Best Dog Food: Top 6 Picks For Your Pup

You may not think much about it, but the dog food you choose to feed…

You may not think much about it, but the dog food you choose to feed to your pet can have a huge impact on their long-term health. The food you pick for them will dictate the vitamins, nutrients, and overall amount of calories they will be getting each meal and your decisions will ultimately be the biggest factor in whether or not your dog lives a long, happy, energetic, and healthy life. So, when you go to pick a food brand out for your dog, you need to be sure you are choosing the correct one. However, finding the best dog food for your dog is easier said than done. There are a ton of variables that go into what makes for a good dog food, let alone what can be considered the best dog food. You need to consider the breed, the age, the overall size, and your dog’s current health status when it comes to what you decide to feed them.

Some brands do a much better job of giving you great choices with a versatile selection perfect for a variety of breeds. Other brands specialize in helping only very specific breeds but doing so at a very high level. What will work best for you and your dog will ultimately be up to you. What we have here is a list of the six best dog food choices. Each of these options is sure to be at the top of its respective class. We have also included a short guide to help you understand what to look for when you are buying food for your pup. 

The 6 Best Dog Food Choices

  1. JustFoodForDogs – Top Pick – Daily Meals & Pantry Fresh
  2. Chippin Pet – Close Second
  3. American Journey – Runner-Up Great Dry Dog Food
  4. Purina Pro Plan – Honorable Mention
  5. KetoNatural Pet Foods – Keto Friendly

How Did We Select These 6 Best Dog Foods?

Finding the best dog food is not a simple task. The best dog food brands are not often those with the big commercials or fancy slogans, but the ones that focus on pet nutrition and give dog owners the full picture of what their dog foods contain. Locating these unique brands that put quality and pet nutrition at the forefront of their operations required us to search through and test a large variety of options. The dog foods we were left with had by far the highest quality foods in terms of taste and nutrition. 

We tested wet dog food, dry food, and various combinations, all to figure out which dog foods are currently offering the best nutrition, value, and flavor. We then broke down the results here for you to examine. Take a look at our list of the best dog food options and find something better for your furry best friend.

The 6 Best Dog Food Choices – Reviews

1. JustFoodForDogs – Editor’s Choice; Daily Meals & Pantry Fresh

Daily Meals

Pros:

  • Nutritional, veterinarian-based dog foods
  • Made with real, natural ingredients for better health
  • Delicious recipes that dogs will love

Cons:

  • You will be paying slightly more for the higher quality

JustFoodForDogs Daily Meals is the premier choice when it comes to finding a healthy, easy, and delicious meal source for everyday purposes. To feed your dog one of these fresh daily meals, you simply thaw and serve. 

JustFoodForDogs is an amazing dog food company that was started by a concerned dog owner who couldn’t stand to feed their pup the dog foods being offered in the stores today. The truth is, a lot of the dog foods on shelves today have harmful chemicals, preservatives, gross ingredients, and labels designed to mislead. There is almost no oversight, and most dog owners simply do not know how bad it has gotten. JustFoodForDogs is a company looking to do things differently and has brought together veterinarians and specialists to develop nutritionally balanced meals for our furry friends. 

What are Customers Saying?

Dog owners absolutely love JustFoodForDogs daily meal options and almost universally claim that their dogs both enjoy flavors and are full of more energy throughout the day. Since JustFoodForDogs promises a full refund if you or your dog are not fully satisfied, many dog owners will give JustFoodForDogs a short try, and will be sold for a lifetime. In the same way, you are able to try this best dog food risk-free.

Why is this One of the Best Dog Foods Available?

It is hard to compete with a brand that gives you veterinarian formulated, human-grade dog food, with delicious combinations such as Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni, Venison & Squash, and Beef & Russet Potato. These meals wouldn’t look out of place on a plate in a nice restaurant, let alone feeding your pupper. These are dog foods with no preservatives and no growth hormones – and there are great options for both small breeds and big breeds. This is a decent middle ground between traditional wet and dry dog food, but they are all “soft” dog foods. 

