7 Best Dog Foods in 2019 and 10 Worst Foods to Feed your Dog

 & Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is the researched opinion of the writer and should not be substituted for experienced medical advice from a licensed Veterinary specialist.

Most dogs will eat anything. From table scraps dug out of the garbage to clumps from the litter box, a dog’s desire to eat knows no bounds. Much of the time, your dog doesn’t even know what he is eating – all he knows is that it smells and tastes good. As a dog owner, it is your job to keep track of what your dog is eating and to make sure that the food you give him will provide for his nutritional needs. Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t take the time to learn what’s in their dog’s food and they shop for dog food based on price alone.

Before we get started… Here are some of the Best Foods to Feed your Dog in 2019:

Most Affordable

American Journey Salmon

  • Nutritious fruits and vegetables
  • Extremely Affordable

Check Latest Price

Best Overall

Taste of the Wild High Prairie

  • Natural recipe with added vitamins
  • Made in the USA & Affordable

Check Latest Price

Human Grade

Ollie Fresh Pet Food

  • Delivered to your door
  • Affordable Human Grade Food

Check Latest Price

You don’t have to be a millionaire to feed your dog a high-quality product. Sure, premium pet foods cost a little more but if you think about the long term, the benefits of feeding your dog a high-quality diet outweigh the negatives. If you skimp on your dog’s food now, you could end up paying for it later with expensive vet bills to deal with your dog’s nutritional deficiencies and other diet-related health problems. But what makes a high-quality dog food and how can you tell one apart from a low-quality dog food?

Choosing a high-quality dog food for your canine companion is not as difficult as you might imagine – it just takes a little time and some research to learn how to read a pet food label. If you lead a busy lifestyle, however, you may have trouble finding time for even something as important as learning about your dog’s diet. That is why I’ve compiled a list of the 10 worst dog foods from 2019 and 7 best dog foods 2019. These top 10 worst dog foods are so bad that we wouldn’t recommend them – and that’s saying something! So, buckle down and keep reading to learn more about what you should and should NOT be putting in your dog’s body.

The Top 10 Worst Dog Food Brands of 2019

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All dog foods are not created equal but most of the low-quality dog food brands have a few things in common. Some of the worst dog food brands on the market load up their products with inexpensive fillers like corn and wheat products – their products also tend to be carb-heavy instead of meat-based. Low-quality pet foods make heavy use of by-products and plant proteins, plus they often use artificial colors and flavors to make their products more palatable for pets and the people who care for them. Something else these foods have in common is frequent product recalls. Here is an overview of the top 10 worst dog food brands of 2019:


The Alpo brand of dog food was founded nearly 80 years ago with the goal of producing flavorful, meat-rich dog foods. Alpo is one of several brands of pet food that fall under the Purina umbrella which includes other low-quality brands like Beneful, Mighty Dog, Purina Dog Chow, T-Bonz, and Waggin’ Train. The Alpo brand is marketed as a producer of meat-rich dog foods but the truth is, these products are full of artificial additives and low-quality ingredients. Alpo wet foods come in a variety of flavors that are supposedly “cooked in savory juices” with meaty ingredients like filet mignon and bacon. A quick review of the ingredients list for these products, however, reveals the use of meat by-products and artificial flavors. Alpo is primarily a wet food brand, though there are two dry food options that make heavy use of low-quality fillers like ground yellow corn and plant proteins like corn gluten meal and soybean meal.

Recall Info: In its 80 years of existence, the Alpo brand has been affected by numerous recalls. In the past decade, there has been one major recall affecting more than a dozen products that was issued due to concerns of melamine contamination.

Problem Ingredients: meat by-products, soy flour, ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, meat and bone meal, animal digest, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives

Grreat Choice

The Grreat Choice brand of pet food is produced by PetSmart, one of the leading pet retailers in the United States. This dog food brand offers a limited selection of dry dog food products for puppies, adult dogs, small-breed, and large-breed dogs. Grreat Choice is not only readily available in PetSmart stores around the country, but it is also highly affordable – a 20-pound bag of dry food costs less than $15. That alone should be enough to raise a red flag but the problems don’t stop there. A quick review of Grreat Choice dog food reveals the use of corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as unnamed ingredients like bone meal and poultry fat. These products are described as “complete nutrition for health and vitality” but the sad truth is that they are nothing more than low-quality products loaded with fillers and artificial additives. Grreat Choice dog foods also stick to the minimum for crude protein and fat while being a little bit heavy on the carbohydrates.

Recall Info: The Grreat Choice brand has been affected by numerous recalls in recent years – two to be specific. A 2007 recall was issued due to potential melamine contamination and a 2009 recall was issued due to potential salmonella contamination.

Problem Ingredients: ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, wheat middling ground wheat, corn gluten meal, meat by-products, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives.

Purina Dog Chow

The Purina name applies to a number of pet food brands produced and manufactured by the Nestle Purina PetCare Company. The company began as the Ralston Purina Company in 1893 and it currently includes more than half a dozen different product lines. Purina Dog Chow is one of Purina’s oldest products and, unfortunately, one of the worst products as well. Purina Dog Chow offers an assortment of recipes for puppies, adult dogs, small dogs, large dogs, and picky eaters – there are also natural formulas and recipes for weight management. The classic Dog  Chow recipe is made with whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, and chicken by-product meal among the first six ingredients. As a whole, Purina Dog Chow uses many low-quality fillers and non-nutritive ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy products – their dog foods are also loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Unfortunately, many dog owners still buy these products because they are cheap and because they sound like good products based on what’s printed on the package.

Recall Info: The Purina brand as a whole has been subject to many recalls over the years. Surprisingly, however, none have targeted the Dog Chow product line in particular.

