Best Dog Food – Reviews

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5 comments   |   Dog Food, Dog Info, Health, New Puppy, Nutrition, Pets




So many to choose from!!

Avoid generic or store brands. These may be repackaged rejects from the big manufacturers, and generally contain cheaper — and consequently poorer quality– ingredients.

Commercial pet foods and some pet food ingredients have been implicated in a number of diseases in companion animals including…
Allergic skin disease, obesity, food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic ear infections, cystitis (bladder inflammation), bladder and kidney stones, certain heart diseases, pancreatitis, feline hyperthyroidism, hip dysplasia, canine mammary cancer, bloat, and diabetes.

It is crucial that we pay close attention to what we are feeding our animals and how they are reacting to the food we’re giving them.

Please review the products below and SWITCH if your using one of the not so great dog food brands. Your dog will Thank you!!

If you regularly purchase commercial dog food for your beloved pet, here are our top picks for brands that produce quality, healthy and nutritious food for your dog.

Best Dog Food Brands

Not in any particular order.. they’re all premium, high quality dog food brands I recommend..

Wysong Epigen dry dog food receives the Dog Food Advisor’s website’s highest rating of 5 stars.

The Wysong Epigen product line includes three dry dog foods… each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages

Is replete with all the critical food elements.  Wysong was first to put probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, phytonutrients, nutraceuticals, natural form antioxidants, vitamins & minerals into pet foods.

  • Wysong Epigen Chicken Formula
  • Wysong Epigen Venison Formula
  • Wysong Epigen Fish Formula

Wysong Epigen Chicken Formula was selected to represent all the products in the line.

 



Innova Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food (*Est. $30 per 13.2 lb. bag),
EVO Dry Dog Food is a grain-free kibble using an abundance of named meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand five stars.
First 5 ingredients:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Chicken Meal
  • Barley
  • Brown Rice

Turkey is the first ingredient in this recipe. This ingredient is inclusive of its water content. Meaning that once the water is removed and this ingredients becomes a dried ingredient it will weigh significantly less, thus making it fall further in the ingredients list.

Chicken is the second ingredient in this recipe. This ingredient adds additional meat to go with the first ingredient.

Chicken Meal is the third ingredient and is a named meat ingredient. A dog’s diet needs to based on the fact that dogs need meat and protein that derives from meat.

Barley is the fourth ingredient and is going to be the main source of grains. Barley is a decent quality grain.

Brown Rice is the fifth ingredient and is a decent quality grain that adds additional protein and carbohydrates to your dog’s food.

They use eggs for additional proteins and a good number of fruits and veggies (apples, tomatoes and carrots) to supplement the animal products. They even use cottage cheese, which is unique to Evo as far as I’v seen.

This food is outstanding in that it contains no grains whatsoever. Grains are not a natural part of a canine diet and it is pleasing to see dog foods on the market that exclude grains completely from the diet. This is a far more natural food concept and combined with a complete lack of any low quality or controversial ingredients is the reason this food is placed in a class above the more conventional form dry dog foods.

What’s good about this food….

Incredible meat content, potatoes for carbs, eggs, vegetables used, very limited preservatives, cheese.

….and what’s not so good.

Nothing!

 


 


Orijen Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food 29.7 lbs (*Est. $40 per 15.4 lb. bag) is another grain-free dog food that draws kudos from top reviewers. Orijen is a meat-based dry dog food using an abundance of meat and fish meals as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand five stars.

Enthusiastically recommended!

Orijen is my “best in class” for cat foods, and isn’t far behind for dogs either. As was mentioned in the cat food review, this company (based in Canada) really places an emphasis on fresh ingredients. They raise their own chickens and have fishermen employed to catch fish and deliver them fresh to the company. The result is what you see above, and it’s about the best you can do for your pet.

The first 3 ingredients are all named meat products, and two of them are protein-packed “meals”, which is better yet. Next, potatoes are used for a high quality carb source. Then it’s back to meat, as whitefish are included.

