber, this American-made blend aims to nourish and balance your Irish setter’s gut flora, bidding farewell to untidy bathroom moments.
  • Fish Oil Feast: With fish and salmon oil in the ranks, your dog gets a fantastic source of EPA and DHA for heart health, along with fatty acids for skin and coat support.
  • Grains Galore: This blend welcomes a mild rice carbohydrate to the party, straying away from the potential pitfalls of a grain-free diet.
  • No Corn Zone: You won’t find corn, wheat, or soy anywhere in the mix.

Ingredients List

Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal...,

Fish Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Salmon Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Chicory Root Inulin, Fish Oil, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, VITAMINS [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Calcium Carbonate, MINERALS [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product


  • Formulated specifically for canines with skin and stomach issues
  • Rich in healthy fats that support skin and coat condition and fight inflammation
  • Most dogs give the flavor a tail wag of approval


  • Pricing is on the high side
  • Doesn’t contain any probiotics

10. A Pup Above [Best Dog Food for Picky Irish Setters]

Best Dog Food for Picky Irish Setters
A Pup Above Fresh Food
A mouth-pleasing mash of meat, carbohydrates, veggies, and more cooked with a flavor-blossoming sous vide method.
Special Discount: Get $50 off with code K950 at checkout!
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Irish setter owners seeking a flavor-packed food that’ll please even the pickiest pupperinos.

About: A Pup Above employs sous vide cooking techniques, giving the maximum flavor punch your pooch yearns for. With a generous helping of protein, real veggies, and carbohydrates (with a choice of grain-inclusive or grain-free), this fresh dog food is geared to set your Irish setter’s tail wagging with every meal. The brand also embodies transparency, tracing its US-sourced ingredients right from the kitchen to your dog’s food bowl. Made in the good ol’ USA, each bag handily boasts a unique lot-tracing number for authenticity.

First Five Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Bone Broth, & Rice.


  • Veterinarian Validation: Each recipe from A Pup Above gets a seal of approval from vets, ensuring balanced, wholesome nutrition for your Irish setter.
  • Top-Notch Ingredients: Here’s where it gets even better – A Pup Above only employs human-grade ingredients, pushing the bar higher in quality with USDA-approved meats.
  • Bone Broth Bonus: A splash of collagen-rich bone broth not only tickles your Irish setter’s taste buds but also heightens hydration while possibly strengthening bones and digestion.
  • Protein Preferences: Chicken, beef, turkey, or pork? A Pup Above offers all of them. There’s even a sampler pack to add much-loved variety!
  • Earth Kind: Committed to greener practices, A Pup Above donates 1% of revenue towards restorative agricultural practices, champions 100% recyclable packaging, and even incorporates “ugly” produce to minimize waste.

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Bone Broth, Rice...,

apples, spinach, kale, turmeric, thyme, parsley, minerals [dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium oxide. zine amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite], vitamins [vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement]


  • Sous vide cooking methods and broth create tastebud-tempting flavor
  • Ingredient traceability offers peace of mind to concerned pet parents
  • Loaded with top-notch ingredients, including nutrient-dense organ meat
  • No subscription is required


  • Unfortunately, this food is pricey
  • This fresh dog food must be refrigerated
Pet-Care Pro-Tip: Use Toppers for Picky Pooches!

Another way to try to tempt finicky four-footers is by using delicious doggo food toppers. These are tasty and nutritious additives that will often get even the pickiest of pooches to dig right in!

Dog food toppers come in a variety of forms and flavors, so there should be one that suits your dog perfectly! 

11. Diamond Naturals Chicken & Brown Rice [Most Affordable Dog Food for Irish Setters]

Most Affordable Dog Food for Irish Setters
Diamond Naturals Chicken & Brown Rice
A premium, grain-inclusive dry dog food loaded with extras offering the best bang for your buck, including probiotics and omega-3s.
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Budget-savvy Irish setter pawrents seeking high-quality eats for less.