Problem Ingredients: whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, chicken by-product meal, whole grain wheat, animal digest, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives


Beneful is another product line that falls under the Purina umbrella of brands. The brand itself was released in 2001 and its main draw is the fact that its kibbles come in a variety of shapes, colors, and textures. Beneful offers a variety of dry food and wet food products that supposedly contain “real meats” like beef, chicken, and salmon. If you take a quick look at the ingredients list for some of Beneful’s dry dog food products, however, that while there are some real meats included, they are likely outweighed by by-products and plant proteins. For example, the Benefuls Originals with Real Beef dry food lists beef as the first ingredient but it is followed by five fillers or by-products – there are also numerous artificial colors and flavors. Beneful’s wet food products are also made with corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as artificial additives.

Recall Info: The Purina family of brands has been affected by many recalls over the past decade or so, but only one major recall has affected the Beneful line in particular. This recall occurred in 2016 when Beneful wet food products were recalled due to inadequate levels of key vitamins and minerals. Beneful has also been the subject of many consumer complaints, though Purina maintains that these accusations are “baseless”.

Problem Ingredients: wheat gluten, meat by-products, soy flour, whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, poultry and pork digest, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives


The Pedigree brand of dog food is owned and produced by Mars PetCare, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc. which is the sixth largest privately held company in the United States. Pedigree offers a wide assortment of dry foods, wet foods, and dog treats that are marketed as, “really good food”. This brand offers dog food products for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs as well as recipes formulated for dogs of different sizes and with different dietary and health needs. If you check the ingredients list for most of these products, however, you will find that they do not vary significantly in terms of their formulation. Most Pedigree products list whole grain corn as the first ingredient. Not only is this ingredient a common food allergen for dogs, but it offers very limited nutritional value. Most of Pedigree’s products are carb-heavy and loaded with low-quality fillers as well as artificial additives. What makes this brand so popular is the fact that it is easy to find and easy to afford.

Recall Info: The Pedigree brand has been affected by numerous recalls in recent history. In fact, the most recent recall of August 2014 involved reports of metal fragments in the food. Another recall in 2012 involved reports of plastic pieces in the food. Other recalls have been issued regarding potential salmonella contamination.

Problem Ingredients: ground whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, ground whole grain heat, soybean meal, brewers rice, meat and bone meal, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives

Royal Canin

The Royal Canin brand was founded in 1968 and it has become one of the largest pet food brands in the country in terms of variety. Royal Canin offers hundreds of products which are divided into different product lines based on life stage, breed size, lifestyle, and health status. Royal Canin is particularly known for offering breed-specific recipes. Unfortuantely, these formulas are not very different from each other and, like most of Royal Canin’s products, they are heavy in low-quality carbohydrates and by-products. Many of Royal Canin’s dog food products list an animal by-product as the main source of protein, though it is not always the main ingredient – many recipes list corn or wheat first. Royal Canin does use some chelated minerals in their recipes but it is hard to cancel out so many other low-quality ingredients. Overall, Royal Canin is not a high-quality brand of dog food.

Recall Info: The Royal Canin brand has been affected by several recalls in recent history, primarily due to concerns of melamine contamination. There were two recalls in 2007 as well as a recall in February issued due to high levels of vitamin D3.

Problem Ingredients: wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, corn, wheat gluten, fish protein digest, hydrolyzed yeast, artificial flavors, preservatives

Hill’s Science Diet

Although Hill’s Science Diet is marketed as a top choice by many veterinarians, these recommendations are made in error. While Hill’s might be one of the largest brands of pet food in terms of product variety, it is by no means one of the better brands in terms of quality. The Hill’s Science Diet brand is produced by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. and it is available in pet stores and vet offices around the country. Hill’s Science Diet offers a wide variety of dog food products for puppies, adult, and senior dogs as well as small-breed and large-breed dogs. They also offer recipes formulated for certain health problems. If you review the ingredients list for many Hill’s Science Diet products, however, you’ll find that they aren’t all that different and that many of them are loaded with low-quality ingredients. For example, many Science Diet products list a carbohydrate as the first ingredient and most recipes include corn, wheat, and soy products.

Recall Info: The Hill’s Science Diet brand of pet food has been recalled a number of times and it was voluntarily withdrawn by the company once in 2015 due to labeling issues. There were two recalls in 2007 related to melamine concerns and one in 2014 that was issued due to potential salmonella contamination.

Problem Ingredients: whole grain wheat, brewers rice, soybean meal, soybean oil, whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, pea protein, artificial flavors, preservatives

Kibbles ‘n Bits

This brand of dog food is easily one of the most popular brands on the market – in fact, it is the fifth largest dog food brand currently in the United States. This dog food brand is produced and manufactured by Big Heart Pet Brands and it includes a variety of dry food and wet food products. The Kibbles ‘n Bits brand promises “joy in every bite” but a brief review of their dog food formulas shows that not only is joy missing from the ingredients list, but so are many high-quality ingredients. Kibbles ‘n Bits dry foods are supposedly made with flavorful roasted meets like beef and chicken but if you look at the ingredients list for any of this brand’s dry food products you will find that they are very carb heavy – corn is the first ingredient in many cases. Kibbles ‘n Bits wet foods are also loaded with corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as by-products and plant proteins.

Recall Info: Despite the fact that Kibbles n’ Bits uses a variety of low-quality ingredients and non-nutritive fillers in their products, there are no product recalls in recent brand history.

