ᐉ Best Dog Food Reviews & Comparisons (2019) on Amazon | Here Pup
HerePup! > Best Dog Food Reviews, Brands Prices & Comparisons

Best Dog Food Reviews 2019
Top-Rated Brands and Comparisons

dog with tongue

We all love our pets, but that doesn’t mean we always know what is the best thing to feed them. With hundreds of different kinds of cheap dog food on the market, it can be difficult to find out what the best dog food is for our pets. 

The simple answer is that the best dog food brands for your pet depends on your specific breed, their sensitivities, and a number of other factors. Dedicated owners like you, however, are looking to find out more than that.

Let’s dive into the world of dog food so that you can give your pet the best nutrition possible. By understanding what dogs need to eat, what makes a good dog food, and what brands are known for providing quality food, you can create an incredibly healthy lifestyle for your dog.

This article will cover the best dog food brands, dog food ratings for specific conditions, what dogs can and cannot eat, and more! Everything you need to know about the best pet food in one place. Here we go!

At a Glance: The Best Dog Food Brands

Brand Name

Types of Food

Rating

Price


85 dry foods and 105 wet foods

9 dry foods and 4 wet foods

33 dry, 22 freeze-dried and 24 wet foods

7 dehydrated foods

wellness dog food reviews

47 dry foods and 63 wet foods

Types of Dog Food

Now that you know what is good and what is bad when it comes to the ingredients in dog food, it’s time to take a look at the different types of dog food that are on the market.

Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food, also known as kibble, is the most used type of commercial dog food. This food is long-lasting and comes in many different varieties that you can choose from.

These foods are balanced to provide complete nutrition for your dog without needing to mix them with anything else. They are ready to eat and even come in different sizes for different sized dogs.

The big con of using this kind of food is that they often contain fillers, preservatives, and processed ingredients, so it is important to choose dry food very carefully.

Canned (Wet) Dog Food

Wet food is often used as a meal supplement or for dogs that need to get more water. This moist food is perishable, which makes it slightly less convenient to use compared to dry dog food.

Wet food is very easy for dogs to eat, and it offers a complete diet with all the nutrients that your dog needs. Like dry food, there are many different types of canned food available to choose from.

Puppy Dog Food

Puppy dog food can come as either canned or dry dog food, but it is formulated specifically to help puppies grow up healthy and strong.

Dry puppy dog food usually has smaller kibble so that it is easier for puppies to eat. They also usually contain extra nutrients.

Large puppy food will have a limited amount of calcium so that they do not grow up too quickly. Large puppies that grow up too fast can actually suffer from bone and muscles issues throughout their life, so a limited calcium diet is recommended for them.

Senior Dog Food

Senior dogs have special health and dietary issues that need to be addressed with their food. Like puppy food, there are both wet and dry dog foods that work well for senior dogs.

The main things that differ between senior dog food and regular, adult dog food include:

  • Glucosamine, for strong bones & joints
  • Less protein, because they are less active
  • Chondroitin, for joint health
  • Extra fat, for better nutrient absorption

Grain-Free Dog Food

One type of dog food that is becoming increasingly popular is grain-free dog food. This type of dog food has no grains in it. Grains are known to be a common allergen for dogs, and more and more research is showing that it can slow down your dog’s digestive and immune systems.

Choosing dog foods that are free from wheat, corn, soy, and all grains is a great way to make sure they are getting food that their bodies can actually use. Grains are not easily processed by their systems, so it’s better not to feed them these ingredients.

Limited Ingredient Foods

The final type of dog food you should know about is limited ingredient dog food. These mixes are formulated with as few ingredients as possible while still providing a complete, balanced diet for your dog.

These foods are made for dogs that have food sensitivities or allergies. The fewer ingredients in the food, the easier it is to control your dog’s reaction to specific ingredients. Limited ingredient diets are becoming more and more popular as dog owners begin to pay more attention to their dog’s individual diet needs and sensitivities.

Best Dog Food Brands: 
Overviews

There are hundreds of kinds of dog food out there and even more opinions about what are the best dog foods for your pet. The real answer to the question, “What is the best dog food brand,” is that it depends on your specific breed, but for an owner looking to find the top dog foods for their dog, that’s not enough.