About: Looking for an economical but wholesome diet for your charming Irish setter? Look no further than Diamond Naturals. Despite its pocket-friendly price, each bag is crammed with top-quality proteins, nutritious carbs, and fresh produce – not falling short of some more expensive brands. It’s more than meeting basic dietary necessities; this kibble keeps your pup’s joints happy with each bite, courtesy of the joint-loving glucosamine.

First Five Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, & Chicken Fat


  • Protein Punch: This food features whole chicken and chicken meal, keeping your Irish setter’s muscles pumping.
  • Antioxidant Rich: This kibble gives your furry friend an antioxidant boost, keeping her immune system as sprightly as her tail wags.
  • Skin and Coat Care: Diamond Naturals hasn’t skimped on the omega-3s, which support healthy skin and a glossy coat. Get ready for your Irish setter to flaunt some radiant fur!
  • Real Deal, No Artificial Add-Ons: Bid adieu to artificial colors and flavors. This food keeps it authentic, ensuring no unnecessary artificial ingredients tag along.
  • Gut-Friendly Probiotics: Diamond Naturals comes packed with probiotics, ensuring your Irish setter’s digestion gets the attention (and love) it deserves.
  • Proudly American Made: Crafted by a family-operated company, this food is a labor of love from the USA.

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat...,

Grain Sorghum, Dried Yeast, Dried Beet Pulp, Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil (Source Of DHA), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Quinoa, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Beta Carotene, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms


  • Wallet-friendly pricing for such a high-quality food
  • Loaded with extras that may save you on supplements, including probiotics and omega-3s
  • Excellent selection of recipes to choose from if chicken isn’t your setter’s favorite


  • This food tends to run out of stock frequently (probably due to its popularity)
  • Not every dog is a fan of the taste

Want more affordable options?

If you’re a pet parent on a tight budget, you should check out our comprehensive budget dog food review! We have dug up some of the best affordably priced dog foods on the market.

General Advice for Picking a Dog Food

picking pet foods

When considering the multitude of dog food options available today, every Irish setter owner needs to bear in mind three foundational principles. These help ensure your furry friend remains in peak health, from playful puppyhood to dignified adulthood.

When considering a dog food, remember:

  • Adherence to AAFCO Guidelines: Start by choosing a food specifically formulated to align with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional standards. These guidelines have been crafted to ensure every bite delivers the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your Irish setter needs throughout her life.
  • Vet’s Approval is Vital: Before you get settled on any dog food brand, a chat with your veterinarian is invaluable. Your vet possesses a wealth of knowledge about your Irish setter’s specific health needs, potential dietary issues, and the often-confusing world of dog food labeling. These insights can guide you in pinpointing the ideal food choice. 
  • Addressing Special Dietary Needs: Your Irish setter may have unique health quirks or sensitivities. Thankfully, many dog food brands nowadays offer specialized recipes to tackle various health challenges, from digestion issues to bone health to keeping your dog at a healthy weight. By opting for a food aligned with your dog’s specific health profile, you’re actively contributing to her overall well-being and comfort.

If you opt for a food that aligns with all three guidelines, you’re probably making a wise decision for your pet. However, if you’re striving for the best of the best, there are additional areas to investigate.

Make the following inquiries about the brand and its formulation if you’re looking to sort the best from the rest:

  • Does the brand have a canine nutrition expert on their team? This professional knows the ins and outs of what dogs need in their diet and is skilled at creating balanced, nutrient-packed meals. It’s essential to check if such an expert is behind the brand’s dog food to ensure it meets the highest nutritional standards for pups.
  • How does the brand handle proteins? Properly cooking or pasteurizing proteins is crucial because it kills off any harmful bugs. Giving dogs raw or undercooked proteins can make your dog sick.
  • Is the dog food made in a Western country? The place where the food is produced can give hints about its quality. Western countries like the USA, England, Australia, and Canada typically have strict rules and checks in place for making pet food.
  • Is a whole protein the main ingredient in the dog food? The primary ingredient listed on the label makes up most of the content. If the dog food starts with a whole meat or fish, it’s likely high in protein, which is excellent for dogs.
  • Does the brand steer clear of sketchy or unnecessary ingredients? Questionable additives can be bad news for your dog’s health and trigger adverse reactions. It’s best to go for foods that focus on quality ingredients and avoid artificial colors and flavors.
  • Is the dog food enhanced with beneficial supplements? Ingredients like chondroitin and glucosamine can support your dog’s joints and keep her more active and happy.
  • Does the dog food include ingredients packed with antioxidants and omega-3s? Antioxidants support a dog’s immune system, while omega-3s help reduce inflammation and promote a shiny coat. You’ll find the first in colorful fruits and veggies and the second in fish oils and flaxseed.
  • Does your dog seem to like the taste? If your dog enjoys her food, it’s good for mealtime morale and a sign that you’re probably giving her something of high quality.
Pet-Care Pro Tip: Change Foods Gradually

