Finding the right food for your dog can be quite a challenge. With so many brands and formulas to choose from, how do you know which is the best dog food for your furry babies? Many times, the best dog food is not only healthy for your pup but it’s also a type of food they absolutely love, chowing down every bite.
However, a recent survey suggests that when it comes to dinner-time choices, dogs can be extremely picky eaters. According to a recent survey of 2,000 parents juggling both dogs and kids, their fur babies are pickier about their food than their actual kids. The poll found that approximately half of the respondents report experiencing trouble getting their pups to eat while nearly the same amount of respondents say they have to add something to their dog’s food to get them to eat.
Regardless of what you add to your dog’s food to get them to eat, it’s frustrating to try new dog foods only to discover your pooch doesn’t like eating it. However, when you think about it from the dog’s point of view, you have to ask yourself, would you eat that kibble? The answer is probably a solid ‘no’ ten out of ten times. Besides, it’s hard to tell what’s in most dog foods.
With all of the recent pet food recalls and kibble contaminations, pet parents are turning to alternative “human-grade’ dog food.” The good news is dog food manufacturers are answering the call by developing human-grade dog food that’s fresher and certainly more delicious for your dogs. But, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Illinois, human-grade dog food is also better for your dog’s digestive system than the dog food options of years past. Most of the human-grade options consist of minimally processed, fresh, whole proteins such as lamb, chicken, and beef as well as healthy additions including carrots, rice, and broccoli.
But, you didn’t come here to read a bunch of dog food studies and surveys, you came here looking for the best dog food and that’s exactly what we’re giving you. Study Finds did the digging, consulting 10 expert pet authority websites in an effort to find the best dog food. As always, feel free to share your picks for the best dog food with us in the comments section below!
The List: The Best Dog Food Brands In 2023, According To Experts
You’d be surprised at the number of choices you have for dog food these days. Although it can be tough to narrow down, the experts agree that the best dog food is Wellness dog food. Wellness is highly recommended by vets and pet parents alike, and for good reason.
“This Wellness Complete Health formula derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the product contains 27% protein, 13% fat and 52% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%,” writes Dog Food Advisor.
It’s those ingredients that make Wellness one of the top choices across the expert sites we visited. “Wellness is a well-regarded pet food brand that uses top-quality ingredients in its wide range of products. It has four main lines, with a variety of formulas for different ages and sizes,” explains Money.
“With superior nutrients, probiotics, and other health-supporting ingredients, this food protects and nourishes your pup,” adds Outlook India.
2. Royal Canin
Coming in next on the list of best dog food is Royal Canin. Royal Canin offers an impressive array of varieties, flavors, and combinations of nutrients for different stages of your pup’s life.
“In addition to dry food for adults, puppies, and senior dogs, Royal Canin has a unique line of breed-specific foods, each of which is tailored to that dog breed’s traits and common problems. Even the kibble shape is selected based on the breed’s jaw structure and biting pattern,” explains Spruce Pets.
Designing kibble to match a breed’s jaw structure and biting pattern has to be the pinnacle of dog food science. In fact, Royal Canin dog food is developed in partnership with veterinarians and pet nutritionists to achieve just that — the height of dog food.
“Before a Royal Canin meal hits shelves, it’s gone through a rigorous development process with an in-house team of veterinarians and nutritionists. They formulate each recipe with age, size, and breed in mind when testing at the brand’s own research facilities. So, you can trust that it’s been checked for nutrition and quality by the time it lands in your dog’s bowl,” explains Self.
Royal Canin produces wet and dry dog food, so you’ll have plenty of options to suit your dog’s preferences and match its stage of life. “Royal Canin complies with the AAFCO nutrition guidelines and it’s very transparent with the ingredients, feeding guidelines and caloric content of the food,” adds Money.
3. Purina Pro Plan
Coming in at the third spot on the list of best dog food is Purina Pro Plan. Purina is a widely known and highly regarded brand of dog food, but they took dog food to another level with the Pro Plan recipe.
“Pro Plan is one of the dog food brands most frequently mentioned by breeders and veterinary professionals. Each recipe has been expertly formulated by a team of board certified veterinary nutritionists,” explains Dog Food Advisor.
Purina Pro Plan offers several different formulas and recipes for dogs in various stages of life. But, the way Purina focused on nutrition makes Pro Plan one of the best dog food options available.
