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Dog Food Buying Guide – 5 Things You Should Consider

buying for dog foods

What you put into your body is important. It helps your body maintain itself, gives it energy, and helps cells grow and repair while assisting you with just about everything you do. The same is true with your dog. A dog's diet is not as complex as yours. By nature, dogs are scavengers in the wild, but you can provide them with a healthy way to obtain all the important nutrients while ensuring they receive quality energy from their food. Not all dog foods are created equal, so you need to keep in mind a few specifics when selecting and buying food for your furry little friend.

Why Dog Food?

Just because food is safe for human consumption does not mean it is safe for your pet. Dog food is made with your dog in mind and provides nutrients that your dog will need. Your dog grows more hair and, as they are on four legs throughout their life, will need improved nutrients to support joints. They also age faster, which means their diets change over time, in a similar way to that of humans as the human body ages.

However, not all dog food is the same. There are quality foods out there while others use inferior products to increase profits. You need to know what to look for when selecting the right dog food. Some dog food will be cheaper. The lesser brands will often cost half as much as that of a top tier dog food brand. However, if you think about it, this is only $10 or $20 more a month, and the improved dog food may improve the quality of your dog's life while also extending it, which means you can have several more years with your friend.

While dogs are scavengers, they do not have the evolved stomach to deal with many of the processed foods humans eat (although in reality, processed foods are not good for the human diet, either). There are some foods that can prove especially dangerous to dogs, and while it is possible to create dog food at home, this is expensive and must be done every few days to prevent the dog food from going bad. That is why going with the right dog food is so important for not only your dog, but yourself.

dog food

5 Things You Should Consider When Buying Foods for your Dog

There are several things you need to consider when buying dog food. This way, you will give your dog the best tasting food that is also the best for them. It might take some experimenting with your dog. However, you'll eventually settle on the right dog food for their personal needs.

Allergies

Dogs, just like humans, have allergies. Some dogs will be allergic to certain foods. You will see skin rashes on their bodies and on their ears. They might also scratch at their ears, which causes the back end of the ears to lose hair. They may act lethargic or parts of their face might swell. You can have an allergy test performed at your vet, although this may still leave you up to some experimenting. Thankfully, you can pick up the smaller four or six-pound bags of food to see how your dog reacts.

There are a number of things dogs are more likely to be allergic to. This includes grains, corn and soy, and some do have allergies to chicken and other meats, although this is less likely. It can also depend on the brand of food you're buying and where the ingredients come from.

Cheap Usually Means Filler

When you go to the store, you might see jumbo 30-lb. bags of dog food for $10. It sounds like an incredible deal. After all, you can feed your dog for a long time on that 30 lbs. The problem is that most of this is filler. This means that instead of giving your dog healthy nutrients and protein for energy, it is packed with fillers. Common dog fillers are grains, soy, corn and other items that don't provide much in the way of nutrition. It would be like if your dinner consisted of a loaf of bread or a steak and salad. One will fill you up and give you energy for an extended time, while another might fill you up for a few minutes, but you'll be hungry again, soon.

If you can, select items that do not have fillers. You will see right on the packaging that the food “doesn't use filler,” which means none of the grains, soy or corn. It also likely won't have rice, either. Plus, by ditching the filler, you'll likely be cutting out many of the items your dog might be allergic to.

Be Mindful of Recalls

There are pet food recalls all the time. These recalls are usually with inferior brand products (we won't say specific brands, but typically these dog foods are on the less expensive side). This is because the ingredients used are less than desirable. Lower-end dog foods use the very last bits of animals that are not used for humans. The scraps are more likely to go bad, which can lead to contamination. So, keep an eye out for product recalls and avoid buying these products. This is just another reason why it's generally better to purchase a better quality dog food that costs a few dollars more.

Age of Your Dog

You should always consider the age of your dog. What your dog needs to eat will depend on a number of factors, including their age. As your dog ages, they need different kinds of nutrients. An older dog needs nutrients to help fortify their joints. Many dog breeds are susceptible to arthritis, and it can be difficult to watch your friend begin to age right in front of your eyes and struggle to get up or walk. You can always purchase joint supplements (in fact, this is a good idea), but you should also buy dog food that is age specific when they are a puppy or when they hit the age of seven.

old dog

Monitor Your Dog

You really can see a difference in the quality of your dog's life when you buy them better food. So, when you change their diet to something of higher quality, make sure to monitor them. This includes not only how they act, but also the sheen of their coat. Is their hair thicker, and does it look brighter? You will also notice they have more energy even if they are at an older age. Again, quality dog food will contain more protein and less filler, which will give them the calories for energy and to live a happy life. It doesn't cost a ton to invest back into your dog and to give them the kind of healthy lifestyle they deserve.

Tips

When it comes to shopping around for dog food, it can be difficult to know what to get. After all, you go to a store like Walmart and Target, and there are dozens of brands and you may not know what to look for. It doesn't need to be that difficult, though, to select the right dog food for your pup. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Go to a Pet Food Store

In reality, the best way to get dog food is to go to a pet food store. These locations will have more options, and it is easier to get a better food for your dog. This includes not only grain and filler-free foods, but organic foods, as well. Lower tier dog foods come in contact with a surprisingly high amount of pesticides and other ingredients. Because your dog will be eating this for every meal and on every day, you don't want to go with something inferior. At a pet food store you'll find better products, and the people here will be more knowledgeable of the best dog foods. At a chain grocery store, you're on your own.

