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12 Best Dog Food Brands

Searching For The Best Dog Food Brands

A happy pup makes for a happy life, and the right food makes all the difference. Whether you’re a long-time or new pet parent, we’ve put together this list of the best dog food brands to help you give your fluffy pal exactly what they need.

12 Best Dog Food Brands

Ahead, you’ll discover a range of dog food brands—some are incredibly well-known, while others are just getting their start. The common thread? They all make nutrition-forward pet food with the health and happiness of your dog in mind. Without further ado let’s dig in to the top 12 best dog food brands.

1. Wild Earth

Wild Earth

The masses have spoken, cruelty-free dog food is a must for healthy dogs. Void of animal-derived ingredients but not vitamins or protein, Wild Earth’s signature vet-developed, antioxidant-rich recipe has been helping pups feel their best since 2018.

Founded by Ryan Bethencourt, the brand says that 86% of customers have seen improvements in their dogs’ health after they tried Wild Earth. The success stories seem to have no end, ranging from benefits like allergy relief, better skin, and healthy digestion.

The company owes its success to its absence of meat…yes, meat. Choosing healthy, nutrient-rich proteins like chickpeas instead, it turns out that dogs don’t need meat to thrive—just a properly balanced diet.

You can get a large 18 lb bag of Wild Earth cruelty-free dog food for $70. Subscribe to save 50% on your first order.

Highlights

  • Offers dry food, supplements, and treats
  • Made with superfoods
  • Complete, high-protein recipe
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vet-developed
  • Subscribe to save

2. Royal Canin

Royal Canin

Royal Canin got its start in 1968 when veterinarian Jean Cathary founded the brand in France. Always a nutrition-forward company, it follows Hippocrates’s iconic teachings to “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food,” applying it to our pets as well.

After working with animals over his successful career, his first nutrient-packed food was a vitamin and mineral-rich formula for dogs called Yellow Soup. This was Royal Canin’s first-ever product.

Today, the brand offers a wide range of wet and dry food for dogs, each one formulated with the antioxidants, fiber, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals your pup needs to feel its best. In its dry food line, you can get a 35 lb bag of Small Breed or Adult dog food for $50-$82. Cans are sold individually for $2-$3 each.

Highlights

  • Wide range of wet and dry food
  • Nutrition-first pet food
  • Tailored nutrition for your pet’s breed
  • Strict food production standards
  • Sustainability mission

3. Pedigree

Pedigree

Pedigree is an incredibly well-known name in the pet food realm. Its signature yellow bags are sold around the world by thousands of retailers and chosen by customers for their affordable prices.

Who’s the face behind this popular brand? It turns out the same guy that brought you decadent Mars bars is the one who started this company back in 1957. Today, Pedigree believes that dogs help us to reconnect with our true selves. It says we have much to learn from our dogs, and we should feed them nourishing food that brings out their best.

Its line of dog food includes dry and wet varieties for puppies, adults, and seniors, using recipes derived from studies conducted by The Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition. Pedigree’s ingredients have evolved over the years, and though you’ll still find things like corn and gluten meal inside, the brand says that the two play an important role in maintaining and building tissue.

Offering a full range of dry food, wet food, and treats, 12 oz cans of wet food are always under $2. You can get a 30 lb bag of Adult Kibble for $40.

Highlights

  • Huge selection of dog food for breed, age, and need
  • Tons of flavors
  • Recipes based on nutritional pet research
  • Supports shelter and rescue organizations
  • Affordable
  • Easy accessible

4. Open Farm

best dog food brands

If you believe that pet food can be good for your furry friend, good for farm animals, and good for the environment, then Open Farm might interest you.

After rescuing a pup of their own, life partners and co-founders Isaac Langleben and Jacqueline Prehogan founded their business on this ideal with a mission to reinvent the way pet food is made

Jacqueline and Isaac’s research and hard work paid off– Open Farm sources only the highest quality ingredients, supports farmers who treat animals well, and provides full customer transparency

Somehow, they struck a perfect balance for pet owners who want natural and nutritious pet food without compromising their values, animal welfare, and sustainability. 

On Open Farm’s website, you can shop by food type or protein type. Either way, all Open Farm foods are sourced from third-party verified family farms and made entirely from humanely raised, antibiotic-free meats, wild-caught, and sustainably sourced fish.