The Bottom Line on this Dog Food

If you consider your dog a member of your family, shouldn’t you feed them like one? This seems to be the question that JustFoodForDogs asks, and they deliver on the response. These best dog food options are delicious recipes that take nutrition for dogs seriously and are clearly made to make both the dog and the dog owner happy. 

Learn more about JustFoodForDogs Daily Meals

Pantry Fresh

Pros:

  • Long-term options with the same great nutritional value you expect from JustFoodForDogs
  • A huge array of flavors for even the pickiest pup

The Pantry Fresh options from JustFoodForDogs are a close second on our list of best dog food choices, and for a good reason. The Pantry Fresh line offers wholesome, nutritionally complete ingredients in dog foods that require no refrigeration, are made with no preservatives, and are shelf stable for up to two years! 

Why is this One of the Best Dog Foods Available?

This is, of course, from the same brand that earned our top spot in the best dog foods list but approaches the issue of feeding your dog from another angle. These recipes are made using the top scientific methods to ensure a packaging and cooking process that creates easy-to-make “out-of-the-box” foods that you can store long-term without sacrificing the nutritional value. 

The Bottom Line on this Dog Food

The Pantry Fresh lineup is the perfect partner for Daily Meals and gives you options for healthy meals when you take your dog on the road or are unable to get your Daily Meals dog food in line for a period. With both of these best dog food options from JustFoodForDogs on your side, you can rest easy knowing your dog is eating great no matter what life throws at you.

Learn more about JustFoodForDogs Pantry Fresh

2. Chippin Pet – Worthy Mention

Pros:

  • Great tasting food made from silver carp
  • The fishing helps the ecosystem & has earth-friendly packages
  • Added vitamins and nutrients help your dog feel great
  • Great price for human-grade dog food

Cons:

  • Many flavors, but the reliance on a single core item means some dogs may not be a big fan.

Chippin Pet takes a unique approach to dog food that both the planet and your dog’s health will love. Chippin Pet is another best dog food option that provides human-grade food with great pet nutrition by sourcing healthy all-natural ingredients. This best dog food is made in large part from silver carp fish. This is a fresh hypoallergenic protein-rich food that is high in omega-3 and was developed with veterinarians and animal experts. Dogs love the flavor, and you will love the energy and joy this high-nutritional food will bring to their day. 

An added bonus is that silver carp is not one of those fish that are overfished; in fact, silver carp is an overpopulated species that is threatening the Great Lakes ecosystem. By finding a use for these fish, we are helping our ecosystems and our pets. This best dog food helps to improve water quality and restore biodiversity! Also, all Chippin Pet products are made with plastic neutral packaging, sticking with their earth-first mindset. 

What are Customers Saying?

Dog owners love this food almost as much as the dogs themselves. This is an earth-friendly company that does a great job of sourcing healthy protein for dogs in a way that works for all parties involved. In addition to their dog food coming from a great source, it is also simply well-made food that you can be happy feeding to your furry family member. 

Why is this One of the Best Dog Foods Available?

It should be easy to see why a well-made dog food that is sourced directly and locally from fresh Kentucky silver carp is one of the best dog foods on the market when so much of the competition is empty and tasteless dry dog foods. Your dog will absolutely love the omega-3-rich human-grade carp that is easily digestible and full of nutritional value. 

The Bottom Line on this Dog Food

This is one of the best dog foods for several reasons. The fishing process used to source the protein helps to restore biodiversity, and the packaging is 28% post-consumer recycled materials. Dogs love the flavors, and the nutrients and vitamins inside are designed to help them live long and happy lives. 

Learn more about Chippin Pet

3. American Journey – Best Dry Dog Food

Pros:

  • Made from real chicken, fruit, and vegetables
  • Grain-free, soy-free, corn free, and wheat-free
  • Long shelf-life makes bulk buying great
  • Highly nutritional

Cons:

  • While the best dry dog food, it still has the same limitations as all dry dog foods.

