Best Dog Food Brands

Written by Hannah Ward
Updated: November 27, 2022
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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall dog food brand is the ACANA Highest Protein Dry Dog Food.
  • When choosing the best dog food for your dog, there are many factors to take into account such as age, size, breed, and more. There are also organic, grain-free, and allergy-free options.
  • Mixing wet and dry food together, adding savory gravy products or plain chicken to their food, or leaving your dog’s bowl down for only 15 minutes are a few strategies that can entice a picky eater to finish their food.
  • While dry dog foods are shelf-stable, good for a dog’s dental health, and appealing to most dogs, dogs often love wet foods for their savory flavors and soft texture.

Choosing the best dog food brand for your dog is one of the more critical decisions you’ll make as an owner. Large breed food, foods for puppies, and choices for seniors all provide different benefits than many foods designed for all life cycles.

Everyone seemingly has different trusted brands that they prefer, and what is ideal for one dog may not suit another. Are raw or organic foods everything people claim they are, and does the term human-grade mean anything? There are many foods recommended by vets that owners often prefer to use. Many of the healthiest options contain natural ingredients that you will feel good about feeding, plus many wet or dry options easily meet everyone’s criteria.

We’ve put together a list of some of the dog food brands that are best, including grain-free foods. We hope that you will at least find the best overall options from this list. Other issues that we have chosen to address include determining whether your dog needs certain food types, what to feed dogs with allergies or sensitivities, and how to deal with a picky eater.

  1. ACANA Highest Protein Dry Dog Food
  2. ACANA Highest Protein Dry Dog Food
    • Crafted with Fresh and Raw Ingredients: Matches the natural diets and physiology of dogs to best meet their natural nutritional needs
    • Made in the USA: Formulated in our state-of-the-art Kitchen using only ingredients from trusted sources; Packaging may vary
    • Grain-Free and High-Protein: High in protein and full of key nutrients with fresh or raw animal ingredients, whole vegetables, fruits, and botanicals
    • Nutrition for All Life Stages: Free of grains, gluten, potatoes, and tapioca, making it a nourishing food for dogs of all ages
    • No Artificial Colors or Preservatives: We skip the artificial ingredients in our Kitchen and provide key nutrients dogs need


    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food and Crunchy Dog Biscuit Treats
  4. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food and Crunchy Dog Biscuit Treats
    • ORIJEN Original dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients from free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs
    • With 85% quality animal ingredients, ORIJEN nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological needs
    • Using fresh and raw animal ingredients, including meat, organs, cartilage, and bone, ORIJEN is the Biologically Appropriate, grain-free diet that dogs have evolved to eat
    • Our Fresh Regional Ingredients are supplied by people we know and trust, and are delivered to our kitchen fresh or raw, in their most natural and nourishing form


    Check Amazon
  5. Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  6. Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
    • Chicken and whole grains recipe for large dog breeds
    • Provides bone and joint health for active dogs
    • Contains fibers and prebiotics for healthy digestion and immunity
    • Promotes strong muscles with quality protein sourced from real chicken


    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Wellness Complete Health Wet Dog Food
  8. Wellness Complete Health Wet Dog Food
    • Chunky, tender cuts of high quality lamb, beef, and nutrient-rich veggies
    • High-quality proteins and antioxidants
    • All natural ingredients
    • Created by nutritionists, veterinarians, and animal lovers


    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. JustFoodForDogs Pantryfresh Dog Food
  10. JustFoodForDogs Pantryfresh Dog Food
    • Real food for dogs - Human-edible Lamb Hearts, Brown Rice, Cauliflower, Carrots, Spinach, Safflower Oil, Blueberries, Cod Liver Oil, & JFFD's vet-developed Nutrient Blend.
    • Whole-food ingredients – This is not dog food. It is food. For dogs. And every single ingredient is fit for human consumption to ensure the highest quality, whole fresh food for dogs to help them look and feel their best.
    • Zero preservatives – and zero rendered meats, zero artificial coloring, and zero scary acronyms like BHA, BHT, or LFBT.
    • Ready-to-serve nutrition - Every recipe is formulated by our team of veterinarians and canine specialists, and then gently cooked to maximize nutritional value and promote a healthy immune system
    • #1 vet recommended fresh food brand – "JustFoodForDogs diets are formulated with a novel protein source: lamb. This provides me with an excellent option for dogs with a chicken or beef allergy but who could also benefit from a whole food diet." - Dr. Julie Stegeman, DVM, DACVIM Internal Medicine


