What Is The Healthiest Dog Food? What Should I Feed My Pup?

Dog Food


Meg Marrs


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It’s important for all owners to find healthy dog food for their fur babies capable of providing the nutrition necessary to live a long, happy life.

But finding the healthiest dog food for your specific pet isn’t always easy.

Given the myriad options available, it’s very difficult for many owners to even know where to begin. And wading through the hype some manufacturers use complicates matters further.

But don’t worry — we’re here to help!

We’ll explain the things you’ll want to look for when picking the healthiest dog food for your pet and provide you with a few of the best options, so you can instantly narrow down your potential choices.

Let’s jump right in!

The 16 Healthiest Dog Foods: Nutritious Noms for Your Pet!

healthy dog food

Now that you know some of the things you’ll want to look for when picking some meals for your mutt, we’ll share some of the healthiest dog foods on the market today. We’ll detail the main features of each, provide you with a sample ingredient list, and lay out 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.

1. Ollie

Healthiest Overall Food
Ollie Human-Grade Dog Food

Fresh, human-grade dog food that's uniquely formulated to address your dog's specific needs.

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

About: If you’re seeking a high-quality dog food that is as good for your dog’s health as it is for his taste buds, you’ll definitely have to consider Ollie.

Ollie’s vet-formulated, human-grade dog foods are well-loved by most dogs and serve as an excellent way to nourish your four-footer. Custom-crafted for your canine and available in several flavors, Ollie’s recipes are exactly what many pooches and pet parents want in dog food.


  • Minimally processed, human-grade, fresh dog food
  • Great source of whole protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Includes fiber-rich vegetables like spinach and carrots
  • Comes with a leftover container and portion scoop for easy serving
  • Ollie gives 1% of all revenue to rescues and shelters
  • Ollie has a special deal for our readersget 50% off your first order when you use code K9OFMINE at checkout!

Ingredients (Chicken Recipe):

Ingredients List

Chicken, carrots, peas, rice, chicken liver...,

potatoes, spinach, dicalcium phosphate, whole dried eggs, fish oil, blueberries, chia seeds, calcium carbonate, iodized salt, cod liver oil, zinc gluconate, rosemary, copper gluconate, choline bitartrate, vitamin E supplement, manganese gluconate, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2)


  • These meals are customized for your specific pet
  • They feature high-quality, human-grade ingredients
  • Even picky eaters go crazy for the taste of this dog food
  • These recipes are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee


  • These recipes are pretty pricey
  • You’ll have to sign up for a subscription to order this dog food

Think Ollie may be the best pick for your pet? Check out our hands-on review to learn more about these recipes!

2. Nom Nom  

Healthiest Food Runner Up
Nom Nom

Premium, custom-formulated fresh dog food that's made from top-notch, US-sourced ingredients.

Special Discount: New customers can get 50% off!
Buy Now (Get 50% Off) Read Our Review

About: Whether you have a picky pooch or simply want to give your dog one of the most nutritious dog foods around, Nom Nom recipes are definitely worthy of consideration.

Like many other fresh dog foods, these recipes are made in the USA, but unlike many other pet food brands, Nom Nom uses only US-sourced ingredients in their recipes. This allows many dog moms and dads to rest easy, knowing their pet’s food is one of the safest around.


  • This premium dog food is made in the USA with only US-sourced ingredients
  • Nom Nom prepares their dog food in small batches for maximum quality
  • No subscription required to order
  • These dog foods are prepped in zero-waste facilities
  • These recipes are formulated for your specific dog and shipped to your front door

Ingredients (Turkey Recipe):

Ingredients List

Ground turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, spinach...,

dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, citric acid, potassium chloride, salt, water sufficient for processing, fish oil, choline bitartrate, natural flavor, vinegar, iron amino acid chelate, taurine, zinc gluconate, vitamin E supplement, copper gluconate, niacin (vitamin B3), manganese gluconate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), selenium yeast, riboflavin (vitamin B2), cholecalciferol (source of vitamin D3), potassium iodide, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement.


  • These dog foods are made exclusively with US-sourced ingredients 
  • Most dogs go crazy for the taste of these recipes 
  • These recipes are customized for your specific pet
  • No subscription is required for ordering


  • Dog food is relatively expensive
  • A few Nom Nom recipes are grain-free (may work for dogs with a grain sensitivity, but not every pooch)

3. A Pup Above

Another Healthy Fresh Dog Food
A Pup Above

Nutritious, fresh dog food that includes lot-tracing information for all ingredients.

Special Discount: Get $50 off with code K950 at checkout!
Buy Now Read Our Review

About: Picking a dog food made with US-sourced ingredients is always a good step for ensuring that your dog gets the safest, most nutritious dog food. But what if you want to take things even further? What if you want to know exactly where the ingredients in your dog’s food came from?

Well, A Pup Above has you covered! Each of their dog foods comes with a lot-tracing number, so you can Sherlock Holmes your way to worry-free pet feeding.


  • These dog food recipes are minimally processed to preserve their nutritional value
  • Contains bone broth for flavor and possible bones and GI benefits
  • Feature human-grade ingredients, such as USDA meat
  • All dog food recipes were designed by veterinarians 
  • No subscription required

Ingredients (Beef Recipe):

Ingredients List

Beef, beef liver, russet potatoes, tomatoes, beef bone broth,...,

carrots, green peas, safflower oil, turmeric, thyme, parsley, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium oxide, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, potassium iodide,sodium selenite, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement.


  • Each bag comes with a tracking system for the ingredients included 
  • No subscription is required
  • Tasty, nutritious organ meats are included


  • The packaging can make serving slightly tricky
  • We’d prefer if more omega-3-rich ingredients were included for skin health

4. The Farmer’s Dog

Healthiest Environmentally-Friendly Dog Food
The Farmer’s Dog

Nutritious, high-quality, US-made fresh dog food made by a forward-thinking, eco-conscious manufacturer.

Special Discount: With K9 of Mine, you can get 50% off your first order!
Buy Now (Get 50% Off) Read Our Review

About: The Farmer’s Dog is a fresh dog food company that delivers high-quality, custom-made dog food for your floof. These recipes are is customized based on your dog’s activity level, age, and a variety of other data points, which are collected via an in-depth online survey when you sign up.

Best of all, this manufacturer employs a number of eco-friendly practices for environmentally conscious owners.


  • These foods are prepared in US-based, USDA kitchens
  • Each food is fortified with the manufacturer’s proprietary nutrient blend
  • These super-fresh meals are delivered within a few days of being cooked
  • Foods are packed in biodegradable insulation materials
  • The individual meals are pre-portioned for convenience
  • Exclusive deal: get 50% off your first order of The Farmer’s Dog!

Ingredients List

Beef, beef liver, tomatoes, greenpeas, carrots...,

russet potatoes, safflower oil, turmeric, thyme, parsley, minerals [dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium oxide, zinc 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].


  • These foods are crafted in conjunction with a very detailed questionnaire
  • The eco-friendly dog food packaging used is biodegradable
  • You can compost the insulation materials used or dissolve them in water


  • A subscription is required to order these foods
  • These meals are some of the most expensive ones around

5. Raised Right Original Turkey

Healthiest Dog Food without Synthetic Vitamins
Raised Right Original Turkey
A meat-forward recipe made with human-grade ingredients and without synthetic vitamins.
Buy on Raised Right

About: Raised Right Original Turkey is a fresh dog food option made using human-grade ingredients free of synthetic vitamins, instead relying on natural sources of wellness like protein, organ meat, and produce. Gently cooked to preserve flavor, nutrients, and texture, this food’s a solid choice that tastes as great as it looks.


  • Real meat is always the first ingredient
  • Omega-3s support skin and coat health
  • Limited-ingredient nature easy to skim for potential triggers for your pup’s sensitivities
  • Made in the USA

Options: Available in 11 recipes, including Original Turkey, Original Pork, and Beef & Pumpkin.

Ingredients List

Turkey Thigh, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Carrots, Blueberries,...,

Organic Spearmint, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Shell Powder, Flaxseed Oil, Organic Dried Kelp


  • Free of synthetic vitamins and other questionable ingredients that give some owners pause
  • Dogs go gaga for the flavor and texture
  • Company has several eco-friendly practices to reduce plastic waste around the world


  • Definitely on the pricier side
  • Requires refrigeration, which isn’t everyone’s favorite

6. Open Farm

Healthiest Food with Top-Notch Ingredient Tracing
Open Farm Homestead Turkey (Fresh)

A fresh, gently cooked option that provides the chance for owners to see where each and every ingredient originates.

Use the code “AFF20” to get 20% off your first auto-ship order!

Buy on Open Farm Our Review

About: Are you the kind of pet parent who wants to know EVERYTHING that goes into your dog’s food? Do you also want a food made with non-GMO produce and Humane Certified proteins? Well, Open Farm has you covered.

In addition to simply being delicious, nutritious dog foods, Open Farm’s Fresh Food lineup (as well as all of their other foods) provides owners with a way to see where each and every ingredient originates. This kind of sourcing and ingredient tracing allows you to rest easy knowing that your dog is only getting the healthiest food possible.


  • Packed with omega-3s and antioxidants for coat and immune health
  • Made with only Certified Humane proteins and non-GMO produce
  • Eco-friendly packaging can be recycled
  • Available in 4 different recipes and a puppy formula
  • Manufactured in the USA

Ingredients (Harvest Turkey Recipe):

Ingredients List

Humanely Raised Turkey, Kale, Carrots, Apples, Butternut Squash,...,

Pumpkin, Water, Flaxseed, Coconut Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Salmon Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Chia Seeds, Chicory Root, Choline Chloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Dried Kelp, Turmeric, Cinnamon.


