Best Dog Food Brands

by | Aug 25, 2019 | 0 comments

Your dog’s quality of health depends on the food you feed him. To ensure their health and proper growth, experts advise that you feed your dogs on the best dog food brands. But do you know what the best dog food brands in the market are? If you don’t, then you are about to find out as we take you through our list of best dog food brands.

But before we do that, it’s important that we make it clear that not all brands are the best affordable dog food brands or the best diabetic dog food brands. To find out what is the brand of dog food, we take a look at the user reviews, the variety of flavors, and the affordability of the dog food.

The different best dog food brands make it an uphill task for dog parents to find the best dog food brand for their pet. Others don’t want the best dog food brands, but they also want the best affordable dog food brand. So, what is the best brand of dog food?

Best Dry Foods for Dogs

Orijen
  • Most of their foods boast a meat content of up to 90%.
  • Orijen knows how important antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are in a dog’s diet
  • All their recipes use grain-free ingredients and low-glycemic carbs
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Whole Earth
  • Their base ingredient is a high-quality animal protein
  • Stands out as one of the few truly high-quality but affordable dog foods
  • Whole Earth is a good option for allergic dogs
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Taste of The Wild
  • Food comes in the right size for pups
  • Highly-digestible, with no overly complex ingredients
  • Uses sweet potatoes as the source of carbs and energy
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Canidae
  • Offers a wide selection of recipes for all dogs from puppies, adults, and even seniors
  • Great for dogs with allergies, sensitivities, and even weight issues
  • Rigorous quality control ensures consistent quality
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Blue Buffalo
  • Ingredients in every can are all natural and high quality
  • Holistic approach to manufacturing
  • Blue Buffalo beats most competitors when it comes to variety
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Orijen – best dog food brand overall

The basic nutritional requirement hardly differs across different dog breeds. Nonetheless, the best dog food brands for your dog will depend on their age, how active they are, their size, and whether they have a specific dietary requirement.

Our number one spot for the best dog food brands goes to Orijen. Orijen takes the top spot because of its commitment to producing premium dog food. Orijen has years of experience and their formulas mimic what your dog needs naturally. Orijen’s reputation as the best dog food brands also comes from their guarantee that with their food, your dog gets nutrient-rich nourishment in the right quantities.

Orijen is among the best dog food brands since it uses fresh ingredients that they source from their manufacturing regions. They have different formulas which they used to make food for dogs in different life stages. According to Orijen, their approach to the manufacture of dog food is biologically right and tailored to meet the nutritional requirement of your pooch.

Their foods are rich in real meat proteins with most of their foods boasting a meat content of up to 90%. Compared to most dog foods, Orijen uses nearly three times as much meat as its competitors. When they ship the final product out to you, Orijen guarantees that each bag of their kibble will have a crude protein volume of at least 38%.

Primarily, your dog’s diet should consist of animal products such as meat with minimal or no plant-based ingredients. A dog’s digestive system is not optimized for the digestion of plant products, especially when those products are grains. However, easily digestible carbs like fruits and veggies are acceptable.

Orijen knows how important antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are in a dog’s diet which is why they add a blend of these simple carbs in their recipe. Still, because they are not the natural food a dog would eat, Orijen keeps the carb level of their food at a maximum of 20%.

They ensure all their recipes use grain-free ingredients and they only use low-glycemic carbs, making the brand one of the best diabetic dog food brands. Unlike most of its competitors, Orijen features as the best dog food brands and the best diabetic dog food brand as the company has never had to recall any of their dog food.

Downside

The only downside to the brand is that it is not the most affordable dog food brand. But, given the ingredients they use and the nutritional level of their food, it is worth every penny. Also, Orijen only produces dry kibble and do not have any wet dog food.

To make up for the lack of any wet dog foods, they have a wide variety of kibble to choose from, freeze-dried pup, adult, and senior food, and a selection of 100% fresh meat treats.

Orijen

Orijen is one of the best brands out there, always using fresh ingredients that they source locally. Their food is biologically appropriate and tailored to meet the nutritional needs of your dog.

Whole Earth – best affordable brand

One of the signs of the quality of the food you are getting for your dog is the country of manufacture. Some countries have more stringent and robust guidelines for the manufacture of dog food. Whole Earth is made in the U.S, which is a country that takes pet food manufacture seriously.

