Let's be honest, fur babies these days are just as spoiled as human babies—sometimes even more so! That means lots of love, plenty of toys, a bed fit for a human, and, of course, the best dog food.
Although all dog owners want what’s best for their pet, not everyone understands that feeding your dog the best dog food is necessary to keeping your dog healthy.
Let me explain:
Studies show that the canine digestive system is still quite primitive. That means dogs lack the natural digestive support to breakdown and metabolize complex carbohydrates and fillers such as meat by-products, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors or preservatives.
Overtime, this may damage the lining of your pup's digestive system. Sounds awful, right?
All of this research at one point led to the conclusion that grain-free food was the best way to keep your dog happy and healthy. That being said, the FDA recently released a warning that certain grain-free foods may be linked to DCM in canines.
While that is pretty terrifying for pet owners, don't start throwing out all of your grain-free food and treats just yet. While the FDA identified a possible link between DCM and grain-free food, there are a number of other potential contributing factors and the actual cause of the disease in most pets was not conclusive.
So what's the bottom line?
The bottom line is, the most important thing to keep in mind is feeding your pet food with real, all-natural ingredients whenever possible (a good rule of thumb is to look for formulas with leading ingredients that are straight protein). And, when in doubt, talk to your veterinarian.
To help in your search, we've poured hours into researching products and reading dog food reviews to create a list of the best dog food (both grain-free and grain-inclusive).
Now, on to our list - we promise it won't let you (or your fur baby) down!
Merrick is a well-respected brand, by dog and cat owners alike, and we could not agree more. Merrick's Grammy's Pot Pie canned dog food is grain-free, high in protein, and totally natural. Plus, it tastes just like the pot pie grandma use to make, and your fur baby will love it!
Some reviewers report receiving dented cans. So if that's something that concerns you, be aware.
With meat as the number one ingredient, this dog food is a favorite of both pets and their owners. Feeding your dog Merrick is just like feeding your dog a delicious chicken dinner. They will like it so much they'll even finish their vegetables!
Well that's easy, this dog food contains Chicken, Fresh Red Jacket New Potatoes, Carrots, Snow Peas, and Red Delicious Apples. Simple as that! As a brand, Merrick is known for its ability to bring you food containing fresh, whole food ingredients, which adds a delicious element of natural nutrition to meal time. Now that feels good, doesn't it?
Omega-6 and 3 fatty acids support a beautiful, shiny coat, while significant levels of glucosamine and chondroitin help maintain joint health to increase your dog's energy level. Additionally, the grain-free formula supports digestive health and healthier stools. Which is a win for both you and your pup!
A 12 pack of 13.2 ounce cans will cost you just under $30, which admittedly may not go very far depending on the size of your dog. For example, feedings should be broken down daily as follows: 1 can per 10 pounds of body weight, 2 cans per 30 pounds of body weight, or 4 cans per 70 pounds of body weight. Which means that for a dog weighing 70 pounds or more, the 12 pack of cans won't last you very long. However, pet owner’s swear by this stuff and agree that it's worth every cent.
Blue Buffalo provides a healthy formula at an incredibly reasonable price. With lamb as the number one ingredient, you know this stuff has gotta be good.
The ingredients aren't as quality as the majority of others on our list.
Dogs love the tasty lamb flavor of this dry kibble, which also provides them with essential amino acids they need in their daily diet. Could it get any better?
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is made with only the finest natural ingredients. First and foremost, protein-rich, deboned lamb. Plus, wholesome whole grains, garden veggies, and fruit. Best of all, you won't find any chicken (or poultry) by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Only wholesome, natural ingredients for your furry little friend!
Hearty whole grains like brown rice, barley and oats provide your pet the complex carbohydrates that increases your dog’s energy level, while the whole carrots, sweet potatoes, and garlic will provide your pup the nutrients they need to remain healthy and happy as they age and grow.
At $45.99 for a 30-pound bag—$1.53 per pound—this stuff is available at a great price.