  • We love that Open Farm only uses Certified Humane meats
  • The produce included is non-GMO
  • Eco-friendly packaging can be recycled
  • Full of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies


  • Like all fresh foods, these are a bit pricey
  • We’d prefer if the recipe were grain-inclusive

7. Pet Plate

Most Convenient Healthy Food

Veterinary-designed recipes shipped in pre-portioned, microwavable containers for maximum convenience.

Buy on PetPlate Buy on Chewy

About: Look, we get it — it can sometimes be a bit of a chore to prepare fresh dog food for your four-footer’s dinner. But fortunately, there’s a super-convenient option available for busy pet parents.

Pet Plate offers premium, human-grade dog foods that are shipped in pre-portioned, microwavable containers so that you can serve your canine companion with ease. 


  • These vet-designed dog food recipes are made in USDA kitchens
  • The meals come in pre-portioned containers you can simply heat and serve
  • Dog food recipes are made with human-grade ingredients in the US-based kitchens
  • Omega 3-rich recipes help support coat health
  • Recipes include canine “superfoods,” such as sweet potatoes  

Ingredients (Chicken Recipe):

Ingredients List

Chicken, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chicken liver, apples...,

butternut squash, dicalcium phosphate, salmon oil, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, parsley, proprietary supplement blend (vitamin E, zinc oxide, ferrous fumarate, copper gluconate, manganese gluconate, potassium iodide, vitamin D3)


  • The pre-portioned, microwavable containers are incredibly convenient
  • You can choose between a topper or full meal plan
  • Most dogs go nuts for Pet Plate’s recipes


  • Disposable containers aren’t exactly environmentally friendly
  • You can’t order samples or one-off meals (a subscription is required)

8. Spot & Tango UnKibble

Healthiest Air-Dried Dog Food
Spot & Tango Unkibble

Made with human-grade ingredients and gently cooked, this is a tasty and affordable alternative to fresh dog food.

Special Discount: Get 50% off your first order when you use code K9OFMINE50
Buy Now (Get 50% Off)

About: Looking for a happy medium between a premium (read: expensive) fresh dog food and more affordable mutt meal options? “UnKibble” from Spot & Tango is an innovative product that may be the perfect choice.

Custom-crafted for your pooch and made with the same kind of premium, whole ingredients fresh brands use, this veterinarian-developed kibble-like dog food is raising eyebrows and getting tails wagging. It’s technically a dry dog food, but offers many of the same benefits that a fresh food would.


  • Made in the USA with human-grade ingredients
  • Veterinarian-developed recipes
  • Choose from 3 protein options (chicken, beef, & cod)
  • Shipped directly to you from the manufacturer 
  • Gently dried and processed to maximize nutritional value
  • Get 50% off your first Spot & Tango order when you use code K9OFMINE50

Ingredients (Beef Recipe):

Ingredients List

Beef, Barley, Flax, Carrots, Green beans...,

Beef liver, Beef heart, Beets, Cranberries, Rosemary, Kelp, Salt, Mixed tocopherols, Cellulose powder, Fish oil, L-tryptophan, Choline chloride, Organic zinc proteinate, Potassium chloride, Rosemary extract, Iron amino acid chelate, Vitamin E supplement, Organic selenium yeast, Calcium carbonate, Beet, Tomato, Broccoli, Carrot, Spinach, Orange, Cherry, Cranberry, Strawberry, Apple, Blueberry, Pumpkin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Folic acid


  • These meals are more affordable than most fresh frozen dog food options 
  • We love the inclusion of salmon oil and organ meats
  • You’ll receive a customized scoop for your pooch  


  • UnKibble can only be purchased through a subscription model
  • The inconsistent shape of this kibble won’t work well in puzzle feeders

9. Blue Buffalo

Healthiest Mainstream Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Lamb & Rice

Providing a great combination of quality and nutritional value, this line of food works well for most dogs.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

About: While some owners need a super-premium food to suit their pet’s unique needs, many dogs will do just fine on a nutritious mainstream option. Blue Buffalo is an excellent example of this type of dog food, as it strikes an excellent balance between affordability and quality.

Made with premium proteins, omega-3-rich ingredients, nutritious produce, and fortified with joint supplements and probiotics for digestive health, this dry dog food checks off almost all the boxes owners want without costing a fortune. 


  • Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
  • “LifeSource Bits” are a great source of antioxidants and vitamins
  • Great source of omega 3s, probiotics and joint-supportive supplements
  • Available in a wide array of flavor choices and size-specific offerings
  • A whole, lean protein is paired with healthy whole grains

Ingredients (Fish & Brown Rice Recipe): 

Ingredients List

Whitefish, Menhaden Fish Meal (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal...,

Pea Starch, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (Source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Chicken Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Pea Protein, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Garlic, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, 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), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, 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.


  • Blue Buffalo offers a wide range of kibble types to accommodate just about every dog
  • For such an impressive ingredient list, these dry dog foods are very affordable 
  • This dog food seems to regularly improve coat condition


  • Picky pups may pick around the LifeSource Bits
  • These dry dog foods are very popular, which occasionally causes inventory issues

10. Merrick Grain-Free Food

Healthiest Grain-Free Dog Food
Merrick Texas Beef + Sweet Potato

A premium, grain-free food that's loaded with chondroitin, glucosamine, and inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

About: While most doggos digest cooked grains without issue, a handful of four-footers need a grain-free dog food option. In these cases, you’ll want to consider this grain-free kibble from Merrick.

One of the premier grain-free dog food options on the market, this US-made dog food is packed with protein, fortified with probiotics, and made with natural antioxidant sources to support your canine companion.  


  • This dry dog food is packed with protein, boasting at more than 60% meat composition
  • These dry dog foods are formulated with several antioxidant-rich “superfoods”
  • Made without grains, soy, or gluten
  • These recipes are made in US-based, company owned facilities
  • Probiotics are included to help support gut health and proper digestion

Ingredients (Beef and Lamb Recipe):

Ingredients List

Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes...,

Potato Protein, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Flaxseed Oil, Apples, Salmon Oil, Deboned Salmon, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.


  • This is one of the most protein-packed dry dog food options on the market
  • This dog food features tons of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Includes probiotics and fiber-rich foods to promote problem-free digestion


  • Grain-free dog foods are only appropriate for dogs with grain intolerances
  • Multi-protein dog foods are not ideal for pups with food allergies

11. Nature’s Logic Sardine Meal Feast

Healthy Food with the Most Innovative Ingredient List
Nature's Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast

Featuring a nutritious combination of unusual ingredients, this dry dog food is great for pet parents looking for something different.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

About: Looking for something a little different for your doggo? This dry kibble from Nature’s Logic has a unique recipe that helps distinguish it from many of the other options on the market.

Featuring omega-3-rich sardines as the primary protein and a litany of “superfoods” to provide vitamins and antioxidants, this dry dog food even contains rarely used wholesome ingredients, such as almonds, apricots, and artichokes. And for extra pet-parent appeal, this dog food is fortified with eight different probiotic strains to support gut health.


  • Sardine meal serves as a unique, nutritious, and eco-friendly protein 
  • The dry dog food recipe is fortified with probiotics for digestive support
  • Includes fiber-rich vegetables like spinach, pumpkin seeds, and broccoli
  • Contains no chicken protein
  • Provides a unique taste for tempting picky palates

Ingredients (Sardine Recipe): 

Ingredients List

Sardine Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pumpkin Seed, Yeast Culture,...,

Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Montmorillonite Clay, Dried Kelp, Spray Dried Porcine Plasma, Dried Tomato, Almonds, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Carrot, Dried Apple, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Apricot, Dried Blueberry, Dried Spinach, Dried Broccoli, Dried Cranberry, Parsley, Dried Artichoke, Rosemary, Dried Mushroom, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Bifidium Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Pineapple Extract, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract.


  • Sardine meal is a great protein for dogs with food allergies
  • This dry dog food is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Sardines are an eco-friendly protein


  • This food is notably more expensive than most dry dog foods 
  • No whole protein appears on the ingredient list

12. Taste of the Wild High Prairie

Healthiest Exotic Protein Dog Food
Taste of the Wild High Prairie

A combination of high-quality meats make this kibble a grain-free, protein-rich powerhouse.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

About: Chicken, beef, and pork are certainly popular proteins for pooches, but some pets and their parents demand something a little more exotic. If this sounds like you or your doggo, you may want to consider Taste of the Wild.

Made with water buffalo, lamb, roasted bison, and venison, this tasty dry dog food is a great option for picky puppers, as well as those who simply need a protein-packed diet to fuel their four-footed adventures.


  • Made with several novel and tasty protein sources
  • Contains canine “superfoods,” such as blueberries and raspberries
  • Fortified with probiotics to support digestion
  • This recipe is suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes (including large breeds) 
  • Ocean fish meal included to provide omega-3 fatty acids

Ingredients (High Prairie Recipe): 

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.


  • This kibble features unusual protein sources like water buffalo, bison, and venison
  • This dry dog food recipe is full of antioxidant-rich produce
  • This recipe is suitable for all life stages and breed sizes


  • Multiple protein sources can cause problems for dogs with allergies
  • This dog food appears to cause excessive gas in some cases

13. CANIDAE All Life Stages

Healthiest Food for Multi-Dog Families
Canidae Premium Dog Food

Formulated for dogs of all life stages and sizes, this kibble makes it easy to offer your whole pack a healthy dog food.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

About: Picking the healthiest dog food for a single four-footer is tricky enough; selecting one that’ll keep an entire pack of pooches happy is even more challenging.

But fortunately, there are solutions — like this all-life-stages kibble from CANIDAE. A multi-protein dry dog food designed to nourish small, large, young, and old dogs alike, this is a tasty and nutritious option that’ll work well for most multi-pet families.