American Journey is a dog food that relies on real chicken and other nutrients in a grain-free recipe. This protein and amino acid-rich dry food is perfect for allowing your dog to get the most out of their day and to properly develop and maintain lean muscle strength. There are even added fruits and vegetables in the formula that were suggested by leading dog nutritionists designed to give your pup the phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential items needed for healthy skin, eyes, and other internal functions. 

All in all, this is a premium best dog food choice that tastes great and is sure to keep your dog feeling great as well. The added nutrients are derived from salmon oil and flax seed, so you can rest easy knowing they came from healthy sources as well. 

If you take pet nutrition seriously and you are looking for the best dog food for your adult dog that prefers kibble, then you should seriously consider American Journey.

What are Customers Saying?

Pet owners absolutely love this option for adult dogs as it helps even picky eaters maintain healthy skin and a healthy coat. This is also a grain-free recipe without soy, wheat, or corn, which means it’s perfect for those dogs sensitive to certain types of foods. 

Why is this One of the Best Dog Foods Available?

Keep your dog feeling great, looking great, and aging gracefully with American Journey. This grain-free food is perfect for sensitive dogs, is packed full of key pet nutrition items for healthy skin (and other health concerns), and is made from real chicken designed to help build lean muscle mass. 

The Bottom Line on this Dog Food

Dog food nutrition can be a complex topic, and finding a way to provide balanced nutrition on a regular basis can be a real challenge. This best dog food is amazing as a staple food or as a good break from a dog’s normal diet as a way to give them an influx of new vitamins and minerals. If you are looking for the best dry dog food brand, you may have just found it in American Journey.

Learn more about American Journey

4. Purina Pro Plan – Tried & True Top Tier Staple

Pros:

  • High-quality dry food made from real meat and other natural ingredients 
  • Fortified with added nutrients and probiotics
  • Built to give your dog energy and higher motivation levels
  • Even though it’s healthy, dogs love the taste

Cons:

  • Some reports of adverse reactions from dogs with sensitive stomachs 

The Purina Pro Plan series of foods is a long-time staple of these types of best dog food lists, and the Purina brand has been a top tier animal food company for decades. The secret, much like the secret for most best dog foods, is in the use of real meat and other natural ingredients. Dogs love the taste of this food and they get a whole load of nutrition that is well balanced. 

While this didn’t make the top of our list as the best dry dog food, it is a very close second place and could easily be your dog’s favorite dry dog food as it has all of the same great nutritional value as many of the other top brands. This is a high-protein chicken and rice formula that combines hard kibble bits with small shredded pieces that add flavor and texture. 

What are Customers Saying?

Very often customers love what their dogs love, and dogs love Purina Pro Plan dog food. At the same time, this is a healthy food that you can feel good about giving to your pet. 95% of Chewy buyers recommend Pro Plan with many highlighting the healthy skin & coat as well as superior overall fitness that this best dog food supports.

Why is this One of the Best Dog Foods Available?

This is an incredibly high-quality dog food that has been fortified with added nutrition value such as probiotics (which help the immune system and the digestive system) as well as omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin A which help your dog look and feel great. At the same time, they have been able to ensure this food still tastes amazing and will keep the dog excited about meal time. 

The Bottom Line on this Dog Food

If you want something simple, effective, healthy, and delicious then you have found your best dog food. This may not have some of the bells and whistles promised by other brands, but Purina has been helping pets live long and healthy lives for generations and you can feel good about giving your pet this great dog food. 

Learn more about Purina Pro Plan

5. KetoNatural Pet Foods – Top Low-Carb Option

Pros:

  • One of the only affordable low-carb dog food options
  • Science and care-based food
  • Very high levels of animal protein
  • Incredible nutritional value
  • Subscription program available

Cons:

  • Size options limited – only 24 and 8 lb. bags available
  • Only available for purchase through website – not sold by retailers

KetoNatural Pet Foods has a whole new approach to dog food, and there is a unique backstory that explains why. The founder of KetoNatural Pet Foods published the book Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma in the fall of 2012 after spending years researching the industry and investigating evidence linking carbohydrates to outcomes in dog health. 

