When you walk down the aisles of the grocery store, how do you know you are looking at healthy dog food brands? Some will have a full color spread of meats, vegetables, grains, and fruit on the front of the bag. Some will say complete or balanced nutrition. But, most commercial dog foods are not as healthy for your dog as you might think. It takes more than just fancy marketing to make up a great, healthy dog food. First you have to know your dog’s needs. Then you have to really scrutinize the labels on the baf to find the right nutrition for the age, activity level, weight, and breed of your pet. When it comes to nutrition, you can see now how dogs are a lot like people. If you want them on a healthy diet you will have to do a little research to find a healthy dog food brand.
Table of Contents
What to Look for in Healthy Dog Food Brands?
Your priority should always be protein. Your dog has an ancestry that links them directly to wolves. They are carnivores and the protein in their diet only needs to be supplemented by other nutrition. So the first thing you should look for on a healthy dog food label is the ingredient list, making sure meat sources are listed within the first five ingredients. Often these will appear in the form of meal, or a concentrated protein source. Meal is a cooked meat, ensuring that the product is not reduced any further during processing. Basically it will take 5 pounds of animal meat to make 1 pound of animal meal. You do not want unnamed animals, by-products, or animal parts as your main protein sources. These are not top quality and are not considered healthy for your pet.
These are a great source of energy for your pet, if they are done right by a healthy dog food brand. They will provide fiber as well as some vitamins and minerals. You will want to try and avoid cheap fillers as best you can. Be sure any grains listed are whole grains. They provide more fiber, vitamins, and minerals for your dog. The best sources of whole grain include barley, quinoa, millet and rolled oats.
Fats and Oils
If you want a balanced and completely healthy diet for your pet then you must include fats and oils. Not only do they keep your pet’s coat and skin healthy and shiny, but promote heart health and make food taste better. Some healthy fats and oils to look for on the ingredient list include animal fats, fish oils, flaxseed and canola oils.
Vitamins and Minerals
These can be posted as separate ingredients on your dog food label, but most often you will want a basic knowledge of other sources. This will help guarantee your dog’s needs are met. Initially sources for both minerals and vitamins in your healthy dog food brands will come from fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins. For example, liver is a good source of Vitamin A and Calcium can come from bone meal. Some pet owners consider supplements for vitamins and minerals, but should consult with their vet first. You don’t want to overdo it, especially if your healthy dog food is already packed full of necessary vitamins and minerals.
Balanced Nutrition for Your Dog
So a balanced diet will help your dog maintain optimal health and wellness. Even though the front of the package may indicate a dog food as “gourmet“, “natural“, or “premium” you can’t rely on that alone. So what really goes into a well balanced diet for your dog? Fortunately there are some basic guidelines you can use to provide the best in nutrition for your pet. As we mentioned, the essentials include protein, carbohydrates, fats and oils, vitamins and minerals.
10 Healthy Dog Food Brands
As stated in the name, this CANIDAE is great for dogs and puppies of all ages, breeds, and sizes. Mealtime for your pet should not be complicated. With this healthy dog food you get healthy probiotic cultures, powerful antioxidants, and high quality protein sources. Top listed ingredients include chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, and white rice. It also includes wholesome ingredients like peas, papaya, and sage. There are no wheat, corn, or soy fillers. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Customers who purchased CANIDAE for their dogs say it is a great tasting formula their dogs love. They completely support this healthy dog food brand and highly recommend it to all dog owners.
So many illnesses in dogs can be traced back to a poor diet. This is why many pet owners want a healthy dog food brand they can trust. With Newman’s Own that is exactly what you get. Their pet foods are produced without the use of herbicides, artificial fertilizers, and pesticides that are known irritants to dogs. There are also no chemical additives or preservatives. This canned food will help your dog have lasting energy, a better metabolism, and improved overall wellness. Top listed ingredients include organic chicken, sufficient water for processing, ocean whitefish, brown rice, carrots, and organic turkey. Customers who purchased this dog food say they are so glad to have found this food on the market.
This classic, grain free dog food is a holistic diet for your beloved pet. It has chicken, duck, and turkey as the leading sources of proteins. It is also made with fresh vegetables and fruits. This simplistic and innovative recipe is great for all dogs, of every breed, age, and size. Merrick is committed to only the highest standards in their dog food with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Top listed ingredients include deboned turkey, chicken broth, duck, and chicken. Other ingredients include sweet potato, carrots, green beans, and apples. Customers who buy this say it is the best dog food ever. Their dogs love it and it gives them a healthier lifestyle.
