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Top 10 Healthy Dog Food Brands

If you’re ready to move past Beneful and Kibbles n’ Bits, this top 10 healthy dog food brands is your cheat-sheet to the best dog food for your best friend!

Before we reveal our top recommendations…we want you to know that we ❤ you, because you’re proactively providing the best life possible for your best friend by making healthy dog food choices!

If you have a dog, chances are you’ve put at least a little thought into what you’re feeding them. But with so many options available, it can sometimes be hard to know what’s best.

When I first adopted my two dogs, in the summer of 2015, they were on two very different diets:

  • Paul, my purebred Pekingese, was kept on a raw food diet by his previous owner.
  • My chihuahua-pekingese mix, Teddy, was fed generic kibble.

Growing up, my parents had always fed kibble to our family dogs, so I followed suit with my own boys.

I really had no idea what I was doing at the time, and bought Beneful because it seemed like an economic, healthy choice (after all, it was heavily marketed so it was the brand that came to mind, it was available almost anywhere, and it had photos of nice, healthy veggies on the label).

I fed them Beneful for a few months, until one day I was having a conversation with my vet, and he told me it was one of the worst food options on the market. It turns out, Beneful is full of dyes, and is grain-heavy.

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I eventually made a switch to homemade organic food, but that’s a story for another day.

For all intents and purposes, I’ve kept this top ten list exclusively focused on dry food.

Whether you choose kibble for economic reasons (even the best brands of kibble are less expensive than wet food), or for practicality (try leaving wet food out all day while you’re at work – yuck!), it’s still important to feed your dog the very best you can find.

When considering a food, regardless of whether it’s dry, wet (canned), or freeze dried, the following factors should be considered:

  • Is it free of controversial chemical preservatives?
  • Are all the meat ingredients clearly listed? (ie, no mystery meat!)
  • Are there artificial colouring agents?
  • Are the animal fats clearly listed?
  • Is protein the first ingredient?
  • Is the fat-to-protein ratio less than 75%?
  • Is the carbohydrate content relatively low (less than 55%)?

Top 10 Healthy Dog Food Brands

By feeding your dog a healthy diet, you will be taking an important step to ensuring your best friend stays healthy and happy for many years.

This list is meant to be eaten by healthy, adult dogs.

If your dog has any health issues, such as allergies, digestive issues, or illness, you may want to discuss food options with a professional.  Of course, if you’re unsure about your dog’s diet or health, please speak with your vet to create a feeding program that works best for you.

1. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness Core has it all- a wealth of high quality protein sources, flaxseed (rich in omega-3 and linoleic acid), and vegetables and fruit.

It has no artificial coloring, and is full of added probiotics and prebiotics.

First 5 Ingredients:

  1. Deboned chicken
  2. Chicken meal
  3. Turkey meal
  4. Potatoes
  5. Peas

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2. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Chicken Meal Formula

This dry food includes little bits of freeze dried raw pieces.

While some people swear by raw food, it is also a bit controversial. Benefits of having raw bits in with kibble are that it softens up the hard, dry food, and deliver pure nutrition to your pet.

This food has a diverse ingredients list, with a variety of proteins, fruits and vegetables.

First 5 Ingredients:

  1. Duck
  2. Turkey meal
  3. Salmon meal
  4. Tapioca
  5. Chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)

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3. Merrick Grain-Free

This grain free kibble uses excellent protein products, including duck, turkey meal, lamb meal and salmon meal. This brand seems to have a lot of science behind it, and online reviews speak highly of the taste.

Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Deboned Buffalo
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Turkey Meal
  5. Salmon Meal

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4. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food

The main ingredients, once again, are high protein meat sources. Don’t let the word “meal” fool you- meat meals are usually a better source of protein, as they’re concentrated meat.

Chicken fat is usually seen a little lower down the list on other brands, so it’s nice to see it slightly closer to the top here.

Although the idea of giving your dog meat fat may not seem great, it’s a necessary food product that provides linoleic acid as well as omega fatty acids.