I’ve decided to summarize five lines from five of the top brands to help you get started with some truly reliable products on your journey to find the perfect food for your dog. These products from good dog food brands are top dog foods that will give nutrients, supplements, and support most commonly needed by dogs.

Let’s get started on a peak at the ultimate dog food brands that you should consider feeding your best friend!

blue buffalo

This amazing brand has five different lines of dog food, each of which offers incredibly high-quality ingredients and no filler, all at a relatively reasonable price. Their business was inspired by their big dog family and you can definitely see that considering their impressively balanced blends, which are liked even by the pickiest pets.

Whether your dog needs a very high level of protein, a single protein diet, or just a traditional, balanced diet, there surely is food at Blue Buffalo for them. They have not had quality issues in the past, and they are a company that prides themselves on making food that is biologically balanced for your pet. Feed your dog Blue Buffalo, and you’ll likely see positive change in no time!

Instinct

Instinct by Nature's Variety is probably the best raw dog food out there. With a huge selection of dry, wet and freeze-fried dog foods, it is popular between a lot of dog owners as well as the veterinarians. As far as I know, it is liked by a lot of our four-legged specialists as well - I never had to ask twice to consider this food.

Eight different lines of dog food give a great selection for all the different diets and preferences: grain-free, high protein, high digestibility, limited ingredients and all the other things you may be looking for. The highest quality meat used by Nature's Variety, amazingly balanced ingredients and great number of options makes this brand a splendid choice for dogs of every life stage and activity level.

wellness

Like Blue Buffalo, Wellness dog food comes in a few different lines. The formulas that I recommend as top of the line are all in the Simple and Core, though the other lines have their benefits as well. The Simple and Core lines put a higher focus on ingredients and nutritional balance, which is why I recommend them.

Wellness has been in the dog food industry for over twenty years, and they have really grown with time to put the latest of dog food nutritional research to work in their foods. They also put a huge focus on food safety, which makes me feel very comfortable with their foods.

For a shiny coat and better digestive functionality, try Wellness.

natural pet food

Eagle Pack is the next top dog food brands that I’d like to share with you. Eagle Pack is a newer company than some others. They began in 1985, and they have been making great food since then without facing any recalls.

Not all of their foods are completely grain-free, which is why I am only giving them 4.5 stars, but they are still corn- and wheat-free which is really important for dog owners to look for in good food.

One thing I really love about Eagle Pack is how clear they are about the ingredients they use and exactly what those ingredients are. Their website offers a useful index of ingredients, so use that to decide if the ingredients they use would suit your dog’s health.

the honest kitchen

The final company I’m including today as a top dog food is The Honest Kitchen. This company has the smallest variety of foods on my list, but I love them so much that this brand still makes it to the top.

These foods are dehydrated, which means that you add water to them and then you’re good to go! You might balk at the idea of paying between eight and nine dollars for a pound of food, but remember that you will be using very little food and rehydrating it, so it’s actually quite affordable.

The ingredients at The Honest Kitchen are all incredibly high-quality and well-balanced. They understand what good food can do for your dog, and I love that.

The Best Dog Foods 
For a Specific Diet Type

If you have found out that your dog needs to eat a specific kind of diet, it can be hard to decide which food to give them. These lists of the top rated dog food reviews and dog food brands for different types of diets should help you make that difficult decision about pet food.

Best Dog Food For A Puppy

Puppies are bundles of joy that bring so much energy and happiness into that home, but to maintain that energy, you need to feed them right! Puppies need special nutrition to ensure they grow into happy, healthy dogs.

These foods are all great options to feed your growing puppy.

You might be wondering why puppies need a special diet compared to their older counterparts.

Puppies need a well-balanced diet just like adult dogs, but their food needs to have a higher focus in digestive health, muscle growth and strength, brain development, and more. By finding the right blend of ingredients, you can make sure they grow up right.

