If you just got a new pooch to help you through these stressful and unprecedented times, you’re not alone. There’s been an uptick in dog ownership, and with that comes all the responsibility of caring for a furry friend. Dogs have been best friends with humans for a long time, some scientists speculate up to 40,000 years ago. That’s a ton of years to be indebted to man’s best friend! So how can you better the life of your dog? The first step, (aside from delicious dog chews, of course) is their food. Dog food has a controversial history and has often included unsavory ingredients. But, in the last decade or so, many natural food companies have taken an interest in the pet market.
There are so many dog foods to choose from in the industry, from natural to organic, to raw dog food. If you’ve never heard of raw dog, don’t worry, we’ll explain how to safely feed your dog a big hunk of meat on a bone. The most important thing to know is if your pet has any allergies, which often takes the form of chewing on their paws or constant licking. Many dogs are allergic to chicken, which seems strange, but it’s actually a very common allergy. Be sure to watch out for any obsessive licking or have a vet check out your pup.
Most dog food has a starch base — most often corn — which is a filler that is not very nutritious. So, if you’re looking for extremely healthy dog food, check the ingredient panel for all-natural options, such as rice, chia seeds and ancient grains. Or, go with the raw option.
Below, we break down the best dog foods for you so your dog can have the best meal, every meal.
Where To Buy Dog Food Online
We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t mention Chewy, our favorite place to buy dog food, dog toys, dog beds and dog everything’s online. Chewy isn’t a dog food brand, but rather a retailer, where you can go to buy all of your pet health and wellness essentials. If you have a preferred brand of dog food, you can head to Chewy to place an order, but it’s also a great place to discover new brands that aren’t carried at your local grocery store or pet shop. Chewy also makes it easy to set up subscriptions and auto-delivery so you don’t have to remember to order more kibble at the end of each month.
Of course, Chewy is just one of the many retailers where you can find the best dog food brands for sale online. In addition, popular online stores like Amazon and Walmart also have great selections and prices for dog food. Finally, you can also find more boutique options such as The Farmer’s Dog, which delivers dog food tailored to your pup’s dietary needs.
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo has a high protein style dry kibble, which works for most dogs. Their ingredients are top-notch with natural grains, organic meats and no fillers like corn or other basic starches with no nutritional value. They have several different meat sources, such as chicken, duck and salmon. Another perk of Blue Buffalo is their grain-free version, which is great for pups with a grain allergy.
2. The Farmer’s Dog Food Subscription Service
This is an excellent option for those seeking an easier option for shopping for their pets. A nutritious meal delivered directly to your door? Better yet, this dog food can be tailored to your dog’s dietary needs. Who will be happier with this fresh, tasty meal, you or your dog? The recipes are made from human-grade meat and veggies and are made fresh with nutritional integrity. Their slogan, “Pet food should be food,” shows the brand’s belief that good dogs deserve good food. While you may never know what’s actually in your pet’s food, even when it’s labeled organic or natural, you know exactly what you’re getting with Farmer’s Dog Food. Try it out and see the difference in your pet’s wellbeing.
3. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food
Merrick is a reputable pet-friendly brand and their version of a raw dog food is a little different than other raw foods. Their dry kibble is coated in a freeze-dried raw protein mixture as well as a freeze-dried raw kibble mixed in. This is a good option for a mixture of kibble and raw if you aren’t sure if you want to go fully raw. There are plenty of other protein options and grain-free versions. Try this if you’re interested in raw dog food but don’t want to commit to an expensive bag just yet.
4. Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food
Instinct is another great brand that has decided to mix a freeze-dried raw mixture with a dry kibble. A wise option for those seeking out a raw food diet but aren’t sure if their dog will fully go for it. Try mixing a quarter of the new food in with their old food to try it out and to avoid upsetting their stomach. There are beef, chicken, duck and salmon options.
5. 360 Pet Nutrition
This complete freeze-dried raw dog food is as raw and real as it gets: by using the entire chicken, 360 Pet Nutrition is adding as much value as your dog would have if they ate in the wild. No nutritional value is gone to waste by using the rawest food at hand. There are no fillers or added grains, so this is a high protein diet. Make sure your dog needs a high protein diet before going ahead with 360 Pet Nutrition. A great option for an active, working dog.
6. Lucy Pet Formulas for Life: Sensitive Stomachs
This version of Lucy Pet Formula is for sensitive stomachs and if your pet has a sensitive stomach, you’ll appreciate this food. There are other brands that hock sensitive stomach formulas, but they are all filler of corn with no nutritional value, so when Lucy Pet came on the market, it was quite an event. Made with four ingredients of salmon, pumpkin, chicken meal with chickpeas and quinoa, this recipe will surely settle your pooch’s stomach.
7. Orijen Dry Dog Food
Orijen is another excellent all-natural dog food company whose emphasis is on the word ‘natural.’ With no fillers as well as a grain-free diet, Orijen is an excellent source of protein for your pet. They specialize in incorporating a balance of using all the meat, including bone, cartilage and organs. As a dry kibble, this is an excellent high protein option for your furry friend.
8. Primal Freeze-Dried Dog Food
If you’re looking for the best dog food brands, then it might be time to think beyond kibble. Primal makes simple freeze-dried dog food that can be rehydrated with a quarter cup of water for every four freeze-dried nuggets. Their ingredients contain protein as well as vegetables and fruits for a whole balanced diet. You can even add one or two freeze-dried nuggets to a dry kibble for added protein.
9. Organix Wet Dog Food
This delicious wet canned food will surely satisfy your pet as a welcome addition to a dry bowl of kibble or as whole meal if that’s what your dog is into. Wet food should be fed as a treat and not usually as a whole meal. Organix has a special formula of chicken and brown rice, with no additives and plenty of healthy veggies and protein. As a superfood formula, they’ve added organic flaxseed, blueberries and organic coconut flour. A great choice for a pooch in the need of a special treat.
10. Zignature Canned Dog Food
Zignature has a special lamb formula for those dogs allergic to chicken. As a grain-free recipe, this is a welcome addition to the wet food category. With legumes and vegetables, this dog food is as healthy as it can be. A great choice as a topper to any kibble or as a complete meal.
11. Canidae Canned Food
Canidae is well known and loved brand and their dry kibble is just as good as their wet food formula. Their chicken and rice recipe has been brewed in a thick broth for optimal taste. It’s a great additive to a bowl of dry kibble and a sure win for any pet looking forward to dinner.
12. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Here’s another great option from Chewy, which makes finding the best dog food for your pup a lot easier. This grain-free dog food comes in 5, 14 and 28-pound bags. This healthy dog food contains real buffalo, bison, roasted venison and beef for lean protein, as well as fruits, vegetables and dried chicory root for healthy digestion and overall pet health.