When you have a dog, you want the best for their health and well-being. Feeding your pet nutritious foods that meet his dietary requirements is one of the most important things you can do to achieve these goals. However, when it comes time to choose dog food, it can be tricky.
Finding the best food for your dog’s nutritional needs and life stage requires understanding the different types and formulas available. We’ve done the hard work for you by evaluating these features and highlighting the best dog foods on the market.
One of the first considerations when choosing dog food is the type Although dry and wet foods are the most common varieties, freeze-dried, organic, and fresh are gaining popularity. Each has its pros and cons.
- dry dog food It comes in the form of kibble and is affordable and convenient to feed. It doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge and it will be tasteless if you leave a bowl out all day for your dog to munch on.
- wet dog food It tends to contain more meat and fewer fillers, but it’s expensive to feed them exclusively, especially if you have large dogs. As such, some dog owners mix wet and dry foods or use as a garnish for kibble.
- Freeze-dried dog food it’s a high-end option that’s typically made predominantly with freeze-dried raw meat, plus a few products and supplements. You mix it with water to rehydrate it and you can feed it alone or as a complement to kibbles.
- Organic dog food It is made with ingredients that were produced without chemicals or additives. This type of food is suitable for dogs with sensitive digestive systems, skin problems and allergies that can be aggravated by aggressive ingredients.
- fresh dog food It’s made from healthy ingredients like fresh meat and vegetables, so it should be stored in the fridge. The high price and relatively short shelf life make it a bit inconvenient to feed. However, frozen varieties are available. Fresh dog food is typically high in protein, vitamins, and minerals and made with limited ingredients and without many fillers.
- raw dog food It can be fresh, dehydrated or freeze-dried. It is expensive, but the high quality of the ingredients makes it a good choice for owners who want to feed their dog food in its purest form. It is often made with whole, human-grade ingredients and contains no artificial additives or fillers.
Dogs of different ages have different nutritional requirements for proper growth and development. To meet these needs, dog foods are available in formulas for puppiesadults and old people. Also, some companies make dog foods suitable for most or all life stages.
Small and large breed dog foods are designed to best meet the needs of smaller and larger dogs. In addition to ingredients and nutrients that are targeted to a dog’s size, the size-specific food is also made with kibble, chunks, or bites that are easy for small, medium, or large dogs to chew.
Just like humans, some dogs have special dietary needs to help them live their best lives. Low-calorie or “healthy weight” dog foods are suitable for those canines who need to lose weight. Foods for sensitive systems are formulated for dogs that are prone to digestive disorders. Additionally, special canine diets are available for dogs with various health conditions, including diabetes, skin allergies, kidney disease, and more.
Wet dog food can cost anywhere from $10 to $60 for a 12-pack, while dry dog food costs anywhere from $30 to $150 for a large bag. Organic, freeze-dried, fresh, and raw foods are the most expensive dog foods. Depending on your dog’s size and dietary needs, these types of diets can cost several hundred dollars a month.
Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food: available in Amazon and petco
This is an affordable dry food that doesn’t skimp on quality ingredients. It’s made with lamb protein as the number one ingredient and contains wholesome grains, fruits and vegetables.
Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Wet Dog Food: Available at Amazon and petco
Fortified with vitamins and minerals, this canned dog food is also high in protein, making it suitable for active dogs. It does not contain grains or artificial additives, which appeals to many dog owners.
Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness Grain Free High Protein Dry Dog Food: available in Amazon
This dry dog food contains the brand’s patented LifeSource Bits that are packed with beneficial nutrients. It is a protein-rich formula that is made without grains, which is ideal for active dogs that are prone to various allergies.
Wag dry dog food: available in Amazon
If you are looking for a dog food that does not contain a lot of artificial ingredients and is made with quality protein, this is the brand to try. We put it to the test and found that it offers similar benefits to more expensive options.
Primal Freeze Dried Chicken Formula Nuggets: available in Amazon
This freeze-dried dog food is suitable for feeding as a complete diet or as a topper/mixer. It is made in the USA with whole chicken, products and supplements derived from quality sources.
Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness Wet Dog Food: available in Amazon and petco
If Blue Buffalo is your brand and you want protein-rich wet food, this is a good choice. Made without grains or artificial ingredients, it’s available in flavors dogs love. Contains protein from traditional and specialty sources such as venison and trout.
Nutro Natural Choice Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe: available in Amazon and petco
Formulated for adult dogs, this dry dog food features chicken as the number one ingredient. A combination of omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber benefits numerous systems so dogs can thrive.
Ziwi Peak Air Dry Dog Food: available in Amazon
If you want to feed raw but find it inconvenient, this air-dried food is a great alternative. It’s easy to feed, contains nutrient-dense superfoods, and is grain-free. We also like that it’s made with ethically sourced protein.
Tender and True Pet Nutrition Organic Dog Food: available in Amazon and petco
This dog food is not only USDA Certified Organic, but it’s also Animal Welfare Certified and made with cage-free chickens. The grain-free recipe is suitable for dogs at all stages of life.
Pedigree Choice Cuts in Sauce: available in Amazon
This best-selling wet food is an affordable option made by a trusted brand. The tasty morsels are covered in sauce, making it a good choice for dogs who prefer wet food or have difficulty chewing. It is also delicious served as a garnish on croquettes.
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jennifer manfrin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help you simplify your buying decisions and save you time and money.
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