  • Made with poultry-based proteins to please your dog’s palate
  • This kibble features tons of omega 3s to combat inflammation and support joint health
  • Includes probiotics to promote problem-free digestion
  • Suitable for all ages and breeds 
  • This dry dog food recipe contains no corn, wheat, or soy

Ingredients (Multi-protein Recipe): 

Ingredients List

Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Oatmeal...,

Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Lentils, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, White Rice, Lamb Meal, Salmon Oil, Natural Flavor, Salt, Threonine, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative), Tryptophan, Zinc Sulfate, Dl-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product.


  • This flexible dog food is perfect for multi pet households
  • Despite being affordable, most dogs loved the taste of this food
  • The included probiotics help promote proper digestion


  • The multiple protein sources can be problematic for dogs with allergies
  • We’d prefer if this dry dog food included whole proteins

14. Diamond Naturals

Most Affordable Healthy Dog Food
Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Chicken and Rice

An affordable, dry food with whole chicken, nutritious grains, and stomach-soothing probiotics.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

About: Many owners have budgetary limitations that prevent them from selecting some of the most expensive dog food options on the market. But just because you aren’t rolling in dough doesn’t mean you have to settle for substandard dog food — there are super-healthy options available at budget-friendly prices.

This dry food from Diamond Naturals is an excellent example. Made with premium, whole proteins, nutritious carbs and produce, and fortified with joint supplements, this dry dog food is almost as awesome as some other options that cost twice as much.


  • Features whole chicken and chicken meal to provide suitable protein content
  • Packed with omega-3s and antioxidants for coat and immune health
  • Made in the USA by a family-owned company 
  • This dry dog food recipe incorporates plenty of omega-3s to support healthy skin and coat
  • No corn, wheat, or artificial flavors 
  • Recipe is packed with probiotics to support digestion 

Ingredients (Beef Recipe):

Ingredients List

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

Dried Yeast, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Grain Sorghum, Dried Beet Pulp, 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, 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. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms. The Facility In Which This Food Is Made Also Makes Food That May Contain Other Ingredients.


  • This is nutritious dog food that won’t break the bank
  • This dog food includes joint supporting supplements
  • Probiotics and fiber-rich ingredients are included to promote problem-free digestion


  • This dog food is frequently out of stock (likely due to its popularity)
  • This dry dog food seems slightly less appealing to four-footers than some more expensive recipes

Check out our review of the most affordable dog foods for more budget-friendly options!

15. CANIDAE Wet Food

Healthiest Canned Dog Food
Canidae All Life Stages

High-quality protein and hearty grains combine in a pup-pleasing pate-style food.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

About: While fresh dog foods tend to appeal to owners who don’t mind spending quite a bit on healthy dog foods and kibbles are often the top choice for those on tighter budgets, canned and wet dog foods provide a nice middle ground.

There aren’t as many super-healthy wet food options on the market, but there’s one — Canidae’s All Life Stages Canned Food — we think stands head-and-shoulders above the crowd. Like many other wet dog foods, this one features nutritious chicken and a taste dogs love, but the thing that makes this wet food really stick out is the inclusion of grains — a rarity among canned dog foods.


  • Includes 3 tasty chicken-based ingredients: chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver
  • It’s suitable for all life stages and all breed sizes
  • It’s made in the USA
  • Contains salmon oil to supply omega-3 fatty acids
  • Includes antioxidant-rich cranberries to boost immune function 

Ingredients (Chicken & Rice):

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Brown Rice...,

Pearled Barley, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Sunflower Oil, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Agar-agar, Choline Chloride, Canola Oil, Dried Kelp, Dried Cranberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Iron Proteinate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Riboflavin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract.


  • Most pups love the taste of this dog food
  • This is one of the few grain-inclusive wet foods on the market
  • The wet dog food is suitable for all life stages


  • Canned dog food leftovers can be challenging to store
  • This recipe lacks probiotics and joint supplements

16. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet

Healthiest Food for Dogs with Food Allergies
Natural Balance LID with Healthy Grains

A nutritious, grain-inclusive dog food designed to nourish your pet without triggering his food allergies.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

About: Dog food allergies may not be as common as many pet parents think, but they are a real obstacle for many four-footed families. But just because your dog has an allergy to one or more proteins doesn’t mean you need to skimp on the nutritional content of your pet’s food.

In fact, there’s a supremely healthy dog food option for just these kinds of pups: Natural Balance LID (Limited Ingredient Diet). Made with a relatively short list of ingredients and a novel protein, this dry dog food will keep your allergic floof healthy and itch-free.


  • A whole protein and meat meal derived from the same protein top the ingredient list
  • Features healthy grains, which may reduce the risk of DCM
  • This LID dry kibble recipe skips any ingredients that may trigger your pet’s allergies
  • Available with your choice of several proteins (including novel options)
  • Formulated with added taurine to promote heart health

Ingredients List

Duck, Duck Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran...,

Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Dl-methionine, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Citric Acid (Used As A Preservative), Lactic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.


  • Dogs seem to love the taste of this LID formula
  • Unlike many other LID recipes, this dog food is grain-inclusive
  • Natural Balance employs eco-friendly packaging processes


  • This dry food doesn’t include joint supplements or probiotics
  • No produce appears in the ingredient list (but that’s by design)

Key Features of Healthy Dog Foods: Ingredients & Other Considerations

healthy dog food ingredients

While each owner may have his or her own preferences when it comes to choosing a dog food, there are several important factors to take into consideration to ensure that your canine companion is getting the nutrients he needs.

When it comes to dog food, there are three absolute essentials you should always look for when making a choice:

1. The dog food is formulated to meet AAFCO guidelines for your dog’s life stage. In other words, you should generally avoid feeding adult dogs puppy foods and vice versa. These guidelines are designed to ensure your furry friend gets the nutrition he needs. 

2. Your dog food of choice addresses any of your dog’s unique health conditions. Whether your dog has a specific food sensitivity or needs a weight loss dog food to shed a couple of pounds, your dog food of choice should address any of your dog’s specific health ailments. 

3. You select a dog food in collaboration with your veterinarian. No one understands the needs of your furry friend better than you and your veterinarian. Your veterinarian should approve of your choice and provide you with specific serving recommendations based on your dog’s needs. 

healthy dog food

Once these criteria are met, you can look for other key indicators of healthy dog food, such as:

  • The brand has a canine nutritionist on staff. Brands that have a credentialed veterinary nutritionist on staff are generally more reliable than those that don’t. 
  • The dog food manufacturer performs regular safety checks. The most reliable companies perform regular safety inspections to ensure that dog food isn’t contaminated by bacteria, fungi, or other hazardous substances. In-house testing is great, but the best brands obtain third-party certifications for their testing. 
  • The dog food is cooked to eliminate pathogens. Raw protein can contain bacteria or other microorganisms that are harmful to dogs and pet parents. Foods that are cooked help eliminate this risk for furry friends. 
  • The dog food is made in a western country with ingredients sourced from a western country. Western countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia tend to have more stringent safety and quality-control standards than others, making these locations better sources of dog foods and their ingredients. 
  • The dog food brand owns its kitchens. Companies that own their kitchens have much greater control over the quality of their dog food. 
  • A whole, nutritious protein is near the top of the ingredients list. While there’s nothing wrong with properly labeled meat meals (such as salmon meal or beef meal), the presence of a whole protein at the top of the ingredient list is generally a good overall indicator of the dog food’s quality. 
  • The dog food includes helpful supplements. Probiotics, antioxidants, omega-3s, and joint-supporting supplements are all helpful additions (depending on your dog’s needs), and they can help you save money by avoiding the need to buy standalone supplements.
  • The dog food utilizes minimally processed whole grains. Unless your dog has a grain sensitivity, whole grains can provide a vital source of calories, vitamins, and minerals for most dogs. The best whole grains for dogs are more nutritious than processed grains with more fiber and nutrients for Fido. 

Should I Worry About Grains, DCM, and Taurine Deficiency?

grains for dogs

New research has recently come out alerting owners to the startling increase in dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding around this increase in DCM. Some veterinarians believe that BEG diets (which stands for boutique, exotic, and grain-free recipes) are causing the issue. Some suspect that the ingredients being used to replace grains in grain-free diets (such as lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes) are problematic.

The truth is that no one knows for sure what is causing the increase in DCM cases

Researchers have yet to discover what is at the root cause, and while different people have various theories, there is no definitive answer.

Rather than any specific ingredients being at fault, it could be the interactions of the ingredients, the heat treatment, or the food processing.

Generally, as has always been true, you’ll want to aim to feed your dog high-quality, animal-based proteins, and avoid dog foods which rely on plant-source proteins as their primary protein sources.

Many dogs eat BEG diets and are fine. But not all.

Ultimately, you’ll want to speak to your vet about any concerns, as they’ll be up to date on any new research breakthroughs. Talking to your vet about your dog’s diet is doubly important for breeds known to be at higher risk for DCM (including Doberman pinschers, boxers, Irish wolfhounds, Great Danes, and others).

It’s also worth noting that most dogs currently being diagnosed with DCM do not exhibit low taurine levels. Many owners have advocated for adding taurine supplements to their dogs’ diet, but in many cases taurine levels are irrelevant.

FAQ: What Is the Healthiest Dog Food?

questions about healthy dog food

What is the healthiest dog food?

There are many varieties of healthy dog food on the market, but we’d choose Ollie as our top pick for the healthiest dog food. They offer fresh, human-grade, vet-engineered dog food that’s minimally processed, made with high-quality ingredients, and super easy to digest. They have several great meat-based recipes featuring whole proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber-packed vegetables.

What is the healthiest dog food brand?

Ollie, The Farmer’s Dog, Merrick, Nature’s Logic, and Canidae are some of the healthiest and most reputable dog food brands.

What is the healthiest wet dog food?

We consider CANIDAE All Life Stages Canned Food one of the healthiest canned dog food options, as it contains hearty grains, unlike many other canned foods.

What is the healthiest dry dog food?

Spot and Tango’s UnKibble is arguably the healthiest dry food, as it’s actually fresh food with real fresh meat that’s been gently dried at super low temperatures to lock in as much nutrition and vitamins as possible.

