Let me preface this by saying, these are not foods for the bargain hunter—they are pricy, but for those of you wanting to give your dog the absolute best, you can’t go wrong with any of these brands. Not to say that those of you who buy cheaper dog food are bad pet parents—you’re not—but for many dog-lovers, pickiness is the name of the game when it comes to feeding their pups.
Dick Van Patten Natural Balance
Ranging in price from $13 per 5-lb. bag to $45 per 25-lb. bag, Dick Van Patten Natural Balance is completely organic and made from domestically grown ingredients and USDA-approved meats. This food is rich in vitamins, Omega 3’s and Omega 6 fatty acids, and it is tested in the company’s own laboratory.
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
Averaging $20 per 18-lb. bag, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul is another very high quality dog food free of preservatives, composed mainly of whole-grain white and brown rice. This food also contains chicken and turkey meal.
Averaging $2 per 13-oz. can, Innova is a wet food composed mostly of meat, fish and vegetables and containing no grains, fillers or byproducts. Rich in vitamins and chelated minerals, Omega 3’s and Omega 6 fatty acids, Innova also contains probiotics.
Averaging $1.50 per 13-oz. can, Canidae is another wet dog food composed mainly of chicken, chicken liver, fish and egg. Canidae contains grains such as brown rice, but no other fillers or byproducts. Canidae contains large amounts of protein, using meats free of hormones and preservatives.
Averaging $8 per 4-lb. bag, Wysong Maintenance is loaded with protein, contains mostly chicken and is meant to be part of a rotating diet. All food is made of natural ingredients and manufactured at its own plants. Wysong packages its food in small-batch “Nutripacks,” packages designed to keep out oxygen and light to preserve the food.
Natural Balance Ultra Premium
Averaging $1.50 per 13-oz. can, Natural Balance is a wet food with a lower meat content and contains vegetables such as potatoes and carrots, plus vegetable oils. Natural Balance is held in high regard by owners as the company makes the results of its testing available to consumers.
Ranging in price from $15 per 4-lb. bag to $35 per 12-lb. bag, Wellness is packed with protein and uses hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and vegetable oils. Rich in vitamins, Omega 3’s and Omega 6 fatty acids, Wellness contains chelated minerals and probiotics. This food also is hypoallergenic and free of wheat, corn and soy.
Averaging $20 per 15-lb. bag, California Natural dog food is also hypoallergenic and free of soy, wheat and gluten. California Natural is some of the best quality dog food on the market. All meats are free of hormones, antibiotics, chemical preservatives and byproducts. Rich in vitamins, Omega 3’s and Omega 6 fatty acids, California Natural is devoid of probiotics and contains only one fat, one carbohydrate and one protein.
Averaging $35 per 15-lb. bag, Orijen contains no grains and is composed of potatoes, chicken and turkey meal and other vegetables. Orijen is the highest quality dog food out there, packed with B vitamins and minerals.
Averaging $25 per 15-lb. bag, Merrick has been regarded as the best quality dog food on the commercial market. Composed of quality ingredients, Merrick is hormone and antibiotic free and contains no preservatives or byproducts. Rich in vitamins, Omega 3’s and Omega 6 fatty acids, Merrick uses organic chicken and domestically grown ingredients and the food is tested on site and produced at its own plant.
For those of us who like to research everything we do, posts like this are fantastic.
Just like anything, you usually get what you pay for – and this is often true of dog food! Most major dog food companies (particularly the cheap brands) fill their food with preservatives to increase its shelf life and maximize their profits. They know that these preservatives are no good for the dogs but without them their bottom line wouldn’t be as big. I agree that pickiness is the name of the game for many dog owners when it comes to feeding their pups….and so it should be.
The only other type of dog food I would add to this list would be good old healthy homemade food!