Dry is Easier

Dry dog food is generally easier to feed and often healthier, as well. That's not to say wet dog food is bad, as you can still find quality wet dog foods (and your dog probably loves the wet food). However, dry dog food is less expensive, easier to maintain, creates less trash, and can deliver on all the nutrients your dog needs. In general, its best to only go with a wet dog food if your vet tells you to.

Watch Your Dog

Always watch your dog. Yes, they might act like they enjoy their food, but they also will not know what is causing their nose to itch, eyes to water or ears to burn. You will need to watch your dog to see if there is a change in how they act, and then adjust what you feed them accordingly.

Conclusion

There are plenty of dog food options available on the market. By keeping a few specifics in mind and watching how your dog reacts to the foods, you shouldn't have any issue finding the right food for their needs.

Simply Nourish Dog Food: A Comprehensive Product Review

simply nourish dog food

Did you know 36 percent of American households have a dog? In fact, Americans spent about $71 billion on their pets alone! It goes without saying we love our dogs and would do anything to keep them happy and healthy, including keeping up with their diets. Diet directly impacts your dog's digestive system, and believe it or not, his mood. It could be overwhelming to figure out which dog food is the best to give your faithful companion, but that's why we will look at Simply Nourish dog food and then compare it to three other popular brands.

What Is Simply Nourish Dog Food?

Simply Nourish dog food is a brand that is only sold by PetSmart with goals to provide an inexpensive but natural recipe. Their parent manufacturer is American Nutrition, which has been around since 1972, and consistently meets USDA, FDA, and AAFCO standards. Simply Nourish dog food offers recipes for puppies, adults, and senior dogs, and specific lines for those with dietary preferences.

Important Ingredients

Some ingredients in Simply Nourish dog food are impressive, such as chicken, chicken meal, dried carrots, dried sweet potato, dried pumpkin, and other vitamins and minerals.

Pricing

Simply Nourish can be purchased from PetSmart for around $40 for a 30-pound bag of dry kibble. Other sizes available at PetSmart are 9-pound bags and 15-pound bags.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare. To do this fairly, we will analyze and discuss Simply Nourish dog food, Rachael Ray's Nutrish, Purina Beyond Simply 9 Natural Limited Ingredient, and Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula's ingredient lists, taste factors, and health benefits, and then summarize the pros and cons of each brand.

  • Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food
  • Purina Beyond Simply 9 Natural Limited Ingredient, Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Simply Nourish Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food - Natural, Chicken &...
  • One bag of Simply Nourish Small Breed Adult Dog Food - Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe and Especiales Cosas Mixing Spatula...
  • This small breed adult dog food comes packaged in a 6 pound bag
  • One 7 inch Especiales Cosas plastic mixing spatula (colors may vary). The spatula can be used for mixing water in with...
  • Ingredients
  • Taste
  • Health Benefits

We like that there are different products within the Simply Nourish dog food line, like limited ingredient, puppies or senior diets, weight loss, and size-specific formulas. This shows that Simply Nourish is all-inclusive which makes it easier when starting your puppy out on this brand and following through adulthood. We broke down the protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels.

  • Protein: 29 out of 100 percent
  • Fat: 18 out of 100 percent
  • Carbohydrate: 45 out of 100 percent

We've found that Simply Nourish dog food has a near-average protein, below-average fat, and near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Pros

  • Great ingredient list
  • Versatile flavors and types of foods
  • Price is about average

Cons

  • Health benefits could be better
  • Only purchasable through PetSmart or Chewy.com
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken & Veggies...
  • U.S. Farm-Raised Chicken is the #1 Ingredient
  • Natural Prebiotics Help Support Healthy Digestion
  • No Artificial Flavors or Artificial Preservatives

Features

Rachael Ray Nutrish was designed by celebrity chef Rachael Ray. She partnered up with manufacturer Ainsworth Pet Nutrition with intentions to develop a formula for her own pit bull and promises that a portion of the proceeds goes to Rachael's Rescue, which is a nonprofit organization to donate to shelters for at-risk dogs and other pet charities.

  • price
  • Ingredients
  • Taste
  • Health Benefits

We broke down the protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels.

  • Protein: 30 out of 100 percent
  • Fat: 16 out of 100 percent
  • Carbohydrate: 47 out of 100 percent

Rachael Ray Nutrish is not too different from Simply Nourish dog food. After analysis, we've found that this is near-average protein, near-average fat, and near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food. However, Rachael Ray Nutrish goes beyond this line. She has 5 lines which are Nutrish, Dish, Just 6, Zero Grain, and Peak. We like how inclusive and broad the variety of Rachael Ray's brands are.

Pros

  • The price is right
  • Portion of proceeds goes to pet charities
  • Text...

Cons

  • Ingredient list has too many questionable ingredients
  • Health benefits could be better
Sale
Purina Beyond Simply 9 Natural Limited Ingredient, Chicken & Barley...
  • 24 Lb. Bag - Purina Beyond Simply 9 White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Packaging May Vary
  • Real Chicken Is The #1 Ingredient

Features

Purina is the world's second-largest and the nation's most well-known pet supplier. Purina manufactures dog and cat food, dog and cat toys, cat litter, and other dog and cat accessories. Its parent company is Nestle, which owns other brands like Beneful, Friskies, and Purina ONE. Purina has had a rocky history with many recalls, salmonella outbreaks, false advertisements, and even reports of pets dying after consuming certain treats.

  • price
  • Ingredients
  • Taste
  • Health Benefits

Though many might not know this, dogs often develop an allergy to chicken. This formula is fine for those dogs that do well with chicken, but definitely not recommended for those who get sick or develop a skin irritation after consuming chicken-based formulas. We broke down the protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels.