Whole Earth might be the best affordable dog food brand, but we have to put a disclaimer here – never shop for the best dog food by price alone. Does that mean that affordable dog foods are low quality? No. That might sound confusing and you might be wondering what is the best affordable dog food brand .

Whole Earth stands out as one of the few truly high-quality but affordable dog foods in the market today. Premium best dog food brands like Orijen might have some of the highest quality dog foods, but their prices are as high as their quality. Whole Earth, on the other hand, produces high-quality dog foods, but at a bargain compared to the premium brands.

Merrick pet care company is the parent company behind the Whole Earth best affordable dog food brand. The company sources their ingredients from US farmers and they ensure to use all-natural ingredients to ease digestion. The company also focuses on foods that boost your dog’s energy beside refining the health of your dog’s skin and maintaining your dog’s silky smooth and shiny coat.

The base ingredient in all Whole Earth dog foods is a high-quality animal protein which they supplement with simple carbohydrates to boost digestion. They also add probiotics and minerals to nourish your dog’s gut and boost the absorption of nutrients.

Compared to the top dog brands, Whole Earth sells their dog food at up to 70% less than per pound, with their average price being $1.59.

If your furry friend is allergic to grains or wheat, Whole Earth is a good option for them as the food has none of the common allergens. The company also stays away from the use of by-products and non-natural additives. While the overall quality of Whole Earth foods is excellent, they are lower in protein than the premium brands.

Unlike Orijen, Whole Earth boasts eleven dry and fifteen wet food recipes. They have different formulations for every stage of life stage, and all are grain-free.

Downside

Aside from a lower protein level, one other downside with Whole Earth food selection is that they use more common proteins in their recipe. If your dog is allergic to chicken, fish, or rice, this might not be the best dog food brands for you.

Whole Earth Farms

The Whole Earth foods are based on high-quality proteins supplemented with simple carbohydrates to boost digestion. They also add probiotics and minerals.

Taste of the Wild – best puppy food

The most critical stage of your dog’s development is when they are a puppy. Choosing the best dog food brands for your tiny ball of fur is critical as it affects their adult life. In their infancy, pups require more nutrients than when they are fully grown. They are more active as pups and they need immense levels of nutrition-dense foods.

Taste of the Wild makes dog food with a high fat and protein level to provide your dog with the right dietary formulation. The food is packed with essential minerals and vitamins to promote healthy growth and development at the formative puppy years. But, other than a high-protein and high-fat food, your pup needs a brand of food that is gentle on their sensitive tummies.

This brand makes its food in the right size for pups and ensures each bag is highly-digestible by avoiding complex ingredients. The food is grain-free and the wide variety of proteins makes it one of the best diabetic dog food brands.

Taste of the wild uses premium animal proteins including wild Salmon, Buffalo, and Venison. Definitely worth considering among the best dog food brands out there.

The manufacturer uses sweet potatoes as the source of carbs and energy. Fruits and vegetables provide your dog with the vitamins and minerals they need while the fish they use add a punch of flavor and essential fats that promote skin and coat health. Taste of the wild is also one of the few brands that supplement their foods with DHA for better brain development.

A look at Amazon and the more than 10,000 reviews will amaze you. Even with the many reviews, the brand still enjoys a rating of over 4 stars and even has an Amazon’s Choice award. Not only does Taste of the wild make flavors that every dog enjoys, but they also make nutrient-dense foods that leave your pooch looking healthy and their coats shiny.

Downside

Taste of the Wild has a lot rooting for it which is why it appears on our list of the best brands of dog food. Taste of the wild is a premium brand and like most premium brands, the cost is higher than most dog foods. Another slight problem with the brand is that they only have two puppy recipes while most other dog food brands have well over two puppy food formulas.

Other than that, if you are still wondering what is the best brand of dog food, Taste of the Wild sits at the top of the list.

Taste of The Wild

This brand makes its food in the right size for puppies and ensures each bag is highly-digestible by avoiding complex ingredients.

Canidae – best dry dog kibble

Canidae sits at the top end of the premium dog food brand spectrum. They have a wide range of recipes for you to choose from and they make special dog foods for dogs with special conditions. The company uses some of the highest-quality ingredients you will find in any dog food.