This food is a delight of proteins. They use whole eggs, not “dried egg product”, for extra protein. There’s more meat in the form of turkey and salmon meal. Salmon and anchovy oils are used for fat sources and Omega fatty acids. Not only that, sunflower oil is used to include lineolic acid, which aids in coat and skin health.

As if that isn’t enough, carrots, spinach, peas, tomatoes and apples give a strong fruit and vegetable presence in this food. There is absolutely nothing you can fault this food for.

What’s good about this food….

Very high meat content and high quality at that, potatoes in 2 places, whole eggs, fish oils for heart health, sunflower oil for coat and skin, many fruits and veggies.

….and what’s not so good.

Absolutely, positively nothing. On the downside, the food is expensive and a bit hard to find.

 


 


Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe (*Est. $30 per 11 lb. bag) uses top-quality ingredients, high protein content, inclusion of probiotics and use of chelated minerals, which are easier to absorb. The top ingredients are deboned duck, chicken meal, potato starch, turkey meal, peas, chicken fat and potatoes.

Within the first 6 ingredients, we see 5 named meat ingredients, and 4 of those are meat “meals” which only adds to the amount of good protein in this food. They also use potatoes for their main carb, which is good to see. While this food is not entirely grainless, it’s pretty close. The grain we do see is oatmeal, which is one of the better choices that can be made.

Not only is the meat content more than enough, but they include carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and cranberries to give a great mix of fruits and vegetables. This only further gives this food credibility as one of the best foods you can give your dog. What’s more, they are mindful to use flaxseed and herring oil as fat sources and for the Omega fatty acids that promote heart health. If that wasn’t enough, the array of vitamins is plentiful.

This is very recommended if you shop at Petsmart, but just be prepared to pay.

What’s good about this food….

Extremely high use of quality meats (5 of first 6 ingredients), many fruits and vegetables used, flax is present as well as herring oil, tons of vitamins.

….and what’s not so good.

Nothing to report.

 


 

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Formula Roasted Bison & Venison Dry Dog Food (*Est. $40 for a 15- -lb bag)
This is one of my personal favorite premium foods. It draws good ratings from a number of pet-food advocates.

Taste of the Wild is another grain-free entry into the dog food market, and their idea is a simple one: return your dog’s diet to how it is naturally supposed to be. In other words, have your dog eat how it should, not how humans have bastardized dog foods today.

Interesting concept, and it really works here. First, look at the top two ingredients. Bison and venison?? Those are certainly not commonly found in pet foods, but they are EXCELLENT lean meat, high protein meat sources. They certainly aren’t the cheapest either. They also use chicken and ocean fish meals to help prop up the protein percentage, which is very high.

For fruits and vegetables, this is one of the best. These are not only great sources for vitamins, but for fiber and carbs as well. It beats the heck out of relying on corn or wheat for these things. My only disappointment was that they didn’t throw in a fish oil or flaxseed for a fat source, but they do have a fish meal ingredient here and that should help with those Omega fatty acids.

This is highly recommended.

What’s good about this food….

Grain-free, high protein percentage, good meat sources, eggs, lots of fruits and vegetables.

….and what’s not so good.

Nothing. You can’t buy it at Petsmart or Petco. You can buy it at most pet specialty stores, feed stores and online..

 


 

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Original 12 lbs (*Est. $30 per 12 lb. bag)

Wellness has made quality pet foods for quite a while, but their Core line is the grain-free formula. Here, we look at the “Original” kind of Wellness Core…

This is basically what you’d expect out of a top notch company. Tons of animal sources, high protein percentage, and all quality ingredients. No fillers, no by-products, nothing you wouldn’t feed your dog personally. Not only that, but it is rich in vegetables and fruits, provides for high levels of Omega fatty acids, and has a lower carb level than most foods.