  • Protein: 30 out of 100 percent
  • Fat: 18 out of 100 percent
  • Carbohydrate: 44 out of 100 percent

After analysis, we've found that Simply 9 has a near-average protein, above-average fat, and below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Pros

  • Simply 9 is one of Purina's best brands
  • The price is fair
  • Can be found at almost any store that sells pet supplies

Cons

  • The company has dealt with a number of lawsuits and outbreaks
  • Health benefits could be better
Sale
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dog Food – Natural Dry...
  • HIGH QUALITY DOG FOOD: Blue Buffalo always features real meat as the 1st ingredient. High-quality, protein from Deboned...
  • ADULT DOG FOOD: BLUE Life Protection Formula dog food for adult dogs contains essential proteins and carbohydrates to...
  • HEALTHY DOG FOOD: BLUE Life Protection Formula Dog Food contains exclusive LifeSource Bits - unique dry dog food kibble...

Features

Blue Buffalo was founded by Bill and Jackie Bishop when their terrier, named Blue, came down with a range of health issues. This inspired the couple to create a line of dog food that was affordable, commercially available, and rich with nutrients. However, Blue Buffalo has been under scrutiny for a lawsuit with Purina after being sued for claiming to have whole meat-based ingredients but, after testing, was found to contain by-product meals. Blue Buffalo also has voluntarily recalled one of its products for containing unusually high beef thyroid hormones.

  • price
  • Ingredients
  • Taste
  • Health Benefits

Blue Buffalo Life Protection is made with “LifeSource bits,” a name dubbed by Blue Buffalo that are specially formulated bits of food that contain a blend of healthy ingredients like whole grains, antioxidants, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. This is a major plus to the brand's food. We broke down the protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels.

  • Protein: 27 out of 100 percent
  • Fat: 16 out of 100 percent
  • Carbohydrate: 50 out of 100 percent

After analysis, we've found that Blue Buffalo Life Protection has near-average protein, near-average fat, and above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Pros

  • Infused with LifeSource bits
  • Price is just right
  • Can buy anywhere pet food is sold

Cons

  • Has a history of recalls and misleading consumers about ingredients
  • Health benefits could be better

Our Verdict

We know that there are hundreds of brands you could choose from, which is why we chose some of the most popular brands that are commercially available for the lowest prices. Simply Nourish, Rachael Ray's Nutrish, Purina, and Blue Buffalo were analyzed and rated for quality based on their ingredients, taste variety, and overall health benefits considering protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels.

When considering all these factors, we've concluded that the highest-rated dog food is Simply Nourish dog food. After researching some company and manufacturer's background, Simply Nourish is constantly meeting standards and guidelines, has never suffered from recalls or been in the spotlight for legal issues, and has the most impressive list of ingredients and health benefits out of the four we've rated today.

However, we also really love Rachael Ray Nutrish because of the charitable donations that go to at-risk dogs and other pet shelters. The Nutrish ingredient list and health benefits were almost the same as Simply Nourish dog food, so we must give Nutrish an honorable mention. Unfortunately, brands like Purina and Blue Buffalo must be automatically disqualified for their health complaints.

There are 69 million dogs in households all across America and is also the world's most popular pet. It's easy to see that there is nothing but truth to saying that a dog is a man's best friend, so why not feed him like one?

Royal Canin Dog Food: Products Available on the Market

When dog owners pick a daily dining option for their pets like Royal Canin dog food, they are not just picking out an occasional dietary indulgence. Unlike people, who vary their diets daily and widely, our canine pets eat essentially the same food day in and day out. As a result, the nutritional content, cost, and trustworthiness of the manufacturer are essential to selecting the right dog food for your pet. Issues that matter for pet owners in their own diets, such as whether they are getting the right vitamins or whether the product is a healthy one, are magnified with pet food, which is consumed almost exclusively every day.

What Is Royal Canin Dog Food?

Royal Canin dog food makes its mission to constantly bring health and nutrition to your furry friend. The company states that it is impervious to the trends and swings in popularity in pet foods and pet diets, which often mirror those in the human world. For example, while their human owners may indulge in “fad diets” like opting to go gluten-free despite lacking a celiac sensitivity, pets need reliable, consistent sources of nutrition. Royal Canin dog food producers rely on scientific knowledge about canine dietary needs to create the right blend of nutritional, delicious dog foods for dogs at every size, age, and health condition.

Product Specs

Royal Canin dog food “engineers” work hard to create dog food options for dogs at every age and size. This means that the company's kibble for a two-pound chihuahua is very different in size, shape, and texture from that designed for a 200-pound mastiff. These dogs, even if they are both active and healthy, will need very different nutritional contents in their food. Royal Canin dog food offers fully one dozen selectors to help pet owners pick the right type of kibble or wet food for their dog's nutritional needs and even taste preferences.

Pricing

It's difficult to compare pricing when dealing with pet food, even if we are only discussing a single brand, because specialized dietary issues add to the cost of the food and a small dog may consume in a week what a larger dog consumes in a day. Upon researching Royal Canin, we found it ranges from about $1.60 per pound to a little more than $3 per pound, depending on the specialization of the food in question. By comparison, more generic dog food options may cost as little as 70 cents per pound, but they are not designed and designated for specific breeds, ages, or health conditions.