This video covers the basics of how to feed a puppy:

On top of that, you’ll want to look for the following important components to any puppy food:

  • First ingredient is a real meat
  • Well-balanced nutritional analysis that is fit for a puppy
  • Small, easy to chew kibble
  • High calorie count
  • If you have a large breed puppy, specifically formulated for large breeds

Another great thing to look for are vitamins, minerals, and essential Omega 3 & 6 oils. All of these ingredients will help your puppy develop a strong brain, good joints, and a healthy coat!

Best Dog Food For A Low-Fat Diet

Some dogs need to eat a low-fat diet. Common reasons for this include:

  • Sensitive stomachs
  • Pancreatitis
  • Obesity
  • Unexpected weight gain

If your vet recommends that you switch your dog to a low-fat diet, any of these foods will be great options as a new pet food.

Each of these low-fat foods offers a great balance of healthy nutrition for your dog without giving them too much fat. Some cheap foods reduce fat levels by removing all the good meats, but these foods do not do that.

A well-balanced, low-fat food still provides high-quality nutrition from high-quality sources.

The main ingredient in these foods should always be a healthy meat, not a carbohydrate or low-quality filler. Whole meat and meat meal are both great choices. All carbohydrates should be complex sources such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, or oats.

Omega fatty acids and fiber are also very important. Fish oils and flaxseed are both good sources of omega fatty acids, while leafy greens will be a great source of fibers in a low-fat food.

Best Dog Food For A Raw Diet

A raw diet might sound totally disgusting to you, but dogs actually love to eat this kind of meaty, natural diet. Some people say that this is because of their roots as carnivorous animals.

Some of the following foods are supplements, and others are complete balanced meals. Check which type of food it is before you start feeding your dog their new, raw diet.

When choosing a raw-type diet, you will want to focus on the protein. It’s all about the meats! Make sure that the food you give your dog has a mixture of proteins that make up 55 to 70% of their diet. The proteins can come from meat, eggs, dairy, and bean-based proteins.

The rest of the food can be carbohydrates and vegetables, but you should always make sure they are not filler carbohydrates like corn, soy, or wheat.

Always check with your vet before switching to a raw diet, and check out this video about what the transition between kibble to raw food can look like:

If you want more information about the best raw dog food, check out these dog food reviews about top options on the market today.

Best Dog Food For Pregnant Dogs

When a future momma dog is eating, she is eating for more than just herself, so it’s important to take proper care of her nutrition.

These foods are all good choices of pet food for feeding pregnant dogs:

There is a lot to understand about proper nutrition for pregnant and feeding dogs, so you will want to consult with your vet about your particular dog’s situation to make sure you aren’t over or under feeding her.

Most dog’s don’t need to eat more food until six weeks into pregnancy, at which point she should have 30 to 50 percent more calories. If you are already feeding her a high-quality food that is high in meat and protein, you don’t need to change her food.

Overall, you should make sure her weight increases by up to 30 percent before she has her puppies to make sure she is healthy and can healthily feed her pups.

Best Dog Food For Hunting Dogs

Hunting dogs and other dogs that need high-energy levels to get through their days can really benefit from a specialized diet.

In particular, their diet needs to include the following nutritional profile:

  • Slow digesting ingredients
  • Minimum 20% fat
  • Minimum 30% protein
  • High-quality fat sources
  • High level of nutrients and chelated minerals

If your dog is only working 1-2 hours a day, you can feed them a diet with lower levels of fat and protein, but dogs that are active for most of the day need these high levels of energy sources to keep them healthy.

The best dog foods for hunting and working dogs include the following formulas.

Best Dog Food For A Grain-Free Diet

Grain-free diets are becoming increasingly popular with dog owners who are concerned about how well their dogs can process their food and efficiently use the energy in their diet.

While there is no substantial evidence that dogs cannot digest grains fully, there is evidence that grains are one of the most common allergens for dogs, so feeding them a grain-free diet may help ease up any digestive problems your dog is having.

Grain-free diets are usually higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates. Common grain-replacement carbohydrates include:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tapioca
  • Peas

A few of the most popular and best rated foods according to dog food reviews include the following formulas.

The Best Dog Foods 
For Dogs with Specific Issues

There are many unique health circumstances that might affect your dog and what they should be eating. Whether your dog is a puppy, has kidney disease, or simply has a sensitive stomach, different foods may work better for them.

