Best Dog Food Reviews and Ratings 2015

dog food

Whether you just got a brand new puppy or you’ve had your dog for awhile, they are family, and because they are family you want to get them the best dog food. The dog food you choose plays a big role in your dog’s overall health, energy levels, their coat, and growth. When walking down the dog food isle or searching online you’ll immediately see that there is a variety of dog food brands and an overwhelming amount of choices. It’s not easy to try and compare dog food. The eye catching marketing on the colorful bags will lure you in saying “buy me! buy me!”. However you are a smart shopper and that is why you came to find the best dog food reviews and ratings to help educate yourself on getting the healthiest dog food for your four legged friend.

With our research and analysis easily presented to you we try to arm you with enough information to make the big decision of which is the best dog food for your pet. Now you’ll want to take into account factors such as age, breed, and lifestyle. Also it never hurts to consult with your trusted veterinarian. We want you to sleep easy at night knowing you picked the right dog food.

Don’t believe the hype – How to read the dog food label

Marketing teams get paid lots of money to figure out how to get consumers to buy. It’s no different with dog food. It’s a huge business and every company wants you to buy theirs. They don’t care what you pet thinks they are trying to attract your eyes. Thats why it’s very important to cut through the fluff and look at ingredients. Sadly it’s not always easy to read the dog food label and it might confuse you more.

Look at the ingredient deck

Basically a fancy term for list of ingredients. Every pet food maker is required to provide the list of ingredients and they are listed according to their pre-cooked weight. So your heaviest ingredient will be listed first. In spot one you’ll want to see a digestible protein if you are looking for a top rated dog food. Protein is vital in pet nutrition, helping with muscle growth and energy.

Good Sources of Protein:

  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Liver (chicken, beef, or port)
  • By-product meal
  • Duck or duck meal
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Poultry by-products

Here are some other ingredients that are commonly found in dog food:

  • Ground whole corn – essential amino acid
  • Corn gluten meal – concentrated essential amino acid
  • Animal fat – linoleic acid and fat
  • Ground whole wheat – carbohydrate
  • Beet pulp – fiber source
  • Vegetable oil – linoleic acid
  • Brewer’s rice – carbohydrate and fiber

Guaranteed analysis, What is that?

This is another helpful label that is required to be on all dog food. It will list the minimum amount of crude protein and crude fat in the food. Also on here it will list the maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture. Don’t worry about the word “crude” as it does not imply that the food is not of high quality. It’s the method of how they test the dog food.

AAFCO Statements

AAFCO is The Association of American feed control officials and are responsible for regulating the pet food industry. This board consists of state and federal representatives but it’s not a governing body. So when you look at the dog food you are about to buy you may see it marked as “Complete and balanced” which means that it has met with the standards established by AAFCO. You will want to look for this since the dog food will be your dog’s sole diet.

Canned vs Dry

Just some quick differences between a wet canned dog food and a dry dog food.

Canned Dry
No preservatives Usually needs some preservatives to prolong shelf life
7 times more water than dry food Only 10% water
More expensive Least expensive
Easy to eat Dog must chew/crunch

Best rated dry dog food

Now that we got you up to speed on some of the important things to look for lets get into the top rated dry dog food.

1. Taste of the Wild®

Taste of wild dog food

High Prairie Canine® with Bison & Roasted Venison Example

Top 5 ingredients:

  1. Bison
  2. LambMeal
  3. Chicken Meal
  4. Sweet Potatoes
  5. Peas

Taste of the wild dog food is a grain free formula made with real roasted meats and supplemented with fruits and vegetables. Known for it’s superior taste, packed with highly digestible protein and antioxidants, it will support a healthy immune system. They currently have nine different formulas.

2. Orijen

orijen dog food

Origin Adult Grain-Free Dog food Example

Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Boneless chicken
  2. Chicken meal
  3. Chicken Liver
  4. Whole herring
  5. Boneless turkey

Origin dog food is produced by an award-winning Canadian pet food maker, Champion Petfoods. Using their trademarked nutritional philosophy, Biologically appropriate, which is trying to mirror the richness and freshness of the meats dogs would naturally hunt in the wild. They source their ingredients locally and have them delivered fresh daily. That means there is no preservatives!

3. Blue Buffalo

Blue buffalo dog food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Example

Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Deboned chicken
  2. Chicken meal
  3. Whole Ground Brown Rice
  4. Whole Ground Barley
  5. Oatmeal

Blue buffalo dog food is manufactured in the US and was created for the health and well-being of dogs. They use a combination of high quality, natural ingredients plus their exclusive LifeSource Bits. Blue buffalo formulas start with real meat! The LifeSource Bits are a precise blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists. Their formal doesn’t include corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-product meals and that is their True Blue promise.