Royal Canin dog food may be purchased online on sales platforms such as Amazon.com or Chewy.com or offline at local retailers such as your personal veterinary clinic, Petco, and PetSmart.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • Hill's Science Diet Adult Light Dry Dog Food
  • Verus Life Advantage Dog Food
  • Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food
Sale
Royal Canin Indoor Life Small Breed Adult Dog Food, 3 lbs.
  • Helps maintain digestive health
  • Healthy body condition
  • Helps maintain coat beauty

Ease of Use

The only thing that potentially makes Royal Canin dog food more difficult than your average, run-of-the-mill dog food to use is that it requires a little more insight into your dog's health profile than a dry kibble simply purchased at the local grocery. Because Royal Canin dog food offers so many breed- and age-specific options, you will need to spend a little bit of time considering which option is best for your best friend.

The company has designed a special line of “veterinary-exclusive diets” that support health issues including urinary health, skin and food allergies, diabetes, digestive health, and even illness and surgery recovery support. With this many options, you may wish to consult your veterinarian. This is likely why so many animal hospitals and veterinary clinics carry this brand on-site.

Ingredients Used

Because of the vast array of specialty lines of dog food that Royal Canin offers, it can be difficult to delineate exactly which ingredients are included in which line of food. However, it is safe to say that Royal Canin dog food contains brewers rice, brown rice, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, corn, dried beet pulp, fish oil, vegetable oil, green tea extract, and citric acid, along with a number of other vitamins, minerals, preservatives, and natural flavorings. The company also offers a “guaranteed analysis” of how much each serving of their food contains certain nutrients relative to recommended consumption by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

Packaging Design Quality

We found Royal Canin dog food's packaging system to be simple and easy to use. If the product is breed-specific, that breed is featured on the package. Also, the packaging clearly states the age, health condition, size, and personal preferences the product is intended to address.

Recall History

Royal Canin dog food has not had a recall in more than 11 years. The most recent recall occurred in May 2007 when the FDA issued a recall for several types of products due to potential melamine contamination. Melamine is an industrial chemical that sometimes ends up in dog food because farmers may inadvertently feed melamine-contaminated food scraps to hogs or chickens. Those animals sometimes end up in pet foods. The FDA does not currently blame melamine alone for animal deaths, but its presence is cause for concern because it interacts with other compounds found in pet food in ways that can interfere with dogs' kidney function. Melamine itself is considered a “relatively non-toxic substance” by the FDA.

Given that the most recent recall of Royal Canin dog food was more than a decade ago, it seems the company took the issues seriously and resolved the problem. On the official website, the company notes that it not only performs testing on all of its finished products to safeguard against this type of health issue, but it also quality-checks suppliers of individual ingredients.

Pros

  • Highly specific options for your pet
  • Extreme dedication to quality control
  • An option for every dog at every age and health condition
  • Easy on- and offline ordering options

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than the “average” dog food
  • May be more difficult to get locally
Sale
Hill'S Science Diet Adult Light Dog Food, Small Bites With Chicken...
  • Hill'S Science Diet Adult Light Small Bites Natural Dog Food Is Recommended For Adult Dogs Aged 1-6 Years Old Who Are...
  • Provides Precisely Balanced Nutrition For A Light, Healthy Lifestyle, In A Smaller Kibble
  • Contains 18% Fewer Calories When Compared To Hill'S Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Dog Food To Help Avoid...

Features

Hill's Science Diet adult light dry dog food is designed for the adult dog that may be at risk for gaining weight or have conditions that require fewer calories, such as being neutered or generally less active. The product includes an antioxidant blend including vitamins C and D to help support your dog's immune system, and the company says the natural ingredients and total absence of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives make the product easy for any dog to digest.

Price

At roughly $10 to $15 per pound, Hill's Science Diet definitely comes in on the more expensive end of the dog food scale. The company notes that the dry food is made
exclusively in U.S. facilities and that ingredients come only from North America, Europe, and New Zealand. This eliminates several countries that offer less expensive ingredients and probably contributes to the higher price.

Science Diet may be purchased online from platforms like Amazon.com or from your local pet supply store, such as PetCo or PetSmart.

Ease of Use

Because Hill's Science Diet is intended to be a straightforward feeding option for your furry friend, the product is easy to use. The most complicated aspect of feeding your dog this product will be determining how much the animal should receive at each feeding time. Either a veterinarian can assist with this, or Hill's offers an online chart also featured on the packaging.

Ingredients Used

Hill's Science Diet dry food contains many ingredients you will recognize already, including chicken meal and corn gluten meal. However, this product also offers apples, broccoli, carrots, cranberries, and green peas as well as the vitamin B and biotin supplements. Although there are no artificial preservatives in this dog food, there are still plenty of “natural” preservatives in evidence to keep your dog healthy and help the product “keep.”

Packaging Design Quality

The packaging for Hills Science Diet adult light dog food is a little confusing since it features a generic dog on the bag and, despite advertising that the product is for less-active dogs, specifies the canine in question should be between 1 and 6 years of age. However, the company noted that a “new look is coming soon.”

Recall History

Despite rigorous quality-control standards about where ingredients are sourced, Hill's experienced a recall as recently as November 2015, when the company voluntarily recalled several dog food products due to “labeling problems.” The company also faced an FDA recall in June 2014 for potential salmonella contamination, a voluntary recall in April 2007 for potential melamine contamination, and an FDA recall in March 2007 for potential melamine contamination.

