Proper nutrition is very important for your dog to have a healthy, long and happy life.

Naturally, you should be a well-informed owner when it comes to choosing your dog’s food.

In this article, you can find 134 top rated dog food formulas.

Reviews.com gathered a team of experts to examine and test 2,223 dog food formulas.

This article summarizes the testing and its results.

Surprisingly, Reviews.com team selected only 134 dog food formulas across 29 approved brands.

 

The Research

They studied and analyzed dog food labels to find out which ingredients make a first-rate dog food and which ones should be avoided.

They’ve used the following resources:

  • Ten people who dedicated full-time work
  • 1,400 hours into this research.
  • Over 11,000 people with contacts to the dog food industry
  • Over 20 experts contributed their valuable time and knowledge to this work, including veterinarians, dog trainers, animal behaviorists, university researchers, and authors
  • 300 dog owner’s surveyed and asked if they knew what was in their dog’s food
  • Over 8,000 search queries to find out what matters most to dog owners
  • Analysis of 72 of the most popular articles and studies on dog food
  • Ingredient list review of 2,223 formulas from 115 brands

Best Dog Food

Bad Ingredients & Good Ingredients

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) defines and maintains criteria for the appropriate levels of ingredients in pet food, but it’s the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that regulates ingredient’s quality.

However, FDA guidelines don’t guarantee that all ingredients will be innocuous.

For example, ingredients from rendering facilities should be avoided.

It’s very difficult to tell what’s being rendered: it can be roadkill, zoo animals, and sometimes even spoiled meat from the grocery store.

In addition to verifying that all the ingredients in dog food are “safe”, it’s very important to take a look in the ingredients proportion.

Dogs need the correct combination of protein, fat, moisture, fiber, and nutrients to live healthy lives.

The incorrect ingredients in the inappropriate combinations can lead to health problems, both physical and psychological.

Many ingredients can’t be divided into “good” or “bad”.

Some ingredients are considered as controversial because there is insufficient scientific research about them.

Quality-Ingredients

(Source: http://www.reviews.com/dog-food/)

Dog Food Types

Regardless the type of food, the main decisive factor is still the ingredients.

Best Dog Food 2

(Source: http://www.reviews.com/dog-food/)

Life Stages & Breeds

Dog’s life stage should be considered at the time to choose a dog food formula.

Puppies, adults and senior dogs have specific nutritional needs.

According to the experts interviewed, specific breeds don’t need specific diets.

The nutritional requirements of a dog are essentially dependent on his size and exercise level.

Review Decision Standards

Ingredients are the crucial factor in the evaluation of a dog food, so this team started by excluding formulas with ingredients they determined to be unhealthy, unsafe, or unfavorable.

Standard Number of Dog Foods Disqualified
Exclusion of products where the first ingredient is not a meat of any kind 194
Elimination of products containing corn, soy, wheat, grain, or flour 578
Removal products containing beet pulp or sugar 146
Exclusion of products that contained by-products or sauces 44

Overall, these standards eliminated around 960 formulas, taking the initial list from 2,223 to 1,257.

The original 2,223 dog food formulas analyzed included 115 brands.

But after reducing the number of formulas to 1,257, the number of brands fallen to 93.

Brands excluded because of the ingredients
Cesar
Chicken Soup
Eukanuba
Fruitables
HI-TOR
Hill’s Prescription Diet
Hill’s Science Diet
Iams Veterinary Formula
Nummy Tum-Tum
Nutro
Nutro Ultra
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
Royal Canin
NRG
Breeder’s Choice
Natural Planet
Now Fresh
Nutro Natural
Indigo
Pet Naturals of Vermont
Himalayan Dog Chew

The next step was to review the brands according to the following standards:

Standard Number of Dog Foods Disqualified
Analysis of brands for recalls, ingredient sources, history, and customer satisfaction 957
Review of the remaining formulas based on the best ratio of protein, fat, and carbs, as well as the source of protein 166

Reviews.com Position on Recalls

This team excluded brands that had a past of multiple recalls.

In their perspective, not all companies answer as quickly, prudently, and transparently as they desired.

