There is so much confusion about pet foods these days, and no wonder. When you walk the aisles of the store it can be overwhelming. Each brand is claiming to be natural and well balanced. The packaging is splashed with meats, vegetables, fruits, and grains. But what does it really mean? How can you find the best natural dog food brands? The answer is yes, you can find the best brand for your pet with a little help.
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Your Dog’s Optimal Nutrition
As descendants of wolves, dogs are primarily labeled as carnivorous. However, to be completely accurate, dogs must be recognized as omnivores as they consume both animals and plants. So the real nutritional needs of your pet may vary. Keep in mind though, that dogs have evolved as omnivores, but have an undeniable carnivorous bias. Their diet should consist mainly of high quality protein sources and be only supplemented by grains, fruits, and vegetables.
What is a Natural Brand?
So does a natural dog food brand mean it has no additives or preservatives? Does it mean it is made with only the best, organic ingredients? Or is it considered a natural product if it reflects the ancestral diet of your canine friend? Really, the definition is up to you and the specified needs of your dog. However, if you are concerned about giving your dog a more natural diet, then you should try and find a dog food brand that conforms to the usual course of nature. Obviously the more natural ingredients, the higher quality food you can expect. But perhaps more importantly you want to find a brand that best matches your dog’s natural, nutritional needs. By using a few tips and some of your best judgment you can find the best natural dog food brands.
Top 10 Natural Dog Food Brands
Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food for Adult Dog Beef and Rice FormulaThis great tasting recipe starts off with real beef protein partnered with added super foods. Not only does it provide optimal nutrition for your dog, but also is great for pets with sensitivities to chicken and corn. It also has an antioxidant formulation and balanced omega fatty acids to improve your dog’s health and in turn their skin and coat.
The top listed ingredients include beef meal, cracked pearled barley, whole grain brown rice, rice bran, and chicken fat. Many pet owners who purchase this product thought they were feeding their dogs good quality food until they made the switch. Though it is a bit pricy, customers said the product and the results were well worth it.
Natural Balance Dry Dog Food Whole Body Health Formula
Established by expert pet nutritionist, this brand supports the needs of your dog through all life stages. The ultra premium blends of Natural Balance foods come in several varieties, but all are dedicated to giving your dog the best possible nutrition. This food nourishes your dog’s complete well being. It is also gluten free and the perfect balance of protein and other key ingredients.
Top listed ingredients include chicken, brown rice, oats, chicken meal, potatoes, brewers rice and chicken fat. Customers who choose Natural Balance say they have seen their dog’s health and look improve on this diet. Many dedicated customers will not use any other dog food, agreeing this brand keeps their dogs in top quality condition.
Wellness CORE Ocean Formula Dry Dog Food
With high levels of protein and optimal fat, probiotics, and calories this is a great natural dog food brand. All the ingredients are carefully controlled. That way your pet only gets the nutrients they need, not anything in excess. Top listed ingredients include whitefish, herring meal, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, peas, potatoes, and dried ground potatoes. Customers who purchase Wellness CORE say their dogs love it and they would highly recommend this product as the best in natural dog food brands. They also say it is affordable and still high quality.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
When you think of a natural dog food brand you should also be considering limited ingredient diets. This is because, aside from protein, your dog does not need much of anything else. With the Rachael Ray dog foods the recipes do not contain any fillers like wheat, soy, or corn. Instead the number one ingredient is always a protein followed by five other wholesome ingredients.
The top listed ingredients of this food include lamb meal, brown rice, ground rice, dried beet pulp, and poultry fat. Customers who like this natural dog food brand say they love the list of real ingredients. It is a food that works well for dogs with sensitive stomachs and they do not purchase anything else.
Wellness Grain-Free Canned Dog Food for Adult Dogs Turkey and Chicken Liver Recipe
If you are looking for a protein focused diet, then there is nothing better in way of natural dog food brands. This canned dog food provides complete and well-balanced nutrition, while also being 100 percent grain free. There are five protein sources in this dog food to maximize absorption. This helps the gastrointestinal system function properly as well as keep your dog healthy, lean, and active.
Top listed ingredients include chicken, turkey, chicken liver, chicken broth, chicken meal, and turkey liver. Other ingredients include sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, spinach, parsley, blueberries, and broccoli. Customers who buy this product are relieved to see such familiar ingredients in their dog food. They also love how well their pets do on such a natural diet.