The best food to feed our dogs will differ as our dogs reach different stages of life. An older dog’s digestive system becomes less efficient at metabolizing proteins, so Orijen Senior is designed to provide senior dogs with nutrients that are both necessary and easily digestible.
Reviewers have basically zero complaints about this product, aside from the price.
Just because your dog is getting older, doesn't mean he or she no longer cares about taste. Orijen understands that and has created a formula that contains natural flavors of chicken, turkey, and fish, slowly cooked to retain its healthful and flavorful goodness. Orijen is sure to please every dog’s pallet, leaving your senior pet happy and healthy.
Orijen Senior is created using a varied selection of fresh human-grade chicken, turkey, and fish, all of which are preservative-free and brimming with proteins and fats to nourish your older dog completely. The formula also features whole eggs, wholesome vegetables, and delicious fruits - like juniper berries, marigold flowers, and sea vegetables - which are rich in phytonutrients, B-vitamins, and essential trace minerals, providing your maturing dog with a biologically appropriate quantity of proteins, fats, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids. The formula is also carbohydrate-limited and grain-free to replicate your senior dog's natural diet. Seriously, this food had it all.
The number one benefit of the Orijen Senior formula is that it is easy for older dogs to digest. Additionally, reviewers report that after switching to Orijen, their senior dog is more active than he or she has been in years! So not only will this dog food benefit your senior dog’s digestive system, but it will also improve his or her quality of life overall. So if you have any older dog, you must give this dog food a try. You'll be very glad you did.
We're not gonna sugar coat it, this stuff is expensive. At $58.10 for a 13-pound bag, $4.46 per pound, this is an expensive dog food. However, if you have a senior dog with digestive problems, this is a worthwhile investment to improve the quality of life for your senior dog's remaining years.
Nature’s Logic prides itself on being the first, and only, full-line of pet food that has completely abandoned the use of synthetic ingredients, and Nature's Logic Canine Pork Meal Feast is no exception. Great for all stages of life, there’s really no downside to this dog food.
Some dogs just aren’t into the flavor of the kibble, but most don’t seem to mind it.
With high-protein pork meal as the leading ingredient, this is a highly palatable meaty flavor your fur baby will go crazy for.
The nutrient dense, meat-based formula is heavy in protein, minimally processed whole food such as pumpkin seed and dried kelp, and also includes a bounty of fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, spinach, carrot, broccoli and cranberries.
Pork meal is the leading ingredient, followed by millet—which provides dogs a healthy, low-sugar source of carbohydrates.
Finally, the kibble is coated with digestive enzymes and plasma protein containing high levels of natural vitamins, minerals, albumin, and globulin proteins to help maintain proper digestion.
Especially great for digestion, but all of the added proteins and nutrients will undoubtedly support skin health and maintenance as well.
Right around $66 for a 26.4-ounce bag, which is not the most nor the least expensive on our list. But if you're looking for a brand that is completely free of synthetics, we think you'll find this formula worth every penny.
For dog owners with multiple dogs of varying ages, mealtime can get complicated. However, with CANIDAE Life Stages, meal times are made easy! Regardless of size, age, or breed, this formula is guaranteed to provide your dog with the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay healthy. Plus, with endorsements from both Consumer Affairs and Barkpost, how could you go wrong?
With 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, the only complaint about this formula is that it may not be a great fit for dogs with pre-existing digestive problems.
This dog food is flavored using a chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish combination, which dogs love. Reviewers highly recommend this dog food for puppy parents with dogs that need to gain weight, as it contains all of the nutrients your dog needs to grow. Plus, your pup will not think twice about cleaning their bowl.
CANIDAE Life Stages is packed with protein from all-natural chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, and fish meal. The formula also includes ingredients like wholesome brown rice, peas, papaya, and sage to provide your dog with a great tasting, perfectly balanced meal. Reviewers love that this brand never uses fillers, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial anything. And as an added bonus, all formulas are made in the United States and free from wheat, corn, and soy.
