Which is the best dog food for your dog? As with people, dogs need a high quality well balanced diet in order to live a healthy and long life. What is important is to not just focus on what a dog needs to survive - as they say, 'dogs evolved to be survivors' - but look for what food a dog thrives on. And what a dog thrives on are the ingredients optimized to 'mimic his ancestral diet.'
If you can afford it, we love and highly recommend the Stella & Chewy line of Dog Foods. They are a premium dog food and the prices are a bit higher, but we think worth the extra money. If the Stella & Chewy brands do not fit into your budget, we suggest you use the dog foods highlighted here.These 5 dog foods are some of the best of the more affordable ones that are available in most stores and the ones we recommend for your dog...
How We Picked Our Top 5 Recommended Dog Foods
The Pet Food Review recently announced its top 5 dog food picks for 2015. I like the quality of the reviews from this source because they go beyond what a dog needs to survive - as they say, 'dogs evolved to be survivors' - but look for what food a dog thrives on. And what a dog thrives on are the ingredients optimized to 'mimic his ancestral diet.' I took their top 5 picks, double checked the ingredient lists and then scoured the reviews from users on both Amazon and Walmart to come up with our own recommended Top 5 Dog Foods.
We chose five kibble-type dog foods, but foods that are prepared canned or 'home-cooked' may be just as good for your dog, as long as the appropriate balance and quality of ingredients are included. None of these picks contain fillers or 'by-products.'
Here are the top 5 best foods for your dog (all given equal value, by the way)...
Taste of the Wild comes in a variety of lean meats, nutrition packed vegetables and good carbs. They also add egg to their mix so it helps dogs have a nice shiny coat. It also comes in a canned formula. Customers gave it high ratings as they noted immediate changes in the health and energy of their dogs. (I adopted my own dog from a kennel that feeds Taste of the Wild, so I continued him on the food. I have no complaints, and I even use the kibble bits as treats for him.) (Taste of the Wild here.)
Natural Balance is widely available and less expensive than the other dog foods on the top 5, so dog owners like it and dogs think its quite delicious. Reviewers were happy with the food for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the brand makes its test results available to the public, but also because it offers very high quality, filler-free, meat-based product. Nature Balance is a great value as it provides good nutrition, in a tasty form that is more affordable than other quality dog foods. (Natural Balance here.)
The most expensive among these top 5 best dog foods, Wellness receives a very high rating from customers and the reviewers found little to complain about too. Available wet and dry, Wellness has a separate line of dog food, especially formulated for dogs with allergies. If you have purchased cans of the soft food, you will probably note how similar the food looks to a human stew, and they smell good too! In the case of Wellness, it is definitely a food you pay more for because of it's higher quality. (Wellness here.)
This grain-free dog food lists all proteins among its top five ingredients, and the food is made from all fresh products. The reviewers like the whole egg, fruit, and vegetable choices the company adds to some of its formulas, but for dogs with allergies, Orijen makes choices for them as well. Orijen dog food may not be the easiest food to find, even in pet stores, but customers say, it's worth the extra time and expense to buy it for your dog. (Orijen here.)
Except for some problems experienced switching to Blue Buffalo, customers like the diet, especially because the company makes many different versions of the food to suit their dogs specific needs. There had been a recall of certain bags of food in the past, but it was voluntary, and customers responded positively to that effort to insure the best for their dogs. Blue Buffalo uses all natural ingredients, like the other top picks, and it also adds 'cold-formed antioxidants' to the food for nutritional value. Some varieties of Blue Buffalo are better for your dog than others, but overall it is a high quality dog food. (Blue Buffalo here.) (Editor's Note: Blue Buffalo has been having some disputes and issues with ingredients recently. See comments below if you'd like to learn more.)
As with people, dogs need high quality well balanced diet in order to live a healthy and long life. These 5 dog foods are some of the best available and the ones we recommend for your dog. Here's a nice infographics on what to look for in better dog foods.
UPDATE: As mentioned above, we recommend the Stella & Chewy brand of dog foods if it fits your budget. I also learned that The Honest Company has a super high quality premium dog food available. It is quite pricey but may be worth considering if your budget allows for such a premium dog food. I also recently learned from reader tips about Fromm Dog Food. It is a bit pricey but it also gets great reviews from owners so may be worth considering.
That's the buzz for today!
Sources: Dog Food Review, Amazon and Walmart
(Originally published in 2012 and revised annually. Most recent update on June 2015)