Problem Ingredients: corn, soybean meal, wheat flour, soy flour, wheat middlings, corn syrup, meat by-products, soy protein concentrate, animal digest, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives

Ol’ Roy

The Ol’ Roy brand of dog food is produced and manufactured by the Mars Group for sale in Walmart stores. Although this brand definitely belongs on the list for worst brands of all time, it is still one of the top-selling brands in the United States. The main reason for this is probably the fact that it is highly affordable and easy to find – Walmart doesn’t actually advertise this product at all. Ol’ Roy dog food claims to offer “great meaty taste to encourage healthy appetite” and the package suggests comparing this product to Purina Dog Chow. This alone should raise a red flag since Purina Dog Chow is not a quality product. A review of the ingredients list for several Ol’ Roy products reveals the use of many corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as low-quality meat products and artificial additives. A 50-pound bag of Ol’ Roy dogfood costs less than $25 which is another red flag – no high-quality dog food will be sold at such a low price.

Recall Info: There have been several recalls of Ol’ Roy dog food in recent history. Two recalls in 2007 and 2008 were issued due to potential salmonella contamination and a third was issued in 2007 due to potential melamine concerns.

Problem Ingredients: ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, wheat middlings, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives


The Diamond Pet Food Company is owned and produced by Schell & Kampeter and it encompasses three product lines – Diamond, Diamond Naturals, and Diamond Naturals Grain-Free. While the Diamond Naturals and Diamond Naturals Grain-Free product lines are decent enough, the original Diamond line of dog foods leaves much to be desired. This product line is marketed as being, “highly digestible, super premium pet food without the premium price” but that is not exactly true. A review of several Diamond dog food products reveals the use of corn, wheat, and soy ingredients – often as the first ingredient or at least among the top three. Diamond dog foods are very carb-heavy and they make use of plant proteins as well. Many of the meat-based ingredients come from unnamed sources like “fish meal” or they are meat by-products of questionable quality. Diamond does use chelated minerals in some of their products and they don’t use as many artificial colors and flavors as many brands. Still, any brand that makes heavy use of corn, wheat, and soy products should be avoided.

Recall Info: The Diamond Pet Food Company has a long list of recalls, several of which have been issued due to concerns of salmonella contamination. While many recalls affect a single recipe or batch of pet food, many of Diamond’s recalls affect a wide variety of products – a 2012 recall affected over a dozen different products.

Problem Ingredients: wheat flour, whole grain ground corn, rice bran, meat meal, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal

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The Best Dog Food Brands to Feed Your Dog in 2019

Now that you know a little more about the worst dog food brands on the market  – you may be curious to learn more about the brands we DO recommend. The best rated dog foods 2019 are made with high-quality, wholesome ingredients like real meat and seafood as well as digestible carbohydrates and healthy fats. These brands make products that are rich in animal proteins and loaded with natural sources for key nutrients to ensure balanced nutrition and optimal nutrient absorption. Here are the top 5 dog food brands recommended for 2019:

Ollie Dog Food Check Price

ollie dog food

Ollie is a subscription based fresh pet food company who gently cooks real human grade ingredients. Because their formulas aren’t laced with the same preservatives and fillers like more traditional dry and canned pet foods you’ll need to keep deliveries refrigerated or frozen as you would any other perishable. For pet parents worried about feeding quality nutrition to their dogs that’s an easy trade.

Ollie steps you through a series of questions to help determine the right meal and quantity for your dog and customizes their diet and delivery schedule accordingly. Yes, the food tends to run more expensive, but as any economist will point out…quality products come with quality price tags.

Meal options include Healthy Turkey Feast, Hearty Beef Eats, Chicken Goodness and Hearty Lamb Fare. Each recipe is cooked by humans at low temperatures and has been vet formulated with natural ingredients.

They give you 50% off on your first order to see if you like it as well.

Find our Full Ollie Review here: https://dogfood.guide/ollie/

NomNomNow Dog Food Check Price

nomnomnow dog food

NomNomNow is another human grade option that delivers fresh meals at intervals consistent with your dogs feeding requirements. Their made-to-order dog food is vet formulated and pre-portioned based on a series of questions you answer upon initiation.

Customers report positive changes in their dog including excitement at meal time, more energy, shinier coat, fewer vet visits and reduced medication. This is consistent with a quality diet that includes foods rich in protein and other important vitamins and nutrients that come with human grade food.

Meal options include Heartland Beef Mash, Tasty Turkey Fare, Chicken Chow Wow and Porkalicious Pot Luck.

In addition to dog food, NomNomNow also customizes meal plans for cats. So if you have a multi-species home this is a great brand to try for an all-inclusive, convenient & healthy diet for your pets.

Normally they offer a 30% discount on your first order, but this link will get you 50% off.

Find Our NNN vs Ollie Comparison Here: https://dogfood.guide/nomnomnow-vs-ollie-dog-food/ 

Acana Regionals Check Price

acana dog food

The Acana brand of pet food is known for producing high-quality, biologically appropriate diets. A biologically appropriate diet is simply a meat-based diet designed to mimic the evolutionary diet followed by wild dogs and cats. Acana dog foods are designed in keeping with a Whole Prey nutritional philosophy which includes fresh meat, organs, and raw bone balanced with fresh fruits and vegetables for complete and balanced nutrition. Acana offers several different lines of products but one of their best is the Regionals line of dry foods. This product line includes four meat-rich recipes made with fresh, regional ingredients like ranch-raised meats, free-run poultry and wild-caught fish. Acana Regionals dog foods are made with 70% meat ingredients supplemented with sun-ripened vegetables, fruits, and botanicals. Because Acana pet foods are made with fresh fruits and vegetables, they don’t need to load up with synthetic supplements to ensure nutritional balance. In fact, most recipes only require two or three supplements.