4. Natural Balance

naturalbalancedogfood

Natural Balance L.I.D Limited ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Example

Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Sweet potatoes
  2. Venison
  3. Potato protein
  4. Pea protein
  5. Canola Oil

Natural balance dog food is based in Burbank, California and operates under the philosophy of providing pets and their owners The Food for a Lifetime®. They have a variety of formulas that come both dry and canned. They feature high-quality meats and unique proteins, complex carbohydrates and nourishing fruits and vegetables. Each production run of Natural balance dog food is tested for nine known contaminants before distribution. You can check every bag on their website with the “Buy with Confidence” program. Allowing you to find the actual lab results posted in real time.

5. Fromm

frommdogfood

Fromm Gold Holistic Adult dry dog food Example

Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Duck
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Chicken
  4. Brown Rice
  5. Pearled Barley

Fromm dog food is a fifth generation family owned and run company. They have maintained a tradition of quiet innovation dedicated to the health and nutrition of animals. They prepare in small batches the day the ingredients arrive. Their specially formulated kibble includes probiotics that assist gastrointestinal functions and is minimally processed to retain flavor and nutritional value. They have a wide assortment of formulas both dry and canned.

Best Rated Wet Dog Food

1.Fromm

fromm canned dog food

Fromm Gold Duck & Chicken Canned Dog Food Example
Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Duck
  2. Chicken
  3. Chicken Broth
  4. Carrots
  5. Potatoes

Just like their dry food they make and excellent wet as well. Packed with a lot of meat and made without grains. Great for dogs that have allergies. The ingredients are also USDA inspected and delivered fresh daily. Chelated minerals boost the immune system while biotin helps nourish the skin and coat.

2.Natural Balance

natural balance canned dog food

Limited Ingredient Diets Duck and Potato canned dog food example
Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Duck
  2. Duck broth
  3. Potatoes
  4. Dehydrated Potatoes
  5. Potato Protein

A great feast of duck. Natural balances canned dog food is a grain-free formula where they combine one protein and on carbohydrate source. Added taurine to help protect your dog’s heart.

3. Taste of the Wild

taste of the wild canned dog food

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon canned dog food example

Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Beef
  2. Beef broth
  3. Vegetable broth
  4. Dried egg whites
  5. Sunflower oil

No surprise here. They make a high quality product that is complete and balanced. The example formula below is made with real roasted wild board, a taste your dogs will love. It’s grain free and is full of probiotics for a healthy digestive and immune system. It contains omega fatty acids to help keep that coat healthy and shiny.

4. Wellness

wellness core canned dog food

Wellness Core Grain-Free Turkey, Chicken liver and turkey liver canned dog food example

Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Turkey
  3. Chicken Liver
  4. Chicken broth
  5. Chicken Meal

The team at Wellness has only one mission which is to help provide your pet a healthy, happy, and long life through natural nutrition. They strive to have an ideal balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Avoiding adding empty calories. Each of their ingredients has a purpose in each of the formulas they make. Their wellness CORE formulas are packed with a high concentration of quality animal protein with a proprietary blend of botanicals and nutritional supplements.

5. EVO

evo canned dog food

EVO 95% Beef Canned Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:

  1. Beef
  2. Beef broth
  3. Tricalcium Phosphate
  4. Natural flavors
  5. Carrageenamm minerals

Created by nature pet products in California. Their philosophy is dogs are healthiest when they eat whole natural foods. Which is exactly what they use. High-quality red meat, poultry or fish is always the first ingredient promoting lean muscle and providing vital nutrients. No grain, potato, or gluten added in their formulas ever. Because of the high quality of ingredients Evo dog food is highly digestibility and leads to decreased waste.

Now you’ve read through the best dog food reviews and hopefully come away with a good understanding of how to pick your best dog food from the above list. At the end of the day it’s going to be your decision on what dog food brand formula and type is going to be best for your dog. Most of the brands listed have their formulas in both wet and dry.

If you find the right formula but aren’t sure whether to go wet or dry you can look at a few different factors. Dog’s that don’t trend to drink enough water might be better suited for a canned dog food since the moisture is much higher. If your dog is older and has an issue chewing dry food then canned might be better suited for that. However wet dog food is much messier than dry. It doesn’t store as easy as dry either when you want to buy in bulk. Then there is the added cost by going with wet/canned dog food over dry.

Remember to always check the label of each dog food bag to make sure ingredients haven’t changed. Also follow the specific guidelines on how to gradually change your dogs food.

*images of dog food formulas from amazon
Header image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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