It’s expensive however, and it’s for a reason. When grain is cut out, price of production goes up. Putting this much meat in a product isn’t cheap, but rest assured knowing your dog will eat less of this per serving than “normal” food because of how packed it is.

What’s good about this food….
Grain-free, high protein percentage, good meat sources, potatoes, salmon oil, fruits & veggies, flaxseed.

….and what’s not so good.
Nothing.

 


 

Solid Gold Barking At The Moon 15 lb.(*Est. $35 per 15 lb. bag). High Protein Low Carb Adult Dry Dog Food — If you are looking for a grain-free dry food, either would make good substitutes for the foods named above if availability, cost and your dog’s preferences dictate.

This is Solid Gold’s grain-free food, which is more expensive than their other varieties simply because it’s more expensive to make with all of the proteins packed in and the grains are left out.

In the grain-free dog food world, I wouldn’t say this would be my top choice. It’s nothing to sneeze at for sure, as it does have a pretty high protein percentage (41%) and they do have quite a few quality oils for heart healthy Omega fatty acids and fat content. However, I do wonder why natural flavoring has to be so high on the list. That isn’t typical at all, and either is having choline chloride in the top 10 ingredients.

There’s nothing bad in this food, let me say that. The ingredients are quality, and the makers of this food do care about pet nutrition. This is a food to try if you’re looking to go grain-free (something I support), along with Wellness Core and Orijen.

What’s good about this food….Grain-free, high protein percentage, good meat sources, potatoes, salmon oil, fruits & veggies.

….and what’s not so good.Natural flavors and choline chloride are higher than in other foods.

 


 

Natural Balance Ultra Premium Dry Dog Food 15lb ($28.99) (*Est. $30 per 15 lb. bag) is a little less expensive and can be found at Petco and Petsmart, and many pet food advocates consider it to be a pretty good value in light of its use of all-natural dog food ingredients, quality meats and lack of byproducts.
Natural Balance Ultra Premium does contain grains, but they are higher quality grains such as brown rice, oatmeal and barley.
Other top ingredients are protein sources such as chicken, duck meal and lamb meal. Fishmeals are preserved with Naturox, and the food is ethoxyquin-free.
What’s good about Natural Balance….

Chicken is first, overall meat content is good, grains are of high quality, fruits and vegetables present, salmon oil for Omega fatty acides (with flax as well).

….and what’s not so good.

Brewers yeast.

 


 

Canidae Dry Dog Food for All Life Stages is actually what I’m currently feeding my dogs and puppies because it is an all life stages dog food that I can feed all my dogs no matter their age plus I really do believe it is a great food. My dogs can be picky eaters and they seem to really love Canidae. I never have a problem with them gobbling it down.

The ingredients in Canidae’s dog food formulas are processed in a “human grade” facility. Many of their formulas list at least three protein-based ingredients among their first five ingredients. There’s no corn, wheat, soy, artificial colorings or artificial flavorings in any of the Canidae dog food formulas.

CANIDAE All Life Stage formula meets the AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

CANIDAE All Life Stage formula Contains: Four Human Grade Meats, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb and Fish 10 Skin & Coat Conditioners, With Balanced Omega 6 & 3 Fatty Acids Excellent for Problem Skin & Allergies

 


 

lifes-abundance-pet-food

 

Life’s Abundance Dog Food receives the Dog Food Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

Seems like a great food but is also an extremely expensive auto-ship program.

17.6 lb. bag: $43.83*

 Large Breed Puppy Food Price: $83.76

 Good Food but ranks lower then some of the much cheaper brands.

Best Affordable Dry Dog Food

Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Dry Dog Food – Grainless kibbles are great, but they’re also expensive. If you’re looking for a lower priced, high quality dry dog food and don’t mind the inclusion of some whole grains, take a look at the Adult Dog Formula from Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul.

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul uses human-grade ingredients and meats raised without hormones and antibiotics in their foods.