Pros

  • In recent years, very careful with ingredients
  • Not unwilling to voluntarily recall
    product if there is cause for concern
  • No artificial colors or preservatives

Cons

  • Multiple recalls, including in recent years
  • Relatively expensive
  • Confusing packaging and directions for products

Features

If feeding your dog food made from cage-free chicken is important to you, then Verus may be the best fit for your pet. Of course, other benefits that come with cage-free poultry (although they are not limited to these birds) are that they are not treated with added hormones which may make their way into the chicken meal in your dog food. Versus Life Advantage foods offer a variety of ingredients that humans who enjoy indulging in the occasional diet trend may find familiar, including the following:

  • Sun-cured alfalfa
  • Flaxseed
  • Chelated (and non-Chinese) minerals
  • Patent-pending freeze-dried live probiotics

Verus proudly states it is the only company that includes freeze-dried microorganisms that may reactivate in your dog's gut once your pet eats them.

Price

Verus Life Advantage dog food is only available online from third-party sellers and starts at about $3 per pound, not including shipping.

Ease of Use

Verus dog food is easy to use mainly because there simply are not that many options. Your biggest consideration will likely be whether your pet prefers grain-free chicken from New Zealand, a holistic blend of turkey and vegetables, or the Cold-Water Fish holistic dry-food formula. Verus does account for your dog's age, however, and offers a puppy formula and the “Life Advantage” formula, which is intended to be a fit for dogs of all ages.

Ingredients Used

Before disclosing its ingredients, Verus notes “the best meal you can feed your pet is a properly prepared home diet.” However, if you choose to purchase pre-prepared dog food, Verus uses live probiotics that have been freeze-dried, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken, lamb, and fish, and whole brown rice and oats. The dog food also includes “chelated minerals,” which may be absorbed more readily into your dog's body. Specific blends may include vegetables as well.

Packaging Design Quality

Verus packaging can be overwhelming. Although the bright blue front is easy to spot, the only distinguishing factor between blends that is visually obvious is that the bags have stripes of orange, pink, green, or yellow running down the side. Be prepared for a lot of reading if you plan to browse before buying.

Recall History

Verus dog food has no known recalls, either FDA-based or voluntary.

Pros

  • All natural ingredients
  • No recall history
  • Potentially beneficial freeze-dried probiotics

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Confusing packaging
Sale
Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food Grilled Steak &...
  • Contains One (1) 20.4 Lb. Bag Of Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor
  • Complete And Balanced Nutrition Provides Optimal Levels Of Omega-6 Fatty Acid To Nourish Skin, And Help Keep Your Dogs...
  • Pedigree Food For Dogs Features A Delicious Grilled Steak Flavor That Provides Antioxidants, Vitamins, And Minerals To...

Features

Pedigree is probably one of the most familiar dog foods in this review. The brand is known not just by its longevity, but also because of its charitable work through the Pedigree Foundation, which is dedicated to helping shelter dogs avoid death and become happy, healthy pets. Pedigree's adult dry dog food offers a variety of flavors supplemented with B vitamins, zinc, and omega-6 fatty acids to keep adult dogs active and feeling their best. This blend also includes vitamin E for immune support and a fiber blend that the company says will “keep yard patrol in control.” The kibble's design helps promote chewing while keeping teeth clean.

Price

At just about $0.61 per pound, Pedigree is affordable and easily available online on websites like Amazon and at nearly every grocery store and pet supply store.

Ease of Use

With Pedigree, all you need to do is pick a flavor and start filling up your dog's bowl based on their size and appetite. Of course, this lack of “process” may disconcert some pet owners since the food blends feel generic.

Ingredients Used

Pedigree's adult dry dog food, specifically, is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO. However, the ingredients list is heavy on corn and poultry byproducts, followed by meat and bone meal. While these ingredients are certainly valid sources of glucosamine and calcium, they may be light on protein. Unlike the other products in this review, Pedigree does use artificial colors, including Blue 2, and Yellows 5 and 6.

Packaging Design Quality

Pedigree's packaging is easy to spot because of the bright yellow background and happy-looking dogs on the front. They feature the specifics of each product blend, making it easy to decide between “healthy weight roasted chicken” and “roasted chicken for big dogs,” for example.

Recall History

Pedigree's recall history is not stellar, but it has not had a recall since September 2014. The company has three recalls on its record. The first, in June 2012, was a voluntary recall by Pedigree parent company Mars Petcare US. That involved three varieties of canned dog food contained small pieces of blue plastic during the production process. The second recall was also voluntary and took place in August 2014 after Mars Petcare US discovered small metal fragments in dry dog food bags. The recall included only 22 bags. The third recall was also voluntary. It occurred in September 2014 and, once again, involved small metal fragments in Pedigree dry dog food.

The good thing is that Pedigree has not had any FDA-mandated recalls. On the negative side, the company appears to have had a multi-year period of bad luck wherein production materials kept contaminating the dog food.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Appealing packaging
  • Charitable work with shelter animals

Cons

  • May not provide optimum nutrition
  • Has experienced repeated issues with the manufacturing process
  • Not a lot of specialized options for dogs

Royal Canin Dog Food Offers Specialized Products for All Dogs

After reviewing Royal Canin dog food both on its own and relative to other offerings for dogs, we found that this brand offers the best of all worlds. For this, we gave it an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Not only does the company provide highly specialized, nutritional content designed for the specific breed, age, and health-level of your furry friend, but it also provides that nutritional value at an affordable price that enables every pet owner to provide their pet with optimum nutrition. While Royal Canin may be a little harder than some dog foods to get, the extra steps of consulting with a veterinarian about the perfect fit for your animal will pay off when you provide the ideal nutritional meal to your pet every single day.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food: Varieties Available on the Market

taste of the wild dog food

If you are a dog owner, you know how important it is to provide your dog with a great-tasting, nutritious food that will support their overall health. Many dog food brands claim to be the best for your dog, and it can be difficult to choose between the many varieties available on the market. One dog food brand that has become very popular recently is Taste of the Wild Dog Food.