Open Farm foods sound good enough to eat for humans too! Using non-GMO fruits, veggies, and grains, your pup will also get a boost from superfoods like turmeric and coconut oil with every meal. 

Dry dog food starts at $26, whereas wet food starts at $60. Open Farm carries freeze-dried raw food, gently cooked treats, supplements, and bone broth too.

Highlights

  • Food for dogs and cats
  • Fully transparent 
  • Advocate for animal welfare
  • Supportive of family farms
  • Climate conscious mission
  • No antibiotics or growth hormones
  • Zero artificial flavors or fillers
  • Nutrient-dense ingredients and superfoods

5. IAMS

IAMS

IAMS is another name on this list of best dog food brands that is over 50 years old. Established in 1946, it was the first pet food company to ever use animal-based protein in its formulas. Imagine.

IAMS’s recipes focus on high-quality and research-backed ingredients. Its line is tailored by age, ensuring your pup gets exactly what they need at every stage of their life. Holding multiple US patents, the brand conducts 120+ quality checks on each bag of food.

With age-specific lines for puppy, adult, and mature dogs, its food is big on digestion-friendly and healthy-weight recipes. You can pick up a 15 lb bag of Kibble for around $28.

Highlights

  • Range of foods formulated for specific life stages
  • Dry food only
  • 120+ quality checks
  • High-quality ingredients

6. Purina

Purina

Purina wants to help your pups live their best lives. Approaching dog food from a nutritional angle, its formulas are specially designed with a complete range of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

Purina is now owned by Nestle. Back in 1894 when it was founded by William Danforth, the brand was called Ralston Purina and was based in Missouri. Calling its food “chow,” the company quickly became memorable.

Still just as memorable today, the brand only sources from trusted partners and is careful about what it includes in its meals. 99% of its products are made in the USA, and Purina keeps a close watch on the suppliers, farms, and factories it works with.

You’ll find a great selection of food for dogs of all ages in its line, including grain-free and natural options and targeted meals for anxiety and active pups. Grab a 17 lb bag of Adult Grain-Free Chow for $20.

Highlights

  • Wide range of wet and dry foods
  • Tailored formulas for your dog’s needs
  • Traceable ingredients
  • 99% of products made in the USA
  • 100k quality checks per day
  • 80% of packaging is recyclable
  • Uses renewable energy
  • Affordable

7. Hill’s Science Diet

Hill’s Science Diet

One of the few names on this list of best dog food brands that were created by veterinarians, Hill’s Science Diet is founded on research and facts. The company was officially established in 1939, and its first product was crafted to help save a dog with kidney failure.

The first-ever Hill’s Science Diet dog food, Canine k/d was made in Dr. Mark Morris’s kitchen with his wife. After much success, the pair went into business with the Hill Packing Company, releasing Canine k/d to the public.

It’s all about preventative nutrition with Hill’s, and you’ll find four different varieties of pet food within its line, including Science Diet, Prescription Diet, Healthy Advantage, and Bioactive Recipe. Offering a primarily wet food-focused selection, you can get a 12-pack of 12oz cans for $55, or a 30lb bag of dry food for $90.

Highlights

  • Four effective dog food lines
  • Offers mostly wet food
  • Prescription-based approach to food
  • Veterinarian-founded
  • Science-backed

8. Merrick

Merrick

Merrick got its start back in 1988 in Garth Merrick’s kitchen. Wanting to cook nutritious meals for his pup, Garth included balanced levels of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats in his concoctions which his dog quickly scarfed down.

Even though Merrick is a bigger company now, it’s still concerned with balanced, home-cooked nutrition for dogs. It uses industry-leading proteins, whole foods, and absolutely no preservatives throughout its selection.

There are a handful of dry foods available at Merrick, including Healthy Grains, Raw Coated Kibble, and Grain-free varieties. Regardless of which you pick, real meat is always the first ingredient. Your pup will enjoy 84% of its protein from animal sources, along with omega fatty acids for heart, joints, skin, and brain health.

You can expect to find nutrient-packed apples and blueberries in its formulas, along with sweet potatoes that are easy on digestion and big on energy. Pick up a 22 lb bag of Grain-free dry for $105.