What is the healthiest food for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

It depends on your dog’s system — all dogs are individuals with varying tolerances for different ingredients. That said, limited-ingredient diets (such as the Natural Balance Recipe discussed above) are often a great starting point for dogs with sensitive stomachs.


Those are our top picks for the healthiest dog food. Do you have any favorites from this list? What is the healthiest dog food in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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  1. david murrell Avatar
    david murrell

    You should make your dogs food. I do and my dogs are like Olympic athletes. Companies sell swill to humans to eat. What do you think is in dog food other than “a lot worse”.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, David.
      I know that’s a common sentiment, but many dog food manufacturers are owned and operated by dog owners who want nothing but the best for their customers.
      Further, the vast majority of owners are unable or unwilling to work with canine nutritionists to formulate a nutritionally sound homemade diet. And failing to do so typically results in unbalanced meals, which will cause long-term health problems.
      But thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Tom Pettigrew Avatar
    Tom Pettigrew

    What happened to Dr Marty’s Natures Blend?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      We’re planning on taking a look at Dr. Marty’s in the not-too-distant future, Tom.

  3. Melissa Avatar

    Blue Buffalo? Really? That is one of the worst dog foods ever. The FDA already said it causes an increase risk of heart disease in pets. It’s a HUGE NO!
    I feed my pom FROMM and so far it has been the best dry food ever. Stool is good, hair is shiny and it sits well with him.
    Anyway, thanks for the article.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Melissa.

      You’re welcome to disagree with our recommendations, but Blue Buffalo is a very high-quality food.

      In fact, the heart disease risk you mention (and we discuss in the article) is most strongly associated with BEG (boutique, exotic, and grain-free) diets.
      None of those three criteria apply to the Blue Buffalo recipe we discuss, but Fromm is (arguably) a boutique brand.

      We’ve discussed the DCM dog food issue before, which you may want to read.

      Nevertheless, if Fromm is working well for your dog and your vet thinks it’s a good choice, then stick with it!
      Thanks for checking out the site.

  4. Robert Lagorio Avatar
    Robert Lagorio

    Hi Meg
    I would like to hae your opinion on a dog brand called McAdams pet foods from the UK? Do you have any information on it and would you recommend it?
    Thank you in advance

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Robert.
      Not sure if Meg will have a chance to respond in the next day or two, so I’ll jump in for her!

      We’re not familiar with McAdams, but that’s not surprising as we’re based in the U.S. That said, I just took a look and it seems to be a pretty high-quality food. We love the use of free-range chicken (and humanely treated protein sources in general), and the inclusion of green-lipped mussels is a nice touch too.

      But there are some things that may be problems or at least deserving of additional thought. One is the inclusion of strange ingredients like lavender and marigold. Those aren’t necessary for keeping a dog healthy, and marigold is actually mildly toxic. But the biggest potential issue is that these foods are grain-free.

      But ultimately, you’ll want to discuss the issue with your vet and just try to make the best decision you can. Incidentally, you may want to check out our article about how owners should pick a dog food.

      Best of luck!

  5. April Avatar

    C’mon people, don’t believe everything you read–use your common sense. Taurine is an amino acid, so it’s going to be found predominantly in animal protein, not grains. Do you think you would ever see a wild dog eating corn or legumes? Of course not because they have to be cooked to be digested and corn was not even edible until we drastically changed it genetically. Think about it, who is going to benefit from this “study?” That’s right, the corn/grain industry, who also has our country hooked on a high fructose diet. Just like you should do as a human, eat what humans eat and feed your dog what a dog would eat. Dogs eat meat and occasionally pick up a root vegetable, or berries here and there to supplement if meat isn’t available. They eat the stomach contents of the herbivores they hunt and get nutrients that way. We have become a society that cannot think for ourselves.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      There’s absolutely no evidence to support your contention that this study is part of some kind of “big grain” conspiracy, April.
      We wish you and your dogs the best.

  6. Carol Avatar

    I have had German Shepherd dogs for 50 odd years. Now I am so confused with the different dog foods. Looking for the healthiest, and best product. Read all the pros and cons but nothing noted on Earthborn. Can anyone tell me the most nutritious and healthiest dog food available. Plus providing shiny coat.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Carol.

      It certainly can be overwhelming to sort through all the foods on the market. All of the foods discussed above are super-healthy options that should work for your pooch. If money is no object, it’s pretty hard to beat The Farmer’s Dog if you’d like something fresh, while Blue Buffalo is a good option for those with more limited budgets.

      We have discussed Earthborn kibble before in our Most Expensive Dog Food Brands article. Earthborn is an acceptable choice, but there are some drawbacks to it, as you can see in the linked article.

      Best of luck! Let us know what you choose!

  7. Mark Pio Boyle Avatar
    Mark Pio Boyle

    I use Orijen the senior & also Regiona Red, I find in comparison other than the fresh dog food it beats the others you have by far no meals no grain the first 12 or more ingredients are all meat. it has all the other vitamins my dogs need I considered the best on the market for dry dog food compare it you’ll see.

  8. betty gordon Avatar
    betty gordon

    Apparently you are ignoring the possible conclusions reference dilated cardiomyopathy and have listed the worst offenders in your list of healthy foods. Shame on you.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hey Betty:
      1) At this moment, there is some evidence that grain-free diets are correlated with DCM, but that is not the same thing as establishing causality. Causality may be established in the future – or we may find that it was some other factor that has been causing the uptick in DCM cases (you can read more about all this in our full article on the FDA alert). Since there is no concrete evidence that grain-free diets are causing DCM, we are hesitant to suggest that owners abandon these high-quality foods from trusted brands in favor of less trusted alternatives. Instead – talk to your vet! We recommend that owners discuss the issue with their vet, and — unless their dog has a specific intolerance or allergy to grains — feed a grain-inclusive option.

      2) A new peer-review article has actually suggested that existing research does not support the speculated link between grain-free food and DCM, and has pointed out various issues and biases with the FDA report. You can read more about that here.

      3) This list actually offers plenty of grain-inclusive foods as well as grain-free options, so take your pick!

      4) I am assuming you did not read the entire article since we have an entire section explaining our skepticism about the correlation between DCM and grain-free food in this very article. Please read the entire piece before you accuse us of ignoring evidence!

      I hope this answers all of your concerns.

      1. Stephanie Avatar

        I agree with Betty! My dog died from severe heart disease (DCM) from eating GRAIN FREE DOG FOOD. I would NEVER recommend most of the foods on this list. WOW.

        1. Ben Team Avatar

          Hey, Stephanie.

          As we’ve mentioned right in this very article (as well as severalothers), the relationship between grain-free diets and DCM is not yet fully understood.

          Regardless, we’re terribly sorry to hear about your pooch. Did your vet conclusively determine that the grain-free diet caused him or her to pass? Remember: Dogs have been suffering from DCM since well before grain-free foods hit the market. We’d love to see any documentation you are willing to share (you can email me at: Ben(at)K9ofMine.com).

          Ultimately, there’s a lot we still don’t understand about canine diets. We base our advice on current science (not simply headlines) and always recommend that owners work closely with their vet.
          Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  9. BJD Avatar

    If you have a puppy, do NOT feed them grain-free food! It can cause permanent serious heart issues!!!

  10. Robert Dudley Avatar
    Robert Dudley

    Whoa…way bad list in light of extreme problems now being linked to grain free foods. Seriously needs updating.

  11. lee haynee Avatar

    This web-site is out of date especially concerning dog nutrition Nothing wrong with feeding grains to dogs corn included

  12. Kerry Avatar

    No Kibble Is Healthy! That is a flat out lie causing all of these human diseases we now see animals- how can anyone think wheat or corn or any of that is good for dogs- they are not human – no matter how domesticated they are!

  13. kaelee Avatar

    We use Wellness brand for small bread and it’s great! I’m glad to see it on this list !!! Today I gave my dog Paco a wet food from the Wellness brand and he went crazy for it!!! Now it seems he’s hyper, and never in my life have I seen him this hyper. I’m wondering could this be good or bad? Paco usually has low to moderate energy. He’s definitely on the chill side of life. Maybe this food gave him some nutrtion he was not getting from the dry food?

  14. James Nagaj Avatar
    James Nagaj

    ORIJEN, is by far the best on the market!!! At $90 a 25lb bag, ya’ll know the saying, ” you buy what you pay for” !!!

  15. Laura bella Avatar
    Laura bella

    We have been feeding our spayed 12+ year old Lab mix Call of the Wild for many years. She still runs/trots two to three miles most days of the week in the chaparral with a vertical climb of 300+ feet. She also has to keep up with our 2year old Belgian Malinois. (think GSD “on steroids). She has always had gorgeous shining silly fur, never had bad breath. Her teeth are”wonderful” according to our well-known Vet of 20 years. We are life long health advocates for humans and animals–domesticate and wild. We are also old enough to remember the horrors of diseases that have been “eradicated” by modern medicine research.
    Finally, we noticed that the surveys for Call… are from FIVE thousand individuals whereas the other surveys are from Two+ thousand down to fewer than two HUNDRED!!
    Dogs rule. Laura Bella

  16. Anna Avatar

    Has anyone ever heard of Nature’s Logic or Redraw-X? These 2 were recommended by my breeder.

  17. Tatyana Avatar

    A few of these brands were released in an article which stated it is giving dogs canine heart disease. The brands listed were Acana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, 4Health, Blue Buffalo, etc. https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/28/us/dog-food-linked-to-canine-heart-disease/index.html

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Tatyana.
      Several articles like that have been all over my news feed today, but this issue has been around for a little while. We’d point out that the link between DCM and grain-free foods is still not completely understood.
      We just posted an article about the issue here, which we’d encourage all of our readers to check out.