The top ingredients in the Adult Dog Formula are chicken, turkey, chicken meal, ocean fish meal, cracked pearled barley, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, millet, white rice, and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). Minor ingredients include potatoes, egg product, tomato pomace, duck, salmon, flaxseed, various fruits and veggies, kelp, probiotics, prebiotics, and the usual vitamin and mineral supplements. This food is 24% protein and 14% fat with an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 5.5:1.

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul also makes a good large breed puppy formula.

This brand is made by Diamond Pet Foods, a company that has used ethoxyquin-preserved fish meal in the past, but switched to natural antioxidant preservation in May 2010. Kibble bags with an expiration date of May 15, 2011 or later are said to be ethoxyquin-free.

A 35 pound bag typically costs $39.99, making this quality dry dog food more affordable than our grainless recommendations.

 


 

Now for the WORST Dog Food Brands!

Pretty much any dog food brand that you see advertised on TV or on the grocery store shelves!!

TOP 10 WORST DOG FOOD BRANDS.

  • Beneful Dog Food
  • Eukanuba Dog Food
  • Hills Science Diet Dog Food
  • Iams Dog Food
  • Kibbles and Bits
  • Opitmum
  • Pedigree Dog Food
  • Pro Plan Dog Food
  • Purina One and Chow Dog Food
  • Royal Canin Dog Food

Purina Beneful Dog Food

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal,corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour etc, etc, etc…more crap…

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Now, contrary to what you may have heard, corn isn’t necessarily a bad ingredient.

On the other hand, although there’s no way to know for sure here, the corn used in making many pet foods can be similar to the kind used to make feed for livestock.

And that can sometimes be problematic.

The second item is chicken by-product meal… a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In a nutshell, chicken by-products are the unsavory and inedible leftovers deemed “unfit for human consumption”.

This stuff can contain almost anything… feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs… you name it.

For more info on this product go to Dogfoodadvisor.com
Purina Dog Chow Complete and Balanced (*Est. $18 per 20 lb. bag).

 

They start with corn as the top ingredient, which we know by now is a worthless filler and used as a cheap ingredient. It shouldn’t even be in a dog food, much less at the top. They use by-products as the top protein, which means your dog is getting most of his protein out of eating heads, feet, beaks and feathers of birds (in this case). They stuff more corn in as the 4th ingredient, then use “meat and bone meal” as the next protein source. Meat and bone meal is basically a mash of all the parts of the animal that you would NOT feed your dog directly. Not only that, nobody knows exactly WHAT meats are in this…notice that they don’t specify. There’s a reason for this. Many companies are known to use rats and roadkill for ingredients like this.

There’s brewers rice, which is rice left over from the alcohol making process. Soybean meal is another cheap grain. Wheat is a terrible ingredient due to food allergies, and Purina knows it. “Animal digest” is a soup that you would probably tackle your dog from eating if he tried to, due to the nasty ingredients in it.

Plus, look at all the artificial colors. Seriously, is that really necessary in a dog food?

What’s good about this food….Nothing worth mentioning.

….and what’s not so good.Very high corn content, by-products and “meat and bone meal” are the animal proteins, soybeans, wheat, animal digest, salt is high, artificial colors.


Grocery Store Brands…not all bad but far from good.

Some brands with a premium profile that can be found in supermarkets and large pet stores don’t fare that much better…for example..

  • Iams Healthy Naturals (*Est. $25 per 17.5 lb. bag) lists its top ingredients as chicken, chicken byproduct meal, brewers rice, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum and ground whole grain barley.
  • Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Original (*Est. $30 for a 20 lb. Bag) is much the same, because its ingredient list leads off with chicken, ground whole-grain corn, ground whole-grain sorghum, ground whole-grain wheat, chicken by-product meal, soybean meal and corn gluten meal.