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult Dry Dog Food
If you are looking for the ideal, natural food for your active adult dog then you should consider Castor and Pollux. It has quality protein sources and real pieces of minimally processed vegetables and fruits. The recipe provides natural sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. It is also safe for your pet with no artificial colors or preservatives.
The top listed ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, milo, and ground whole oats. Customers who purchase Castor and Pullox say this food keeps their dog fit and healthy. Their dogs seem to enjoy the flavor, they love the natural ingredients, and it is a great product for the price.
Instinct Grain-Free Duck and Turkey Meal Dry Dog Food
Your dog wants great taste and optimal nutrition, just like you do. With this grain-free kibble your dog can have both. It comes from one of the top natural dog food brands and will help your dog maintain ideal weight and health. It can be used for both small and large breeds and can even provide relief from most food allergy symptoms. It accomplishes this through only the most proper, holistic nutrition.
The top listed ingredients include duck meal, turkey meal, salmon meal, tapioca, canola oil, and tomato pomace. Customers who choose Instinct say they would defiantly recommend it to pet owners. They watched as their pet’s health symptoms diminished and know this dog food made a big difference.
Halo, Purely for Pets Spot’s Stew Adult Dog Wholesome Chicken Dog FoodThis natural dog food brand provides holistic nutrition for your dog. Halo dog food is made with only the best real food ingredients. It is a home-style recipe with ingredients you will easily recognize. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Basically it is the best food if you want your dog to be on a more natural diet.
Top listed ingredients include chicken, eggs, pea protein, oats, vegetable broth, pearled barley, and chicken fat. Customers who purchase this product say it is the best they could find. They have tried other natural dog food brands with little success and say this food is easy for their pets to digest and their dogs simply love it.
AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Salmon Meal and Potato Formula Dog FoodThis pet food is loaded with natural ingredients. There are high quality protein sources, wholesome grains, antioxidants, and the necessary vitamins and minerals to help keep your pet healthy and happy. What makes AvoDerm so great though? It is the avocados. In the right balance, this ingredient provides many health benefits. It also keeps your pet’s skin and coat healthy and luxurious.
Other top listed ingredients include peas, salmon meal, potatoes, pea flour, canola oil, and tomato pomace. Customers who purchased AvoDerm say they were very pleased with this natural dog food brand. It was especially beneficial to pets with skin allergies and owners were happy to find a natural dog food brand with grain free recipes.
The Honest Kitchen Keen: Turkey and Whole Grain Dog Food
One type of dog food you may not have considered is a dehydrated diet. With Honest Kitchen Keen the whole grain diet is made with top quality protein and garden vegetables. These down to earth ingredients are organic and make this such a good food from such a reliable natural dog food brand. Also, it is an affordable food that does not make any compromises in quality.
Top listed ingredients include turkey, organic oats, potatoes, organic flax, carrots, cabbage, and organic alfalfa. Customers who buy this brand say you get what you pay for. Their picky pets have loved making the switch to this food and it has quickly become their dog food of choice.
Definition of “Natural” According to the AAFCO
A feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal, or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subjected to physical process, heat processing, rendering, purification extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis, or fermentation. Cannot contain ingredients produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.
Labeling on Natural Dog Food Brands
For dog owners, there is one thing to help ensure quality standards in pet food. In the summer of 2001 the Pet Food Committee of the AAFCO obtained approval for specified guidelines regarding the label of natural dog foods. Basically, when it comes to labeling a commercial pet food, the term “natural” is only acceptable if the product as a whole meets the above definition. If any components or ingredients are chemically synthesized, then the label is considered false or misleading.
Ingredients in Natural Dog Food Brands
As with your own health, you should also be concerned about what goes into your pet’s food. By making sure you are giving your pet the best natural ingredients you are also giving them optimal nutrition. The best natural dog food brands are made with easily recognizable ingredients. There should be no artificial coloring, flavoring, or preservatives.
Things to Look for in Natural Dog Food Brands
- Real animal proteins
- Whole grains and fiber
- Fruits and vegetables
- Vitamins and minerals
- No artificial color, flavor, or preservatives
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.