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As a pet owner, you want to feed your dog the best diet possible. But with so many different foods to choose from, it can be hard to know which one to give to your furry friend. Over the last few years, natural dog food has taken front and center - and for good reason.
Research has found that many commercial dog foods lack quality ingredients. Many of them are made with cheap filler ingredients that lack nutritional value. As a result, a growing number of companies have formulated natural dog food recipes.
Quality food means a quality life for your best pal. Natural dog food doesn't contain potentially harmful ingredients like by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Instead, it’s made with ingredients you can recognize and pronounce!
Benefits of natural dog food
Feeding your dog natural dog food means that you’re filling your dog’s bowl with real ingredients. Gone are the days of guessing what’s in your dog’s kibble. Most natural foods use protein sources that are whole and minimally processed. Unlike commercial dog food, protein sources aren’t blended with fillers and additives.
Another benefit of feeding your dog a natural diet is that he will be better, faster, and stronger. High quality ingredients nourish your pup from snout to tail. Nutritious foods like lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains benefit digestive, immune, gut, and skin and coat health.
Nutrients like antioxidants and omega fatty acids minimize inflammation while supporting joint health so your pup can play fetch and go on walks for years to come. Commercial dog food is typically cooked at extremely high temperatures, which degrades and sometimes destroys vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Most importantly, feeding a high-quality natural food to your pup means more time with your best friend. Your dog is what you feed him. Feeding him a wholesome diet that keeps him at a healthy weight means a longer lifespan.
Are you ready to switch your dog to a natural food formula? Unsure where to start? Our guide of 20 best natural dog foods is a great starting point. Keep reading to learn about each of these foods. We’re sure that you’ll find one that meets your dog’s needs without breaking the bank.
First five ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, chicken gizzards, brown rice, and flax
Life stage: All life stages
Price: $39.99 for 1-lb bag
Does your pup go wild for chicken? If so, he’s sure to have endless tail wags after eating Pupper Fuel Chicken Recipe. This all-natural dog food is made with 13 whole, active ingredients that each serve a specific function in supporting your dog’s health and well-being.
Chicken energizes your pup while also maintaining lean muscle mass and strength. Kelp is naturally high in fiber, a compound that's needed for a healthy (and regular!) digestive system. Sweet potatoes, a known superfood, are loaded with antioxidants that lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Pupper Fuel is specially formulated for peak performance and optimal health, all without using any grains or low-quality ingredients. This is a kibble that you can trust, as it doesn't contain any fillers, preservatives, or other potentially harmful additives.
Good dog food starts with good ingredients. Pupper vets every step of the supply chain to ensure that your furry companion is fed nothing but the best. Fuel is formulated for maximum absorption and effectiveness so that your dog gets the biggest benefit in every bite.
2. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Reserve Grain-Free Sweet Potato & Venison Recipe
First five ingredients: Sweet potatoes, venison, potatoes, pea protein, and potato protein
Life stage: Adult
Price: $67.98 for 22-lb bag
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Reserve Grain-Free Sweet Potato & Venison Recipe offers the ideal balance of protein, fats, and carbs to keep your pup healthy. It's made with simple yet premium ingredients, including a single animal protein and no gluten, grains, soy, or artificial colors or flavors. Instead, it's crafted with healthful ingredients like venison, sweet potatoes, pea protein, and flaxseed.
This natural dog food is ideal for canines that have food allergies or a sensitive stomach. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Reserve Grain-Free Sweet Potato & Venison Recipe is made with gentle yet nutritious ingredients that nourish and support your pup’s every need.
Each serving offers a blend of taurine for heart health, vitamin E for a healthy skin and coat, and other nutrients like zinc, copper, B vitamins, and thiamine. With this Natural Balance recipe, your canine can enjoy a limited ingredient diet without missing out on flavor or nutrition.
3. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food
First five ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain sorghum, whole grain barley, and whole grain oats
Life stage: Adult
Price: $61.12 for 30-lb bag
Dogs thrive when they're fed a healthy diet. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food is made with a trio of proteins from chicken, salmon, and lamb, along with a blend of superfoods that protect your best pal from the inside out.
Each serving contains a blend of 15 vibrant superfoods, including kale, chia seeds, coconut, blueberries, flaxseed, and pumpkin. These whole foods are natural sources of a variety of nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins.
Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food is made with high quality ingredients that are sourced from trusted suppliers and farmers across the globe. These ingredients are GMO-free and are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals.
This nutrient rich recipe doesn't contain any wheat, corn, soy, or chicken by-product meal. It's also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. With Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food, you can make mealtime extraordinary.
4. Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Whitefish & Sweet Potato Formula
First five ingredients: Whitefish, fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, and lentils
Life stage: All life stages
Price: $47.99 for 28-lb bag
Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Whitefish & Sweet Potato Formula offers lean nutrition to keep your dog strong and healthy. The all-natural recipe is made with nutrient-rich foods like whitefish and flaxseed, which are great sources of omega fatty acids, along with blueberries, raspberries, and chicory root.
Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Whitefish & Sweet Potato Formula also contains a proprietary probiotic blend that is scientifically proven to boost your dog's digestive health. Wellbeing starts in the gut, so the addition of probiotics is a huge benefit.
Though it's made with wholesome ingredients, this food is enriched with a blend of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, calcium, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and other nutrients that keep your pup at optimal health.
This natural dog food doesn't contain any wheat, corn, fillers, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Whitefish & Sweet Potato Formula is proudly made in the USA by a family-owned and operated company that uses the most advanced food safety protocols.
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe
First five ingredients: Deboned lamb, fish meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley
Life stage: Adult
Price: $56.49 for 30-lb bag
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe is specially formulated for the health and well-being of adult dogs. This natural dog food contains vital antioxidants and nutrients that protect your pup with every bite. Each serving contains natural ingredients, including deboned lamb and antioxidant-rich produce like carrots, blueberries, and cranberries.
Flaxseed provides essential omega 3 fatty acids, which protect your pup's skin and coat. These seeds are also a great source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion while also supporting skin and coat health.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice recipe is enhanced with LifeSource Bits. These little morsels pack a huge nutritional punch. They contain a precise blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support immune system health along with healthy oxidative balance.
Because the recipe doesn't contain any wheat, soy, or corn, it's a great option for dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs.
6. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free
First five ingredients: Water buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, and peas
Life stage: Adult
Price: $54.99 for 28-lb bag
Give your canine what he naturally craves with Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free dog food. This uniquely flavored and formulated kibble is made with a blend of roasted bison and venison, a combination that you won't find anywhere else!
Each serving provides plenty of protein, along with highly digestible and nutrient-rich ingredients like blueberries, raspberries, sweet potatoes, and peas. This kibble is also made with fiber-rich legumes and dried chicory root, which is a natural source of prebiotic fiber. This fiber fuels probiotic bacteria in the gut.
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free is enriched with species-specific probiotics. This healthy bacteria is key for maintaining your dog's digestive and immune system. Each pound of this found contains 80 million live, active cultures.
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free is formulated with wheat, corn, grains, artificial colors or artificial flavors. It's made in the USA by a family-owned company using trusted and sustainable ingredients from local and global sources.
First five ingredients: Chicken, oats, ocean whitefish meal, millet, and quinoa
Life stage: Adult
Price: $72.99 for 22-lb bag
Your best pal deserves nothing but the best. Open Farm Harvest Chicken & Ancient Grains delivers a hearty kibble that is rich in nutrients and energy sources. It's made with a blend of chicken, ancient grains, and superfoods like pumpkin, apples, and chia seeds.
The recipe also contains salmon oil, which is rich in omega fatty acids and provides a great flavor profile. These fatty acids protect your dog’s joints and bones while also supporting heart and brain health. Who knew mealtime could be so wholesome yet delicious?
Open Farm Harvest Chicken & Ancient Grains is made with ethically sourced proteins and gluten-free, whole, non-GMO ancient grains. Each ingredient is 100% traceable, which means that you don't have to guess or worry about the safety of your dog's food.
This natural dog food provides everything your dog needs and nothing that he doesn’t. Aside from the nutrient-rich ingredients, this dry kibble is fortified with a blend of vitamins and minerals, including choline, vitamin E, calcium, folic acid, B vitamins, zinc, and others.
8. VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula
First five ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, whole grain millet, chicken fat, and dried blood meal
Life stage: Adult
Price: $60.99 for 40-lb bag
VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula offers a nutrient-dense recipe that's made with a blend of beef, chicken, and pork meals. This food is specially designed to meet the unique needs of sporting and working dogs, who need high amounts of protein and joint support to keep them strong and limber.