Although Iams and Science Diet are better than typical supermarket foods, they are as or more expensive than some higher-quality choices.
http://www.dogfoodscoop.com/best-commercial-dog-food.html

Here is your guide to decoding ten of the worst commercial dog food ingredients.

1. Wheat: Wheat is the number one allergy in dogs and because of its high carbohydrate content, is a contributing factor in canine obesity. Label may refer to wheat flour, wheat germ, wheat mill run, middlings or mid.

2. Corn: Corn is the number two allergy in dogs and another source of heavy carbohydrates because of its high sugar content. While corn can be source of certain nutrients, the corn used in commercial dog food contains the entire corn plant, including the root to the stems.

3. Soy: The number three allergy-provoking food for dogs, soybean meal or soy flour is a highly processed form of soybeans that are void of the essential fats, antioxidants and minerals naturally found in the soybean.

4. By-Product Meal: In reference to meat, poultry, or beef, by-products refers to any part of the animal other than the muscle tissue. By-product refers to the head, feet or feathers parts of the animal.

5. Digest: Referred to as “poultry digest” or “meat digest,” this term actually refers to roadkill animals and euthanized pets.

6. Ethoxyquin: This deadly preservative is banned for use in human foods but is commonly added in commercial dog foods.

7. Egg Product: While whole eggs are extremely nutritious for dogs, “egg product” refers to egg shells, eggs that have gone rancid or those that have spoiled.

8. Brewer’s Rice: Refers to rice sections that have been discarded from the rice kernel. Brewer’s rice is broken shells of rice that lack nutrients and have been discarded. They are either going to get swept off from the floor and tossed into the garbage or added into the dog food mixer.

9. Preservatives: Additives like BHA are meant to prolong the shelf-life of the dog food or improve the food’s appearance, but they offer no nutritional value to your dog’s food and may actually harm your pet.

10. Cellulose: This pulp left over from fibrous plants is just another name for sawdust.

Hope this post helps you to find the right dog food for your dog. If your dog is experiencing health issues then I recommend looking at what you’re feeding them. It’s more important then most people think.

Dog Food Reviews





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Honestly, I wish I could of found a page like this when I got my first puppy!

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  1. admin11-10-11

    Thank you Sarah! I feel the Americana public is being duped by the commercial dog food providers with their fancy dog food commercials and high prices which makes people believe they must be “the best” if their charging this much for their food but when you actually read the ingredients on the bags hopefully people realize just how full of crap these companies are and sadly so is their dog food. The dogs are the victims in the long run and they suffer major issues caused by these unhealthy dog food companies. I want to be part of the solution by spreading the truth to as many people as possible through my blog and the people who buy puppies from us. Raw would be the best way to go but it’s not always feasible for most normal everyday people (like me) so the next step down would be to feed a premium “grain free” dog food like any of the brands I listed in this post. Like Taste of the Wild is one I highly recommend but there are cheaper brands out there that are just as high quality. Try to find a local feed store in your area instead of shopping at Petco or Petsmart because they jack up the prices. Let me know if you have any questions about anything dog related. I’m here to help. :)

  2. admin11-10-11

    I’ve never personally fed my dogs the Life Abundance (sp) brand of dog food mentioned in the above link but I have seen it recommended on my fellow doodle breeders websites. I’m all about feeding anything that is going to be better for dogs then the crap they sell at the grocery stores. :)

  3. Sarah11-11-11

    I twittered back to you but I wanted to say it here as well – thanks for the grooming guide! (totally unrelated, I know)

    :)

  4. admin12-21-11

    Your more then welcome! I hope you find it useful and sorry I missed your reply! ;)

  5. Anna04-24-12

    I came across this blog post while doing some research about dog foods awhile back and tried some of the brands from Petco that you mentioned for my dog who was having a bad reaction to a grocery store brand we had been giving him. We decided on Natural Balance Ultra and could not be happier. The food is amazing, affordable, and Duke loves it! We enjoy your website and I just wanted to let you know you are helping pet owners out there. Thank you!

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