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Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons 2024

Written by

Ma. Leonor Dollisen

Reviewed by

Updated on:

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merrick dog food reviews

The Merrick Pet Care Company was founded by Garth Merrick in 1988.

The company began with the release of a line of dog treats that promoted oral hygiene, but it has since expanded into a line of handcrafted, all-natural pet foods (dry and wet) made using the highest quality ingredients available.

For many years, Merrick produced and manufactured their own products. In 2015, however, Merrick was sold to Purina PetCare company, a subsidiary of Nestle and the largest manufacturer of pet food products in the United States.

For more information about this company, kindly read over our Merrick Dog Food Reviews below.

Manufacturer Information

Merrick products are currently made by the Nestle Purina PetCare company. This company is the second-largest manufacturer in the world and the largest in the United States.

Though Nestle Purina PetCare sells their products all over the word, most of the products sold in the U.S. are also produced in the U.S.

According to the their website, all of their products are safely cooked in the USA, specifically in five-star manufacturing facilities located in Hereford, Texas.

Merrick Dog Food Review

The Merrick company follows the tagline, “whole health made right”, so you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that they use a variety of wholesome ingredients in their formulas.

Their pet foods all start with a high-quality source of animal protein that is supplemented with digestible carbohydrates, many of which are gluten-free and grain-free.

They don't use any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients and all of their formulas are free from artificial additives. Simply put, their products are hard to beat when it comes to quality.

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1. Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken + Brown Rice Recipe

Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons [year] 1

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Turkey Meal

Protein: 26.0% min

Fat: 16.0% min

Fiber: 3.5% max

Moisture: 11.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: Adult, All Breeds

Rating:

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 26%
Crude Fat 16%
Crude Fiber 3.5%

Merrick Healthy Grains range offers nutritious recipes combining proteins, whole grains (including ancient grains), fruits, and vegetables. The formulas are rich in Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, fiber, chondroitin, and glucosamine, and are free from peas, lentils, and potatoes.

This recipe is tailored for adult dogs of all breeds, featuring real deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, and salmon meal for a protein-rich, flavorful meal. 

With 26% high-quality protein, it supports high energy levels and lean muscle mass. Carbohydrate and fiber content comes from barley, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice, with barley and quinoa being ancient grains that are nutrient-dense and less processed.

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Ancient grains, like barley and quinoa, are linked to heart health, better digestion, and improved blood sugar. Barley provides beta glucans, protein, fat, selenium, iron, and thiamine, while quinoa offers protein, manganese, phosphorus, folate, zinc, and potent antioxidants.

Fats in the recipe include chicken fat, flaxseed, sunflower oil, and chia seeds, supplying natural omega fatty acids for healthy skin, fur, and immune system. Chicken fat and sunflower oil provide omega-6, chia seeds deliver omega-3, and flaxseed offers both omega-3 and omega-6.

The food includes added vitamins and minerals, with natural sources from organic dehydrated alfalfa meal, carrots, and apples for antioxidants and nutrients.

Merrick’s dry dog food delivers a balanced meal with high-quality proteins, fruits, veggies, and ancient grains, complemented by beneficial minor ingredients like chondroitin, glucosamine, probiotics, and yucca schidigera for joint health, digestion, and reduced stool odor.

2. Backcountry Great Plains Red Recipe

Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons [year] 2

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Beef, Pork Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

Protein: 38.0% min

Fat: 17.0% min

Fiber: 3.5% max

Moisture: 11.0% max

Food Type: Dry, Freeze-Dried

Best for: All Lifestages, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Rating:

The Backcountry range offers protein-rich dog food inspired by ancestral diets, featuring grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes with real, freeze-dried raw pieces of fish, meat, or poultry, and freeze-dried raw-coated kibbles. Grain-free options use sweet potatoes for fiber and carbohydrates, while grain-inclusive options use brown rice, oatmeal, and barley.

The said Great Plains Red Recipe is a grain-free formula for adult dogs, featuring a blend of beef, lamb, salmon, pork, and rabbit, with a crude protein level of 38%. This high-protein diet supports muscle, immune system, and skin health, and is ideal for highly active, weight-managing, or working dogs.