While it would have been nice to see some real fruit and vegetables listed, this product is full of vitamins, minerals and probiotics. It should be noted that this is also one of the most affordable food options on this list.

First 5 Ingredients:

  1. Chicken meal
  2. Pork meal
  3. Ground brown rice
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Rice

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5. Pinnacle Grain Free Dog Food

This food is high protein and grain free. Omega fatty acids aid the immune system, as well as brain and organ function.

While there are less expensive options on this list that provide a similar ingredient list and equal benefits, this is a good option for those that can afford it.

First 5 Ingredients:

  1. Trout
  2. Garbanzo beans
  3. Peas
  4. Pea flour
  5. Herring meal

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6. Acana Heritage Dog Food

Acana is chalk-full of high quality ingredients such as meat, fruit, vegetables and eggs.

Unlike most foods on the market, which are often packed with carbs, Acana boasts a healthy balance of calories from fat, protein and carbs, with percentages coming in at 39.4%, 29.3%, and 31.3%, respectively.

First 5 Ingredients:

  1. Fresh chicken meat (12%)
  2. Chicken meal (12%)
  3. Turkey meal (12%)
  4. Red lentils
  5. Whole green peas

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7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness

It’s important to mention that Blue Buffalo is rated between 4 and 5 stars, making it a healthy choice, at a relatively low price point, when compared to other foods of equal quality.

Blue Buffalo has a diverse range of foods to satisfy an array of needs- diet formulas, puppy formulas and senior formulas are all available, and there are several flavour options to choose from.

While tomato pomace is a source of lycopene (as stated on the company’s packaging), it can be argued that it’s a filler ingredient with little nutritional value, which does make the fact that it’s the seventh ingredient slightly unnerving.

However, I personally believe that the added fiber and any micronutrients derived from the tomato pomace outweigh any arguments against it.

Egg is always nice to see in ingredients lists, and is usually only found in much more expensive foods.

This particular formula (salmon) is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, as well as natural and added prebiotics and probiotics.

It should be noted that Blue Buffalo does, for some reason, use food coloring. While caramel coloring is considered a natural, safe colorant, it’s best to avoid it if possible.

First 5 Ingredients:

  1. Deboned salmon
  2. Chicken meal
  3. Tapioca starch
  4. Peas
  5. Pea protein

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8. Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild features high protein content, coming in at 38%. Fat and carbs are evenly proportioned, 35% and 27% respectively, making this a good choice if you’re watching your dog’s carbohydrate intake.

A quick browse through the Consumer Affairs website reveals mostly positive reviews, with pet parents often attributing their dog’s good health and longevity to this food.

First 5 Ingredients:

  1. Bison
  2. Venison
  3. Lamb meal
  4. Chicken meal
  5. Egg product

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9. Victor Grain Free

The protein content in this food is high, matching the carb content at 33%. This is an incredibly balanced formula, and dogs seem to enjoy the taste.

Beef meal is the first ingredient listed, which has 300% more protein than fresh beef. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbs, as well as beta carotene.

First 5 Ingredients:

  1. Beef meal
  2. Sweet potato
  3. Chicken meal
  4. Peas
  5. Chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)

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10. Hill’s Science Diet

This formula is fairly grain heavy, so if you’re like me and trying to keep your dog away from grains (especially wheat), this may not be the dog food for you.

However, it is full of real fruit and vegetables, meat is the star ingredient, and it has a pretty well balanced formula.

Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Whole grain wheat
  3. Cracked pearled barley
  4. Whole grain sorghum
  5. Whole grain corn

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Top 10 Healthy Dog Food Brands

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free
Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free
Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food
Pinnacle Grain Free Dog Food
Acana Heritage Free-Run Poultry Dog Food
Wilderness Blue Buffalo High Protein
Taste of the Wild
Victor Dog Food Select Hi-Pro Plus Formula
Hill's Science Diet Canine Adult

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