You love your dog. It’s natural that you should want to provide the very best nutrition you can to keep him looking and feeling great. While no single dog food variety is ideal for every dog, it is possible to narrow down the vast number of choices of natural dog food brands within any pet store food aisle.
Begin by considering your dog’s age. Puppies will often benefit from dog food varieties formulated for the puppy stage, while older dogs may do best on a senior formula. You should also consider your dog’s activity level. Many good dog food brands offer formulations for active/working dogs as well as those for sedentary pets. Any dietary restrictions are also important to consider. You’re likely to find grain free, low protein, weight loss and allergy formulations.
In general, the best dog food brands are going to provide consistently the highest quality ingredients along with little to no fillers, chemicals or preservatives. Just as natural foods or “health foods” are better for us, natural dog foods tend to be better for our canine companions.
The following is a brief list (in no particular order) of some of the most highly rated and often recommended natural dog food brands:
Orijen – Orijen dog food is grain free and comprised of up to 80 percent meat from regional Canadian fish, fowl and beef sources. The carbohydrates in Orijen come from sweet potatoes, so they are easier for dogs to digest. The brand has received many positive reviews from dog owners whose pets previously suffered from stomach upset or skin allergies before switching to Orijen. Orijen is available in formulas for puppies, large breed puppies, adult dogs and senior dogs.
Horizon – Horizon produces three different dog food lines. Amicus is grain free and specially formulated for mini and small breed dogs. It is available in puppy, adult, senior and weight management formulas. Complete contains human grade ingredients, essential supplements and antioxidants. It is available in puppy, large breed puppy, adult, large breed adult, senior and weight management formulas. Legacy is grain free and based on the raw diet philosophy. It contains super-premium, fresh, human-grade meats along with fruits, vegetables and supplements. It is available in puppy and adult formulations.
Taste of the Wild – Taste of the Wild dog food is grain free as well. The carbohydrates within it are from sweet potatoes and peas, both easily digestible by dogs. Other fruits and veggies provide healthy antioxidants. This brand is also preservative free and contains Probiotics to promote digestive health. It has received many favorable reviews from owners whose dogs tend to be picky eaters as well as those who claim the food improved the fur and skin health of their pets. Taste of the Wild is available in puppy and adult formulas, and is ideal for active dogs.
Wellness – Wellness is grain free, with high quality meat rather than meat byproducts as the first ingredient. Wellness formulations contain lots of fruits and veggies, chelated minerals and Probiotics. It has received positive reviews from owners who report improved energy in their dogs and fewer digestive issues after switching to Wellness. The Super5Mix Complete Health is recommended for dogs of all sizes and ages. CORE is a grain free formulation for dogs over one year of age. It has 54 percent more protein than the other Wellness varieties. Simple Food Solution is uniquely formulated for dogs with allergies. It contains no meat by-products, dairy, corn, soy, wheat, eggs, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
If you decide to change the formulation or brand of food you’re feeding your dog, do so gradually. Mix the new food with the old for at least a week, adding a greater percentage of the new food each day. If your dog experiences stomach upset or other negative effects, consult your veterinarian.
What do YOU feed your dog? Tell us in the comment section!