      Personally, I feed my dog Blue Buffalo Large Breed Chicken and Rice (which is obviously not a grain-free recipe), and I plan to keep doing so unless and until my vet recommends otherwise or my pooch starts displaying any troubling symptoms.
      Thanks for reading and sharing the link!

      1. jeff cuthbert Avatar
        jeff cuthbert

        please stop the blue buffalo they had a mould problem that was killing dogs look it up they don’t care about your pet

        1. Ben Team Avatar

          Hey, Jeff.

          Unfortunately, this is an example of what I’d consider an overreaction. The mold issue you’re referencing happened in 2016, and it involved only a single recipe that was packaged during a 2-hour window.

          Recalls unfortunately happen — there’s just no getting around it. Human foods are recalled all the time, but they rarely change our buying habits regarding our own foods.
          Dole, White Castle, Whole Foods Market, and Nestle (among dozens of other companies) have initiated recalls since late October. But many of us still continue to purchase products made from these companies.

          The best approach, in my view, is to pick a good food for your pup, stick to high-quality manufacturers (which I’d consider Blue Buffalo to be), and then examine the food and stay informed about new recalls.
          Best of luck!

  18. Ashley Passino Avatar
    Ashley Passino

    Blue Buffalo, Fromm, Merrick… All foods that have repeatedly been recalled…. And they have managed to get on the best foods list??? Really… I think I will stick to the raw food for my dog… No recalls and the vet says he is the healthiest patient he has!

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      We don’t consider a recall a strike against a manufacturer. All items will have recalls from time to time – what is more important is did the company do a voluntary recall when they realized their mistake, or were they forced to do a recall from the FDA or similar groups? We’ve only ever found records of Merrick recalling (voluntarily) treats, not food. Fromm’s last recall was for a canned foot in 2016 and voluntarily recalled. Blue Buffalo did a voluntary recall of a wet food in 2017. All these were done without any reports from owners of dogs even getting sick or ill – they were done by the companies voluntarily. I’d trust a company that does that over raw food, which is very dangerous if not handled properly for owners and dogs! However, if you have a food that’s working for you, by all means stick with it. But fear-mongering about recalls is misleading for most owners and not fair in my opinion.

  19. Meg Marrs Avatar

    Hi Steven – Hills Science Diet is not generally a food we recommend. They do have a number of prescription lines that may be temporarily beneficial for dogs with specialized health issues, but generally Hills Science is a low quality food. While exact recipes vary, they often do not even feature meat as the #1 ingredient, and usually include fillers like corn and generally low protein levels.

    1. Patty Yeskie Avatar
      Patty Yeskie

      Can you please tell me what kind of raw diet you would feed Chihuahuas

  20. Linda Avatar

    Is gentle giants a high quality dog food ,I saw bert ward on inside edition that’s the guy who played Robin on the original TV batman, he has hundreds of large breed giant,like the Irish wolfhound, mastiff, and large dogs like that ,he call them gentle giants, and usually they live anywhere from 8 to 10 years, but he came up with a dog food called gentle giants that he feeds all of his dogs, he rescues them ,train them , and takes very good care of them, and some of them are 24 yrs old and older, and his brand is in Walmart, did you all check it out

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Gentle Giant tends to have pretty low protein levels, probably not the best choice.

  21. Jane Nichilo Avatar

    What do you think about Instinct brand? I randomly started my puppy on it and she loves it, but I have to decide whether to continue or switch?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Jane. We like Instinct and think that it’s a pretty good brand.
      If it’s working for your pup, and your vet is on-board with the choice, I’d say stick with it!

  22. Jeannette Wilson Avatar
    Jeannette Wilson

    I just came across this site love it very informative I have eight dogs very concerned about what they eat will be checking out the list that you provided thank you so very much for being so concerned about all dogs.

  23. Tom Acheson Avatar
    Tom Acheson

    Recently I heard a commercial on the radio that, to me was very disturbing. This lady was talking about her dog that she had lost. He was a 6 yr old Great Dane. He died from a form of cancer. She believes it was caused by the ingredients in his dog food. So I am trying to find the right food for my dog Bandit. He is a 3 yr old Pitbull. Regardless of all the breed negative reviews he is the most well behaved dog I have ever had. I don’t want poison him with his own food!!! Thanks for the information.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hey Tom! It’s great to investigate what you’re feeding your dog, but I would say to exercise a bit of skepticism when hearing people online claim that X dog food killed their dogs. I think in many cases these people are upset and grieving about the loss of their dog, and looking for someone to blame. There are many reasons why dogs may become sick, just like there are many reasons humans become sick. Usually there isn’t much proof to claim that a certain dog food brand is responsible. So of course be discerning, but it’s also worth keeping in mind that most large-scale manufactured dog foods are generally safe for your pooch.

      1. DANNY DAVIS Avatar

        More than a “bit” of scepticism for me. Folks get very emotional about their dogs!! Few people have any real sense regarding their own food, let alone their animals. The internet has made it possible for all of us to know everybody’s crazy ideas!
        “Natural, Homeopathic, Paleo, Organic, Vegan DOG FOOD?!?!? Anyone stop to wonder how we all managed to “get by” in the Thousands of Years that we Dogs & Humans have been together?
        Modern convenience packaged Dog Food is another feature of our now very spoiled existence!
        We used to hunt together spending most of our short lives working to find enough to eat!!
        This spoiled “pack” including me are carnivores! I feed my three dogs – ages 12 to 13 years – Purina kibbles plus cooked meat that I eat.
        They love to eat and are all very healthy dogs that still act like puppies! Obviously no nutritional shortcomings at all.
        I’ve had dogs all my life. I have fed them various brands thru the decades along with meat and vegetables that I eat.
        I’ve never had an issue related to food with any of my pups.
        Regards, Danny

  24. Steven Crouch Avatar
    Steven Crouch

    I’ve used Hills Science Diet since getting my Corgi, Oliver. Is Science Diet not a quality dog food?

    1. Lilia Avatar

      I would stick to feeding that if it works for your dog. Their foods are well formulated by their staff (who remain there for oversight) and proven to be well balanced. A lot of other foods can’t claim that.

    2. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hi Steven – Hills Science Diet is not generally a food we recommend. They do have a number of prescription lines that may be temporarily beneficial for dogs with specialized health issues, but generally Hills Science is a low quality food. While exact recipes vary, they often do not even feature meat as the #1 ingredient, and usually include fillers like corn and generally low protein levels. However, if your vet has recommended it, try to find out why and ask what other options they’d suggest.

  25. Tabitha Avatar

    Blue has 2 major class actions for misrepresenting their products. Linked to renal failure in canines. Largest class action in the history of pet food. My dog is in renal failure after eating Blue.

    Merrick was bought out by Nesle so if you’ve been reading about their human food products, then you might want to do your homework.

    I’ve gone back to ole school cooking for my pet pals: meat, white rice, veggies & vitamin powder.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Tabitha. So sorry to hear that your pooch is in poor health. 🙁

      Has your vet conclusively determined that his kidney failure is the result of eating Blue Buffalo? We’d love to see any documentation you’d be willing to share (feel free to email me at Ben(at)K9ofmine(dot)com).

      There’s a lot of misinformation about Blue Buffalo on the internet, and we find ourselves correcting the record pretty frequently.

      So, please forgive me for copying and pasting the following information:


      Blue Buffalo does appear to have screwed up with regard to labeling at one point, and they paid dearly for the mistake (in the form of a $32 million class-action lawsuit).

      But note that this lawsuit primarily revolved around the inclusion of things like poultry by-products, corn, and other ingredients that — while not ideal — aren’t dangerous for most pups. Blue Buffalo explained that the problem resulted from miscommunications with their supplier.

      You can read more about the lawsuit here:

      Blue Buffalo has initiated a couple of recalls over the last decade or so, but most have only involved a very narrow range of products.

      Note that the infamous “lead recall” that many people discuss never actually happened.

      What really happened: An owner sued the company over an allegedly high level of lead in a Blue Buffalo food, but the lawsuit was dismissed, and evidence confirming the presence of elevated lead levels has never been presented.

      You can read the judge’s ruling here:

      The last recall the company initiated only related to one specific recipe (Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs). This recall was initiated due to high levels of cow thyroid hormone in the food.

      You can read more about this recall on the FDA’s website: https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls/ucm547335.htm


      Finally, I’d strongly recommend feeding your dog a commercially produced food that meets or exceeds the AAFCO guidelines.

      Despite the best intentions of many owners, homemade diets are almost always a bad idea. Simply put, very few owners have the necessary knowledge and expertise to properly balance a custom-made diet.

      Don’t take our word for it though — check out what the AVMA has to say about the issue:

      Thanks for reading, and let us know how things go for your pup. We’ve got our fingers crossed for him/her!

  26. mike Avatar

    Meg marrs, what do you feed your friend

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Right now Ellie and Lucy get Blue Buffalo. 🙂

      1. Marty’s Mom Avatar
        Marty’s Mom

        Are you still feeding your pups BB? This is the best food match we have found for our Chi-Terrier mix (we’ve tried a handful!) He seems to do very well on it but I’m scared of everything I’ve read online about the BB…

        1. Meg Marrs Avatar

          Hi Marty’s Mom! I switched to Nutro and am definitely a fan! I wouldn’t worry too much about the horror stories online. I think people like to blame BB since they are a big brand but most of the claims against them seem unwarranted and aren’t backed with any legitimate data.