What makes the company stand out is that it is not one of those big corporate dog food companies. Instead, it is a family-owned business, and this allows them to source ingredients without compromising for the bottom line. Keeping to the family business the theme, Canidae only buys their ingredients from similarly structured family businesses across the U.S.

Canidae doesn’t stop there. Most other dog food companies outsource their manufacturing and food processing to facilities they do not own. Canidae has its own processing and packaging facilities which helps with quality control and ensuring all the food coming off the line have a consistent quality.

They also have an even wider range of options than you will find elsewhere. Arguably, Canidae is the answer to the question of what is the best brand of dog food. For starters, they offer traditional formulas for all stages of life. Also, they manufacture grain-free dog foods, and to top it off, they have a selection of limited-ingredient foods for dogs with sensitivities.

The wide selection of recipes that Canidae uses makes it a winner in our books as it caters to all dogs from puppies, adults, and even seniors. The range is also great for dogs with allergies, sensitivities, and even weight issues. That’s why Canidae also makes it to our list of the best diabetic dog food brands.

Canidae’s lineup of formulas and recipes include the PURE group – a line of grain-free dog foods. To make the line even more palatable and reduce its chances of causing sensitivities, the company uses premium animal proteins. The Canidae Pure line of dog foods contains duck meat, lamb, and wild boar as the number one ingredient and source of protein.

The PURE line also boasts a limited ingredient list making it the best hypoallergenic dog brand and has special recipes for small breed canines.

Unlike most top dog food brands, Canidae gets another spot on our list of best dog food brands thanks to their diversity. Canidae has a different brand that caters to the budget end of the spectrum with high-quality but affordable dog foods. The more affordable brand from Canidae goes by the name Under the Sun.

Many dog food companies have had to recall their foods for different reasons. Often, the recall comes after an external entity realizes that there is something wrong with a certain batch. Canidae has only had one recall since its inception and that recall was a voluntary one. The recall came after running internal tests and flagging their food for potential salmonella contamination.

Downside

There are only two cons we found with Canidae. One is the recall, but given that it was from an internal investigation, we forgive them! The second con is that Canidae uses mainstream proteins like fish, chicken, and rice which might trigger sensitivity and allergies in some dogs.

CANIDAE

CANIDAE makes foods for all canine ages, with a selection of limited-ingredient foods for dogs that are prone to allergies. .

Wellness – best senior dog food brand

Are you still wondering what is the best brand of dog food? If you are, it might be because you are yet to come across a brand that caters to your old pooch on our list. If you thought only puppies have a delicate body that requires special nutrition, minerals, and vitamins, think again.

As a dog gets older, they become more fragile and all their systems slow down. They are no longer as active as in their youth, and they spend most of their time basking and lazing around your home. They start losing their teeth, their joints become weak, and they start getting injuries.

To mitigate the issues that crop up in senior dogs, you need to feed then certain nutrients while keeping their dietary needs at optimal levels. Senior dog foods should have a low-calorie count as they are less active than pups and younger dogs. However, do not confuse a lower caloric intake with a lower protein and fat content in the food you feed your furry friend.

Senior dogs have one other common problem – weak joints. Just like humans, the longer a dog’s life is, the weaker the joints become and the more fragile their skeleton is. The best dog food for senior dogs have nutrients to support joints and bone health which is what Wellness banks on.

Wellness fortifies their senior dog foods with joint supporting nutrients namely glucosamine and chondroitin. Besides the additional nutrients, the company also uses high-fiber ingredients to improve your old ball of fur’s gut health and aid digestion. Wellness has a line for senior dogs under the name “Wellness Complete Health Senior Dog Food”.

The line has two formulas, one for all dog breeds known as original, and the other for small dog breeds. Each of the formulas sports a high-quality protein as the first ingredient. Additional ingredients include whole grains – a source of fiber, vegetables – the source of vitamins and minerals, and fruits – a source of cancer blocking antioxidants.

Wellness uses two animal-based protein sources to ensure your oldie gets the best. The first is deboned chicken, and the second is a chicken meal. Wellness adds chelated minerals to boost nutrient absorption and probiotics to enhance gut health. Although Wellness uses whole grains, they are not the sorts that cause sensitivity.

Wellness also boasts an Amazon Choice award which is a testimony of the quality of their dog foods. If your dog is obese and need to lose a few pounds, Wellness is one of the best options. The food is full of flavors your dog can’t resist and the recipe makes this one of the best diabetic dog food brands.