Sweet potatoes and potatoes provide essential carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients like calcium, potassium, and iron. The recipe includes healthy fats from pork fat and sunflower oil, offering a balanced mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Additionally, the recipe incorporates fruits like apples and blueberries for natural nutrients, enhancing the overall balance and completeness of the diet.

The freeze-dried kibbles cater to dogs who enjoy a meaty taste, providing the benefits of a raw diet in a convenient form, perfect for active dogs with higher nutritional needs.

3. LID Real Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe

Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons [year] 3

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas

Protein: 23.0% min

Fat: 14.0% min

Fiber: 4.5% max

Moisture: 11.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: Adult, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Rating:

The Limited Ingredient range offers a simplified diet with ten key ingredients or less, ideal for dogs with food sensitivities.

Despite fewer ingredients, these recipes provide complete nutrition. This line includes both grain and grain-free options, free from chickpeas and lentils, and fortified with taurine and DL-Methionine for heart and urinary health.

This lamb & sweet potato dry food is a grain free formula free from common allergens like soy, corn, wheat, eggs, and dairy. It uses natural, whole foods, with deboned lamb and lamb meal as primary protein sources, followed by sweet potatoes and potatoes for carbohydrates and fiber.

Peas and pea protein add to the protein content, while sunflower oil and flaxseed supply healthy fats, promoting endurance and overall fitness.

The diet supports healthy skin and a shiny coat and avoids artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, ensuring a pure and natural meal for sensitive dogs.

4. Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe

Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons [year] 4

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Beef, Pork Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

Protein: 34.0% min

Fat: 15.0% min

Fiber: 3.5% max

Moisture: 11.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: All Lifestages, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Rating:

Merrick's grain free dry dog food range features recipes with up to 84% animal protein, starting with deboned meat and enhanced with whole foods like blueberries and sweet potatoes for balanced nutrition. These formulations provide leading levels of protein, chondroitin, glucosamine, Omega-3, and Omega-6 fatty acids, catering to specific ages and breed sizes.

Designed for adult maintenance of all breed sizes, the diet consists of 65% natural protein and fat ingredients, with the remaining 35% comprising fiber, produce, vitamins, minerals, and other natural components. Deboned beef is the primary ingredient, supported by lamb meal, salmon meal, whitefish meal, and beef liver, reaching a 34% crude protein level.

Salmon, rich in omega fatty acids, supports skin, coat, and immune health. Sweet potatoes and potatoes replace grains, providing quick energy. Pork fat, sunflower oil, flaxseed, and salmon oil contribute to a 15% fat content, enhancing omega fatty acids.

The inclusion of superfoods like apples, blueberries, and organic alfalfa meal adds natural vitamins and minerals. This kibble is made from high-quality, trusted sources, offering an ideal protein-to-other-ingredient ratio of 65% to 35%, ensuring a well-rounded, natural, and balanced diet for dogs.

5. Lil' Plates Grain-Free Real Salmon & Sweet Potato

Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons [year] 5

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

Protein: 32.0% min

Fat: 14.0% min

Fiber: 4.5% max

Moisture: 11.0% max

Food Type: Dry

Best for: Adult, Extra Small – Small Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Rating:

Li’l Plates food formula is ideal for small breed dogs with big appetites, providing grain-free nutrition in small, crunchy kibbles that help keep teeth clean. 

These recipes are rich in protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin for bone and joint health, and feature prebiotics and probiotics for digestive support.

The reviewed Li’l Plates recipe uses salmon as the main protein source, starting with deboned salmon, followed by salmon meal and whitefish meal, achieving a crude protein level of 34%. Potatoes and sweet potatoes offer quick-absorbing carbohydrates for energy.

Healthy fats come from coconut oil, flaxseed, and sunflower oil, promoting shiny coats and healthy skin. The recipe also includes dried organic alfalfa meal, apples, and blueberries for natural vitamins and minerals.

This Merrick grain free dry dog food meets the high nutritional needs of small dogs with fast metabolisms, using every ingredient purposefully without fillers, earning high praise for its formulation.