  27. Marilyn Avatar

    I am currently still searching for the best dry dog food for our 84 pound, 5 year old spayed mixed lab. She is prone to UTIs and I refuse to put her on Hill’s KD unless other things don’t work.
    I switched from Blue Buffalo light adult dry dog food to Zignature about 5 months ago to get her weight down, but not give her too much protein. It’s working well so far. She went from 94 to 84 pounds. She has eaten four different flavors and she is enjoying them. She gets 2 cups of dry per day, less than what the bag requires for her weight. She also gets an occasional carrot and one scrambled egg 2 times a week.
    We work. We take her on half hour to one hour walks two times a day plus all the other potty breaks.
    A good quality food is very important to me. But everyone should remember that too much protein 30% and higher for a non active dog is not good. Also too many carbohydrates in dog food can lead to diabetes. Be sure to calculate that with your dog food.
    Our dog gets 2 teaspoons of nonfat plain yogurt with one of her feedings. Three weeks ago we stated to give her one cranberry table twice a day.
    There are a lot of pros and cons to the different dry dog foods.
    I talked to a customer at the pet store & she gives her diabetic dog the kangaroo flavor.
    I met a young couple in their early 30’s at another visit & they give the kangaroo flavor for their lab with skin issues.
    I really don’t know the answer.

    1. Judy Avatar

      After I had my Abbie tested for allergies, the allergist recommended a kangaroo based diet. Said that it was the best for allergies. That’s when I searched and found Zignature Kangaroo.
      She loved it, but now it’s listed as one of the possible foods that could cause DCM because it’s grain free. So know I’m going to talk to my vet.

  28. Deborah G Avatar
    Deborah G

    Hi are you familiar TLC puppy dog food? MY puppy was on it and it is recommended by breeder.

  29. Robin Avatar

    Wow, I’m looking for information on dog food and here someone with a few lines turned it to a political site. I was thinking why would anyone take one strangers own personal statement. Check it out yourself to see if it’s true before making a decision. Reading the comments the family no longer owns the company and drop the mic! Correct!.
    We care about what we are feeding our dogs and hope to get information and comments from other pet owners.
    I have been using Taste of Wild for my year old Rot since he was a puppy. He is shedding horrible and he is currently an inside dog. I used Blue Buffalo prior for my other large dogs(Old English Mastiff and 2 Rots) allat one time and they hardly ever lost hair like this. It’s been a few years since I lost my last friend and I’m sure a lot has changed in the foods since several individual owners has sold out to larger manufacturers. My Rot is not overweight and has no idea what table scraps are. He also has a hot spot and i’ve been reading Taste of Wild has given other dogs skin issues. I want to keep him healthy but asking for suggestions.

  30. Jeanne Avatar

    This is an outrageous list of dog foods you say is the top brands. I see that you must be getting paid off by these big commercial companies or you don’t do your research. TOTW(made by Diamond) is in a lawsuit right now because their food contains pesticides, arsenic, BPA, Cadmum, Mercury, Lead and Acrylamide. Champion which makes Acana and Orijen is also in a lawsuit and was in the process to sell to Purina. Blue Buffalo had one of the biggest recalls in history and is currently in another lawsuit for pets suffering/dying from kidney failure. Beneful killed my friends dog!!! That product shouldn’t even be on the shelves and why would people feed their beloved pet that contains these toxic ingredients. Corn is a filler as is wheat and soy. Not meant for pet consumption but hey it’s cheap for these commercial dog food companies to profit. They only care about the money….not the health of your pet. Buying cheap means you will spend more money later with the vet bills while trying to save him/her. Pretty sad that my dog’s food isn’t even on this list and has never been recalled!!! It’s developed by a Holistic Vet and is the healthiest I have seen in the market. It’s shipped fresh to your door within 6 weeks of being made. There isn’t another company that compares. I fed Acana (quit eating, hot spots, ear infections and loose stools), Orijen(same as Acana), Victor (poop like tar), TOTW (before I did research, causing loose stools and throwing up), Holistic Select(loose stools/diarrhea).

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hi Jeanne – thanks for commenting and for contributing your own thoughts on various dog foods. I’d love to address a few of the issues you raise to help clarify things for readers. First, Taste of the Wild is in the middle of a lawsuit, but this doesn’t in and of itself signal any wrongdoing. The individual who is the plaintiff in this case tested Taste of the Wild food in his own home and determined himself that the food had heavy metals including arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium, as well as pesticides, acrylamide, and BPA.

      Heavy metals alone aren’t a cause for alarm. In fact, heavy metals are found in tap water too. The plaintiff’s complaint is that the heavy metals are present in the food – NOT that there is an unusual or dangerous amount of heavy metals (as determined by the EPA). It seems a largely baseless allegation.

      As far as Blue Buffalo, I’m not sure what lawsuit you are referring to, but I am assuming it’s regarding the high amount of lead found in Blue Buffalo. This was another situation where the plaintiff decided to do his own testing at home, and appears unsubstantiated. You can read more about this case on Snopes.com: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/does-blue-buffalo-contain-toxic-levels-lead/

      While Blue Buffalo did have a recall for one wet formula due to elevated levels of beef thyroid, this was a voluntary recall on Blue Buffalo’s part, and no reports of sick or ill pets was received by their customer support team. Instead, Blue Buffalo took the initiative and issued a recall, even without complaint from customers. I consider voluntary recalls a huge vote of confidence for a brand, and the quality of Blue Buffalo is largely solid. I think owners can rest easy at night knowing that – when there is an issue – Blue Buffalo will take the initiative and issue a recall themselves, rather than waiting until they are forced to due to media backlash or the FDA.

      Ultimately the food you choose to feed your dog is a personal choice, and different foods work better for some dogs than others. We do our best to help readers narrow down the huge list of dog foods available to them, but the best dog food for your individual canine depends on a variety of factors that only the owner is knowledgable of.

    2. Chanty Avatar

      What holistic dog food brand are you talking about that you now use?

    3. Jo Ann Avatar
      Jo Ann

      You mentioned you were happy with your dog food. What is the name? I’m looking for a better option. Thx

  31. Deb Avatar

    What do you know about or how would you rate Orijen dog food?

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Orijen is very high-quality and a great choice! We just couldn’t include everyone on the list.

  32. V schmidt Avatar

    Can you rate Trudog pet food

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Trudog is great, they just have a very small selection, we didn’t include them here.

  33. Tal Avatar

    My wife inherited a ShihTsu puppy 21 years ago. She was bound and determined to feed this dog raw food. Started with roast beef sliced from the deli mixed with carrots and broccoli. Lately he got oven roasted turkey breast. Just died last week. 21 yrs 5 months. Pretty long life for that breed. I hate to add up the cost of his meals in his lifetime. Funny story. Once I tried to sneak grocery store roast beef. She claimed he threw it up. I could not believe my ears.

  34. Lisa Garrison Avatar
    Lisa Garrison

    I have a bulldog, who has a lot of food issues. I have tried most of theses top brands, Core being most resent. He did ok, but still having skin problem, hot ears, and sinsive tummy. I reachered and found out theses are digestive issues, so I just now put him on a pre & probiotic supplement and primal freezed dried raw food,(talk about expensive) $27 per two day, but I have seen improvement, will see how it goes for 30 days. Cost more than car payment. Hoping to get recipe to make own freezed dried nuggets

    1. Judy Avatar

      I had to have my Abbie tested for allergies and it came back that she was highly allergic to chicken and white potatoes so check to see if the current food you are or have been feeding him has chicken or white potatoes in it. I have since found out that alot of dogs are allergic to these. Her being a cocker, I kept her hair cut short also. She also was allergic to grass so I had my yard guy cut it as short as his mower was and that helped too. She had yeast too and it helped giving her a bath every week. The yeast was mostly during the summer.

  35. Kim phillips Avatar
    Kim phillips

    I used paw diet to compare some of your top picks to my food I just switched my dog to after a ton of research. Nulo ranked better than the other dry foods and had zero recalls. Some on this list have many.

  36. Sarah Avatar

    What do people think about Science Hills dog food? Thought up till now its the best dog food..but some said its just full of fillers.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hi Sarah – well the formulas can vary a bit, but I have seen a few Hill’s Science foods that don’t even have meat listed as the first ingredient (a huge red flag for any dog food). They do tend to also have problematic ingredients like corn gluten. Some vets recommt certain Hill’s Science foods based on specific medical issues dogs have, but for most owners I think there are much better choices. When in doubt, the easiest thing to do is at least see what the first few ingredients are. Meat protein should always be ingredient #1 at the very least!

  37. Michele Hassing Avatar
    Michele Hassing

    My dogs have a track record of bad teeth so they are all eating Hill’s TD Dental dog food. It’s kinda funny to watch them eat it, you can see it is WORK just to get a piece of kibble chewed up so I believe the claims that it is scraping tartar off their teeth as they eat. But it’s also very expensive, they leave messy crumbs all over the floor each time they eat, and I’m just wondering about it nutritionally. We’re also brushing their teeth daily, giving them dental dog chews daily, and putting an additive in the water for tartar. It took ALL THAT to finally get a check up where nobody needed to be put under general anesthesia for a professional tooth cleaning, though. Knock on wood we can avoid that again this year … but is TD Dental Canine healthy and complete nutrition?

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Unfortunately Michele, based on the ingredient list, I wouldn’t recommend TD Dental Canine.
      The first ingredients read as followed: Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Pork Fat, Soybean Mill Run,
      Not having the first ingredient as meat is a HUGE no-no. Even most mid-tier dog foods have meat as the 1st ingredient. Corn is not recommended for dogs, and chicken by-product is also quite bad – you never want to be feeding your dog by-products. Nothing in the first several ingredients is any kind of good meat protein, so this seems like a very poor dog food from a nutritional standpoint.

  38. Chris Avatar

    I keep reading newer articles that grain free foods are causing DCM in thousands of dogs. What is your take on this? I have been giving my three dogs Taste of the Wild High Prairie for a few years now. Seems like everything is bad.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hey Chris. Unfortunately, researchers still don’t know what is causing these DCM issues. They’ve narrowed it down to BEG diets (boutique, exotic, and grain-free diets), but still don’t know what ingredients are causing the issue. Contrary to popular belief, low taurine doesn’t seem to be the main issues. Folks suspect maybe lentils, chickpeas, and some of the grain alternatives could be the problem. But no one knows for certain! Here’s where you can read more: http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2018/11/dcm-update/

      Ultimately, I think it’s best you consult with your vet about this, as they’ll have the best recommendation for your dog’s specific situation.