Downside

Wellness has a single fault which lies in its ingredient list. Although the company uses whole grains in their dog food, grains are still some of the biggest causes of food sensitivity in dogs. They also use chicken which is a protein that triggers allergies in some dogs.

Wellness

Wellness fortifies their senior dog foods with nutrients that support joint health, digestion and brain functions to keep your aging dog healthy.

Blue Buffalo – best wet dog food brand

Blue Buffalo is one of the dog food brands that have a lineup of both dry and wet dog foods. However, if you solely want a brand that has the best wet dog food, then look no further than Blue Buffalo. The brand has a litany of high-quality canned foods. Blue Buffalo also takes one of the top prizes for their natural ingredient list.

The company has a selection of four lines, each catering to dogs with different needs. Generally, wet dog foods cost more than premium dry dog food. But unlike dry dog food, wet foods have a lower carb count, higher moisture content, are more flavorful and palatable, have a higher protein count/pound than dry kibble.

Blue Buffalo understands your relationship with your dog and makes their food to be the best your family member can have. The ingredients in every can are all natural and high quality. With a thorough understanding of each dog’s nutritional requirements, Blue Buffalo approaches its manufacturing process holistically to ensure your dogs get optimal nutrition from carefully chosen ingredients.

The company makes foods with the right balance of nutrients without adding any artificial additives or fillers. Where Blue Buffalo beats most of its other competitors is in the variety section. The company has tens of recipes split across a number of lineups to cater for different life stages and breeds.

The lineups include Freedom – grain-free (10 recipes), Basics – limited ingredient (9 formulas), Wilderness – meat rich (over 30 recipes), and Life Protection (45 formulas). The U.S-based company manufactures its dog food under strict guidelines to ensure high-quality, nutrient density, and an all-natural holistic can of food.

Downside

Blue Buffalo is one of the most popular dog food brands and it has the widest variety of dry and wet food under its stable. However, when you have as many products as Blue Buffalo has, there are bound to be problems at one point or the other. One of these problems for Blue Buffalo is the number of recalls they have had for their products.

The good news is that most of these recalls have been initiated by Blue Buffalo, which for us is a boost of confidence as we can trust the company’s commitment to quality.

Blue Buffalo

This brand represents a holistic approach and makes optimal nutrition from carefully chosen ingredients the goal of its wet dog food products.

Primal – best raw food for dogs

Traditionally, dog food manufacturers cook their products in high-temperature environments. While the practice is great for ensuring no harmful micro-organisms survive, the high temperatures also change the chemical composition of ingredients. Heat also makes some ingredients lose some of their nutrition.

While you might think that the heating process is better for your dog as it reduces microorganisms, do not forget that dogs are built to eat raw food.

Feeding your dog raw foods means they get as much nutrition as they would get in the wild. In other words, your dog gets the exact quality that Mother Nature would feed him in the wild. When your dog eats raw food, it also means they need fewer supplements. But unlike dry and wet dog food, raw food requires better storage – refrigeration or freezing.

The best thing about raw foods is that they have the highest nutritional count of any other type of dog food. So if you are wondering what is the best brand of dog food with raw ingredients, Primal gets onto our list of best dog food brands with their list of raw dog food.

The company has almost 10 raw dog food formulas and uses premium proteins with each bag. Primal makes sure the proteins they use are free of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics and they use food fit for human consumption. To guarantee you of quality, all the ingredients Primal uses are 100% organic, complete with certification.

If your dog has allergies, Primal is a good choice as raw food requires minimal preservatives other than cold storage. The freeze-dried foods also guarantee you optimal nutrition as they retain their original nutritional value as long as you store them properly.

To make the food even more palatable, Primal produces a line of freeze-dried raw foods that you can rehydrate with broth and gravy so your dog gets a nutrient-dense, moisture-rich dinner. While Primal foods have the highest nutritional value, the ingredients in use also kick this brand out of any list of best affordable dog food brand or best diabetic dog food brands.

With a 28-pound bag going for almost $100, you won’t find any other best dog food brands that cost as much. But you also won’t find any other brand whose foods are as nutritious. With Primal, you have a choice of raw frozen formulas that you can use to prepare your dog food at home or you can choose a freeze-dried or a frozen formula.