Recall Info: Though the Acana company has been in business for more than 25 years, they have yet to be affected by a single recall. Acana pet foods are produced by Champion Petfoods, an award-winning manufacturer that also makes the Orijen brand of pet food.

Quality Ingredients: deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken giblets, catfish meal, whole green peas, red lentils, pollock meal, chicken fat, whole eggs, herring oil, whole pumpkin, spinach, turnip greens, chelated minerals, dried fermentation products

Find our Full Acana Review here: https://dogfood.guide/acana/

Earthborn Holistic Check Price

earthborn holistic dog food

The Earthborn Holistic brand of dog food is known for offering “a wholesome approach to nutrition with high-quality ingredients that nourish the whole pet” from the inside out. This company follows a holistic approach to pet nutrition as well which means that each recipes includes carefully chosen ingredients – everything your dog needs with nothing he doesn’t. Earthborn Holistic dog foods come in dry food and wet food formulas in both regular and grain-free varieties. This company uses nature’s finest proteins like premium whitefish meal and chicken meal as well as wholesome carbohydrates like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley. Their grain-free recipes are made with nutrient-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes, peas, and tapioca. Not only are Earthborn Holistic’s recipes made with high-quality ingredients, they are also loaded with protein and healthy fats.

Recall Info: The Earthborn Holistic brand of dog food is made by Midwestern Pet Foods, a fourth-generation, family-owned company that has been in business for over 90 years. Even though Earthborn Holistic pet foods have been around for nearly a century, they have yet to be affected by a single recall.

Quality Ingredients: chicken meal, whitefish meal, menhaden fish meal, oatmeal, ground barley, ground brown rice, chicken fat, sweet potatoes, ground flaxseed, carrots, spinach, chelated minerals, dried fermentation products

Nature’s Variety Instinct Check Price

natures variety dog food

The Nature’s Variety pet food company offers several different lines of products but the two main options are Instinct and Prairie. The Instinct line of products is highly varied, offering everything from traditional kibble and canned foods to raw frozen, high-protein, and limited ingredient recipes. Every product in the Instinct line of dog foods begins with a high-quality animal protein like chicken, turkey, duck, lamb or rabbit and many of the recipes are naturally grain-free. Instinct Raw Bites contain 95% animal protein with zero gluten or grains and Instinct Raw Boost is a blend of protein-rich kibble and freeze-dried raw bites. The Ultimate Protein line of kibble is naturally grain-free and loaded with 95% animal protein. All in all, Natures Variety offers a wide selection of products in the Instinct line and each and every one of them offers unbeatable quality and natural flavor.

Recall Info: The Nature’s Variety brand offers a number of different product lines but the Instinct line is by far the best option. Although this brand offers excellent quality, they have struggled with a few small recalls affecting only their raw dog food products.

Quality Ingredients: chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, lamb, chicken fat, eggs, chickpeas, tapioca, butternut squash, spinach, broccoli, salmon oil, freeze-dried chicken, freeze-dried turkey liver, ground flaxseed, chelated minerals, dried fermentation products

Check out our Full Natures Variety Review here: https://dogfood.guide/natures-variety/

Taste of the Wild Check Price

taste of the wild dog food

The Taste of the Wild pet food brand knows that pets crave meat and natural flavor. That is why all of their products are meat-rich and grain-free, designed in keeping with the natural ancestral diet of wild dogs. Taste of the Wild formulas are made with quality meats, digestible carbohydrates, and healthy fats to ensure complete and balanced nutrition – they are also supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption and dried fermentation products for digestive support. Each Taste of the Wild recipe begins with a real roasted meat and is supplemented with fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes for energy and dietary fiber. Taste of the Wild offers recipes for puppies as well as those formulated for dogs in all life stages and each recipe is loaded with natural sources for key nutrients. Simply put, it is hard to do much better than Taste of the Wild when it comes to premium dog food.

Recall Info: The Taste of the Wild brand of dog food is manufactured by the Diamond Pet Foods company, a little-known fact. Though Diamond Pet Foods has been subject to a number of recalls for their other product lines, there has only been one minor recall affecting a small batch of Taste of the Wild dry dog and cat food products in 2012.

Quality Ingredients: roasted bison, roasted venison, roasted lamb, wild boar, ocean fish meal, duck meal, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, garbanzo beans, blueberries, raspberries, salmon oil, chelated minerals, dried fermentation products

Check out our Full Taste of the Wild Review here: https://dogfood.guide/taste-of-the-wild/

Wellness CORE Check Price

wellness core dog food

The Wellness brand of dog food is made by WellPet, LLC and there are a number of different product lines to choose from. One of the most popular lines is the Wellness CORE line of grain-free dog foods. This line includes three air-dried recipes as well as an assortment of moist, semi-moist, and wet foods. There are also seven traditional grain-free kibbles including recipes for puppies, adult dogs, small breeds, large breeds, and weight management. Wellness CORE dog foods are protein-rich and thoughtfully balanced to ensure optimal nutrition – they are also loaded with omega fatty acids to support your dog’s healthy skin and coat. In terms of carbohydrates, the Wellness CORE relies on starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes as well as fresh fruits and vegetables that also act as natural sources for key nutrients.

Recall Info: The Wellness brand of dog food offers a wide variety of products and it has been in existence since 1926. Although Wellness has been around for ages, there are very few recalls in the brand’s history and only one minor recall affecting the Wellness CORE line of products in particular – it was issued for a small run of Wellness CORE cat food products due to low levels of thiamine.