This high-protein, gluten-free food provides sustained energy to promote lifelong endurance and stamina. It's made with a blend of health-boosting foods, including whole grain millet, alfalfa meal, organic seaweed meal, and carrot powder.
VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula is fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin, two nutrients that are scientifically proven to promote long-term joint health. It also contains a blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.
Last but not least, this dry kibble is made with the unique VPRO Blend, which is formulated to promote superior immune function and digestibility. Support your large breed or highly active dog by feeding him VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula.
9. Solid Gold Sun Dancer Grain-Free Chicken & Tapioca Recipe with Quinoa
First five ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, tapioca, peas, and ocean fish meal
Life stage: Adult
Price: $54.99 for 24-lb bag
Looking for dog food that's healthy and tasty? What about one that's grain and gluten-free? Introducing Solid Gold Sun Dancer Grain-Free Chicken & Tapioca Recipe with Quinoa. This dry kibble food offers the right amount of protein and other natural ingredients to transform your dog into the epitome of health.
Your pup is sure to love feasting on this delicious food. It's packed with chicken and ocean fish meal to support lean muscle mass and strength, along with superfoods like chia seeds, quinoa, pumpkin, blueberries, and cranberries.
Solid Gold Sun Dancer Grain-Free Chicken & Tapioca Recipe even contains turmeric, an herb that has been used for centuries for its health benefits. The addition of prebiotics and probiotics makes this a great food for dogs of any size and breed.
With this natural dog kibble, you can let your dog's inner gold shine and shimmer.
10. ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Duck & Pear Recipe
First five ingredients: Deboned duck, duck meal, duck liver, sweet potato, and whole chickpeas
Life stage: Adult
Price: $89.99 for 25-lb bag
ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Duck & Pear Recipe is made with a thoughtfully crafted recipe from the first ingredient to the last. This dry kibble is made with 65% free-run duck ingredients, including deboned duck, duck meal, duck cartilage, and duck liver. This protein not only supports lean muscles, it's also an excellent source of iron and B vitamins.
ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Duck & Pear Recipe is also loaded with tons of wholesome, non-meat sourced ingredients. Whole foods like lentils, pumpkin, pears, and cranberries offer a wide range of nutrients to provide balanced and complete nutrition for your pup.
This limited ingredient food is fortified with probiotics, which play a large role in supporting your dog's digestive health. A healthy gut means a strong immune system and improved whole-body health.
ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Duck & Pear Recipe is made in the USA and doesn't contain any grains, peas, or corn. It's also gluten- and chicken-free.
11. Merrick Healthy Grains Raw-Coated Kibble Real Chicken + Brown Rice Recipe
First five ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, turkey meal, and oatmeal
Life stage: Adult
Price: $69.98 for 22-lb bag
Merrick Healthy Grains Raw-Coated Kibble Real Chicken + Brown Rice Recipe offers the nutrition and taste of a raw diet in a convenient dry kibble form. Each piece is coated with a freeze-dried coating that adds flavor and nutrition for your pup.
This grain-inclusive food is made with real, whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley. These ingredients are high in fiber, which supports optimal digestion so that your dog can go with ease. Fiber also means no more messy poops!
Merrick Healthy Grains Raw-Coated Kibble Real Chicken + Brown Rice Recipe also contains a blend of real, whole foods like apples, carrots, flaxseed, and chicken liver. These ingredients are natural sources of a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
To make this food even more balanced and nutritious, Merrick Healthy Grains Raw-Coated Kibble Real Chicken + Brown Rice Recipe is fortified with an amino acid complex, vitamin B12, folic acid, probiotics, and other health-boosting nutrients.
12. The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe
First five ingredients: Chicken, oats, barley, chicken liver, and carrots
Life stage: Adult
Price: $79.99 for 20-lb bag
The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe is made with minimally processed human grade foods that provide your best pal with the best nutrition possible. Formulated with the expertise of a veterinary nutritionist, these yummy clusters are made with real food that you'll often find in your own kitchen.
Each bite contains a healthy serving of chicken, oats, eggs, carrots, pumpkin, broccoli, apples, and other health-boosting ingredients. Superfoods like kale and chia seed keep your pup feeling his best for years to come.