It is crucial to change your dog’s food gradually to avoid any potential digestive upset or tummy trouble.

To transition your dog to a new food, start by mixing a small amount of the new food with your dog’s current food. Gradually increase the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of the old food over a period of 7 to 10 days.

This slow transition will allow your dog’s digestive system to adjust to the new food comfortably and healthily.

Best Dog Food for Irish Setters: FAQ

Irish setter dog food questions

Are you still left with questions about feeding your setter? Have loose ends or concerns? Check out the most commonly asked questions surrounding the best dog food for Irish setters and the answers.

How much should an Irish setter eat?

The amount your Irish setter needs to eat in a day varies, depending on the food you’re feeding and your canine’s age, activity level, body condition, and overall health needs. Generally speaking, an Irish setter should eat between 3 ¼ cups to 4 ½ cups of dog food daily. 

Consult your vet if you’re unsure if you’re feeding your Irish setter the correct amount of food. Too much food leaves your pup at risk of bloating and obesity, while too little will leave her hungry and potentially malnourished. Maintaining a healthy weight is critical in avoiding unnecessary stress on your setter’s joints and warding off other illnesses, like diabetes and cancer.

Do Irish setters have sensitive stomachs?

Irish setters aren’t particularly likely to have sensitive stomachs, but every doggo is unique. Signs of stomach issues include excessive gas, discomfort, and loose stools. These symptoms warrant a trip to the vet to rule out sickness. From there, you can work out if the issues are caused by a food intolerance or something more serious.

The Irish setter’s deep-chested build also leaves her at risk of a life-threatening stomach condition called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), which is more commonly known as bloat. Preventing bloat isn’t always possible, but you can reduce your setter’s risk by feeding her multiple small meals daily, combining wet dog food and kibble, and not exercising your pup after mealtime.

What are common problems with Irish setters?

Irish setters can suffer from several health issues, including an eye issue called progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism. The breed may also suffer from epilepsy and osteochondritis dissecans. Regular vet checkups and high-quality dog food can spot problems early, though diet alone can’t prevent these mutt maladies.

Are Irish setters prone to allergies?

Like any doggo, Irish setters can suffer from allergies, including food and environmental sensitivities. Allergies may lead to painful hot spots and chronic ear infections, leaving your barker miserable. Other symptoms include frequent scratching or biting at the skin, excessive shedding, and paw licking. 
If your suspect allergies may be bothering your barker, contact your vet. 

Do Irish setters eat a lot?

Irish setters can weigh over 70 pounds, landing your woofer in the large-breed dog category, so she’s sure to eat more than smaller pups. That said, this beauty shouldn’t gobble down excess calories just because she’s bigger than other barkers. Stick to the feeding instructions listed on your doggo’s food, and consult your vet if you think your pup needs more or less grub.


Choosing the right food for your Irish setter can make all the difference in her health, energy levels, and overall well-being. As you navigate the numerous options available, always prioritize your setter’s unique nutritional needs, ensuring she gets the balance of proteins, fats, and essential nutrients she deserves. After all, these elegant dogs are not just pets; they’re cherished members of our families. 

We’d love to hear from you – what has been your experience finding the perfect food for your Irish setter? Have you found one that works well for your adult Irish setter (or your Irish setter pup, for that matter)? Or what about one that hasn’t worked at all?

Let us know in the comments below! 

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