Downside

If everything was perfect, there would be nothing better than a raw food recipe for your dog. However, perfection is just but a dream and despite raw food having the optimal nutrition, not all dogs like it. Some dogs prefer pre-cooked foods, kibble or canned foods. Buying raw food might be even more expensive if your dog does not like the taste.

Also, the need for the food to be kept in cold storage means you will pay a higher power bill. As if that’s not enough, raw foods need special handling to reduce the chance of a break out of food-borne illnesses. And, last, it is harder to determine the right portion to feed your dog if you feed them on raw food alone. Kibble and most wet foods have the right formulation and guidance, but with raw food, you will be doing the calculations.

Primal

A great choice if you want to introduce raw food to your dog's diet. Their freeze-dried foods offer optimal nutrition and retain their value for a long time if stored properly.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness – best large breed dog food

Large breed dogs have a more specific dietary requirement than other breeds. Large breeds are more prone to food-related problems later in life, especially musculoskeletal problems if not fed properly. Because of their huge bodies, large breed dogs need very specific nutrition to maintain healthy growth and prevent obesity.

On average, large breeds dog have a daily caloric intake requirement of between 20 – 30 calories/pound of their weight. The calorie count helps them get the energy they need all day while keeping their weight in check. Anything above that and there is a risk of them developing obesity in the long run.

However, each dog requirements are different depending on the dog’s activity, age, and many other factors. For strong bones and skeleton and to avoid orthopedic diseases, large dog breeds need a special blend of nutrients. Some of those nutrients and minerals that are crucial in a large breed dog’s diet include calcium, phosphorous, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

The last two promote joint health reducing the chances of dysplasia and arthritis in your big ball of fur. If you have a giant or large breed dog, the best brand of dog food is Blue Buffalo Life Protection for large breeds. Like with their wet food, Blue Buffalo uses high-quality ingredients to make flavorful foods that every dog will love.

Blue’s Life Protection line of the large breed food has the optimal formulation to meet your Labs, Great Danes, or German Shepherds specific needs. The company uses high-quality meat proteins as the number one ingredient. Additional ingredients that the company uses include whole grains for fiber, fresh fruits for vitamins and antioxidants, and vegetables for minerals.

To reduce the chances of allergic reactions, although blue uses grains in some of their products, they do not use any meat by-products, meals, or synthetic additives. The best-kept secret in Blue’s stable is LifeSource Bits which have a proprietary mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

Like other premium dog foods, Blue Buffalo is not the most affordable dog food brand. All the same, pound for pound, it’s one of the best values for money brands in the market. The brand has nearly 5,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.2-star rating.

On top of it all, it has an Amazon Choice award. Going by the reviews on Amazon, users who feed their dogs on this brand report that their dogs love the flavor and they see noticeable changes for the good with every bowl.

Downside

What’s not to like about Blue Buffalo? They have some of the best foods for large dog breeds. The only downside is that some ingredients the company uses may not be the best for dogs with allergies. One example is the whole grains. Although they are more nutritious, whole grains are also known to cause allergies in dogs.

One other downside is that Blue’s kibble is too small for some large breeds.

Blue Buffalo

This brand has great products designed for the specific needs of large breeds, like Labs, Great Danes, or German Shepherds.

Final thoughts

Dogs might be relatives, but their dietary requirements differ across breeds and sizes. Different brands cater to different breeds and as you can see above, no brand is a one-size-fits-all type. Hopefully, this review will help you decide on what is the best brand of dog food for you.

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Greg Holmes
Greg Holmes resides in Portland, OR with his wife and two daughters, as well as three Havanese dogs. Being an AKC-certified CGC Evaluator and a certified dog trainer, taking care of dogs has been a big part of his life ever since he was young. His love for dogs started when his father took him to the state dog shelter to find his first puppy, which he named Einstein because the dog presented with a very unruly coat when he saw it for the first time. From this experience, he has become a very strong advocate of "adopt don't shop" for aspiring pet parents.

Greg joined the Pupped.com team because he believes that every dog, regardless of breed or age, deserves critical attention and the best dog-related products in the market because man's best friend only deserves, well, the best. Being an active member of the American Kennel Club, he aims to provide up-to-date information to his readers and present factual data about the products available in the market.