Quality Ingredients: chicken, turkey, chicken meal, turkey liver, salmon, chickpeas, peas, potatoes, ground flaxseed, sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, salmon oil, chelated minerals, dried fermentation products

These are just a few of the many high-quality brands of pet food on the market for 2019. If you truly care about your dog, you’ll do what it takes to make sure that his nutritional needs are met in the healthiest, most delicious way possible. Don’t fall for “trumped up” products sold by low-quality brands – give your dog the nutrition he deserves and he will thank you for it!

Check out our Full Wellness Review here: https://dogfood.guide/wellness/

101 thoughts on “7 Best Dog Foods in 2019 and 10 Worst Foods to Feed your Dog”

    1. Why isn’t the list of bad dog foods more public. Pet owners ahould know about what is good and why; as well as what’s bad and why! It’s like feeding newborn babies cold whole milk and adult food. We care about our pet’s health and well-being. Babies and pets can’t tell us what is wrong; somebody has to tell us. I’ve had pets all my life, as well as friends and neighbors and relatives. We all fed them pretty much the same stuff not knowing how unhealthy it was.

      1. instead f looking at the brightly colored bags, and the obscene colors of dog food READ, READ, READ………

        learn, you don’t just walk in and grab food because of the packaging i hope! read the labels and learn about your pets…..

        they bring you joy, why can you not take 20 minutes and research for your dogs health, i mean you would yours!

        this is to everyone… listen to the comments, a list of foods come out, you read it and your current food isn’t on the list, if it were food for your child, would you comment back asking are you sure its not safe!!!!!!!!!!! please by all means, continue being ignorant when it comes to your Critters needs!!!! you do YOURS!

      2. It is up to the guardian of any animal to research the food they give their ‘fur’ children. There is no agency that governs pet food. When you see ‘meat by-products’ it might be intestines that still have feces in them, tumours the animal slaughtered had (due to growth hormones/antibiotics/stress/fear of the brutality they suffer. Read the ingredients. Easy to research online. Your fur child’s life depends on it.

      1. I use Nutro. It is a good food. So is Pet Fresh in the fridge at grocery stores. Just do research on foods before feeding. Zignature is good too!

        1. My Yorkie has a few bouts of gastrointestinal disorder last year and at the time was only being fed Fresh Pet items from the grocery store. My cousin, who is a veterinarian begged me to stop feeding him Fresh Pet, saying it’s “known for foodborne illness.” I can only repeat her statement as I have no knowledge of it myself, but I haven’t had any issues since I started cooking his food myself. I guess the idea is that the ingredients read well, but whether they’re preserved correctly, refrigerated correctly, stored appropriately, have appropriate expiration dates… I don’t know.

        2. Pet Fresh has had some issues with mold. I have used Nutro Lamb and Rice for years without issue. Most Nutro lines are considered safe and healthy for all dogs.

      2. I have a 14 year old Maltese, a 13 year old Rat Terrier, and a 8 year old Maltese/Poodle that have all been raised on Nutro. It is a very good dog food, we haven’t had weight problems or allergies with it. We did switch to Science Diet because in our area, it was terribly hard to find Senior Small Bites. I strongly recommend Nutro–my husband hauls the items that they use for food and they have high standards!

    2. Our dog loves Nutro and the vet says it’s fine. Don’t believe all that you read. If these foods are so good, then why don’t they make them more affordable? They don’t care about your dog’s well being… just their pockets!!

      1. Higher quality ingredients cost more, resulting in a product that costs more because it is worth more.. Have you ever heard of economics? Try a basic course!

      2. The recommended are more expensive because they have quality ingredients. Quality ingredients cost more. The same goes for human food. Processed food will always be cheaper because it’s garbage and can maintain shelf life for a really long time. Whole, organic foods cost more to produce and will spoil faster.

      3. Just like human food the purer the quality the more expensive it is. Cheap or low grade food will make you sick in the long run whether you are human or an animal. Nutros is a middle grade food and better than others but still not high grade ingredients. You pay for it in the long run with health issues later down the road.

      4. I have come across too many bad vets to just accept their word. You are the guardian of your ‘fur’ child. Read the ingredients. If there are any preservatives BHA/BHT, grain, corn, gluten, by-products, you are looking for trouble. It’s also the greed of vets to push meds to dogs, like Prozac, much like mediocre medical doctors over-medicate human beings. Don’t depend on anyone. Do the research…knowledge is power!

    1. Barbara,

      Hope all is well. We have an article here: https://dogfood.guide/diabetic/ that goes into what we think one should consider when choosing a Diabetic Dog Food. I would also suggest visiting Mary Straus’s Diabetic article here: http://dogaware.com/articles/wdjdiabetesdiets.html

      Hopefully after visiting those two links you will have a better idea what to feed your dog. As always we have to default to meeting with your Vet to determine what is best for your individual situation.

      1. Your vet gets money for selling Science Diet from the company. They are like people doctors they know next to nothing about nutrition.

  1. Dogs are meat eaters, they are not supposed to be eating green veggies, carrots etc. I think that this is just to promote these new brands that have the wrong nutrition. Just because you are vegan or a health nut doesn’t mean your dog needs to eat that way. Stick with the trusted, tried, and true brands…those ones that they said were bad.

    1. wow Dave, you are not very informed if you think those brands that are listed as bad have very much meat in them at all. I sell 16 different brands of dog food and I can tell you for a fact that the cheaper brands of food are full of carbs and very little meat protein.

      1. And that is why I buy my dog food from you Bill. You actually care about everyone’s furbabies not $$$ 🙂

    2. It’s not the meat they are claiming is unhealthy it’s all the fillers that a lot of companies put into the food. Most good pet food should have a meat as a first ingredient and they will also have a very healthy balance of all the necessary food groups and well as vitamins and minerals that you pets bodies need. I found that crave is a very well balanced food and pretty darn tasty, according to my Willow.