That doesn’t mean the products from these brands are inferior to the products from final recommended brands in this review.

Still, this team had to create quality standards to get a final list of premium dog foods.

All products that had previously been associated with Diamond brand dog foods were removed because Diamond pet foods have a history of recalls.

Dog foods that look to be of higher quality, like Taste of the Wild, Canidae, and Solid Gold, were all involved with some Diamonds recalls.

However, the team is reassessing those brands which have detached ties and found new manufacturing settings on a case-by-case basis.

Brands excluded by recall history, customer satisfaction and ingredient sources
Against the grain
Artemis
Blue Buffalo
Canidae
Canine Caviar
Dave’s Pet Food
Dogswell
Evanger’s
EVO
Farmina
Go!
Holistic Select
Innova
Merrick
Nature’s Recipe
Nature’s Variety
Newman’s Own Organics
Nulo
Nutrisca
Pioneer Naturals
Premium Edge
Solid Gold
Taste of The Wild
Tiki Dog
TruDog
Vital Essentials
Wellness
Weruva
Wild Calling

Final Choices

After reviewing all 2,223 formulas, this review terminated with 134 dog food formulas manufactured by 29 brands, which are strongly recommended.

After 1,400 hours of research and scrutinizing over 2,223 formulas, this study discovered even some of the most well-known brands still make food with risky or unsafe ingredients.

Only 134 dog foods met the standard of approval.

The price of top-rated dog food choices might be too expensive for many consumers.

Note:

This article reflects the final choices of Reviews.com. The Dog Food Selector may present a different points of view based on our own criterions to evaluate dog foods.

The following is the list of the recommended dog food formulas in Reviews.com:

