This article contains affiliate links to products. Discover may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
When it comes to your dog, you want to make sure your best friend lives a happy, healthy life. That means giving them the best food that money can buy, right? Unfortunately, the dog food market is oversaturated with sub-par brands that produce filler-rich dog foods with things like grain to stretch the batch. At the end of the day, dogs are carnivores, and grain doesn’t do much for them except pack on weight and cause a myriad of canine health problems.
You can find dog foods at any retail, grocery, or drug store, and even online, but what makes a good dog food? What makes a great dog food? In today’s guide, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the best dog foods out there for your pet. We’ll cover everything from price to ingredients so you know what’s best for your furry friends.
What Makes A Good Dog Food
Before we get into our top picks for dog food, we need to look at what makes good dog food. First, let’s talk about dogs. Dogs, as we know them, are descended from wild animals that were gradually domesticated over the course of centuries. Most of the breeds we have today exist because of selective breeding practices, which helped humans breed only the features they wanted from certain varieties. For example, beagles were bred to be scent hounds for beagling (hare hunting). Great Danes were bred by nobility to help protect estates and participate in boar hunts.
That being said, a dog’s diet is an important component of its health, whichever breed it may be. There’s a raging debate among pet owners and even in some veterinary circles as to whether or not dogs are 100% carnivorous or omnivorous, but what remains clear is that the quality of the dog’s food makes a huge difference in their health.
What Ingredients To Stay Away From
Dog food ingredients aren’t all created equal, and you want to stay away from certain things to avoid health problems in your canine. These include “meat meal” or “meat protein”, which are often found on pet food labels, as well as food dyes, corn syrup, and MSG. Meat meal or meat protein is just the scraps of slaughterhouse animals that get left behind. It contains some nutrients, but because it’s the leftovers from the slaughterhouse, there’s no telling what’s actually in it.
Best Dog Food Brands
Now that we have a better understanding of what makes a good dog food and what ingredients you should avoid, let’s move on to our comprehensive list of the 10 best dog foods on the market. We’ve done the research for you, so you can feel confident knowing you’re getting only the best for your best friend! Here’s our list.
Ingredients: One of the healthiest dog foods on the market, Pupper’s Beef Recipe dry dog food offers wholesome ingredients from natural sources for optimal nutrition. The blend contains beef, beef heart, beef liver, barley, flax, carrots, beets, cranberries, parsley, sea salt, kelp, mixed tocopherols, and vitamin mineral.
The Difference: If you need a beef blend that doesn’t have fillers or artificial colors and flavors, you need Pupper. The brand wants to bring you only high-quality dog food, because at the end of the day, they’re dog lovers, too. We like to think that makes a serious difference in the quality and consistency of the products they sell.
Ingredients: If your doggo loves chicken, they’ll love the Pupper Chicken recipe. Made with only chicken, chicken liver, chicken gizzards, brown rice, flax, sweet potato, apples, ginger, krill, sea salt, kelp, mixed tocopherols, and vitamin mineral, it’s one of the simplest and healthiest dog food blends out there today.
The Difference: What more can you say about Pupper? The brand stole the spotlight for our top two spots because of its commitment to quality and consistency. You won’t find a tastier, more potent, all-natural dog food for a better cost.
Ingredients: Reduce the “eco pawprint” with Chippin’s whole, all-natural ingredients. Featuring omega-3 rich USA wild caught silver carp as the #1 ingredient, combined with gut healthy foods and dog favorites like pumpkin, oats, flaxseed, and spinach. This pawsome food is anti-allergen & oven-baked. Perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs.
Price/Where To Buy: Score this healthy, eco-conscious food at chippinpet.com. There, you can find a 3.5 lb. bag for just $32.99 (+ save 10% when you subscribe). You’ll also find all of Chippin’s drool-worthy dog jerky & oven-baked treats packed with novel proteins like cricket and spirulina.
The Difference: Crafted with a highly nutritious but overpopulated fish in USA waterways, feeding your dog Chippin helps to restore biodiversity and protect the Great Lakes. This all-natural recipe is great for discerning dogs, sensitive tummies, and eco champs that want to reduce their impact on the environment.
4. Nature’s Logic Chicken Meal Feast
Ingredients: Nature’s Logic brings you this awesome chicken meal feast blend that’s perfect for pets of all sizes and ages. You’ll find only high-quality, wholesome ingredients in this potent but affordable dog food blend, including minimally processed whole foods like chicken, tomatoes, almonds, and carrots. It’s important to really pay attention to the ingredients you give your doggo, and Nature’s Logic makes it easy with simple labels, clear ingredient lists, and an overall commitment to quality you just can’t beat.
Price/Where To Buy: You can find Nature’s Logic Chicken Meal feast on sites like Chewy and other popular pet food outlets. On Chewy.com, a 25-lb bag is around $66, putting this in the more affordable range when it comes to high-quality dog foods.
The Difference: Nature’s Logic offers quality and transparency, which are both qualities you want to see in a dog food brand. You need to know what’s going into your dog’s body, after all, and too many brands skirt around the truth.
5. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Deboned Turkey Blend
Ingredients: Dogs love the taste of high-quality meats, and even they can tell the difference between a good food and a so-so brand. Wellness CORE blend comes complete with deboned turkey, chicken, lentils, spinach, broccoli, and other important fortifying natural ingredients. This blend is specifically formulated to keep your doggo at optimal health, and the quality of ingredients is Wellness’ CORE lineup of wholesome dog foods. You’ll find everything your dog needs and more for a price anyone can afford.