6. Cowboy Cookout

Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons [year] 6

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Chicken Broth, Beef Liver, Carrots

Protein: 8.0% min

Fat: 3.0% min

Fiber: 1.5% max

Moisture: 82.0% max

Food Type: Wet, Chunks in Gravy

Best for: All Lifestages, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Rating:

Inspired by Texas beef cookouts, This wet food recipe features real deboned USDA-inspected beef, vegetables, and fruits in rich gravy.

This high-protein meal is versatile, serving as a standalone meal, treat, or kibble topper, and is free from artificial preservatives, corn, soy, and fillers, making it ideal for food-sensitive dogs.

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The revised recipe excludes peas and sweet potatoes, with a slight change in guaranteed analysis: protein content decreased from 9% to 8%, while moisture increased from 81% to 82%.

Deboned beef is the primary protein source, complemented by beef broth and beef liver, which enhance nutrient content and taste.

Chicken broth boosts moisture and nutrient content. Flaxseed oil and salmon oil provide omega-3 and -6 fatty acids for healthy skin, fur, and heart, and flaxseed oil also aids digestion.

Carrots, apples, and green beans offer antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The recipe includes supplemental nutrition, natural binders, and an herb to reduce waste odor. This balanced and flavorful recipe meets the nutritional needs of adult dogs.

7. LID Canned Lamb Recipe

Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons [year] 7

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Lamb, Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb Liver, Natural Flavor, Salt

Protein: 7.0% min

Fat: 9.0% min

Fiber: 1.4% max

Moisture: 78.0% max

Food Type: Wet, Pâté

Best for: Adult, All Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Rating:

This canned Merrick food is designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs or food sensitivities, featuring only eight key ingredients for balanced nutrition. 

The primary ingredient is real deboned lamb, providing essential amino acids and high-quality protein for muscle health. The formula includes lamb liver, rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, iron, and B vitamins.

Using water instead of broth for moisture, the recipe entices fussy eaters and ensures hydration. Other key ingredients include sunflower oil for fats and fatty acids, locust bean gum and guar gum for thickening, potassium chloride for mineral balance, and salt for cellular function.

This grain and-potato-free diet offers comprehensive nutrition without upsetting sensitive stomachs. Despite the limited ingredients, it matches the nutritional standards of other wet dog foods, with balanced levels of protein, fat, and fiber.

8. Li’l Plates Petite Pot Pie in Gravy

Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons [year] 8

First 5 ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Turkey Broth, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Whites

Protein: 8.0% min

Fat: 3.0% min

Fiber: 1.4% max

Moisture: 82.0% max

Food Type: Wet, Stew

Best for: Adult, Extra Small – Small Breeds

Special Diet: Grain-free

Rating:

Li’l Plates is tailored for small breed dogs, providing nutritionally dense meals suitable for their high metabolism. This is a gluten and grain free food, featuring deboned chicken, chicken liver, and dried egg whites, achieving a crude protein level of 8%.

This recipe includes chicken and turkey broths for added hydration and nutrition, while potatoes supply easily digestible carbohydrates and fiber. Sunflower oil offers healthy fats and fatty acids, promoting a shiny coat and healthy skin.

The meal is complete with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support, probiotics and prebiotics for digestion, and high levels of omega fatty acids. Additionally, peas, carrots, and apples add naturally sourced nutrients, ensuring a balanced diet for small breed dogs at any life stage.

Merrick Dog Food Reviews, Recalls & Coupons [year] 9

Ingredient Sourcing

Since its founding 1988, the Merrick Pet Care Company has made a name for themselves in the premium pet food industry.

Over the past twenty years, they have maintained their devotion to producing high-quality, nutritious diets for pets and they achieve this goal through the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients.

According to the brand website, Merrick sources real ingredients from trusted partners around the world. Though they do not get any of their ingredients from China, some of their ingredients do come from countries other than the U.S. For example, they get some of their lamb from New Zealand.

No matter where their ingredients come from, they subject themselves to rigorous safety checks prior to production and every completed product is tested prior to sale.