    Check Chewy Check Amazon

The Best Dog Food Brands: Ranked

#1 Best Overall: ACANA Highest Protein Dry Dog Food

Our selection as the best overall dog food brand is the ACANA Highest Protein Dry Dog Food for several reasons.

The best feature of this dog food is that is uses raw and natural ingredients from trusted sources to help provide the highest quality experience for your dog. This matches the natural diet and physiology of dogs to best meet their natural nutritional needs. It is also high in protein yet grain-free and includes wholesome fruit and vegetables.

This food is completely free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives so you can be certain that your pet is eating only the very best ingredients. Plus, it’s suitable for dogs of all ages — from puppies to seniors. However, some customers reported that few of their puppies and seniors had difficulty with the kibble size.

Pros and Cons of the ACANA Highest Protein Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This food is made from only the very best raw and natural ingredients.The kibble may be too large for some senior dogs and puppies.
This food is grain-free.
It contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
It is high in protein and contains fruit and vegetables.
This food is suitable for dogs of all ages.
Best Overall
ACANA Highest Protein Dry Dog Food
  • Crafted with Fresh and Raw Ingredients: Matches the natural diets and physiology of dogs to best meet their natural nutritional needs
  • Made in the USA: Formulated in our state-of-the-art Kitchen using only ingredients from trusted sources; Packaging may vary
  • Grain-Free and High-Protein: High in protein and full of key nutrients with fresh or raw animal ingredients, whole vegetables, fruits, and botanicals
  • Nutrition for All Life Stages: Free of grains, gluten, potatoes, and tapioca, making it a nourishing food for dogs of all ages
  • No Artificial Colors or Preservatives: We skip the artificial ingredients in our Kitchen and provide key nutrients dogs need


Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best Grain-Free: ORIJEN Dry Dog Food and Crunchy Dog Biscuit Treats

If your dog needs a grain-free diet then we recommend the ORIJEN Dry Dog Food and Crunchy Dog Biscuit Treats.

This food uses organic ingredients from trusted sources which helps make this food one of the healthiest options for your dog. It uses whole animal ingredients from free-range chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs.

By using only fresh and raw animal ingredients this food is as close as possible to the natural diets that dogs have evolved to eat. This, combined with it being grain-free, makes it one of the most suitable food for dogs with allergies and sensitivities. It is also completely free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Although this food has a lot going for it, some customers have reported that it is unsuitable for smaller breeds and puppies as the kibble size is too large.

Pros and Cons of the ORIJEN Dry Dog Food and Crunchy Dog Biscuit Treats

ProsCons
This food uses only natural raw and fresh animal ingredients.It is unsuitable for smaller breeds and puppies as the kibble size is quite large.
It contains free-range chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs.
This food is completely grain-free, making it suitable for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.
It is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Best Grain-Free
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food and Crunchy Dog Biscuit Treats
  • ORIJEN Original dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients from free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs
  • With 85% quality animal ingredients, ORIJEN nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological needs
  • Using fresh and raw animal ingredients, including meat, organs, cartilage, and bone, ORIJEN is the Biologically Appropriate, grain-free diet that dogs have evolved to eat
  • Our Fresh Regional Ingredients are supplied by people we know and trust, and are delivered to our kitchen fresh or raw, in their most natural and nourishing form


Check Amazon

3. Best for Large Breeds: IAMS Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

For larger dogs we recommend IAMS Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food which is also one of the most popular brands recommended by vets.

This food contains real chicken or lamb with whole grains (there are two flavors available) to make it one of the best food products around for larger breeds. It contains natural fiber and prebiotics to promote a healthy digestive and immune system. It also contains omega-6 fatty acids to support coat and skin health while the quality protein promotes strong muscles. It also provides bone and joint health for active dogs.