“Purina Pro Plan formulas include food nutritionally designed for adult dogs, puppies of various sizes, senior dogs, and specialized diet support for overweight dogs, sensitive stomachs, and more. Various formulas also include up-to-the-minute nutritional research, incorporating ingredients such as gut-health promoting probiotics, vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids that can help promote a healthy coat,” explains The Spruce Pets.
As we said earlier, the science of dog food has really come a long way in recent years and Purina Pro Plan has certainly been with the program. “Purina Pro Plan offers recipes made to suit different activity levels, food allergies, and specific medical needs like urinary tract health, cognitive function, and digestion,” adds Self.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection
Stampeding into the fourth spot on the list of best dog food is none other than Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo has really come on the dog food scene in recent years, thanks in part to effective advertising, but mostly because Blue Buffalo is a healthy, affordable option.
“While some owners need a super-premium food to suit their pet’s unique needs, many dogs will do just fine on a nutritious mainstream option. Blue Buffalo is an excellent example of this type of dog food, as it strikes an excellent balance between affordability and quality,” explains K9 of Mine.
“Blue Buffalo’s wide availability and high-quality protein sources make it a great option for anybody looking to upgrade their dog’s diet. Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection line provides whole sources of protein as main ingredients and a broad selection of recipes for all types of dogs,” writes Money.
Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection line is highly recommended for its protein-rich formula that’s also an effective option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
“This Life Protection example derives the majority of its animal protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat and 50% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%,” explains Dog Food Advisor.
5. The Farmer’s Dog
Rounding out the list of the best dog food is The Farmer’s Dog. The Farmer’s Dog couldn’t be denied as it appeared on the top half of several of the lists we consulted, and for good reason. The Farmer’s Dog is fresh, human-grade dog food available online and delivered to your home.
“A diet designed by a veterinarian is individualized to your dog’s specific requirements. The meals are prepared and portioned based on the profile you create, according to the nutritional needs of your pet,” writes Discover Magazine.
That’s right, create a profile for you and your pet and The Farmer’s Dog will formulate personalized dog food. Sounds like the ultimate combination of pet science and technology. Still, The Farmer’s Dog is a highly recommended fresh dog food option.
“All of these human-grade ingredients are pre-cooked and pre-portioned for your convenience, and, to make matters even better, up to 40 days worth of meals at a time can be delivered straight to your door,” explains Ask.
When you choose The Farmer’s Dog, you’re also choosing to buy from a company with outstanding business ethics.
“These recipes are is customized based on your dog’s activity level, age, and a variety of other data points, which are collected via an in-depth online survey when you sign up. Best of all, this manufacturer employs a number of eco-friendly practices for environmentally conscious owners,” adds K9 of Mine.
You may also be interested in:
- Best Food For Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs
- Best Wet Dog Food
- Best Dog Treats
- Best Dog Bones
- Best Dog Toys
- Best Dog Beds
- Best Dog Shampoos
- Best Dog Breeds For Kids
- Best Dog Crates
- Best Dog Leashes
- Best Dog Collars
- Best Dog Training Apps
- Dog Food Advisor
- Outlook India
- The Spruce Pets
- K9 of Mine
- Reader’s Digest
- Woof Whiskers
- Discover Magazine
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.
Look to be biased Paid artical most uses animal byproduct as content.
There is no data or facts to support above study.
Best in class is Blue Buffalo you know what you feed to your family…simple
Who can even Afford these Expensive Dog Foods these days? And where are the Clinical Studies?? This is one hell of an Insult. I feed my dog what she’ll eat. Way back when They Didn’t Even Make dog food & once they Did, I think they had the choice of ONE CANNED DOG FOOD…Alpo? STOP this Unrealistic BS. Old people are buying Cat Food to Eat because that’s All they can afford!!
Couldn’t agree more. I live in Italy, and while there are cheap versions of dog and cat food, such as pasta, that I wouldn’t feed my dog, a trip to the local pet food store in my town is anxiety producing because of the prices. Dog food is pricey enough, but cat food is off the charts. I now spend more on my pets’ food than on myself. Add vet expenses to that and it’s no wonder that people are being forced to surrender their pets. Pet food has become a racket.
We love our dogs but due to the procey dog food is their any choice or what alternative but healthy food we can give to our little breed dogs.
Really Royal Canon?