    3. Dogs eat vegetables. They should and they love a large variety of fresh veggies, fruits and herbs. That’s where they acquire so many nutrients they need.

    4. Now THAT is just an ignorant statement. If you LOVE your dogs, please do your research. Like discoveries in medicine about foods and medications we have discovered are NOT good for us as humans; similar discoveries have been made regarding the content of dog foods and medications not being safe for our precious dogs~

    5. Actually, wild canines eat the intestines and contents of herbivores, so they do, in fact, eat plant based foods, vegetables and grains.

      The “grain free” trendy thing in dog food right now has been proven to cause fatal cardiac issues in dogs. So the brands listed in the “good” list may kill your dog faster than the “bad” foods that have grains and fillers in them.

      I’m beginning to think the only way to feed my dog “right” and “safely” is to cook for him myself.

  2. My 4 lb Chihuahua can not digest Protein and is on Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein wet food and is doing well on it. What else could I feed her if not that brand? I’m not crazy about it but her life depends on it.

    1. My Dalmatian lost his fur after a bad infection. I tried a couple of the recommended foods on the list. His energy and fur did not come back.I put him on Royal Canine Dalmatian after extensive reviews. In 2,weeks his fur started growing back . In 4 weeks he had a full coat again and his energy returned.My Dalmatian’s labs look great and his coat looks great. For 10 months I struggled with getting him well and Royal Canin Dalmatian worked.Bottom Line use what is working for your dog.

  3. I have a 6 year old Great Dane mix and a 4mth old Great Dane mix pup .what do you think of crave dog food from pet smart ? It has not she can buy product no gratefully or green and is high in protein

  4. My dog is a mixed breed but 50% German shorthanded pointer. She’s a beautiful mainly white dog and she’s 2 and a half. I was at petsmart today while reading this article and had science diet dry dog food in my buggy along with some wet dog food to mix in from science diet and alpo (what she’s mainly eaten to this point wet and dry).

    I put all of it back and chose the Wellness core for my pup. It definitely is more expensive across the board. Like $1 per can for wet alpo to $3.30 per can of Wellness Core wet dog food. And almost 50% more for comparable dry dog food.

    Having said that, a worker at Petsmart confirmed many things you wrote in this article and it influenced my purchase greatly. Also got some for my parents cat who needs to eat better and lose weight. I hope they both like it.

    I usually mix wet and dry for every meal and switched to one meal a day due to work and time constraints.

    Any thoughts and input would be appreciated. I want Abbey (my dog) to live a long healthy life.

    1. I have been feeding mine Earthborn Holistic. I have had several tubs of wet dog food lately that were 80 percent water. I also noticed that they are not made in the USA. They are made in Thailand! What? Has that always been? I swear I thought the food used to say made in the USA. Have I been that badly mistaken?

    2. I have a vet who is very much against feeding an animal ” once a day”. That means they are only being fed once every 24 hours. It’s because they are physically hungry long before that next meal, the body is needing food and stressing because it is not getting the food it needs. The dog is stressed because they are hungry and all this affects their pancreas and other organs. If you don’t have time to feed your animals, for crying out loud, get an automatic feeder with a timer on it so they can eat in a way that is healthy for them. I bet you eat more than once every 24 hours and have no trouble making sure you do.

  5. My dog has been diagnosed with food allergies, he is allergic to beef, turkey, fish, wheat, milk, kangaroo, lamb, duck, fish mix and the biggest one BREWERS YEAST!! Brewers yeast is in almost every dog kibble.

    Can someone suggest a dog kibble that is not made with Brewers Yeast or any of the above ingredients? I have been feeding him white rice and white meat rotisserie chicken from Costco (prepackaged, not the $4.99 chickens)

    1. My dog is highly allergic to brewer”s yeast, according to an expensive allergy test that was conducted recently. Are there any dog foods that do Not contain brewer”s yeast?

      1. Try “Victor” brand dog food! No “brewers yeast” and it’s an excellent 5 star food. My dogs love it and are fed the active dog and puppy formula.

  6. I have a 6 year old miniature dashshund that needs to lose weight. I just switched her to to Hills, but now I am reading that it isn’t the best choice. What is a better choice for her?

    1. I have used Acana with my dachshunds for several years. They are a healthy weight and my oldest had terrible allergies and this food has helped her tremendously.

    2. My golden needed to lose a few lbs and the vet put him on Hills grain free weight management food. He gained weight on it and at $105 a bag I said no way. I switched him to Diamond grain free weight management and he has lost 10 lbs. And he is a picky eater but loves this brand. We also have a bullmastiff pup and the breeder had her a Diamond large breed puppy. She isn’t a backyard breeder and her pups are AKC registered and health checked. I will stick with Diamond after checking the ingredients in the other so called best picks.

  7. Obviously it is ‘trendy’ or ‘unique’ to say that you feed your pet uncommon proteins (I get it, trust me I do) you are drastically limiting the pool of protein options if an allergy presents itself. Ex: Taste of the Wild: roasted bison, roasted venison, roasted lamb, wild boar, ocean fish meal, duck meal, lamb meal. If an allergy develops how could you possible narrow down what then allergy from?

    Years ago when specialized dermatology based diet were created (ie kangaroo, ect) they were to treat extreme allergy cases because this was a completely foreign ingredient that they had literally zero exposure to. Over only the past decade we have tampered with their diets so heavily that it is common place for pets to be born with intolerance to these exotic foods. Literally the Anallergenic is feather based because all other proteins have been exhausted. This is what it has come to, guys. Imagine eating feathers?!

