The pet food market has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several years, and now you can find all types of options on store shelves. From dry kibble to grain free formulas and raw food in refrigerated cases, dog owners have tons of decisions to make when it comes to what to feed their pets. Unfortunately, a large percentage of commercial dog food is loaded with ingredients that are far from wholesome and basically amount to being fillers. Some of the things put into dog foods are even problematic and have been known to cause digestive and other health issues. In the worst cases, pet owners suspect that low quality food actually caused the death of their dogs.
When looking for a quality dog food that’s nutritious, it’s best to choose a formula that has a significant amount of meat based protein, zero artificial colorants, and no preservatives derived from chemicals. Excessive amounts of generic animal fats, anonymous meat ingredients, and salt should be avoided as well.
1. Victor Grain Free Active Dog and Puppy Formula
This formula is one of the best dog foods to buy, and pet owners who want a brand that’s not chock full of fillers and ingredients without much nutritional value will appreciate its contents. In the Active Dog and Puppy variety the top ingredients are beef meal, sweet potato, chicken meal, and peas. Fatty acids and vitamins are also included in each formula, and this is an excellent pick for the owners of puppies. What a young dog eats has a profound influence on its development, which is a top reason for ditching foods with poor nutrition and opting for a high quality formula from a brand such as Victor Grain Free
2. Merrick Grain Free Dog Food
When it comes to high quality dry dog food with a unique variety of flavors, few brands beat Merrick Grain Free. They have formulas such as Real Rabbit and Chickpeas, Real Buffalo and Sweet Potato, and Real Texas Beef and Sweet Potato. The Real Duck and Sweet Potato formula contains deboned duck, turkey meal, salmon meal, sweet potatoes, and peas as its first five ingredients. There’s also a variety of fruits and veggies thrown into the mix for good measure including apples, blueberries, and potatoes. Reviews from dog owners state that this particular formula was well received by their pets.
3. Taste of the Wild Wet Dog Food
Taste of the Wild offers several varieties of canned dog food, all of which are highly rated. It contains no controversial ingredients and fillers and is one of the best dog foods to pick if you’re looking to give your pet protein from actual meat. It’s also easy for dogs to digest as it’s absent of harmful preservatives and ingredients that tend to upset their stomachs. For instance, in the Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon variety the top ingredients are beef, beef and vegetable broths, and beef liver. This particular formula also has lamb and wild boar in addition to sweet potatoes, blueberries, and raspberries.
4. Pinnacle Peak Protein Formula Dog Food
This dog food brand’s formulas meets AAFCO nutrient profiles and is suitable for animals in all stages of life, so it’s a good choice if you own dogs of different ages. It contains a good mix of carbs, protein, and fat and doesn’t have any grain fillers. The top ingredients are chicken meal, chicken, and potatoes, and it also contains salmon oil for a healthy dose of omega-3. This dog food is also a good source of vitamins E, C, A, B6, B1, B21, and D3.
5. Wellness Core Dog Food
Wellness Core is a line of seven dry dog foods, and each one is well received by pets and their owners. Contrary to dog foods that are known for being laden with chemicals, colorants, and artificial flavorings, this one will truly nourish your pet. In addition to meeting AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult dogs and puppies, this is a high quality line of food that has no fillers. One of the best dog foods that Wellness Core offers is for large breeds. Its top five ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potatoes, and peas.
6. Nature’s Variety Instinct Dog Food
If you’re looking for a nutritious dry formula, one of the best dog foods available is Nature’s Variety Instinct. The company produces several different varieties, with the distinction between each being the flavors — dogs of all ages can eat this food, and owners haven’t reported any dangerous or ill effects. In the well liked Duck and Turkey flavored formula the main ingredients are duck, turkey meal, salmon meal, and tapioca. There are also cranberries, carrots, apples, and a variety of vitamins added into the mix. These are nutritious additions to the food, which are more often than not missing from formulas made by less expensive and low quality brands.
7. Holistic Select Dog Food
Holistic Select has a line of dog food that includes over 12 varieties, with many of them aimed at benefiting dogs in different life stages. This makes the brand’s offerings ideal for those with both puppies and adult dogs, or anyone who has dogs with special dietary needs. Each is full of healthful ingredients and has a good mix of protein, carbs, and fat. Holistic Select’s formulas include ingredients such as cranberries, carrots, pumpkin, quinoa, apples, and peas, but the top ingredients are typically meat meal.
8. Acana Regionals Dog Food
Dog owners give this dry food brand high ratings because it contains real ingredients as opposed to fillers and chemicals that can cause upset stomachs and other illnesses in their pets. Acana Regionals offers several varieties, such as Appalachian Ranch. The latter is full of meat and has deboned beef, pork, and lamb as the first three ingredients. It also contains nutritious additions such as dried kelp, rosehips, juniper berries, and kale. This brand’s formulas are highly rated and there are very few complaints about it causing digestive troubles in dogs.