Highlights

  • Range of formulas made with real whole foods
  • Made with omega 3 fatty acids
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Easily-digestible ingredients
  • Adheres to FDA guidelines

9. The Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen

One of the only human-grade options on this list of best dog food brands, The Honest Kitchen was one of the first to ever make it a thing. The company was founded in 2022 by Lucy Postins whose focus was on proper nutrition for her pup.

Its recipes are simple, transparent, and honestly, delicious. Made from wholesome ingredients like eggs and pumpkin, The Honest Kitchen takes care to choose top-quality ingredients that are truly good for your four-legged friends.

Its line includes age-specific recipes for puppies, adults, and senior dogs, accommodating nutrition needs like low-sodium, grain-free, and low-carb diets. Choose from clusters, dehydrated dry, and wet foods, or a combination.

A 10 lb box of dehydrated kibble is $75, a 20 lb bag of clusters is $80, and a 6-pack of hearty stew is $24.

Highlights

  • Great variety of recipes
  • Human-grade
  • Age-specific recipes
  • Made with wholesome ingredients
  • Vet-recommended

10. Sundays

Sundays

There are so many questions surrounding what to feed our pets. Should it be raw? How about add-ins? Do I really need to avoid “x, y, z”? Sundays is on a mission to make mealtime easy for pet parents.

The company was launched in 2020 after Tory and Michael Waxman’s dog got sick and they started the search for food that was fuss-free but loaded with nutrition. But Sundays is as equally as focused on the human experience as it is for canines, making sure ordering and serving the best food is super easy.

Sundays has just one recipe made with nutrient-packed ingredients like USDA beef, kale, pumpkin, quinoa, wild salmon oil, and a range of fruits and vegetables. You can get a 144 oz (9lb) box for $200 (normally $250).

Highlights

  • One signature recipe
  • Air-dried and tastes like treats
  • Human-grade
  • All-natural, simple ingredients
  • Vet-created

11. Stella & Chewy’s

Stella & Chewy's

The story of Stella & Chewy’s is really sweet. Both dogs adopted by Marie Moody, Chewy initially had health issues, but after swapping him to a raw diet, they quickly went away. After creating raw dishes for both her dogs for a few years, Marie went on to launch her brand from her small apartment in Brooklyn.

Today, the company makes more than raw pet food, though you will find a great selection of frozen raw delights in its line. Offering whole-grain, grain-free, and freeze-dried kibble, it also makes wet and frozen cooked foods. With a nutrition-first approach, there’s something for every palate.

Grab a 10 lb bag of the Raw Blend for $65 or a case of 12 oz Stews for $57.

Highlights

  • Raw and cooked meals available
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Responsibly sourced, premium ingredients
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Award-winning

12. Natural Balance

Natural Balance

For Natural Balance, pet food needs to be nutritious, made from quality ingredients, and safe. Its line of tasty meals is heavily tested to bring you peace about what you’re feeding your pup.

The brand was founded back in 1989 by Dick Van Patten and offers a huge range of diets for all kinds of dogs. Formulated by animal healthy science experts and loving pet owners, you can see the care that goes into developing its line.

Shop through food for limited-ingredient and grain-free diets, along with those made with targeted nutrition. A 24 lb bag of Original Ultra Grain-Free food is $53 while Targeted Nutrition Wet food is $35 for 12 cans.

Highlights

  • Range of food types
  • Targeted nutrition
  • Limited ingredients diet
  • Vegetarian formulas
  • Gives back to rescue programs

How to Shop for the Best Dog Food

Best Dog Food Brands

There is so much variety out there in the world of pet foods. This list of best dog food brands helps narrow your choices down, but in the end, you still have to select one.

Choosing the perfect food for your fluffy pal is no easy feat. To help you along in the process, we’ve put together a few specifics to look out for as you browse. Let’s check them out.

Brand

You are undoubtedly familiar with at least a handful of the names on this list of best dog food brands. Familiarity may be enough to make you choose one over the other, considering that there’s a certain sense of security that comes from buying a known and trusted company.

Before you settle for just a name, you may want to look a little deeper and check out its credibility, ingredients, and sourcing practices. If sustainability is important to you, buying from a company that responsibly sources its ingredients would, of course, be critical to your final decision.

Dog Breed

There are over 300 recognized dog breeds around the world, each one a little different from the next. Certain breeds require specific diets, while others have unique needs that should be met.