The addition of salmon oil and coconut oil not only makes this kibble super flavorful, it provides omega fatty acids that protect your dog's skin and coat. Goodbye dry itchy skin!
The Honest Kitchen Food Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe is fortified with a high quality nutrient blend, including vitamin A, taurine, vitamin E, choline, vitamin B12, and others.
13. Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast
First five ingredients: Lamb meal, pumpkin, tapioca, dried egg, and sweet potato
Life stage: Adult
Price: $63.14 for 25-lb bag
Does your pup have sensitive skin or a sensitive stomach? The right diet can effortlessly solve these common health issues. Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast is a high quality limited ingredient dog food that is made with all natural ingredients. This dry kibble is made with lamb, pumpkin, blueberries, spinach and other superfoods that support nutrient absorption, digestion, and immune function.
Each batch is enriched with taurine, which keeps your pal's heart strong and healthy for years to come. Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast is also fortified with a blend of essential vitamins and minerals, including zinc, vitamin A, L-lysine, folic acid, L-carnitine, and others. It even includes probiotics to nourish your pup's digestive tract!
Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast is made without lentils, peas, or legumes, which can be problematic in dogs with tummy sensitivities. Even the pickiest pooch is sure to love this deliciously crunchy kibble!
14. Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe
First five ingredients: $78.28 for 18-lb bag
Life stage: Adult
Price: Organic chicken, organic chicken meal, organic sweet potatoes, organic potatoes, and organic peas
Keep your dog happy and healthy with balanced, grain-free nutrition from Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe. This all natural, USDA organic food is made with organic ingredients that are produced without synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, or artificial preservatives.
Each bite offers a delicious and healthful blend of blueberries, flaxseed, peas, and sweet potatoes. The addition of sunflower oil, which is high in omega-6 fatty acids, nourishes your pup's skin and coat to keep itching and other skin problems at bay.
Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe doesn't contain any wheat, corn, or soy, making it a great option for pups with sensitive tummies or food allergies. With this dry kibble, you can treat your dog to wellness with every meal.
15. Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey + Duck Recipe
First five ingredients: Chicken meal, turkey meal, salmon meal, deboned chicken, and deboned turkey
Life stage: Adult
Price: $69.99 for 22-lb bag
Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey + Duck Recipe is a protein-rich food that is nothing short of drool-worthy. This dry kibble is made with an expertly formulated recipe that's designed to support lean muscle mass, along with healthy digestion and balanced nutrition for adult dogs.
Each bite contains a healthy serving of chicken, turkey, duck, and salmon. These proteins are loaded with essential amino acids, omega fatty acids, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
This grain-free food is rich in antioxidant fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, pumpkin, cranberries, broccoli, blackberries, and pomegranate. Together these ingredients support immune function and protect against free radical damage.
Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey + Duck Recipe also contains probiotics and prebiotic fiber. This keeps your dog's digestive health in good shape while also supporting healthy gut bacteria.
Without the use of by-product meals or artificial preservatives, this is a food that you can confidently feed your furry best friend.
16. Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe
First five ingredients: Whitefish, ground barley, peas, menhaden fish meal, and oatmeal
Life stage: Adult
Price: $55.98 for 30-lb bag
Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe offers a health-boosting combination of premium proteins, whole grains, and all natural ingredients to support a lifetime of well-being for your pup. With this food, you can feel good each time you fill your pooch’s bowl.
This natural food is uniquely formulated to provide whole-body dietary and nutritional support for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes. It's made in the USA using the finest globally sourced ingredients, including whitefish, peas, sweet potato, and flaxseed.
While these ingredients are naturally high in vitamins and minerals, Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe is fortified with vitamins A and C, along with zinc, calcium, biotin, and copper.
Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe is crafted without the use of fillers, meat by-products, GMOs, or artificial preservatives. Instead, it's enriched with antioxidants, omega fatty acids, probiotics, glucosamine, taurine, and other nutrients.
17. Nature's Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast
First five ingredients: Chicken meal, millet, chicken fat, pumpkin seed, and yeast culture
Life stage: All life stages
Price: $79.99 for 25-lb bag
Nature's Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast offers a savory blend of chicken meal along with a combination of dried, minimally processed fruits and vegetables for optimal health and well-being. Each bite contains dried apple, carrot, kelp, chicken liver, egg, broccoli, cranberry, mushroom, and other all natural ingredients.