  • ACANA Chicken & Burbank Potato Formula Dry Dog Food
  • ACANA Grasslands Regional Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • ACANA Lamb & Okanagan Apple Singles Formula Dry Dog Food
  • ACANA Pacifica Regional Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • ACANA Pork & Butternut Squash Singles Formula Dry Dog Food
  • ACANA Ranchlands Regional Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food ACANA Ranchlands Regional Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • ACANA Wild Prairie Regional Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Addiction Grain-Free Salmon Bleu Dry Dog Food
  • Addiction Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Dog Food
  • Addiction New Zealand Brushtail & Vegetables Entree Canned Dog Food
  • Addiction New Zealand Venison & Apples Entree Canned Dog Food
  • Addiction Unagi & Seaweed Entree Canned Dog Food
  • Annamaet Grain-Free Aqualuk Cold Water Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low Fat Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Annamaet Grain-Free Manitok Red Meat Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Annamaet Grain-Free Salcha Poulet Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Annamaet Option 24% Dry Dog Food
  • AvoDerm Natural Chicken & Rice Formula Canned Dog Food
  • AvoDerm Natural Chicken & Rice Formula Puppy Canned Dog Food
  • AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • AvoDerm Natural Original Formula Canned Dog Food
  • AvoDerm Natural Turkey & Vegetable Stew Recipe Canned Dog Food
  • Back to Basics Liver & Pork Entree in Gravy Wet Food for Dogs
  • Back to Basics Open Range Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Back to Basics Giblets & Turkey Entree in Gravy Wet Food for Dogs
  • Back to Basics Giblets & Duck Entree in Gravy Wet Food for Dogs
  • By Nature Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Beef Formula Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Grain-Free Chicken Formula Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Chicken Formula Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Eagle Pack Chicken Formula Canned Dog Food
  • Eagle Pack Beef Formula Canned Dog Food
  • Eagle Pack Lamb Formula Canned Dog Food
  • Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Eagle Pack Original Chicken Meal & Pork Meal Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Eagle Pack Power Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Eagle Pack Small Breed Chicken Meal & Pork Meal Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Eagle Pack Turkey Formula Canned Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Chip’s Chicken Casserole Grain-Free Natural Moist Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Duke’s Din-Din Grain-Free Natural Moist Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Weight Control Dry Dog Food
  • Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Lilyäó»s Gourmet Buffet Grain-Free Natural Moist Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Pepper’s Pot Roast Grain-Free Natural Moist Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Toby’s Turkey Dinner Grain-Free Natural Moist Dog Food
  • Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Chicken A La Veg Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
  • Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Salmon A La Veg Dry Dog Food
  • Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Shredded Beef Entree Canned Dog Food
  • Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Shredded Chicken Entree Canned Dog Food
  • Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Shredded Pork Canned Dog Food
  • Fromm Gold Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Fromm Gold Weight Management Dry Dog Food
  • Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Grain-Free Bison Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Grain-Free Chicken Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Grain-Free Lamb Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Grain-Free Pork Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Grain-Free Venison Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Hi-Tek Naturals Grain-Free Alaskan Fish Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Hi-Tek Naturals Grain-Free Chicken Meal & Sweet Potato Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Hi-Tek Naturals Grain-Free Lamb Meal & Sweet Potato Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Horizon Legacy Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • K9 Natural Venison Feast Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Lotus Wholesome Chicken & Asparagus Stew Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
  • Lotus Wholesome Turkey Stew Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Feast Canned Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Meal Feast Dry Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Feast Canned Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast Dry Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Canine Duck & Salmon Meal Feast Dry Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Canine Lamb Meal Feast Dry Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Canine Rabbit Meal Feast Dry Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Canine Sardine Meal Feast Dry Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Canine Venison Meal Feast Dry Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Rabbit Feast Canned Dog Food
  • Natures Logic Sardine Feast Canned Dog Food
  • Nature’s Logic Venison Feast Canned Dog Food
  • NutriSource Chicken & Rice Formula Canned Dog Food
  • NutriSource Chicken, Lamb & Ocean Fish Formula Canned Dog Food
  • Orijen 6 Fish Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Orijen Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Orijen Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Orijen Puppy Large Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Orijen Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Orijen Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Pinnacle Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Pinnacle Grain-Free Peak Protein Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Pinnacle Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Recipe Canned Dog Food
  • Pinnacle Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Pinnacle Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Precise Holistic Complete Small & Medium Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Primal Beef Formula Nuggets Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Primal Chicken Formula Nuggets Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Primal Duck Formula Nuggets Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Primal Lamb Formula Nuggets Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Stella & Chewy’s Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Stella & Chewy’s Phenomenal Pheasant Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Stella & Chewy’s Simply Venison Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Stella & Chewy’s Stella’s Super Beef Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Dog Food Topper
  • Stella & Chewy’s Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Dog Food Topper
  • Stewart Raw Naturals Chicken & Salmon Recipe Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Stewart Raw Naturals Chicken Recipe Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Stewart Raw Naturals Lamb Recipe Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • The Honest Kitchen Embark Dehydrated Dog Food
  • The Honest Kitchen Force Dehydrated Dog Food
  • The Honest Kitchen Love Dehydrated Dog Food
  • The Real Meat Company 90% Beef Air-Dried Dog Food
  • The Real Meat Company 90% Chicken Air-Dried Dog Food
  • The Real Meat Company 90% Lamb Air-Dried Dog Food
  • VeRUS Beef & Barley Formula Canned Dog Food
  • VeRUS Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Canned Dog Food
  • Wysong Archetype Chicken Formula Freeze-Dried Dog & Cat Food
  • Wysong Epigen 90 Starch-Free Formula Dry Dog & Cat Food
  • Wysong Fundamentals Dry Dog & Cat Food
  • ZiwiPeak Daily-Dog Beef Cuisine Air-Dried Dog Food
  • ZiwiPeak Daily-Dog Beef Cuisine Canned Dog Food
  • ZiwiPeak Daily-Dog Cuisine Rabbit & Lamb Canned Dog Food
  • ZiwiPeak Daily-Dog Cuisine Venison & Fish Canned Dog Food
  • ZiwiPeak Daily-Dog Cuisine Venison Canned Dog Food
  • ZiwiPeak Daily-Dog Lamb Cuisine Air-Dried Dog Food
  • ZiwiPeak Daily-Dog Venison & Fish Cuisine Air-Dried Dog Food
  • ZiwiPeak Daily-Dog Venison Cuisine Air-Dried Dog Food

Source: all the data and conclusions presented are the result of reviews.com’s study. For further information go to: http://www.reviews.com/dog-food/.

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