  39. maggie Avatar

    I use the Canidae Grain Free Sea Limited ingredient for my shep. He had the worst yeast infections on his skin. I was using Beneful and everytime i bought a bag the food was different. I event contacted the company about it and sent them pics. They had nothing to say about it really. So I needed something without issues. His skin problems have cleared up, he has lost weight( which he takes phenobarb for seizures) and I am not saying it doesn’t have another problem. With the limited ingredients I find he is still hungry. But I guess in his case this is not going to hurt him. He is doing great

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Glad your buddy is doing better!

  40. Diane Novak Avatar
    Diane Novak

    I have been using Natural Balance Grain free for my two dogs. When a third rescue came into my life I needed to buy something they would all eat. I crock pot wet food to put over the dry but started using Just Six by Rachel Ray’s company. Do we have any feedback on that food?

  41. Christina Avatar

    A wonderful site to check dog foods for great ingredients, recall notices, ratings is dogfoodadvisor. I don’t buy a food until I’ve checked that site. I have my German Shepherd on Farmina ancestral grains lamb. She’s picky but loves this food and her coat, poops, health in general has been better since starting this food. Its more money, but well worth it.

    1. Nadia Keegan Avatar
      Nadia Keegan

      Totally agree. Started my pup on Farmina a few weeks ago. She absolutely loves it.

  42. Jennifer Avatar

    Thank you for the list. I am still deciding what to feed my boxer puppy. This is our second boxer and with our last one he ate Blue Buff. Back then when it came out it was the best option /healthiest and now everyone including our vet is saying stay away. I keep getting mixed answers on what to give – from Fromm, taste of the wild, Royal canin down to Merrick. He is on a good puppy one right now so have a little time.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      It can be pretty complicated Jeff. Ultimately, our advice to aim for a quality dog food that has at least the first ingredient (ideally first two ingredients) as meat proteins. Other than that, it’s best to simply test different formulas with your dog and see what he responds or doesn’t respond well to. Of course your vet’s advice is always best, as they understand all the intricacies of your dog’s needs.

  43. David sokolow Avatar
    David sokolow

    What are your thoughts on the raw food diet?

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hey David – ultimately we think raw is an option for owners who want to be very, very hands-on in their dogs feeding, but it’s probably not a good option for most owners. We have a full article on the pros and cons of feeding dogs a raw diet here!

  44. Brittany Avatar

    Thank you so much! I’m going to try the taste of wild, the reason I came here is looking for a new dog food for my dog as she was on blue buffalo before and as you said in the cons she developed gastric issues and is sensitive.

  45. Art Avatar

    Good information. I will still have to experiment. I wish they made smaller bags of each where you could put each brand in a bowl maybe three bowls or 4 and let your dog decide which one she or he likes.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      That would certainly be much easier and save money! A shame that’s not too common :/

    2. Kristy Avatar

      My pet food store carries sample sizes if all the foods they carry for free for this purpose.

      1. Meg Marrs Avatar

        Great tip Kristy – smart idea to ask for samples and see how your dog likes the food.

    3. Jinx Avatar

      I laughed, if I gave my dachshund 4 bowls of food, he would eat them all

  46. Jane Bruner Avatar
    Jane Bruner

    I’s diamond natural grainfree whitefish and sweet patatoes,and the chicken and sweet patatoes a good dog food,cause that’s what my dogs been eating and plus a couple of the dogs are eating natures menu salmon and sweet patatoes is those 2 dog food good

  47. Gnomer Avatar

    I’m a bit surprised that Beneful Healthy Weight is on this list, considering the quality of the other brands of food mentioned. I was pleased that Purina has improved the formula, so that is contains real chicken as the primary ingredient, but if you remove water weight from the chicken, it provides much less protein vs the chicken by-product meal (high in protein, but an inferior quality product), soybean meal, corn products, wheat, barley etc. Even though I have no issue with grain in dog foods, I feel that they rely too much on grain to be considered quality. Also, one of your markers for nutrition was a food without fillers – yet Beneful Healthy Weight contains soybean hulls high on the list of ingredients.

    You mention that the food contains 23 vitamins (I’m assuming this info came from marketing info from Purina). It SOUNDS good on paper, but take a quick look at virtually ANY cheap food at Walmart. They ALL have a long list of vitamins added. I’ve never seen a dog food that hasn’t met the AAFCO guidelines for nutrition. This is why I assume you took the “23 added vitamins and minerals” from Purina’s marketing literature…because the vitamins they add don’t make the food any better than any food off the shelf right now. In fact, they use inferior synthetics (and non-chelated minerals), which make the added vitamins much harder for a dog to absorb. Furthermore, Beneful formulations lack pre- and probiotics, which (IMO) are standard in “quality” foods.

    All this being said, I do appreciate that Purina is listening to consumers, and has made improvements to the quality of Beneful formulas. I also appreciate that they removed the sugar and dyes in (at least in this formula).

    I know some people have issues with Blue Buffalo, and I agree that there are higher qualities brands for the money. But I still feel they are a solid option, for someone switching from a grocery store brand, and trying to improve their dog’s health. I have a picky boxer that loses weight, so sometimes I “fatten” him up a couple lbs with BB, if he starts showing 3-4 ribs and spine. He loves the food.

    Overall, I appreciate this list. Thank you for being dedicated to putting out information to help people choose a higher quality food for their pet.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hi Gnomer, thanks for taking the time to comment! We decided to include Beneful on this list because we wanted to include a more affordable option. The other foods we include here are considered very high-quality, but also very expensive. We wanted an option for those without big dog food budgets as well. I’ve seen that many readers are unhappy with this choice, so we’re considering removing Beneful from this list when we update the article. Our goal is to provide owners with options!

      1. Kristy Avatar

        I use Victor for my 4 year olds & my vets own brand which is Dr.Tim’s.
        Both are excellent foods.
        I am also disappointed to se Beneful on this list!
        If you want to feed your dogs healthy it costs money and that’s the bottom line. You can’t put a trash food on what’s supposed to be a good quality dog food list just for budget reasons. Dogs are dying from trash foods! This is a very serious matter & now standards are able to be lowered again if , more like when, the law passes!!
        It’s disgusting what these companies can trick us into feeding our family members!!

        1. Christine Avatar

          I agree wholeheartedly concerning Beneful. I would really like to know hiw you came to your conclusions on these brands. I too feed Victor Ultra Pro to my 5 dogs plus Grandma Lucy’s , Honest Kitchen and a variety of good quality csnned food in a rotation diet. We are a middle-class family, i believe in feeding my dogs the best I can afford and I have piece of mind that I do. I owe it to my dogs to do the best I can for them.

      2. Teresa Avatar

        I had heard beneful was extremly bad because of the artificial dyes anf coloring.. Dogs don’t care what color their food is, which is bad for pets..its made to appeal to the public

      3. Judy Avatar

        I, personally, think you’ve done a great job !!!

  48. Carole Avatar

    Thank you so much for the insight to the diff. Dog foods. This is a big help in deciding what to feed my fur babies.

  49. Theresa Avatar

    Looking for something for toy breed chi that needs to put on weight very picky eater. Help. If you have any samples that would be great just need help vet said she is hypoglycemia because she don’t eat enough I need to find something she likes

    1. dss Avatar

      For my Chi I cook her own food just as I cook for myself and my child, she is family. I will sometimes feed Acana and add organic bone broth when I am not feeling well. I hope this helps you.

      1. Judy Avatar

        I’m feeding my Jack, Border Collie/Pembroke Welsh Corgi, a combination of both. I give him 1/2 cup of dry every morning and night with 2 heaping tablespoons of brown rice, green beans and sweet potatoes with a tablespoon of yogurt and a teaspoon of coconut oil. He loves it and his hair and skin is great. I do warm up some beef broth to mix a little with the dry.
        Right now, he is on Eukanuba Lamb because I got it for free through our local Humane Society. They fostered or adopted all the animals out during Covid 19 and opened up their food pantry to the community. I had just lost my husband of 24 years to Alzheimer’s – 2wks earlier on March 14 and was down to morsels of Jack’s food and it was a blessing. Jack and I went there and they gave me -2- 20lb bags of Eukanuba Lamb and Nutro Venison.
        If I had not got this, believe me, I would have ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches and bought his regular food which is Fromm. I would do anything for him. He’s only 18mo old but he has been with me through some hard times in the last 12 mos. I have always had Cocker’s since 1993 and I just lost my Abbie last June 01 due to a mistake my vet made and it killed her. Needless to say, I don’t use him anymore.

  50. Tammy Ferrieri Avatar
    Tammy Ferrieri

    Thanks Clementine for your input. I feed my dogs Blue Buffalo and I was unaware of potatoes being a huge filler. I was definitely consider switching to the ones you do recommend. I want to feed them the healthiest food possible.

  51. Jazz Avatar

    What do you think of BilJac?

  52. Overlandtraveler Avatar

    You do know that Merrick is a family owned operation out of Texas that supports discrimination and hate? They are an evangelical Christian family that does not support gay marriage, rights or anything that would be labeled “liberal and accepting.” Perhaps you support discrimination too, I don’t know, but if you don’t, I would boycott Merrick. I have shared this information with a lot of small, family owned stores that were carrying their food. They no longer do. I don’t understand why people continue to support this brand?

    1. William Avatar

      Outlander- Thanks for the info on Merrick. I was unaware of their background. You helped me make my choice I”LL CHOOSE MERRICK!