Recall History

The Merrick company is known for its innovation in the pet industry as well as the quality of their products. In 2004, the Glycemic Research Institute in Washington, D.C. named Merrick the “Best Pet Food of the Year”.

The company has since been sold to Nestle Purina PetCare but claim to still have maintain high standards for quality and safety when it comes to the production and manufacture of their pet foods. In fact, they offer their customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

As hard as Merrick works to maintain the quality of their products, they have still been subject to a few recalls, all of which occurred prior to the company’s acquisition by the Nestle Purina PetCare Company. Here are the details of those recalls:

  • In July 2010, the FDA issued a recall for certain runs of Beef Filet Squares and Texas Hold’ems dog treats due to potential salmonella contamination.
  • In January 2011, the FDA issued a recall for Jr. Texas Taffy pet treats due to potential salmonella contamination.
  • In August 2011, the FDA issued a recall for Doggie Wishbone Pet Treats due to potential salmonella contamination.
  • In May 2018, the brand issued a voluntary recall of certain productions of Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Jerky, Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Sausage Cuts, and Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Steak Patties dog treats due to elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.

How much Merrick costs?

The Merrick brand is a high-quality brand, so you should be prepared to spend more than you would for an average kibble. The different product lines of Merrick dog food vary in price with the Backcountry line being the most expensive and the Classic line being the most affordable.

The Backcountry line of dry foods ranges from $63 to $80 for a 22-pound bag. For 25-pound bag of Classic dry food you will spend between $35 and $68. You can purchase 13.2-ounce or 12.7-ounce cans of wet dog in cases of 12 for $30 to $45 which gives you an average price of around $3.10 per can.

merrick

Their Different Recipes

Dry Products

When it comes to their dog food lines, they offer a generous variety – more than 125 different recipes. Merrick dog food products are divided amongst four different product lines plus a dedicated line of dog treats.

The Classic line of products features real meat as the first ingredient with whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Grain free diet line is made with real whole foods and grain-free carbohydrates as well as real deboned meat as the main ingredient. 

The Backcountry line actually includes two categories – an all-natural and grain-free line of protein-rich kibbles infused with freeze-dried raw pieces and a line of freeze-dried recipes.

There is also a dedicated line of Limited Ingredient Diets for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. All four of Merrick’ product lines include both dry and canned food options.

Merrick also offers a wide variety of different kibbles for dogs in all life stages from puppy to senior dog, including some breed size formulas.

Canned Products

The brand offers dozens of different recipes for canned food including many of the same recipes that come in kibble form. Their canned foods are divided amongst five different product lines.

There is the Classic line of grain-free recipes as well as a separate line of grain-free seasonal and 96% meat formulas.

The Lil’ Plates line is specifically designed for small-breed dogs and the Limited Ingredient line features real meat recipes. There are also a number of Backcountry protein-rich formulas. 

Freeze-Dried Products

The Backcountry line of products is divided into two categories – one for protein-rich kibbles infused with freeze-dried raw pieces and one that consists only of freeze-dried raw food.

The Backcountry Raw line of products features freeze-dried meals and mix-ins made with premium proteins like beef, chicken, and salmon. All of these products are gluten- and grain-free with no artificial additives.

Treats

The company doesn’t just offer a wide selection of freeze-dried, wet and dry dog foods – they also offer a number of different recipes for dog treats.

There are several product lines for their treats including Backcountry meat-rich treats, Kitchen Bites oven-baked dog biscuits, Power Bites soft and chewy treats, Natural Bones, Jerky Chip Treats, and Dental Chews.

Our Say 

Merrick dog food brand stands out as a top choice for discerning dog owners who want the best for their furry friends.

With its commitment to high quality ingredients and natural flavor, the band ensures that every meal is not only delicious but also beneficial for the overall health of your dog.

Available at your favorite pet store, Merrick’s high protein recipe helps maintain strong muscles and energy levels, making it a hit among dogs of all breeds.

Give your dog the nutrition they deserve with a brand that's trusted and loved by pets and their owners alike.

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