However, as this food contains grains it is unsuitable for pets with allergies or sensitivities. Also, a small number of customers reported that their dogs developed diarrhea after eating it.

Pros and Cons of IAMS Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains real chicken or lamb with whole grains.As this food contains grains it is not suitable for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.
It contains natural fiber and prebiotics to promote a healthy digestive and immune system.Customers reported that a small number of dogs developed diarrhea after eating this food.
It contains omega-6 fatty acids to support coat and skin health.
Best for Large Breeds
Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Chicken and whole grains recipe for large dog breeds
  • Provides bone and joint health for active dogs
  • Contains fibers and prebiotics for healthy digestion and immunity
  • Promotes strong muscles with quality protein sourced from real chicken


Check Chewy Check Amazon

4: Best Wet Dog Food: Wellness Complete Health Wet Dog Food

For pups that prefer wet food we have selected the Wellness Complete Health Wet Dog Food.

This food is made with chunky, tender cuts of high quality lamb, beef, and nutrient-rich veggies to create a tasty meal that your pets are sure to love. It contains only natural ingredients and is free from wheat and poultry by-products. It is also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. This means that you can relax, knowing that your pet is only eating top-quality food.

Unfortunately, as this food is created as a stew-style meal not all dogs like the texture. Also, some customers reported that some cans contained too much liquid which their dogs didn’t enjoy.

Pros and Cons of the Wellness Complete Health Wet Dog Food

ProsCons
This food is made with chunky, tender cuts of high quality lamb, beef, and nutrient-rich vegetables.Not all dogs like the stew-style meal.
It contains only natural ingredients.Some customers reported that the cans contained too much liquid.
It is free from wheat and poultry by-products.
It contains no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Best Wet Dog Food
Wellness Complete Health Wet Dog Food
  • Chunky, tender cuts of high quality lamb, beef, and nutrient-rich veggies
  • High-quality proteins and antioxidants
  • All natural ingredients
  • Created by nutritionists, veterinarians, and animal lovers


Check Chewy Check Amazon

5: Best Fresh Dog Food: JustFoodForDogs PantryFresh Dog Food

If you want to feed your pet a fresh-food iet then we recommend the JustFoodForDogs PantryFresh Dog Food.

The best thing about this food is that it contains only whole-food ingredients of the very best quality. In fact, this food contains human-edible food — consisting of lamb hearts, brown rice, cauliflowers, carrots, spinach, safflower oil, blueberries, and cod liver oil. Not only that, but this food contains no rendered meats or artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

This brand is also formulated and recommended by vets and canine experts, providing assurance that you are making a good choice for your dog’s health. Each container arrives ready to serve, so you can get your furry friend fed as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, some customers reported that their dogs didn’t want to try the food, despite not usually being picky eaters.

Pros and Cons of the JustFoodForDogs PantryFresh Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains only whole-food ingredients of the very best quality.Not all dogs like this food and some are unwilling to try it.
it contains human-edible lamb hearts, brown rice, cauliflowers, carrots, spinach, safflower oil, blueberries, and cod liver oil.
It contains no rendered meats or artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
This food is formulated and recommended by vets and canine experts.
Best Fresh Dog Food
JustFoodForDogs Pantryfresh Dog Food
  • Real food for dogs - Human-edible Lamb Hearts, Brown Rice, Cauliflower, Carrots, Spinach, Safflower Oil, Blueberries, Cod Liver Oil, & JFFD's vet-developed Nutrient Blend.
  • Whole-food ingredients – This is not dog food. It is food. For dogs. And every single ingredient is fit for human consumption to ensure the highest quality, whole fresh food for dogs to help them look and feel their best.
  • Zero preservatives – and zero rendered meats, zero artificial coloring, and zero scary acronyms like BHA, BHT, or LFBT.
  • Ready-to-serve nutrition - Every recipe is formulated by our team of veterinarians and canine specialists, and then gently cooked to maximize nutritional value and promote a healthy immune system
  • #1 vet recommended fresh food brand – "JustFoodForDogs diets are formulated with a novel protein source: lamb. This provides me with an excellent option for dogs with a chicken or beef allergy but who could also benefit from a whole food diet." - Dr. Julie Stegeman, DVM, DACVIM Internal Medicine


Check Chewy Check Amazon

The Different Types of Dog Food: Pros and Cons Compared

Dry Food

ProsCons
It is shelf-stable.Dry food is sometimes difficult to store.
It is appealing to most dogs.It is more difficult for dogs with dental issues to manage.
Dry food is good for dental health.
There is no preparation needed.
It is ideal from puppyhood to adulthood.