I’ve gathered up some of the best foods for various issues that your dog might be affected by. Along with a brief description of what type of diet you should feed a dog affected by these health problems, these ideas about what foods work best should help you alter their diet for a healthier life.

Best Dog Food For Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs

One type of specialty food that many dog owners look for is the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Here are the top four foods for dogs that have sensitive tummies that need special care.

Each of these foods is a great option for your dog that has a sensitive digestive system. You can recognize if your dog has this sensitive stomach if you see any of these issues:

  • Occasional loose stool
  • Intermittent vomiting
  • Lots of gas
  • Unexpected weight gain or loss

While these signs don’t always mean that your dog has a sensitive stomach, they are a common sign of this problem. When you see these symptoms, you will want to choose a food that is more simple and has fewer ingredients. Simplifying your dog’s diet will allow you to regulate what goes into your dog’s system.

After that, you’ll want to examine your dog’s food and make sure that it has the right nutritional profile that will keep them healthy without causing them unnecessary pain.

The first ingredient in their food should be a protein; the carbohydrate should be a complex, grain-free source such as sweet potatoes. Avoid low-quality fillers ingredients such as corn and soy.

Next, ensure that the fat content is around 15%. This is enough to keep them healthy but not too much. Lastly, ensure that the food has good sources of fiber such as fruit or root vegetables.

Best Dog Food For Arthritis

Many dogs, especially older dogs, suffer from arthritis. This can cause them pain and stiffness that will make their life more uncomfortable. You can prevent your dog from feeling more pain with the right diet.

When you are choosing a pet food for dogs with arthritis, it is important to consider that the food includes ingredients that will help supplement good joint mobility without causing them further pain.

Anti-inflammatory ingredients: There are many fruits and vegetables that can help to reduce inflammation in your dog’s joints. Look for foods that include the following ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Apples

Low grain content: Some grains can cause your dog to have inflamed, sore joints. Look for a low-grain or grain-free food to avoid this.

Low Fat From Meats: Animal fat or fatty meats can cause joint pain to be more severe for your dog. Cheap foods will use animal fat to boost the protein and fat levels, but you should avoid these.

Omega-3s: Quality sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil help to reduce inflammation as well. Choose fish oil omega 3 fatty acids over lower-quality sources such as sunflower, corn, or vegetable oils.

Best Dog Food For Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a very real issue that many dog owners must deal with on a daily basis. One way to ease the symptoms and discomfort seen in your dog is to adjust their diet.

These foods are great choices for dogs with kidney disease:

If your dog has been diagnosed with kidney disease, special care needs to be taken with their diet. Some of these foods are veterinary prescribed, so you will need to work with your vet to work out your pet’s diet.

These are the most important things to include in your dog’s diet whenever they are dealing with kidney and renal issues:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamins B, C, and E
  • Low protein level (between 13% and 18%)
  • Low phosphorous level (between 0.2% and 0.5%)

The fatty acids and vitamins will help your dog’s kidney function between. The low protein and low phosphorus levels are important to make your kidney’s day-to-day functioning more easy for them.

Best Dog Food For Yeast Infections

While yeast infections are not completely caused by your dog’s diet, what your dog eats is a factor that affects the potential of getting a yeast infection.

If you want to help your dog stop getting yeast infections, consider changing their food to a pet food that fits the following characteristics. This should lower their risk level:

  • Limited starch: Starches convert to sugar, which is what helps yeast grow! Potatoes, oatmeal, rice, and peas all have a lot of starches and can lead to an increased risk for yeast infections.
  • Grain-free: Grains have not been officially linked to yeast problems, but there are a chance that they are a hidden culprit. To be safe, just avoid grain-inclusive foods
  • Limited ingredient diet: When your dog has chronic problems like allergies or yeast infections, it is best to stick to simple diets that have fewer ingredients that could cause them issues.

Here are a few of the top foods that you might want to consider for your dog to help them avoid getting yeast infections. For more detailed dog food reviews, check out this complete article I put together.