Your adult dogs has specific needs, and this natural dry dog food is formulated to meet those needs. This protein-focused diet can still help to control fat, calories, phosphorous and calcium. It does not contain any by-products, soy, wheat, corn, or dairy. Instead, the Wellness brand focuses on five USDA grade meat sources with a proprietary blend of vegetables, oils, botanicals, and fruits. In a word, this kibble is balanced. Top listed ingredients include deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, and dried ground potatoes. Customers who stand by the Wellness brand say it is a food they are confident giving to their dog. The dogs like it and it is the perfect food, well worth the price.
This product is made in the USA and formulated to not only meet the AAFCO nutrient profiles for your dog, but to surpass them. This specially blended recipe is meant to meet the nutritional needs of your adult dogs. The ideal protein-fat ratio meets all the needs of your adult dog. The crunchy kibble cleans teeth. The probiotics fuel healthy digestion. The antioxidants promote a healthy immune system. Top listed ingredients include chicken, organic barley, organic oats, organic peas, and chicken meal. Customers say this is the best healthy dog food brand that won’t break the bank. It is healthy, organic, and their dogs love it.
Sometimes the best dog food means finding something with quality proteins and carbohydrates, but not packed full of useless fillers. This is where the Natural Balance can provide a healthy dog food for your pet. The sweet potatoes in this recipe are the single premium carbohydrate. They are rich in potassium and a highly digestible energy source. The limited ingredient protein source is venison. Other top listed ingredients include potato protein, pea protein, and canola oil. Customers give this dog food a high rating because it helped improve their dog’s health and well being. Those who were skeptical became quick believers that this is the best healthy dog food brand for their pet.
Orijen Adult Dry Dog Food is top of the line and contains six different protein sources that make up 80% of the food. They include chicken, turkey, eggs, and fish. It has some really interesting ingredients – that sound as healthy as they are. Expect to see juniper berries, marigold flowers, and seaweed. All of the meat is at a level appropriate for human consumption, so you know the standard of quality is high. Orijen is preservative free and not highly processed like a lot of the standard dog food brands. It’s ingredients are never frozen and always prepared fresh. Orijen takes it a step further by not using grain-based fillers. The price may be high but if you take the low amount of carbohydrate fillers into account, you actually come out pretty even and pay for substantive food rather than cheap grain. Fewer visits to your vet also more than make up for the higher cost of a healthy dog food.
This healthy dog food is prepared in small batches to ensure top quality. The freshest ingredients are delivered daily to the manufacturer. This holistic diet is designed to keep your dog active and healthy. This is a well-balanced blend of protein and nutrients that is not only good for your pet, but tastes good as well. Top listed ingredients include duck, chicken meal, chicken, brown rice, and pearled barley. There is no corn, no wheat, and no beet pulp. Customers who buy the Fromm brand say it is serious kibble. The changes in their pets were remarkable. They were so relieved to find a healthy dog food brand they could trust.
The Taste of the Wild brand is one of the most trusted dog food brands around. This is because each bag is packed full of proper nutrients to fuel your dog. The wetlands formula contains canine probiotics, prebiotic fiber, roasted fowl, and antioxidants. It is also grain free. The healthy dog food would be a nutritious diet for your dog of any age, breed, or size. The top listed ingredients include duck, duck meal, chicken meal, egg product, and sweet potatoes. It is a hearty food with a great taste. Customers say this dog food is excellent. Their picky eaters even love it and pet owners feel good knowing it is a natural food minus all the junk of commercial brands.
If you want to add real meat to your dog’s food, then this canned dog food is the best way. It comes from a healthy dog food brand and can be used alone or added to your dog’s kibble. It is made with 95% real meat, is grain free, and comes in a variety of protein flavors. This truly is a complete and well balanced diet for your pet. Top listed ingredients for the chicken formula include chicken, water sufficient for processing, natural flavors, cassia gum, and carrageenan. Customers who love this product say they have used this dog food for several years and will continue coming back to it. It is well worth the price and comes highly recommended.
If your dog is thriving on a diet it should be easy to tell. Not only will your dog look great and have appropriate stools, but they will have energy, good health, and maintain a proper weight. It is amazing what the best healthy dog food brands can do for your canine friend. All you have to do is take the time to really put your pet’s health first. Do a little research and find a healthy dog food to best match the needs of your canine.
I've been a dog lover since the day I was born but it's the current four legged love of my life, Phoebe who inspired me to create the Munch.Zone.
We moved together from Israel to New York in 2013, love hiking together, and never pass up a trip to the dog park. Watching her over the years sparked so many questions about dog behavior and health needs, and it wasn't always easy to find answers. Thus, the Munch.Zone was born.
On any given day you'll find me watching Netflix originals, eating popcorn, and thinking about how to get into house flipping.