As more dog owners become aware of the benefits of grain-free dog food, they will be looking to purchase one that also contains high-quality ingredients, free of toxic chemicals and preservatives. Of course, it must also taste great and make mealtimes an enjoyable experience for their dogs. Taste of the Wild dog food produces many varieties that are all targeted to meet your dog's complete nutritional requirements while also being full of flavor.

We have pulled together a list of some of the most popular varieties of grain-free Taste of the Wild dog foods and will compare them based on factors such as price, ingredients, nutritional analysis, feeding guide, life stage, and the pros & cons reported by consumers of Taste of the Wild dog food.

If you are interested in learning more about what Taste of the Wild has to offer and whether their dog food is right for your dog, then keep on reading.

What Is Taste of the Wild Dog Food?

Taste of the Wild Dog Food is a range of high-quality, grain-free, dry dog food that is designed to be based on what your pet would naturally eat in the wild. The Taste of the Wild company believes that a dog's food choices are driven by their DNA. During feeding trials of their food, dogs are given two options of food to choose from and Taste of the Wild nutritional staff takes note of which option the dogs choose to eat first.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food is a family-owned business, and production occurs in five facilities across the USA. They do source ingredients globally, but their suppliers are carefully chosen and vetted to ensure that your pet is getting the highest quality ingredients.

Their mission is to meet every dog's nutritional needs by offering an exceptional dog food at a price that everyone can afford.

Taste of the Wild and Taste of the Wild PREY limited ingredient diets are high-quality, affordable, grain-free dog and cat foods based on your pet's natural diet. In every formula, the first ingredient is from real meat, fish, or fowl. They use unique proteins like wild boar, bison, smoked trout, roasted duck, venison and Angus beef to make better tasting dog and cat foods your pet will crave.

Product Specs

The first ingredient in every Taste of the Wild dog food is either meat, fowl, or fish. Their dog foods do not contain any artificial flavorings, colors, or preservatives. Their dog foods all contain K9 probiotics to support your dog's gut flora and immune system. They do not irradiate their dog food, nor do any of the varieties contain ethoxyquin.

They do not include grains in their food for several reasons. Many times, a high amount of grains are included in dog foods as a filler which reduces the nutritional content of the food. By not using grains, you can be assured that your dog is getting the highest amount of nutrition possible in every meal. Grain-free foods are easier on a dog's digestive system and are perfect for dogs who have allergies.

Taste of the Wild prioritizes food safety; therefore, their facilities are required to follow strict quality control protocols. They achieve this by having staff who are specifically dedicated to both quality assurance and safety.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food comes in both canned and dry varieties. They have food that is specifically created for certain life stages such as puppies, adults, seniors, and pregnant or nursing dogs.

They also have a PREY limited ingredients line, which is specially formulated to be even more easily digestible.

Pricing

You can purchase a 30 lb bag of Taste of the Wild dog food for around $49 on Amazon, as well as smaller 5 lb. or 15 lb. bags for approximately $14 and $30, respectively. Taste of the Wild dog food can also be found at pet supply stores, both brick-and-mortar and online.

How They Compare

We picked a few Taste of the Wild Dog Foods available on the market to see how they compare to one another

  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Taste of the Wild Pine Forest Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Sale
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High...
  • A taste of the wild with ROASTED BISON; REAL MEAT is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, protein rich for...
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working...
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial...
  • price
  • Ingredients Used
  • Feeding Guide
  • Nutritional Analysis
  • Life Stage

Taste of the Wild High Prairie is formulated to meet your adult dog's nutritional needs.

Pros

  • Improves immune system
  • Makes eyes brighter
  • Improved energy levels
  • Improved coat

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some dogs experienced stomach problems
Sale
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Wetlands...
  • A taste of the wild with ROASTED QUAIL; REAL DUCK is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, protein rich for...
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working...
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial...

Taste of the Wild Wetlands dog food is made with roasted quail, roasted duck, and smoked turkey. It also contains vegetables, legumes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peas, blueberries, raspberries, and optimum levels of selenium, vitamin E, and zinc. K9 probiotics are included for immune and gut support as well as a chicory root pre-biotic. Wetlands is 32% highly digestible protein and will support your dog's energy levels and overall health.

Wetlands dog food is also free of all grains, fillers, corn, wheat, preservatives, dyes, and artificial flavors.

  • price
  • Ingredients Used
  • Feeding Guide
  • Nutritional Analysis
  • Life Stage

Taste of the Wild Wetlands is specifically designed to meet your adult dog's full nutritional requirements.

Pros

  • Relieves gas problems
  • Resolves skin allergies
  • Eliminates ear infections
  • Dogs love the taste

Cons

  • More expensive than other grain free brands
  • Some dogs' stomach problems got worse
  • May have caused itchy skin patches
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Pine Forest...
  • A taste of the wild with REAL VENISON as the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, PROTEIN rich for LEAN, STRONG...
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working...
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial...

Taste of the Wild Pine Forest dog food contains venison as its number one ingredient, which caters to your dog's natural taste for wild game while also promoting strong, lean muscles. It also contains nutrient-dense legumes such as peas, lentils, fava beans, and garbanzo beans, which are all great sources of fiber, protein, and carbs. Blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes are included along with assorted vitamins and minerals to provide a comprehensive and flavorful nutrition experience for your dog.