Veterinarians took note, and the idea caught on quickly. However, back in 2016, there were almost no options for pet owners who wanted affordable best dog food options that didn’t rely on carb-heavy ingredients (most kibble is almost half carbohydrates). 

Now KetoNatural Pet Foods is exploding in popularity as more owners try their best dog foods and tell other owners about the amazing results. Dogs love the flavors, and the prices are much better than you will find in other low-carbohydrate options. 

What are Customers Saying?

In only a few years, KetoNatural Pet Foods has sold millions of meals and helps to feed tens of thousands of happy pups around the country. Buyers also love the tons of free videos, articles, and other learning resources that keep dog owners well informed on supporting healthy dogs. 

Why Is this One of the Best Dog Foods Available?

This is a dog food that was developed alongside veterinary nutritionists and animal doctors as well as leading food scientists. This is one of the most sophisticated dog foods on the planet.

The Bottom Line on this Dog Food

Give your dog easily digestible food with a less than 5% carbohydrate content and twice as much animal-based protein when compared to other leading brands. This is perhaps the most nutritious and advanced dog food in the country, and it may be the answer for some dogs with undiagnosed issues. 

Learn more about KetoNatural Pet Foods

Common Questions and Tips for Dog Feeding and Food Choices

Your dog’s diet for optimal living is highly dependent on his age, breed, and unique personal needs. Modern science has come a long way when it comes to understating what goes into the overall health and wellbeing of our canine friends and general dog food nutrition. One of the significant things that we have learned is that balanced nutrition when it comes to dogs is just as important as it is for us, and as dogs grow and age their nutritional needs also change. 

We will answer and address the most common questions and concerns in this area, but you will need to do research on your own to fully grasp the details of caring for your pet with the best dog food for them. You will need to look into the nutritional facts behind various forms of puppy food, food for adult dogs, and eventually food for senior dogs throughout your pet’s lifespan. To identify the best dog foods for your pup, you will also need to look into the unique needs of the breed you own. 

For the scope of this article, we will only be able to answer and address the most common questions and concerns when it comes to dog feeding. The hope is that these answers will help prompt you to learn more about these topics and that the links we provide will help steer your research in the correct direction. 

One Size Doesn’t Fit Them All 

One thing to note is that no matter how healthy or well-made your choice for best dog food is, you may also need to deal with picky eaters. You can offer the best wet dog food, but if they want dry dog food you are out of luck. It works the other way as well; picky eaters may only eat wet dog food and never touch dry dog food. So, you may need to try a series of best dog foods, from wet food and dry dog food to various flavors and ingredient combinations. 

There is also a difference in the type of foods that large breeds and small breeds will prefer and the nutrients they need. Just like humans, dogs have their own unique tastes, likes, and dislikes. 

If your dog needs food that promotes healthy skin and it just so happens the best wet dog food also helps with that, then perfect. But, if your dog only eats dry dog food, you will need to have a backup option ready. Good dog owners learn from their dog just as much as they command them.

What Do I Look for in Quality Dog Food Brands?

Finding the best dog food can be hard. Even seemingly good brands that typically make lists of the best dog foods like Hill’s Science Diet can all of a sudden surprise you with FDA censure (as actually happened with Hill’s Science Diet). You need to make sure that the brand you are buying from either has an incredibly good track record over a long period or is run by true dog lovers. 

How Do I Switch My Dog to a New Food?

Switching a dog over to a new food can be rough on their stomach and can make them feel ill if you are not careful. Even trying to transition your dog from commercial dog food to fresh, high-quality food can be a real challenge as their stomachs can be very sensitive. Typically the process will take 5-10 days.