Contains probiotics to help support healthy digestion, powerful antioxidants to keep your dog healthy and happy, and Omega 6 and 3 to help support beautiful skin and coat. And as we mentioned previously, this formula is great for multi-dog households or finicky eaters that may struggle with transitions to age appropriate formulas.
We guarantee you will love the price of this product, as you can buy a 44-pound bag on Amazon for under $60 – coming out to $1.36 per pound. So if you have yet to give this dog food a try, we highly recommend doing so.
Not only is this pet food both wholesome and nutritious, it contains real ingredients creating a delicious flavor for your pet—an ideal choice if you’re interested exploring natural pet food.
While we would love to see straight protein as the leading ingredient, chicken meal, turkey meal, and brown rice sure beat animal by-products and other fillers that may take the place of grains in grain-free diets.
Chicken meal, turkey meal, and brown rice are the first three ingredients found in this blend, so that, plus the flavorful blend of herbs and spices, will give your pet a wholesome, natural flavor they are sure to adore.
High-quality proteins, including real chicken and whitefish. Additionally, it includes other wholesome ingredients such as omega-rich salmon oil, brown rice, and organic alfalfa; plus, antioxidant support from real blueberries and other added vitamins and minerals.
While it is not grain free, it contains no corn, wheat, soy, or poultry by products, as well as no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives—which is what really matters.
The all-natural ingredients help support easier digestibility, less shedding, shinier coat, increased energy, stronger nails, and healthier skin.
Purchase a 25-pound bag for under $40, on Chewy—which is one of the cheaper options on our list. And, save a few extra dollars if you sign up for subscribe and save.
Fromm Family Foods has been a long time favorite in the pet food world, and Gold Nutrionals Puppy Dry Dog Food is no exception. Puppies love the taste of this natural formula and owners love the health benefits! What more could you ask for in a puppy food?
A little on the pricier end of the spectrum.
This puppy food is flavored using fresh Wisconsin duck, fresh chicken, fresh lamb, nutrition rich whole eggs, and real cheese. We guarantee your pup will go wild for the natural taste and you will be impressed by the positive changes to your dog’s health.
Fromm Gold Nutritionals Puppy food is prepared with fresh, human grade USDA-inspected duck, chicken and lamb or liver combined with fresh whole eggs and real Wisconsin cheddar cheese. The recipe is also enhanced with salmon oil for a healthy coat and probiotics to help aid digestion. Reviewers love that this product features 100% natural ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors. You certainly won’t find any fillers in this product, just a whole lot of wholesome goodness!
In addition to adding shine to your puppies coat and aiding in digestion, Fromm Gold Nutrionals Puppy food will increase your pups energy level and improve the texture and consistency of bowel movements (sorry, gross but necessary).
Fromm is priced under $30 for a 15-pound bag. Very reasonable, so we think it is well worth the investment to feed your growing puppy.
With nutrient-rich salmon as the number one ingredient, you know this stuff has got to be good. The rice and oat meal is easily digestible, perfect for pups with sensitive digestive systems. Additionally, the omega-6 fatty acids and zinc help to nourish skin and promite a healthy coat.
Do not feed to dogs with certain allergies, as some users report their pup experiencing diarrhea, itchiness, scratching, and lack of appetite.
With fresh salmon as the leading ingredient, and a blend that's rich in nutrients, this is a formula your dogs will absolutely love and crave.
With salmon and barley as the leading ingredients, there's no question as to why this dog food landed at the top of our list. It contains grains and all-natural, wholesome ingredients, and is formulated without corn, wheat, soy, or artificial color and flavor. Ideal for all pups, and even sensitive enough for dogs with skin and stomach issues.
For sensitivie tummies, the oat meal is an easily digestible source of carbohydrates; for joint health, omega 3 fatty acies support mobility; and for sensitive skin, omega 6 fatta acids and zinc help to create a beautiful thick and shiny coat.
At $48.99 for a 33-pound bag, this dog food comes out to $1.48 per pound. Not only is that a good price, but can you really put a price on your dog's health? Especially if your pup is prone to stomach and digestive issues.