10 Best Dog Food Options
on the Market
Finding the 10 best dog food options wasn’t an easy task. Very few consistently pass our Healthy Label Test dog food ratings with flying colors.
As covered in our How to Read a Dog Food Label article, dog foods must have the following at a minimum in order to receive a 5 out of 5 and make the 10 best dog food list:
- Main ingredient must be listed first on the ingredient list
- Complete, balanced and 100% nutritious ingredients
- Zero potentially harmful ingredients
- Natural or organic ingredients
- Contain no artificial colors, chemical preservatives or by-products
- Ingredients must not have been exposed to antibiotics, herbicides or pesticides
- Contain no “filler” foods (unhealthy food like sugar or corn syrup that takes the place of healthy food)
- Contain no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s)
- Be a canned or raw food (NOT dry).
10 Best Dog Food Options: Wet Vs. Dry Dog Food
DRY dog food came into existence due to World War II. Before the war, pet food was only in cans. With the war came rationing. Metal was in short supply, and the government mandated that pet food was NON essential.
Pet Food companies did not want to go out of business, so they figured out how to ‘bake’/’process’ the canned food and put it into bags. This was only going to be temporary until the war was over.
When the war ended, the pet food companies discovered that people thought dry dog food was GREAT! It was easy and convenient. they could leave it out in a bowl all day and it did not smell! WOW, great ‘FAST’ food for dogs!
As would be expected, pet food companies did NOT re-call dry food as there was now a legitimate demand for both canned and dry food.
Put more simply, DRY dog food was NOT created or developed because it was healthier for dogs and cats.
In fact, the opposite is true.
Dogs’ (and humans’) bodies are made up of about 70% moisture, and they (and we) NEED that moisture in our diet for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, bladder, joints, hair/skin, etc.
Dry dog food has been overly processed and extruded by machine under pressure during manufacture. Adding water to it will not ‘reconstitute’ the meat back to its natural moist form. And drinking water alone does not provide the necessary levels of moisture to maintain a balanced system.
Dry dog food is also too calorie-dense, so dogs on a dry dog food are commonly overweight.
But what about your dog’s teeth? Doesn’t dry food help keep their teeth clean?
Canned and dry dog food will BOTH promote dental tartar. Dry dog food does NOT keep the teeth clean UNLESS it says it is a TARTAR control diet. Regardless of diet, dogs will need to have tartar control treats for their teeth (and continue to brush the teeth, too!).
Feeding only a DRY Dog food is NOT healthy. It would be best to AVOID dry dog food altogether, and use canned or completely RAW diet (more on this below).
10 Best Dog Food Options by Category
YOUR Dog Care Stories
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Below are the top foods from brands that consistently make the grade. Click the links below to jump down the page to the category that matches your dog.
IMPORTANT: It is our veterinarians’ opinion that an organic, completely raw diet is best for dogs. it most closely resembles the diet that dogs ate in the wild before being domesticated and has been found to bolster the immune system and keep dogs much healthier than highly processed or cooked dog food (the only raw meats to AVOID would be fish and pork).
However, a completely raw diet can get very expensive, especially for larger dogs. If you cannot afford a completely raw diet, the suggestions below provide great second choices either as a supplement to a partially raw diet or as a standalone dog food diet.
If you’re not sure which category your dog needs, see the pages referenced below or ask our veterinarians for advice via My Online Vet.
- Dogs in Good Health – See our Natural Organic Dog Food page to learn more about the difference between natural organic and regular dog food.
- Vegetarian Dogs – See our Vegetarian Diet for Dogs page to find out if this kind of diet is right for your dog.
- Dogs with Dog Food Allergies – Our Dog with Dog Food Allergy page will teach you how to diagnose and treat a dog with food allergies.
- Overweight Dogs – Our Dog Weight Loss page dives into dog obesity, the importance of a proper weight and how to help them lose the extra pounds.
- Dogs Needing a High Fiber Diet – Check out our High Fiber Dog Food page to determine whether this kind of diet is right for your dog.
- Top 2 Organic Puppy Food Choices (on a different page)
- Raw Natural Dog Food (on a different page)