Best Dog Food For Loose Stools

At some point in your dog owning life, you will have a dog that gets loose stool. It’s just a simple fact that their bowel movements will not always be firm and perfect.

Still, some dogs will have chronic loose stool that is caused, in part or whole, by their diet.

Changing their food to one of these great dog foods can help to lower their chance of having loose stool.

To make sure that your dog does not end up with loose stool again, it’s important to understand why these foods help solve this bowel problem.

Each of these foods is good for loose stool because they are grain-free and don’t have too many ingredients. The reason your dog gets loose stools is that they cannot properly process the food. This may be because they are having a slight allergic reaction to the food, or there is just an ingredient that their stomach does not like.

When you choose a food with fewer ingredients, the chances of your dog having a firm bowel movement increases dramatically!

Best Dog Food For Colitis

Have you ever heard of colitis?

Colitis is when a dog has an inflamed colon. This condition can range from being mild to being very severe. This condition has to be treated with medicated by a veterinarian, but you can also help them heal faster by feeding them the right diet.

Dogs that are suffering from colitis need specialized diets:

Their diet needs to feature the following:

  • High fiber
  • Low fat
  • Lean, white meats
  • Easy-to-digest ingredients

While your dog heals from their inflamed colon, you need to feed them small portions of food and refrain from giving them any treats. Colitis can cause your dog a lot of long-term pain, so it’s important to limit their diet immediately so that they can heal properly.

These foods are all great options for dogs with colitis:

Best Dog Food For Bad Breath

Some dog owners might laugh at the idea of bad breath being a condition that needs a special diet, but dog owners who have a dog with really stinky breath will understand the desire to do anything to help fix this.

It is possible to help improve your dog’s breath by feeding them one of these foods.

Besides brushing their teeth, feeding your dog foods that have abrasive textures will also help to clean bad bacteria out of their teeth. This kind of bacteria is usually the cause of bad breath, so feeding them one of these foods will help get rid of the smell.

If your dog still has bad breath after brushing their teeth or changing their diet, have your vet check them out for more serious dental issues that may be causing their stinky breath.

Best Dog Food For Urinary Health

Some dogs are very prone to getting urinary tract infections, and they may even end up with bladder stones if you aren’t careful. The most common type of bladder stones that dogs get are called struvite crystals.

By feeding your dogs the right diet, you can set them up for good urinary tract health:

  • Choose a slightly acidic food. Including a few acidic (but not too many) ingredients such as cranberries can be beneficial.
  • Low levels of protein, phosphorus, and magnesium. Lower levels of these items will help prevent large bladder stones from forming.
  • Light salt content to help encourage your dog to drink more, which is great to help urinary health.

Here are just a few great selections of dog food that can help to improve their urinary health.

Best Dog Food For Diabetic Dogs

It is possible for dogs to get diabetes. If your dog has already been diagnosed with diabetes or they are at-risk for diabetes, you will want to adjust their diet to help them live a healthier life.

A few foods with great dog food ratings that might work for diabetic dogs include:

Diabetes can be difficult to understand, so you should make sure that you take the time to learn about the condition that your dog is being affected by:

In general, you should look for a food that is not sugary and feed it to them in small portions. Look for wholesome ingredients and formulas that are free from useless fillers. Dogs with diabetes are prone to allergies, digestive issues, and more, so you have to consider your choices carefully.

Best Dog Food For Overweight Dogs

We’ve all had a little extra weight on ourselves at one time or another, and dogs are no different. Like humans, some dogs are just prone to being overweight. From thyroid problems to overeating, there are many reasons that dogs gain too much weight.

One way to fix this problem is to adjust their diet. You don’t want to restrict their calories so much that they are starving, but you can make simple changes that will help your dog to come down to a healthy weight without knowing the difference.

Don’t let your dog become obese. If they do, the risk of them coming down with the following conditions increases dramatically:

To help your dog lose weight, look for foods that have the following characteristics:

  • It should contain more protein than average
  • It should contain less fat than average
  • It should contain fewer calories that average

This combination will give dogs the nutrients they need, help them feel full, and still allow them to shed a few pounds.

These foods all have top dog food ratings that show that they are great diet choices for your dog. Try one of them out if your dog is gaining too much weight.