For example, bulldogs are known for having joint trouble. Choosing one of the best dog food brands that have joint-specific formulas would be a great choice for your pup. Certain names on this list create their dog food formulas based on specific breeds and pet needs. If you’d like one that does, be on the lookout for one that offers tailored nutrition.

Ingredients

If there’s one thing you probably know about dog food, it’s that no two formulas are quite the same. You’ll find a range of formulas on this list of best dog food brands—some that prioritize whole food ingredients and others that don’t.

Many of the dog foods here include a variety of meats in their recipes, but some also use fruits and vegetables. There’s even one brand that offers a vegetarian recipe. Consider what’s best for your dog and then choose accordingly.

Dry vs Wet

There are a number of reasons why you may choose dry food over wet food for your dog and vice versa. Dry food promotes chewing which is great for teeth and is usually a less expensive option. Wet food is more palatable and easier to chew for puppies with sensitive teeth.

You know your dog better than anyone, but if you’re having a tough time deciding which type of food to feed them, consult a vet. Some of the brands on this list offer more than just dry and wet food, but broths and freeze-dried chunks as well. What you end up choosing might be a combination of dry, wet, or broth.

Flavors

Just like you have your preferences, so does your pup. Some dogs gobble up turkey and duck while others prefer lamb and chicken. Finding the right flavors for your dog may be a trial and error process, but unless you’re a new pet owner, you probably have a good idea of what they like already.

Many of the best dog food brands offer a wide range of flavors. Some even have protein choices that others don’t. If your dog is obsessed with an obscure flavor, it makes sense to choose a brand that has it.

Additional Benefits

Dog food has come a long way in the last century, including specific ingredients to promote full-body wellness for your pup. If you’re looking for a formula that’s specific for digestion, skin, eyesight, joints, or anxiety, there is a healthy selection of brands on this list that fit the bill.

Not all of them offer as many options with additional benefits, so keep an eye out for targeted nutrition formulas, supplements, or food that caters to common health conditions.

Quantity

How much pet food you buy depends on how big your dog is. A chihuahua will eat much less than a Labrador. If you prefer to shop weekly, then you’ll only need a small bag.

Rather stock up for the month? Several brands offer kibble bags over 20 lbs, but not all of them do. Available sizes may affect your final choice.

Subscriptions

The majority of the best dog food brands listed here don’t sell directly from their websites. That means you’ll need to buy from a partner retailer. Many names on this list include links to their partners directly on their websites.

A lot of these retailers, like PetSmart and PetValue, offer subscriptions. Some of our featured brands sell directly through their site and offer it as a recurring subscription too. If you want your dog’s food delivered to your door every month, choose a brand that’s available through a service that does this.

What should dogs not eat?

Best Dog Food Brands

As people who love our pets, it’s normal to want to share bites of your food—especially when your dog gives you those sad, begging eyes. But dogs are dogs, not humans, and many of the things we eat, they can’t.

After consulting numerous sources around the web including the American Kennel Club, we’ve put together a list of the most common no-nos for your pup.

  1. Chocolate
  2. Garlic
  3. Macadamia nuts & almonds
  4. Avocado
  5. Grapes/raisins
  6. High-sugar foods (candy, ice cream, etc.)

Caffeine in general isn’t good for your dog and neither is sugar. Cheese may be ok for some dogs, but many pups are actually lactose intolerant, and feeding them dairy may cause an upset stomach.

Are veggies good for my dogs?

Best Dog Food Brands

Vegetables are an important part of your dog’s diet. Just like us, they need a range of vitamins and minerals, and many vegetables provide the right nutrition to help your pup thrive. With that said, not every kind of vegetable is safe for your fluffy pal. Here’s a list of what is safe according to the American Kennel Club:

  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Green beans 
  • Peas

There are also certain vegetables your dog should never eat. These include:

  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Onions

Final Thoughts

Best Dog Food Brands

At the end of the day, you just want a happy, healthy dog. Thankfully, there are many companies out there who make food with wellness and nutrition at the forefront of their formulas.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing the food that’s right for your pup. We hope this list of best dog food brands has helped make the process easier.


Next, check out other curated lists of top brands:

9 Best Food Subscription Brands

10 Best Wholefood Multivitamin Brands

10 Best Sustainable Pet Food Brands

10 Best Pet Food Subscription Brands

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