This kibble is specially coated digestive enzymes and plasma protein, which contain high levels of nutrients as well as globulin and albumin proteins. The addition of probiotics also supports digestive and immune health and function.
Nature's Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast is made without common allergens like corn, wheat, soy, and potatoes. It also doesn't contain any peas, lentils, or chemically synthesized vitamins, minerals, or nutrients.
Your dog will love the flavor of this food, and you’ll love it because you know it’s providing the balanced and complete nutrition he needs to live his best and healthiest life.
18. American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe
First five ingredients: Deboned beef, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, and chickpeas
Life stage: Adult
Price: $52.99 for 24-lb bag
Fuel your dog's adventures by feeding him American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe. This natural food is made with a nutritious recipe that protects your dog's health from the inside out. This dry kibble features deboned beef for lean, strong muscles along with a flavor that your canine instinctively craves.
Aside from a quality protein source, American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe is also made with a wholesome blend of fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, dried kelp, carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas. These ingredients provide beneficial fiber and antioxidants in every bite.
Enriched with salmon oil and flaxseed, American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe packs a powerful punch of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA. These fatty acids protect your dog's joints and brain along with his skin and coat.
American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe is grain-free and doesn't contain any wheat, soy, corn, or fillers that may upset your pup's stomach.
19. Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free
First five ingredients: Whole mackerel, whole herring, monkfish, Acadian redfish, and flounder
Life stage: Adult
Price: $112.99 for 25-lb bag
Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free is a high protein, grain-free food that your canine is sure to love. It's made with a diverse blend of fresh, wild-caught fish from the Atlantic waters around New England. Mackerel, herring, flounder, monkfish, silver hake, and redfish are all packed with vitamins and minerals, so much so that the only added nutrients in this food are zinc and copper.
Aside from fish, this all natural dog food also contains a variety of vegetables, including whole peas, pumpkin, butternut squash, spinach, kale, carrots, and more. The recipe also includes plenty of legumes along with fruits like whole pears and whole apples.
Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free is infused with freeze-dried cod liver, which naturally enhances the flavor of this ocean-powered kibble. The addition of probiotics and botanical ingredients like juniper berries, rosehips, and althea root take this dog food to the next level of being healthy and nutritious.
20. Whole Earth Farms Chicken & Rice Recipe
First five ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, rice, barley, and pork meal
Life stage: Adult
Price: $44.98 for 25-lb bag
Feed your pup perfectly balanced nutrition from the farm with Whole Earth Farms Chicken & Rice Recipe. What's great about this food is that it's developed by nutrition experts and veterinarians who know the importance of using quality ingredients that are fortified with the right amount of nutrients.
This natural dog food is made with a wholesome blend of ingredients, including chicken, flaxseed, carrots, and apples, all of which are great sources of vitamins and minerals. Each serving is packed with lean protein, fiber for healthy digestion, and omega fatty acids that keep your pup's skin and coat healthy and soft.
Whole Earth Farms Chicken & Rice Recipe is also loaded with antioxidants to fight inflammation and to protect against free radical damage. This dry kibble is 100% free from wheat, soy, corn, fillers, by-product meals, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
Our Criteria for Ranking the Best Dog Food
Choosing the right dog food is essential for your pet's health and well-being. With the plethora of options available in the market, it can be challenging to determine which dog food is best for your furry friend. To simplify this process and help you make an informed decision, we have established a set of criteria for ranking the best dog food products. These criteria are based on scientific research, expert opinions, and the specific nutritional needs of dogs.
Complete and Balanced: The dog food must meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for a complete and balanced diet, ensuring it provides all essential nutrients in the right proportions.
High-Quality Protein: The primary ingredient should be a high-quality animal protein source, such as chicken, beef, or fish, to support your dog's muscle development and overall health.
Whole Grains and Vegetables: Whole grains and vegetables should be included to provide essential carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Absence of Fillers and Artificial Additives:
No Fillers: The best dog food should not contain fillers like corn, soy, or wheat, which offer limited nutritional value and may cause allergies.
No Artificial Additives: It should be free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which can harm your dog's health over time.
Meat Meal vs. Whole Meat:
Preference for Whole Meat: Whole meat sources are preferred over meat meals or by-products, as they are less processed and retain more nutritional value.
