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Acana Dog Food: A Comprehensive Review of its Products

acana dog food

Acana dog food is a leading brand in making wholesome food derived from sustainable, all natural ingredients that are designed to nourish your dog. They are known for sourcing their ingredients from regional providers. The meat is all ethically and sustainably raised, meaning your dog is given the best of the best. Acana dog food goes against the grain by not putting any grains in their dog and cat food recipes. They follow a specific recipe that is the result of intensive research on canine biological evolution. In other words, the food is made with what these animals are designed to eat, not jam-packed with potatoes, grains, and other starchy carbs that are not designed for canine consumption.

A fad has begun to take over the pet food industry. This fad is veganism. While the intention behind vegan pet food is to minimize the amount of cruel slaughter that goes into making cheaper cat and dog food, the vegan food you are giving your carnivore friend is extremely detrimental to their health. They are designed to eat meat and being fed a diet loaded with grains and starchy carbs will slowly chip away at your pet's health.

What is nice about Acana dog food and its other products is that you don't have to worry about animal abuse along the production lines. This brand ensures that it not only provides a clean, natural diet for your carnivore pet but that the meat it uses is all seasonal and ethically raised. You end up getting the best of both worlds. Acana has made premium dog food under the Champion Petfoods label for many years. They are well known for selling food that energizes your pooch, all while encouraging growth and overall health. Acana dog food is a fantastic choice for your pup, but you end up forking over a bit more money than you would for an ordinary dog food brand from your local grocery store.

This article is going to dive into the different types of dog food Acana carries, which style is best for your dog, and whether or not this brand lives up to its reputation. If you are on the fence about whether or not to buy some Acana dog food, then this article is for you.

What Is Acana Wild Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food?

The first product we are going to take a look at is the Acana Wild Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. As mentioned earlier, Acana stays away from using grains in their pet food. While using grain is cheaper and easier for the producer and the consumer, it leaves your dog cheated out of essential nutrients. This style of dog food is inspired by the wildlife in the western prairies of Canada. They use local, free-run turkey and free-run chicken. This means the chickens and turkeys are left to their own devices, grazing outside in the sun and sustaining all of their natural ingredients. They also use whole eggs that are laid by chickens raised in the same manner. Last but not least, they source wild fish from the northern rivers of Canada. They use primarily walleye and trout. This mix of meat ends up totaling roughly 70% of the overall ingredients list, giving your dog the ultimate, nutrient dense meal it needs. This fresh meat means that no long list of additives is needed to round out the nutritional profile.

Product Specs

Since a lot of the ingredients are naturally sourced, seasons will affect the ratios of the dog food you purchase. Sometimes fish will not be as plentiful or chickens will not be laying as many eggs. So, ratios might be impacted by seasons, but Acana makes sure you still get grain-free dog food no matter the season. When everything is prime and in season, here are the general product specs:

Each bags comes with 70% meat, or 35% protein. Half of the meat is fresh or raw, and there are a total of 5 different fresh meats. Everything is measured by the Wholeprey ratio, which is designed by analyzing the evolutionary needs of dogs. Freeze-dried meat infuses the food with flavor. Last but not least, they include whole fruits, vegetables, and botanicals such as lavender, all of which are locally sourced. This type of Acana dog food has an energy density of 4375 kcal/kg, with 36% of its calories coming from protein, 40% derived from fat, and the remaining 24% from fruits and vegetables.

Pricing

As mentioned, you will end up forking over a little bit more money to get your hands on this wholesome list of all natural ingredients. For instance, a small, .75 lb bag of Acana Dog Food, the Wild Priaire variety, will run you $30 on Amazon. This is the smallest bag available, and it sells for the same price as many larger bags of dog food. The price goes up with every bag size increase and fluctuates between product styles, but, in general, expect to drop around 20 to 30 dollars on a smaller bag when you purchase Acana dog food.

How It Compares

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

  • Acana Grass-Fed Lamb
  • Acana Pacifica Dry Dog Food
  • Acana Appalachian Ranch
  • price
  • Meat Used
  • Ingredients Used
  • Packaging Quality

This brand costs $30 to $35 on Amazon for a small, .75 lb bag.

Pros

  • Uses all natural, wholesome ingredients
  • Diet is tailored to a carnivore, meaning your dog meets all of its nutritional needs
  • Ingredients are locally sourced
  • Ingredients are also ethically sourced, so animal abuse along production lines
  • Uses Wholeprey, a superfood for dogs
  • Universally loved by customers

Cons

  • Really expensive
  • Seasonally based, so don't always have access to ingredients
  • Not all dogs will love the taste of this food
ACANA Lamb & Apple Singles Formula Dry Dog Food 25 Pound Bag Limited...
  • LAMB & APPLE LIMITED INGREDIENT | BIOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE Loaded with 50% grass-fed Lamb to nourish your dog according...
  • our lamb arrives FRESH or RAW, in WholePrey form - a richly nourishing ratio of meat, tripe, liver, kidney and cartilage...
  • Acana Lamb & Apple Singles Formula Dry Dog Food 25 Pound Bag LIMITED INGREDIENT | BIOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE. (Fast...