Finding Dog Foods 
For Specific Breeds of Dogs

Every breed of dog has their quirks and unique traits that owners learn to love and take care of. Another thing that pet owners have to learn to take care of are the specific diet and health issues that affect their breed of dog.

Some breeds are prone to certain types of allergies, and others have a higher risk of various health conditions that can be exacerbated by the food that they are given.

To choose the right food for your breed, think about the following:

Once you find out the answers to these questions, you can use the answers to decide which dog food is right for your dog.

But I know that doing all of that research is a LOT of work, which is why I have taken the time to put together many guides about choosing the right food for specific breeds of dog. I’ve covered more than 20 breeds of dogs and counting.

Browse the articles below to find the best dog food that I recommend for your dog’s breed based on top dog food ratings. You’ll be happy to find that each article gives information specific to their potential diet and health problems.

There are hundreds of kinds of dog food out there and even more opinions about what are the best dog foods for your pet. The real answer to the question, “What is the best dog food brand,” is that it depends on your specific breed, but for an owner looking to find the top dog foods for their dog, that’s not enough.

I’ve decided to summarize five lines from five of the top brands to help you get started with some truly reliable products on your journey to find the perfect food for your dog. These products from good dog food brands are top dog foods that will give nutrients, supplements, and support most commonly needed by dogs.

Let’s get started on a peak at the ultimate dog food brands that you should consider feeding your best friend!

Toy Breeds

Small Breeds

Medium Breeds

Large Breeds

Extra Large Breeds

The Basics

What Dogs Need To Eat​

The first thing you should learn about your dog is what they need. Most dog foods can be narrowed down to three main nutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Depending on your dog’s breed, health status, and activity level, the percent of these nutrients that your dog should eat will differ, but you still need to understand what protein, fat, and carbohydrates do for your body.

Protein

Protein is essential for growing dogs as well as dogs that use their muscles a lot because protein is used to repair muscles. They also work to keep your dog’s cells functioning properly.

Quality meats give your dog many essential nutrients as well as the energy needed to live an active life. Dogs that have diabetes and puppies both need high-protein diets to function properly. Protein usually comes from animal-based sources in dog food. Meat meals such as chicken meal are also great sources of protein.

Fat

Fats are the largest source of energy for your dog. They are a very concentrated source of energy, and fats also help your dog’s body to absorb and use all the vitamins and nutrients that are in their food.

High-fat diets are great for dogs that work all day long and for dogs with kidney disease, as they help these dogs get more nutrients.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate sources in dog food such as grains, potatoes, beans, fruits, vegetables, and more all give your dog energy in addition to nutrients and fiber that will keep your dog’s gut and intestinal health balanced.

Fiber is one type of carbohydrate that is very important to dogs. Moderately fermentable fiber sources such as beet pulp are great for dogs, and fiber helps to keep your dog’s digestive system working properly. Fiber sources should be carefully considered to prevent excess gas.

More Than These Three Nutrients

In addition to these three main nutrients, the moisture level, vitamins, minerals, and full ingredients list of your dog’s food is very important. This is a lot to take in, so rather than explaining why each of these nutrients is important for every dog, let’s explore the best dog food brands and the best dog foods for specific situations to give you a full understanding.

The first thing you should learn about your dog is what they need. Most dog foods can be narrowed down to three main nutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Depending on your dog’s breed, health status, and activity level, the percent of these nutrients that your dog should eat will differ, but you still need to understand what protein, fat, and carbohydrates do for your body.

Examine the Formulas 
and Ingredients

When you choose a dog food, it's important that you know what formula it is and what ingredients are in the dog food. All of this information can easily be found on the bag itself, or on the manufacturer's website!

1. Guaranteed Analysis

When you are looking at different pet foods, start by looking at the Guaranteed Analysis. This panel will give you the following information:

  • Protein (min %)
  • Fat (min %)
  • Fiber (max %)
  • Moisture (max %)

Some labels might also show the following information:

  • Amount of calcium
  • Amount of phosphorus

2. Check Out The Ingredients List

The ingredients list of a dog food will show you exactly what is in the pet food.