Wet Food

ProsCons
Wet food is more palatable for dogs with dental issues.It requires refrigeration after opening.
It can be fed as a standalone food or as an addition to dry food.It does not have the same teeth cleaning properties as dry food.

Fresh Food

ProsCons
It contains only healthy ingredients.It requires refrigeration and cannot be left out.
It is designed to be as appetizing for dogs as possible.Some dogs dislike the texture.
There are a variety of flavors that even fussy dogs enjoy.
Many brands are human-grade.

Raw Food

ProsCons
Raw food is as close to a natural canine diet as possible.It is not suitable for every budget.
It is free from artificial flavors and preservatives.The meat ingredients may not be suitable for dogs with food sensitivities.
It is suitable for dogs of all sizes and those with dental issues.It cannot be left out and needs to be refrigerated.

Determining Whether Your Dog Needs Certain Food Types

Most dogs will be able to eat a balanced diet without any problems. However, dogs diagnosed with certain conditions or nutritional dogs may require certain foods. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you about which foods are best for your dog’s needs.

For example, a dog that is over or under the ideal weight may require food for losing or gaining weight. Breeds with high energy levels may need food with increased protein and fewer grains. Pregnant or lactating females require more food, regardless of the brand or type.

Dogs With Allergies or Sensitivities

Dogs that have allergies or sensitivities do best with limited ingredient foods that are free from allergens or triggering ingredients. Of these conditions, allergies are the more serious of the two. Allergies are likely to cause persistent rashes that often get infected, and, somewhat rarely, anaphylactic reactions.

Sensitivities usually present as digestive upsets. Sometimes, a dog will not show outward signs of sensitivities right away. The process of elimination is useful for pinpointing the cause.

Picky Eaters

Creativity is sometimes helpful for dogs that are picky eaters. Even though a dog will eat eventually, going too long without eating can cause low blood sugar in small breeds. One thing that owners should avoid is hand-feeding or otherwise encouraging fussy behavior.

Mixing wet and dry food can sometimes entice a hesitant dog to eat. You may also want to consider adding savory gravy products or plain chicken to the meal. One thing that is often helpful is only leaving the bowl down for 15 minutes which usually encourages the dog to finish.

The Best Dog Food Brands: Summary

Choosing any correct food depends on your dog’s personal preferences and needs. It’s also important to remember that the dietary requirement of dogs can even vary between different breeds or based on their activity level. No dog food is equal, so it’s a good idea to thoroughly research the ingredients when choosing one for your pet. We hope that this product review has given you a useful insight into what to look for, as well as narrowed down the choices for you.

Up Next…

About the Author

I have been writing professionally for several years with a focus on animals and wildlife. I love spending time in the outdoors and when not writing I can be found on the farm surrounded by horses, dogs, sheep, and pigs.

Best Dog Food Brands FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is wet food better for dogs?

Many pet owners prefer to feed their dogs wet food since it is typically made using higher-quality protein and does not contain as many carbs or fat as dry dog food does. By nature, wet food is also more moist than dry food, which can help make sure a dog stays hydrated. Additionally, in most cases, the ingredients found in wet food are in a more natural form than what you’d find in dry food.

Can I mix a combination of dry and wet dog food together?

Yes, wet and dry dog food can be mixed together. Many owners mix a little wet food in with dry food to make the food more appealing and tastier for their dogs. However, keep in mind that when mixing foods, it is important to make sure both the wet and dry foods are designed to match the dietary needs of your dog. For example, this means that you should avoid mixing dry puppy food with wet adult food.

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