      1. Jim Avatar

        Nothing says Christian values like hating anyone different. SMH …lol

        1. Sylvia Avatar

          Overlandtraveler, do you consider yourself to be “liberal and accepting” as you put it in your comment? Every person has a right under the First Amendment to free speech and the pursuit of happiness even if offends your tender feelings. If you want to be more accepting and accepted, perhaps you should try not being so judgemental yourself. I don’t normally comment on subjects such as this, but the quality of the dog food has nothing to do with the morals and beliefs of the owners! I will buy my dogs’ food based solely on that fact, nothing else!

          1. Carol Avatar

            Thank you, Sylvia;
            for stating what many people do without really thinking about what they’re saying. I couldn’t agree with you more. Additionally, I just read that Purina is buying out Merrick, so their quality may go down hill. Keep an eye on the list of ingredients in case it starts changing.

          2. Sheri Avatar

            DANG! Absolutely NO organic dog foods even “mentioned”. SHAME ON YOU! I feed both canned and dry Organix…and YES, certified organic. I also prepare foods for my two Boxers as I do have some concern for any dry food because of high temperature cooking

          3. Ben Team Avatar

            Hey, Sheri.
            That’s because we were focusing on the healthiest dog foods in this article — not the most environmentally friendly foods.
            There isn’t any conclusive data we’re aware of demonstrating that organic foods provide nutritional benefits.

            While organic foods have fewer synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and are free of hormones and antibiotics, they don’t appear to have a nutritional advantage over their conventional counterparts. “There’ve been a number of studies examining the macro- and micronutrient content, but whether organically or conventionally grown, the foods are really similar for vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates,” says McManus.

            Source: Harvard Health Publishing.

            Thanks for reading!

        2. gail Avatar

          wow… Merrick is off my list!
          Just adopted a dog from Texas with health issues!

      2. Thomas Avatar

        I think I’ll choose Merrick also

      3. jay Avatar

        Real Christians feed the poor, welcome the immigrant, decry the racist, embrace the LBGTQ ……….and have nothing in common with FAKE CHRISTIANS like the MERRICK CULT. BOYCOTT MERRICK HATRED!

      4. evelyn williams Avatar
        evelyn williams

        There under investigation may cause enlarged heart .

    2. CP Avatar

      Good to know, I WILL buy from them!!! Got to stand up for Christian American Values!

    3. Meg Marrs Avatar

      We recommend Merrick because they are a reputable dog brand with high-quality ingredients. I don’t find their political leanings have anything to do with the quality of the food.

      1. Ralph J. Avatar
        Ralph J.

        Meghan, yes, political and religious leanings have nothing to do with my pets’ quality of life. Merrick, Acana and many of the higher priced brands lead the pack in cases of DCM related canine fatalities. I have been using a Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club) grain free Salmon and Pea dry food. Its rated 2 1/2 star by a pet advisory rater, but this is the same rating service who gives Acana, Merrick, et al a 5 star rating. Thoroughly confused…can you offer any help? I don’t think the Membe’s Mark stuff is junk, and the dogs love it.

        1. Ben Team Avatar

          Hey, Ralph. I’ll drop a note to Meg to make sure she sees your comment, but I wanted to share an article you may want to check out:
          Best Dog Foods with Grains
          It may be worth reading if you’re concerned about DCM.
          Let us know which one you pick!

    4. Tammy Ferrieri Avatar
      Tammy Ferrieri

      I totally support Merrick and I can’t stand liberals.

    5. Gnomer Avatar

      Honestly, I doubt many people know this. I stopped purchasing Merrick when it was bought out by Purina, but had no idea about the company’s intolerance.

      1. Jan Avatar

        Won’t use because bought out by Purina. Purina is low quality from list of ingredients and everything I’ve read.

        1. evelyn williams Avatar
          evelyn williams

          Thank God someone lissens

    6. Cher Avatar

      Religious freedom always gets knocked down. I thought this site was for good dog foods. Even if Merrick owners were atheist I’d still buy it because it’s a good product. The world is full of good and evil. People need to calm down and just get along.

      1. Judy Avatar


    7. Mic Drop Avatar
      Mic Drop

      Whether or whether not a company believes in supporting and or has your views has little to no significance of their quality of pet food. The irony of the fact you haven’t caught on that your unapproving of the “evangelical family” views is the same as them not approving of your views is hilarious. Also thinking that someone’s personal religious beliefs are hate mongering is funny as well. Unless they are trying to put everyone else’s (which I’m sure they are not) beliefs down with their pet foods advertising and saying that it’s only made for “evangelical families” pets, then your argument is invalid and your tears are wasted over milk that wasnt even spilled

      1. Rose C. Walker Avatar
        Rose C. Walker

        Well said, Mic Drop.

      2. Kristie Rosario Avatar
        Kristie Rosario

        I fully agree Mic Drop, and couldn’t have said it any better. So tired of all the whiners that someone has violated “their” rights, hurt “their” feelings, or don’t respect “their” views. Isn’t that the same exact thing they are doing when they stereotype others? In this case it’s evangelical Christians. Makes no sense! Maybe they are violating “MY” rights because I’m discriminating against crybabies. Isn’t the topic about recommendations for healthy dogfood?

      3. Drew kent Avatar
        Drew kent

        I completely agree. They should maybe open a book…like the Bible. Anyways, so people are not thinking about the well being of their furry family members and putting their beliefs ahead of them. I used to live dogfoodadvisor, but they, like k9ofmine rated blue buffalo highly. They are always on the recall list. Really? I use Fromm and they are one of the fewest companies with recalls.

    8. Marge Avatar

      This is about the health of our pets , not religious beliefs. Go to church for religion .

      1. jay Avatar

        If they don’t care about humans, what makes you think they care about animals?

        1. dr gethy Avatar
          dr gethy

          good point.

    9. Vicky Avatar

      I support Merrick and I am fine with their religious beliefs. They aren’t knocking yours so why knock theirs? We co-exist in the free world and we can live how we choose. No one needs to be like you.

      -It’s always the ones with the dirty hands who point the finger.


    10. Stevej Avatar

      What a ruse! Let’s see.. let’s discriminate against a company that has Christians following their beliefs. .. but I am typing on a computer that is likely made in a country (along with my car, phone, TV, clothes and on and on..) in the Pacific Rim that culturally believes in disrespecting women, gays, … Christians, Jews and YOU! What a hypocrite! You need to prioritize your thinking !

      1. Ben Team Avatar

        Hey, folks.
        We certainly understand that people have passionate opinions about these types of things, but we’re gonna stop approving the messages that aren’t about dog-related issues.
        There are plenty of other places to argue about politics and religion on the web.
        Let’s just keep it to dogs.

        1. Judy Avatar

          Yeah, I opened this article to read it and what it said about the grain -vs- grain free debate on DCM. Wanted to read the comments and see what everyone said but I wasn’t expecting it to get political !!!
          Don’t bring politics into dog food, I hear enough of it on tv !!!
          Please stick to the topic people or go somewhere else to vent !!!!

      2. Steve Avatar

        I agree!!!!!!!!!!

    11. Lauren Avatar

      Thanks for the info on Merrick, I will definitely remove them from my list of foods to try!

    12. Shea Avatar

      I love Merricks products for my dogs! Knowing this, I like them even more and will support them. Thanks for the info!

    13. Angela Bayon Avatar
      Angela Bayon

      Why don’t we talk about the topic at hand and leave politics out of it…. and keep your poison to yourself!

  53. Clementine Avatar

    Did you read the ingredients on the Purina Baneful bag you posted? The first three ingredients are GROUND YELLOW CORN, CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL (NOT REAL CHICKEN), and CORN GLUTEN MEAL. The 7th ingredient is chicken.

    1. Meghan Avatar

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Clementine. We may consider revising the information here.

    2. evelyn williams Avatar
      evelyn williams

      Omg all these are under investigation. As being Crap.

  54. Clementine Avatar

    WOAH! You definitely chose the lower end of “healthy”. Purina? Really?!?! There isn’t a single Purina food that is considered high quality, but their highest quality line isn’t even mentioned, its the Beneful. Oh lordy. Taste of the Wild, ALSO not that healthy. Every single one of their bags will have a high concentration of potatoes, a huge filler. Same with Blue Buffalo.
    If you’re looking for high quality food, look to: FROMM, ACANA, MERRICK, ORIJEN. And yes, TOTW and BB are on the list I’m about to link, but it doesn’t mean that they’re as good as what I’ve mentioned.

    1. Lilia Avatar

      Acana isn’t high quality..They’re the highest offender in the nutritionally mediated DCM and are not taking responsibility for it (besides simply adding taurine to it, without any improvement). I’d argue that they are at the bottom of the list of dog foods to feed until they get their act together!

      1. Ben Team Avatar

        Hey, Lilia.

        Acana is a pretty high-quality food. Do note that the relationship between DCM and grain-free foods is not completely clear, as we mention above.

        In fact, we’ve got an article about the phenomenon in the works, so stay tuned!

    2. Lori Avatar

      I totally agree, you must eat a good kick back if you are suggesting Purina. Sad, you must not really care about the dog not the money

    3. Nancy Avatar

      I fed my dog Origen but have now stopped it, as it gave him the worst intestinal issues and severe diarrhea. Poor guy was so sick from that food and it was all over the house. I’m cooking his food now and he’s back to normal. I’ll probably go with a food delivery service for him now, since I can’t trust a high quality kibble.

      1. Rebecca Avatar

        Hi Nancy:

        I want to piggy-bag your comment. I am currently searching for a new dog food due to severe itching and now intestinal issues with Orijen. My dog has been eating it for the past three years and the intestinal thing has been happening for the last two months or so. She’s always been an itchy dog, but it seems to have worsened, within the last couple of months, so it’s time to change up the food. My other dog seems fine on Orijen. They are both large dog breeds. I’m thinking of trying one of those delivery home cooked companies.

        1. Ben Team Avatar

          Sorry Orijen is giving your pooch problems, Rebecca. You may want to check these fresh foods out.
          Best of luck!