The ingredients list shows ingredients listed by weight, starting with the heaviest item. If the first ingredient is a meat product, remember that meat is usually about 75% water, so it actually is a bit lower on the ingredients list.

Meat meals, on the other hand, are concentrated sources of animal protein and they have no excess water or fat weight.

While looking at the ingredients list, you will want to look for any controversial ingredients that may not be good for your dog (see section below for more information about these ingredients).

3. Remember These Important Things

There are a few more things about dog food labels that you should know when choosing a pet food.

Using the phrases “Natural,” “holistic,” and “human-grade” on dog food does not always mean exactly what it seems like. There is no legal guideline for using this terminology.

Organic pet food also does not have any official standards, so you have to rely on your knowledge, not the product labeling, to determine if you believe the food is organic.

Brand Name

Types of Food

Rating

Dry and Wet

Dry

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry, Wet, And Dehydrated

Dry

Dry and Wet

Dry

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Treats

Dry

Dry

100+ Dry and Wet

Dry

Dry

Dry and Wet

​Dry

Dry and Wet

Dry and  Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Brand Name

Types of Food

Rating

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Raw and Raw Frozen

Dry

Dry

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Freeze-dried

Dry and Wet

Dry

Freeze-dried and Raw

Dry and Wet

Dry, Wet, and Treats

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

Dry and Wet

0

Bad Ingredients, 
Poor Health

Feeding your dog a balanced diet with the best pet food available is important. You do not want to give your dog low-quality ingredients or food that may cause them health problems down the road. Just because your dog will try to eat everything doesn’t mean that everything is good for them!

Bad ingredients can truly lead to poor health. Your buddy’s body uses the nutrients in their food to run around and play, and low-quality sources will actually prevent their bodies from working as efficiently as they should.

There are a few types of ingredients that you should be aware of that can lead to poor health in a dog. These items are often found in low-quality dog food as cheap fillers, and they can be avoided by choosing high-quality dog foods instead.

Avoid Unnamed Meats and By-Products

Sometimes you will see foods that say “poultry by-products” instead of “chicken meal.” You never want to choose a food that has an unnamed source of protein, because you won’t know exactly what you are feeding your dog.

Additionally, meat by-products are the ground up, internal remains of an animal. Some dog food brands will try to argue that this is good for the dog, but they cannot guarantee the quality. If they really wanted to include these internal parts, they could include them as whole prey rather than by-products.

Remember that protein meals, such as chicken meal, are quality sources of protein in most cases.

Avoid Chemical Preservatives

There are three main chemical preservatives that are known for being used in low-quality dog food. Choose a pet food that does not contain:

  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Propylene Glycol (PG)

BHA and BHT can cause kidney damage and have been proven to cause cancer in both humans and dogs.

Ethoxyquin is an herbicide that has been shown to cause all of the following medical conditions:

  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Cancer (liver, spleen, stomach, skin)
  • Immune deficiency syndrome
  • Blindness
  • Leukemia

Propylene Glycol (PG) is a type of antifreeze. While companies try to sell this product as pet-safe and non-toxic, it is not good to feed to your dog, so choose a pet food without this dangerous ingredient.

What Dogs Can and Cannot Eat

In addition to looking out for dangerous ingredients that can cause your pet serious health issues, there are many ingredients that can be confusing for pet owners. Is coconut water okay for dogs to eat? Can they have a treat, like donuts?

To cover every single food out there would take days!

A good rule of thumb is that dogs cannot eat any processed or heavily sweetened foods such as donuts or potato chips. These foods are not good for their bodies, and they give them no beneficial nutrients.

Natural foods such as green beans, coconut water, and carrots can be healthy treats for dogs as long as they are given in moderation and closely monitored. You can even make your own dog treats!

Also, there are great products like dog bones and dental chews that your pup will love to chew on. Not to mention the bully sticks!

It basically comes down to this: Only feed your dog foods that give them beneficial nutrients. They do not need empty calories and potentially dangerous ingredients added to their diet...also be sure to check the expiration date when you buy!

To learn more about foods that pets can eat, check out these topics:

Can My Dog Consume...?