    But I get it, the treats isle is super fun to shop in! The packaging is stunning and the crazy ingredients are tempting plus who doesn’t want to spoil their pet with something special. My overall advice, maybe listen to the advice of professionals and studies over the (good-intended) 16-year old working after school at the pet store.

    We all want the absolute best for our pets – and the food companies know this. Do this, not this, protein this, grain is bad, life source bits, holistic, breed targeted packaging, raw, feed blueberries, don’t feed blueberries, all-natural, no preservatives, bashing other companies, etc. It makes responsible research impossible so we look to sites like this for advice. Biased advice based on personal preferences. It’s irresponsible and somewhat insulting.

  8. I fed my Presa Canario Purina Dog Chow, then Adult Dogs Little Bites by Purina and he, 125 lbs, lived to be a couple weeks short of 17!

  9. I’ve been feeding my dog Rachel Ray for years. I thought it to be a healthy choices.
    But I read it has an ingredient that is used in weed killer.
    Can you please give me your opinion.
    Thank you

  10. we switched to CANIDAE petite small bite chicken [dry} they are picky yorkies. they have not lost weight in terms of pounds but lost their bloated looking bellies and act like they feel so much better. it is a little more expensive but well worth it.

    1. I feed my yorkie Merrick food. We’ve never had any issues with it. I feed separately once a day one pouch of wellness core food topper as well. My girl eats about 150 calories a day so I try to make the best of them, she can be quite picky so I get how hard it is to feed yours. Good luck.

    1. I thought this was funny as well. I have had my Belgium Malinois on Taste of the Wild, I ended up going with Diamond. I haven’t had any issues my Mal has an amazing coat. And have had no health issues “Knock on Wood”

  11. You people piss me off. How dare you! The best brands you list are very expensive and to make people who can’t afford these brands make them feel like they’re doing something bad for their dog is wrong. Be ashamed of yourselves. I’ve fed my dogs Purina One True Instinct for years. Their coats are beautiful, they’re exceptionally healthy and I will continue feeding it too them.

    1. Denise I’m glad your dogs are doing well on Purina, I have five dogs, my one lab had to be put down at thirteen cancer, we would feed her milk bones, they are what killed her. In the meantime her sister Ellie had all theses problems, seizures, Stones she peed out, her pee stunk, I thought Ellie would go before Evie, we changed her food, all that purina crap had in it was coloured kibble, she put on weight, no more seizures thank god, she got rid of all her stones by herself, her coat is shiny she is thirteen, and I have a little min pin, a poodle and two chugs. Never again will that purina crap pass through. Y ba it’s mouths. They now are on Fromm, they all seem to. Be thriving, it’s expensive but my animals are my life, I will go without so they can have a good food. Fromm has saved Ellie I stake my life on that, she acts like a pup even though she is 13 and labs usually don’t get by that age so I’m happy I still have her.

  12. Dr. Google isn’t always the best source of advice & can be very misleading. If you have questions regarding the health of your pet and what best to feed them, consult an expert. Not the high school student working at your local pet store. Or some unknown writer with no credentials on the internet. Consult someone who has spent many years in school, who continues to learn: your veterinarian!

  13. Hello,
    My golden retriever growing up ate purina puppy chow then moved on to dog chow and of course mom added table scraps. This dog lived to be almost 16 years old. Pretty much unheard of for this breed.
    Now I’m older and have another golden and guess what he gets the same food my dog got growing up and is healthy as a horse.
    Exercise and lots of love.

    1. I have exactly the same story!? Have to remember this game is all about money out of your pocket into their’s, hence the fads and hype and BS.

    1. Orijen is one of the best on the market. I’ve done lots of research and have fed that for years. Check out Dog Food Analysis on line and they rate the foods.

  14. Thank you for this article. I was happy to see Taste of the Wild on your good list. My dog loves the wet and dry! My cats eat the dry.

  15. Very interesting my dogs food was on the list. Thank you for publishing this list. Wonder where you find the good food?

  16. I’ve switched my boxer to a Raw diet ( she is almost 5 ) Though I thought she was in a good kibble she always seem to have digestive issues !i knew about the products listed and always researched her food and treats ( She’s my 4th boxer!) The difference is amazing! Her coat is soft and shiny! No gungy ears! And she lost a few necessary pounds ! She has a menu that includes bison , steelhead trout , llama and turkey!! I chose a diet that does not include fruits and vegetables. All treats are naturally ( tripe , dehydrated bunny ears , dehydrated beef lung ) !
    Best choice I’ve made for her !!!

  17. Look up Taurine deficient dilated cardiomyopathy. We were feeding our dog a boutique higher end dog food which ended up killing her. UC Davies’ Dr. Stern recommends Royal Canin & Purina Pro Plan. They have been tracking this and Acana has the highest correlation to this issue. Get educated. We have but it was too late. Our Golden Retreiver was 4 years old when passed….way too young & preventable.

    1. I am saddened about your loss. I have goldens as well. The DCM issue is not addressed in this article at all. I am disappointed a company selling food is recommending food that may cause more harm then eating some corn would.

    2. I have read that Golden Retriever’s are especially prone to fall ill from dog foods that have been listed unhealthy for dogs. Lethal high doses of Vit D. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my beautiful Akita, who I saw be born, to Frontline. After I had to put her down, I came across an article about dog deaths attributed to Frontline. We want to protect our ‘fur’ children but I feel that vets want to over-medicate these beings that we love so much. She, too, was way to young. Greed drives most everything.

  18. The Vet from UC Davis (Josh Stern) who did a study on DCM found in Golden Retrievers is recommending… ROYAL CANIN… because they have a full time vet on staff. LOL! This Vet is a joke. If you join one of two facebook groups that he admins… you will be blocked if you question any of the 3 highly recommended food. Royal Canin, Purina and Science Diet.