In the first few days, you only want to replace about 25% of your dog’s normal food. On days 4-7, you can begin to mix half and half. On days 8-10, you will be going 75/25 the other way before finally fully switching it up. Of course, you will need to pay attention to your dog and ensure you are going at a speed they are comfortable with. 

Does a Dog’s Diet Change as They Age?

Science has shown us that, much like people, the best dog food for your pup will change as he grows and ages. Dog nutrition is not a simple science, but by understanding the basic needs of dogs by age, you can be better prepared for what comes next. 

Regardless of whether or not you are looking for the best dog foods for an adult dog, a senior dog, or even a young adolescent, you always want to ensure that the food you are giving them is:

  • Balanced
  • Of a good quality
  • Age appropriate

There is no single answer to what the best dog food is for any particular stage of life as a number of factors such as age, breed, health, or even obesity and pregnancy status can play a tremendous role. The guidelines below are simply basic tips for feeding a dog at various points in their lives. 

Remember to consult your veterinarian and see what their recommendations for the best dog foods are for your dog at each stage of life. Some may suggest raw dog food, or for those dogs with sensitive needs, human-grade dog food. Each dog is a little different. 

A “puppy” is a difficult term to nail down and can refer to a dog anywhere from a month old to a couple of years old. Really until a dog is done growing it can be considered a puppy, and likewise it will benefit best from some form of puppy food. The breed of the dog will be the biggest factor in determining when this stage of life ends, with larger breeds taking longer to fully mature. Some dogs, like Labrador retrievers, can be eating specialized puppy food well into eighteen months of life in order to best support a full and healthy growth phase. 

The basic rule when it comes to the best dog foods for puppies is balance. They need a good amount of a large number of nutrients without going overboard or skimping on an. Puppy food may be the most important choice as it has the most fundamental effect on development. A specially formulated large breed puppy food is what you should be looking for, but always be sure to consult your vet for specifics on your dog. 

Taking care of a puppy can be challenging. Start off right by feeding them right. 

  • Adults: Age 1 year to 6-8 years

As your dog ages, you will eventually need to transfer them over to an adult dog food. Once again consult your vet on when the right time is for your dog and what their recommendation for the best dog food is. One of the easiest ways to transition your dog from puppy to adult food is to buy the adult food you plan to use at the same time you buy some of your last puppy food. Gradually mix in more and more of the adult food over time until the entire meal is the adult food one day.

Adult dogs will need nearly 20% of their food to be well-sourced protein. The amount and other specifics grading what type of adult dog food will come down to your unique dog, their breed, and their health needs. 

You should monitor your dog’s energy levels and weight as they eat the food. Check to see if the coat is full and glossy and that they are passing consistent stool. If everything seems good to go then you have found the best dog food for your pup. Some dog food brand companies have options for each stage of life, and while these kinds of options can simplify things, the quality of these foods may vary greatly. 

  • Senior Dogs: Age 6-10 years

The age a dog is considered “senior” will likewise shift between breeds and size. Typically, the larger a dog breed is the earlier they will become senior dogs. Some larger dogs will become seniors in as little as six years, while others will take as many as ten. A dog’s age on the calendar is only really a part of the story when it comes to genetic development. 

Senior dogs have unique health concerns and will often need to work around various medical issues. Many senior dogs do better with lower calorie, higher fiber foods. You will also want to ensure your senior dog is getting all of the proper nutrients from their food as well to support their bones and organ function – as well as mobility support. 

As with all stages of life, talk with the vet about the best dog food for their age and medical conditions.

Conclusion

Feeding your dog doesn’t have to be a complex issue, you just need to be sure you are giving your pet the proper nutrients, quantity, and that they ultimately enjoy eating it. Anything more is simply a conversation between you and your vet. All of the best dog food choices on this list are made to taste great and to give your dog all of the nutrients they need to live a long, happy, and healthy life by your side.

Best Dog Food: Top 6 Picks For Your Pup