Digestibility and Allergen Consideration:
Hypoallergenic Options: For dogs with allergies or sensitivities, hypoallergenic options that avoid common allergens like poultry or grains should be available.
High Digestibility: The dog food should be highly digestible to ensure your pet absorbs the maximum nutrients from each meal.
Life Stage Appropriateness:
Age and Size-Specific Formulations: The best dog food should offer formulations tailored to your dog's life stage (puppy, adult, senior) and size (small, medium, large).
Transparency and Sourcing:
Transparent Labeling: Brands should provide transparent information about ingredient sourcing and processing methods.
Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing: A commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing of ingredients reflects a brand's responsibility toward animal welfare and the environment.
Health Benefits and Special Considerations:
Support for Special Health Needs: The best dog food may offer formulations to address specific health concerns, such as joint health, dental care, or weight management.
Customer Feedback and Reviews:
Positive User Experiences: Customer feedback and reviews are valuable indicators of a product's performance, safety, and palatability.
Price and Value:
Affordability: The cost of the dog food should be reasonable and commensurate with its quality and ingredients, offering good value for pet owners.
Recall History and Safety:
Safety Record: Brands with a history of recalls or safety issues should be viewed with caution, as the safety of your pet is paramount.
Making the switch to natural dog food is one of the best decisions you’ll make for your canine companion. There’s no better feeling knowing that you’re filling your dog’s bowl with a kibble that supports his well-being so that he can live the best life possible.
No matter which natural food you choose from our top 20 list, you can take your pup’s mealtime to the next level. Remember, your dog is what he eats. The healthier his diet, the healthier he will be at every life stage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Dog Food
What should I consider when choosing dog food for my pet?
When choosing dog food, consider factors such as your dog's age, size, activity level, any allergies or sensitivities, and consult your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations.
What is the difference between dry and wet dog food?
Dry dog food (kibble) is convenient, has a longer shelf life, and can help with dental health. Wet dog food contains more moisture and can be more palatable for picky eaters. Some owners choose to feed a combination for variety.
Is homemade dog food a good option?
Homemade dog food can be an option but requires careful research and balance to ensure your dog gets all the necessary nutrients. Consulting with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist is recommended.
How can I tell if a dog food is of high quality?
Look for high-quality protein sources, whole grains and vegetables, minimal fillers and additives, and adherence to AAFCO guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition. Checking customer reviews and consulting experts can also help.
Should I choose a dog food based on my dog's breed?
While some breed-specific formulas exist, it's more important to consider your dog's individual needs, age, and size when selecting dog food.
What should I do if my dog has food allergies or sensitivities?
If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, consult your veterinarian for advice. They may recommend hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient dog foods.
Is grain-free dog food a better choice?
Grain-free dog food isn't necessarily better. While some dogs may benefit from grain-free options, it's essential to ensure the food still provides balanced nutrition, as some grain-free diets have been associated with certain health issues.
How often should I feed my dog, and in what portion sizes?
Feeding frequency and portion sizes depend on your dog's age, size, and activity level. Puppies typically require more frequent meals. Follow the feeding guidelines provided on the dog food packaging and adjust based on your dog's needs.
Can I mix different brands or types of dog food?
Mixing different brands or types of dog food can be done, but it should be done gradually to avoid digestive upset. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on the best way to transition your dog to a new diet.
Should I be concerned about recalls when choosing dog food?
Yes, it's important to stay informed about recalls. Check the FDA and manufacturer websites regularly for recall information. Brands with a history of recalls may be worth avoiding.
What is the role of my veterinarian in selecting dog food?
Your veterinarian can provide valuable guidance on selecting the right dog food based on your pet's specific needs, health conditions, and dietary requirements.
How can I ensure my dog stays hydrated when feeding dry dog food?
Always provide access to clean, fresh water. Wetting the dry food or incorporating wet food into the diet can also increase moisture intake.
Can I give my dog human food as part of their diet?
While some human foods are safe for dogs, it's essential to know which ones are and to avoid potentially toxic foods. Always consult with your veterinarian before adding human food to your dog's diet.
Remember that each dog is unique, and their dietary needs may vary. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian and open communication about your dog's diet are key to ensuring their health and well-being.