  19. What about the whole issue with legumes (peas, beans) and potatoes and the whole issue of heart disease in dogs. Dilated cardiomyopathy is deadly! I am disappointed that a article is suggesting grain free foods with ingredients of concern on the “good” list.

  20. While I appreciate the article it basically states that every brand of food you can actually find and afford at the grocery store is BAD. I have never heard of or seen any of the recommended products listed. There must be a readily available option in stores.

  21. I was glad to see that the foods I had been feeding my dogs for many years were in the top 5. I served them Wellness Core until the prices went through the roof, then switched to Earthborn Holistics which was more reasonably priced.

  22. This is crazy! They are dogs! I love my dogs. I feed my dogs Purina Little Bite! Purina is a brand that’s been around for ever! It works fine! My dogs are happy!
    They’d much rather, however, eat out of the cats’ litter box!!!!!

  23. Weird no mention of Merrick. Made in the USA and one of the best foods currently on the market and no recalls!! My dogs & cats love it!!

  24. This list sucks -ACANA has a class action lawsuit against it for failing to disclose heavy metals in their food-what other misleading info is this site offering?

  25. I have always fed Diamond and Diamond puppy. I started feeding my pups Royal Canin. What do you suggest I feed my 4 month old German Shepherd? I also have two adult German Shepherds. I have a 6 year old Havanese that is allergic to chicken, lamb, rice and peas. Oh yes it is very hard to find dog food for him. Any suggestions?

  26. This list is promoting grain-free foods as the best to feed your dog; however there have been reports on national news of dogs falling ill from these foods. The specific ingredient hasn’t yet been determined (as of fall, 2018), but I would urge caution. Grain-free does NOT automatically mean healthier, and many of those foods are too high in protein for your average pet dog.

  27. Wow, you guys have got to be kidding. Your recommended dog food must be targeted for people living in San Francisco or New York of LA. When you are starting to pay over $60 for a 20 or 25 lb bag of dog food…..Just amazing. How on earth did dogs survive and thrive forty or fifty years ago.

  28. Just remember: most vets don’t know squat about nutrition. That’s not their fault because their focus is medical and all they know is what the dog food manufacturers tell them (just like vaccine manufacturers). So talk to breeders of show dogs, talk to trainers that have their dogs in performance events like obedience, agility, fast cat….these dogs have to be in top notch condition to perform.

  29. Taste of the Wild involved in a lawsuit regarding heavy metals and pesticides in their product as of Nov 2018, check it out before you buy.

  30. Please read about the danger of feeding grain free dog food and the correlation of early onset heart disease in many dogs. These foods lack Taurine which is necessary for dogs and also contain legumes (peas-beans) which are not good for dogs health. The most expensive is not always the best. Research is ongoing as it appears some dogs are more predisposed based on breed and genetics. You can find out more about the problems by googling: Grain free dogfood and heart disease.

  31. How about Moist and Meaty, beef and cheddar? Also I was wondering about treat’s? I usually get a box of Pedigree dentastix (Bacon flavored), I don’t give them these every time they go out, their treat’s they like for being good, are pup-peroni beef flavor. I’m pretty sure that is on the bad list. I have 2 Chihuahua’s, and they are very picky dog’s, the oldest one isn’t so picky. The younger one is very picky. Please let me know what is best for them. I love my babies and I want to do what is best for them. ????????

  32. As I know of now, earthborn and taste of the wild are not being linked to a canine heart disease, 16 brands have been linked. Many of those that are “grain free”, such as Acana, Blue Buffalo, California Natural, Earthborn Holistic, Fromm, Merrick, Natural Balance, Nature’s Domain, Nature’s Variety, NutriSource, Nutro, Orijen, Rachel Ray Nutrish, Taste of the Wild, Zignature, 4Health. This has been released by the FDA.

  33. What is the best food for a miniature schnauzer. We are getting a puppy and want to elevate health issues. Thanks

  34. Hi. I have recently purchased “Stay Loyal” for my golden retrievers. Do you think this is a good choice? I don’t mind paying the money if the nutrition is there. I am choosing to feed them grain free.

  35. I was told 11 years ago that blue buffalo was a great food for dogs how come it is not listed. your top 5 are names i am not familiar with how come.

  36. Am totally against grain-free dog & cat food! They took the grains out (wheat, barley, oats, etc.), and substituted with Lentils, peas and chick peas, I guess to boost the protein factor?!! I am now searching for dog food WITH Grains!!

  37. I slowly introduced Crave dog food to my two Shepradors. They both clearly struggle to eat this.
    One of them has developed diarrhea and I’m at a bit of a loss as to the next step. I did my research beforehand.
    Crave is highly rated as a quality dry food (it’s fairly pricey) but both my dogs just leave it in the bowls until they are absolutely famished – then they pick at it.
    Any recommendations?

  38. Diamond Pet Food is on the bad list and then Taste of the Wild is on the good list.
    Isn’t Taste of the Wild owned by Diamond Pet Food? Taste of the Wild has lawsuits against it right now for extremely high lead levels in it’s dry dog food.
    This I am watching closely as my dog has been eating the dog food for years.

  39. John VanDerwalker

    The Diamond Pet Food Co. makes Taste of the Wild dog food. They are now being sued because Taste of the Wild has been found to be very high in heavy metals, particularly lead as well as other contaminants. We fed our dog Taste of the Wild and had to put her down before her time because she developed stomach cancer. Are you still rating Taste of the Wild and the Diamond Pet Food Co. as reputable dog food producers?

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