9. Annamaet Grain Free
Annamaet Grain Free has become increasingly popular over the last few years, especially among dog owners who have tried lesser quality brands that resulted in their pets getting sick. There are four formulas in the line, each with real meat and no fillers that lack nutrition. The Manitok Red Meat variety includes deboned lamb, lamb meal, lentils, chickpeas, venison meal, and an assortment of healthy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, watercress, field peas, carrots, and celery.
10. Fromm Family Gold Dog Food
Fromm Gold dry dog food is recommended by many vets, and it’s loaded with nutritious ingredients. There are a variety of formulas in the line that are targeted towards dogs at different life stages, from puppies to seniors that are no longer as active. The Adult formula is one of the best dog foods available from the brand and it contains duck, chicken meal, chicken, brown rice, and pearled barley among the first ingredients. The formula has a good amount of protein and fats as well.
11. Horizon Legacy Dog Food
Horizon Legacy is becoming more widely used, and the brand currently offers three high quality formulas. One of the formulas is for puppies, another for adults, and the third is for dogs at any life stage. The adult formula’s first ingredient is chicken, while chicken meal, peas, pea starch, and turkey meal round out the top five.There are also probiotics added to this formula, so it would be a good option for dogs who have experienced digestive troubles with other foods.
12. Bully Max High Performance Dog Food
If you’ve been looking for a dog food geared towards high performance that’s not all fillers, chemical preservatives, and suspicious ingredients, Bully Max is worth looking into. It has a great balance of protein, carbs, and fat, and the formula is full of nutrition. The flavoring of the food is natural, and top ingredients include chicken meal, brown rice, ground grain sorghum, and chicken fat.
13. Dr. Tim’s Dog Food
Dr. Tim’s line of dry dog foods has been well received and highly rated among dog owners for years, and there are specialty formulas appropriate for different situations. In addition to formulas made for active dogs and those with weight issues, Dr. Tim’s offers a formula that’s excellent for all life stages. The active dog variety contains real meal, dried whole eggs, quality sources of vitamins and protein, and DHA. Compared to the ingredients labels on lesser quality options, the list of ingredients on this dog food is outstanding.
14. Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Care
The unfortunate side effect of dogs reacting adversely to low quality dog foods is they can develop allergies that don’t go away just by switching brands. If that’s the case for your dog, Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Care is one of the best dog foods to consider. It’s a line of dry dog food that is specially formulated to prevent allergy problems and be easy for dogs to digest. The Venison Meal and Egg variety contains venison meal, whole dried eggs, turkey meal, tapioca, and peas in the first several ingredients. There’s also omega-3, DHA, vitamins, and fiber from vegetables.
15. Abound Moist Dog Food
Abound is known for packaging its moist dog food in handy tubs, but it’s also developed a reputation for being high quality and easy for dogs to digest. One of the best dog foods offered by Abound is the Chicken Vegetable Stew formula, which contains healthful ingredients such as real chicken broth, chicken, peas, carrots, and brown rice. Vitamins D3, A, B12, and E are added along with folic acid.
16. Bravo Homestyle Complete
If you’re unable to find frozen, raw dog food in your local stores, look to freeze-fried options such as Bravo Homestyle Complete. This particular brand offers three excellent formulas that have loads of protein and healthy amounts of fat and carbs. The Complete Turkey Dinner variety has turkey, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and green beans among the first six ingredients. There’s also healthy herbs included along with dried kelp and vitamins.
17. Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Raw Frozen Dog Food
Aunt Jeni’s brand of raw frozen dog food has received rave reviews from pet owners, and it’s become more widely available in stores across the country. The one formula the watch out for is the Home Made Lamb variety, but the others don’t have any suspicious ingredients or fillers. For instance, the Home Made Beef formula has beef meat and hearts, apples, celery, whole eggs, kale, acorn squash, and pumpkin along with organic flax seeds. The balance of nutrition is on the mark for this formula and it’s one of the best dog foods that Aunt Jeni’s makes.
18. Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew
Many dog owners are familiar with Blue Buffalo’s dry dog food line, which happens to contain ingredients that are a bit more controversial than those in its canned wet food. The latter is a safer bet if you’re very concerned about the digestive health of your pet. The Hearty Beef Stew formula has no harmful additives and its top ingredients are beef, beef broth, water, peas, egg, and potato starch. Vitamins and vegetables are also included to give it a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein.
19. K-9 Kraving Raw Frozen Dog Food
One of the biggest trends in dog food is selling it raw instead of preserved and filled with chemicals. K-9 Kraving makes a line of raw formulas that’s available frozen. The formulas are well balanced and full of healthy protein such as chicken, beef, beef liver, and beef heart. The food also contains veggies such as sweet potatoes and broccoli, which help provide additional fiber.
20. Dogswell Dog Food
Dog owners who prefer to feed their pets wet canned food should check out Dogswell. The brand has a line of six varieties with ingredients that are quite nutritious. The Duck and Sweet Potato Stew variety is a vitality formula that contains duck, chicken broth, chicken liver, salmon, peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and red peppers among other healthy additions.