Like the other Taste of the Wild dog foods on this list, Pine Forest contains K9 specific probiotics as well as the prebiotic chicory root.

Pine Forest contains no grains, fillers, corn, wheat, preservatives, dyes, or artificial flavors.

  • price
  • Ingredients Used
  • Feeding Guide
  • Nutritional Analysis
  • Life Stage

Taste of the Wild Pine Forest is recommended for adult dogs. It has been carefully formulated to meet all of your adult dog's full nutritional needs.

Pros

  • Great for sensitive stomachs
  • Makes bowel movements smaller and less frequent
  • Dogs enjoy the taste
  • Reduces allergies

Cons

  • More expensive than some grain-free dog foods
  • Upset some dogs' stomachs
  • Some dogs became lethargic
Sale
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Pacific...
  • A taste of the wild with SMOKED SALMON; REAL SALMON is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, PROTEIN rich for...
  • Premium ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS;...
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial...

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream contains Salmon, which provides protein and omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and the health of your dog's coat. The salmon included in the recipe is sustainably sourced and either wild-caught or farmed. It also contains a variety of vitamins and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables to support your dog's overall health and wellbeing. It also contains k9 probiotics and chicory root, a prebiotic.

Pacific Stream gets all of its protein from the salmon and is egg free, which is a great choice for dogs with egg sensitivities.

Like the other varieties available from Taste of the Wild, Pacific Stream dog good is free of all grains, fillers, corn, wheat, preservatives, dyes, and artificial flavors.

  • price
  • Ingredients Used
  • Feeding Guide
  • Nutritional Analysis
  • Life Stage

A 30 lb bag of Taste Of The Wild Prairie Stream is available on Amazon for around $50 to $55. You can also purchase a 5 lb bag for around $10 to $15 or 15 lbs for about $30 to $35.

Pros

  • Silky coat
  • Allergies disappeared
  • May resolve seizures in dogs

Cons

  • Dog refused to eat the food
  • Allergies got worse after feeding
  • Expensive

Conclusion

After reviewing all the Taste of the Wild dog foods on this list, it is easy to see why Taste of the Wild has become one of the most popular grain-free dog foods available on the market. We are impressed with the importance they place on feeding dogs the way nature intended, and their ingredients list for each of the varieties appears to be some of the best we've seen on the market.

While it's true that the price point of Taste of the Wild is higher than some other grain-free dog food brands, it is important to take into consideration what your dog will be getting with Taste of the Wild dog food. It contains no grains or other fillers, no common allergens like corn and wheat, and no dyes or chemicals. All of their varieties are specially formulated to be high in protein and other nutrients while also containing K9-specific probiotics. This is actually quite a great deal.

Also, keep in mind that a higher-quality, nutritionally dense dog food will keep your dog satiated longer than a cheaper dog food that is full of fillers. If you follow Taste of the Wild's recommended feeding guidelines for your dog, a 30 lb bag should last you at least as long as a less expensive variety and maybe even longer.

Overall, we are impressed with Taste of the Wild dog food and would recommend the brand. We give this product 5 out of 5 stars.

Diamond Dog Food: A Review of it Specification of Product

diamond dog food

With so many options for dog food, creating a well-balanced and nutritious diet for your dog can be a daunting task. Since every dog is a little bit different, you may have to try a few different foods to figure out what works best for your dog. We reviewed Diamond dog food and three other trusted brands to see if they should be on your list of foods to test with your dog.

Dog food can affect your dog in more ways than you might think. Having the right food can improve your dog's fur, health, energy levels, and digestion. There are also a variety of ingredients available that will match your beliefs and convictions. For instance, you can choose ingredients that support practices you agree with or foods that exclude ingredients you believe are harmful. If you believe in organic farming, you can choose an organic dog food. There are many sustainable options and even gluten free foods to choose from.

What Is Diamond Dog Food?

Diamond dog food is offered in a couple of different dog food lines, depending on your needs. They offer their regular line of Diamond food as well as the Diamond Naturals line that we are looking at today. Diamond Pet Foods has been making affordable, high quality food for almost 50 years. Their early focus was livestock feed, with only a small portion of their products being made for dogs, but they have now expanded to provide many great dog food choices.

Product Specs

Diamond Naturals is a dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods. It is specifically formulated with holistic ingredients. This means each ingredient used in this line of Diamond dog food can be traced back to its origins. There is no mystery about where the ingredients came from, how they were produced, or what happened to them before they were used to prepare your dog's meal.

The ingredients in this Diamond dog food are also very healthy for your dog. Pet owners who buy this food have noticed that their dogs have shinier coats, more energy, better health, and more solid stool which is a sign of digestive health and also make cleanup easier.

The Diamond dog food is made with no harmful chemicals, deceitful animal by-products, or useless fillers, so you know you are getting the best ingredients, and every bite of this food is going to be beneficial to your dog. Instead of the vague promise of meat, all Diamond dog food is made with good cuts of real chicken, beef, and lamb, and the type of meat used will be clearly indicated on the label.

Ingredients like wheat, soy, and corn are not nutritionally beneficial for dogs. This is why the Diamond dog food doesn't contain any of those ingredients. Instead, Diamond dog food is packed with superfoods like kale, pumpkin, blueberries, and chia seeds which provide helpful antioxidants, protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. They also include chelated minerals which help your dog's body to absorb all of these useful nutrients. Finally, Diamond dog foods include a probiotic which promotes a healthy gut and digestive system in your dog leading to better immunity.