Price/Where To Buy: Speaking of price — you can buy a 26-lb. bag of Wellness CORE Grain-Free Deboned Turkey Blend for about $67 on Chewy.com. With Chewy, you can set up recurring deliveries and get a small discount. You can also find this blend in other pet food stores and even some grocery and retail stores.
The Difference: Wellness’ CORE series features all-natural, high-quality foods with core nutrition for dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds. It’s affordable, potent, and delicious! Just ask the dogs.
6. Taste Of The Wild High Prairie
Ingredients: Every once in a while, you come across a brand that truly impresses with its high-quality, great-tasting, natural ingredients. This time, it’s Taste of the Wild—most notably, the brand’s “High Prairie” blend. This proprietary blend of wholesome ingredients contains a grain-free recipe with only the highest-quality natural bison meat. There are no fillers, artificial colors or dyes, or flavors, and you’re getting important Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy coat.
Price/Where To Buy: You can buy Taste Of The Wild High Prairie dog food online at Chewy.com, in some stores, or directly from Taste Of The Wild. This potent, natural dog food costs about $48 per 28-lb. bag, but there are smaller options available.
The Difference: Dogs are natural descendants of wolves, and Taste Of The Wild believes your dog should get something of that natural ancestral diet. High-quality natural ingredients free of grain or fillers makes this one of the best dog foods out there today.
7. Merrick Grain-Free Dog Food
Ingredients: Merrick takes the number six spot on our list for its potent, all-natural, grain-free beef blend. This blend is loaded with real Texas beef, a treat your dog will absolutely love. With ingredients like beef, lamb, salmon, sweet potatoes, and more, you’re getting everything your dog needs to stay happy and healthy in a delicious, easy-to-digest format. What more could your pupper ask for?
Price/Where To Buy: Merrick’s products are available across the web on sites like Chewy, and you can also find them in-store at certain grocery and pet supplies locations. A 30-lb. bag of Merrick Grain-Free beef blend costs about $74, making it one of the more expensive blends on this list.
The Difference: The Merrick difference is easy to see when you look at the label. Everything is naturally sourced for optimal protein for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds.
8. I and Love and You Nude Super Food Grain-Free Dog Food
Ingredients: This “nude” super food blend from I and Love and You brings you the best ingredients you can get, including high-quality red meats, no corn or other fillers, no artificial preservatives, colors, or dyes, and no wheat, rice, or soy. This is one of the best dog foods for the money, and your pupper is sure to notice the difference! Hear them come running every time you open a bag of this potent nude super food blend.
Price/Where To Buy: You can buy I and Love and You Nude Super Food Grain-Free Dog Food (red meat blend) on sites like Chewy and other pet food outlets. You can also get it in some stores. A 23-lb. bag will cost about $58.
The Difference: I and Love and You is a brand founded for pet owners by pet owners with a commitment to quality and service as a top priority. You’ll see the difference in every bag you buy!
9. Nutro Natural Choice Chicken And Brown Rice Blend
Ingredients: What happens when you combine high-quality, natural ingredients with great service and an excellent price? You get Nutro Natural Choice, of course. This awesome dog food blend contains only the finest ingredients to make your doggo happy and healthy, inlcuding chicken, whole grain brown rice, whole grain barley, and so much more.
Price/Where To Buy: Nutro Natural Choice Chicken And Brown Rice Blend is available across the web and in grocery and retail stores, or directly from Nutro. A 40-lb. bag will cost you about $61.
The Difference: Nutro Natural choice is just that—the natural choice. With high-quality ingredients and a good price, you can’t say no to this proprietary chicken and brown rice formula.
10. Diamond Naturals Chicken And Rice Formula
Ingredients: This quality food is great for dogs of all ages, making it one of the best all-around foods on the market. Featuring wholesome, high-quality ingredients like crude proteins and fats, all-natural vitamins and minerals, and Omega-3s/Omega-6s for coat health, this is a great, tasty blend for all dog breeds. The number one ingredient in this blend is cage-free chicken meat.
Price/Where To Buy: You can buy Diamond Naturals Chicken And Rice Formula in many grocery and pet food stores, or you can buy directly from Diamond Naturals online. A 40-lb bag is around $37 on sites like Chewy.
The Difference: When it comes to dog food, all-natural ingredients can make a huge difference. With cage-free chicken protein as the number one ingredient, this is the perfect blend for dogs of all ages. It’s also one of the most affordable at a little over one dollar per pound.
Bonus: Hungry Bark Grain Free Super Food With Turkey and Duck
Ingredients: Hungry Bark is a brand that wants to bring your doggo the best-tasting, highest-quality food possible. With this yummy grain-free super food blend, complete with turkey, duck, and other potent ingredients, you’ll get just that. Help your dog love meal time more than ever with Hungry Bark.
Price/Where To Buy: You can buy all of Hungry Bark’s potent pet products on the company website. A 24-lb. bag of this turkey and duck blend costs about $61.
The Difference: Hungry Bark doesn’t use fillers or other ingredients that don’t add to your doggo’s health, so you know you’re getting the best possible product for your money!