Pricing

Depending on the type of meat, you can buy a 40 lb. bag of Diamond dog food for around $35. It is sold by Amazon, Rural King, and many pet supply stores.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • Instinct Be Natural Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food
  • Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Dog Food
  • Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage Natural Dog Food
Sale
Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog...
  • HIGH quality PROTEIN made with real CAGE FREE chicken; tailored for a LARGE BREED dog with optimal amino acid profile...
  • Premium ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acids for SKIN &...
  • Nutrient rich and HIGHLY DIGESTIBLE with PROPRIETARY PROBIOTICS that survive and thrive in the GI tract; at guaranteed...
  • price
  • Overall Quality
  • Key Ingredients
  • Age Range

At $35 to $40 for a 40 lb. bag, Diamond Naturals costs about $.88 per pound.

Pros

  • Holistic ingredients
  • Chelated minerals improve nutrient absorption
  • Affordable
  • Contains probiotics

Cons

  • This particular food is only for adult, large breed dogs
Sale
Prairie Real Beef & Barley Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's...
  • Prairie Has A New Look: Nature'S Variety Prairie Is Now Called Instinct Be Natural.
  • Same Great Recipe: Prairie Recipes Are The Same As Instinct Be Natural.
  • Have Questions?: Call Our Team At 1-888-519-7387

Features

Previously called Prairie, Be Natural dog food by Instinct is a natural food with a high meat content. The first ingredient in this food is real meat. It also contains fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to give your dog a balanced diet. The Be Natural dog food, like the Diamond Naturals, is made from holistic ingredients. The beef is even raised in the USA. It is free from fillers, preservatives, corn, soy, and wheat which makes it similar to the Diamond dog food in its exclusion of harmful or useless ingredients.

Vitamins and minerals have been added to the Instinct Be Natural dog food to make it even healthier for your dog at any stage of its life.

  • price
  • Overall Quality
  • Key Ingredients
  • Age Range

This food is suitable for dogs in all stages of life; even pregnant dogs. The amount of food and frequency of feeding will vary based on your dog, so be sure to follow the provided feeding instructions.

Pros

  • Holistic ingredients
  • Suitable for all dogs
  • Added vitamins and minerals

Cons

  • Blend of foods is not as carefully curated as some other foods
  • High price
Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Dog Food,...
  • Contains 1 - 30 Pound Bag Of Dry Dog Food
  • Optimal Balance Of Premium Proteins & Key Nutrients Created By Natural Balance'S Expert Nutritionists
  • Maintains Strong Immune System

Features

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health is a gluten-free dog food. Just like humans, some dogs feel better on a gluten-free diet. If gluten seems to be causing discomfort or digestive problems for your dog, trying this food is a good step in improving your dog's energy, comfort, and mood. The main ingredient in this food is chicken, and the rest of the ingredients have been carefully selected by experts in nutrition.

There are several added benefits from this food due to the variety of ingredients. There is added zinc and manganese to support joint and hip health, which is important for every dog but can be particularly helpful if your dog's breed is prone to hip or joint problems. The food also contains oat fiber to aid in digestion and dried cranberries, spinach, and blueberries for antioxidant purposes.

  • price
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This is a very healthy food which will provide great nutrition for your dog. The formulation of ingredients by expert nutritionists results in a healthy balance as well as added health benefits. For instance, the addition of zinc and manganese to support joint and hip health was a very wise move. Since so many people are becoming aware of the need for a gluten-free diet, we think it is nice that Natural Balance incorporated this dietary option into dog food.

Pros

  • Formulated by expert nutritionists
  • Zinc and manganese support hip and joint health
  • Gluten-free
  • Suitable for any breed and any age

Cons

  • A little bit expensive
  • Gluten-free may not be necessary for every dog
Sale
Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage Dry Dog Food, 28 Lb.
  • Holistic Nutrition, 28 Lb. Resealable Bag
  • Quality Animal And Fish Proteins Such As Chicken Meal And Whitefish Meal Help Build And Maintain Muscle
  • Fully Cooked Wholesome Grains Like Oatmeal, Barley, Brown Rice And Rye Are Easily Digested

Features

This is a great food for a very active dog. Included in the ingredients is L-carnitine, which helps your dog to build lean muscle while burning more fat. These lean muscles will keep your dog healthy and active as it grows and ages.

For added health benefits, there is a blend of fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, spinach, and blueberries. The food also contains added Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene. Combined, these fruits, vegetables, and added nutrients will support a healthy immune system and a healthy dog. Like some others we reviewed, this is holistic dog food.

One unique benefit of purchasing this food is the ability to help the environment with your purchase. The Earthbound company uses BPA-free recyclable packaging, and you can collect your UPCs to help plant trees around the world.

  • price
  • Overall Quality
  • Key Ingredients
  • Age Range

You can purchase a 28 lb. bag of Earthbound Holistic Adult Vantage Natural Dog Food for around $15 to $20. It is sold by Amazon, QVC, and several pet supply retailers.

Pros

  • Added L-carnitine, Vitamin E, and Beta-Carotene
  • Holistic ingredients
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Low price

Cons

  • Lower quality ingredients than other brands
  • Fewer added nutrients
  • Formulated for adult dogs

Conclusion

Diamond Naturals dog food is a high-quality food that comes at a very affordable price. The quality matches, or even exceeds, that of much more expensive brands. With the well-balanced nutrient profile, added probiotics, holistic ingredients, and chelated minerals, this is a food that will keep your dog happy and healthy.

Overall, we give the Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food 4 out of 5 stars.