Acana grass-fed lamb is inspired by the Kentucky grassland natural environment. It derives its meat profile from the local, nutrient-rich environment, featuring grass-fed lamb, locally laid eggs, rainbow trout, Muscovy duck, and free-run quail. They use nearly every part of the lamb. This means that the meat itself, plus the tripe, liver, and cartilage are ground into the food. The same goes for the duck, from which they use organs, cartilage, and liver, along with the fresh meat. The fish are sourced from the local Idaho Snak river and the free-run quail are sourced from South Carolina farms.

  • price
  • Meat Used
  • Ingredients Used
  • Packaging Quality

You can get a 13 lb bag from Amazon for $110 to $115.

Pros

  • Uses local, wholesome ingredients
  • Only one added supplement
  • The natural diet for your dog
  • Meat is ethically sourced

Cons

  • Really expensive
  • Might not easily find this product at your local store
Orijen Acana Regionals Wild Atlantic Dry Dog Food, 25 Lb
  • Grain Free Dog Food
  • Limited Ingredient And Single-Source Protein
  • Acana Food Is A Natural And Delicious Way To Keep Your Dog Healthy, Happy And Strong

Acana Pacific Dry Dog Food is a primarily fish-based product. It is made with 60% fish and 40% fresh fruits and vegetables. The fish base is boneless salmon, salmon meal, flounder, and herring meal, making this dog food rich in Omega 3s. Crude protein accounts for 35% of the product's nutritional profile, with crude fat coming in at 20%. The fish is locally sourced from the Pacific, and the fresh fruits and vegetables come from the local prairie in Western Canada. Organic sea vegetables and botanicals are incorporated into the ingredient cocktail as well.

  • price
  • Meat Used
  • Ingredients Used
  • Packaging Quality

You can get a 13-pound bag from this site for around $80 to $85.  This product is not currently stocked on Amazon.

Pros

  • Wholesome, local ingredients
  • Little to no supplements
  • No grains or starchy carbs
  • Rounded nutritional profile
  • Not affected by seasonal changes

Cons

  • Really expensive
  • Hard to find off of Amazon
  • Only fish used for meat
ACANA Appalachian Ranch Dry Dog Food Red Meats & Fresh Water Cat-Fish...
  • RANCH-RAISED RED MEATS & FRESHWATER CATFISH Honoring the Appalachian ranching heritage, this region-inspired food is...
  • ACANA Appalachian Ranch features a diversity of meats, tripe, liver, kidney an cartilage that mirror your dog's...

Acana Appalachian Ranch honors the diverse, rich mountain range's habitat. This variety is loaded with Black Angus beef, Yorkshire pork, grass-fed lamb, American bison, and freshwater catfish. All of the beneficial parts of the meat are used, including the tripe, liver, kidney, cartilage, and fats. This perfectly mirrors a dog's natural, evolutionary nutritional needs. A 25-pound bag comes with 17.5 pounds of meat. Like all of Acana's other dog food products, they make sure to have a 70% meat profile and a 30% fruit and vegetable measurement. All of the meat is sourced locally from sustainable farms or from wild riverbeds. No grains or starchy carbs are added for empty caloric measurement.

  • price
  • Meat Used
  • Ingredients Used
  • Packaging Quality

You can get a 4.5-pound bag from Amazon for $40 to $41. This is one of the most expensive Acana products.

Pros

  • Perfect balance of red and white meat
  • One of the most loved by canines according to customer reviews
  • Ethically sourced ingredients
  • Little to no supplements

Cons

  • One of the most expensive on the list
  • Hard to find in local grocery or pet food stores

Conclusion: How Good Is Acana Dog Food?

Acana dog food is fantastic. You can not go wrong when buying this dog food. It will ensure that your pup grows up as naturally and as healthily as possible.
It will also keep your pup slim by avoiding all of those unnecessary, starchy carbs. While you will fork over a bit more money, you will not regret investing in any of the listed Acana dog food products. If you want, try one of the cheaper options on the list, such as Acana Pacifica, to slowly break your wallet into this expensive new feeding regime. However, we're sure you'll be won over after your first bag.

Best Dental Chews for Dogs: 10 Best Available on the Market!

best dental chews for dogs

Having a dog is one of the most rewarding things in life. They create love, companionship, and joy in the lives of people all across the globe. Dogs put their full trust in us, and it is our job to care for and love them just as much as they love us. To do that, it is important to care for their happiness along with their wellbeing. If you want to ensure your dog is healthy and happy all day long, check out our picks of the best dental chews for dogs.

Best Dental Chews for Dogs FAQ

1. What Are the Best Dental Chews for Dogs?

Dental chews are small treats that work to help your dog maintain a healthy mouth. There are typically raised edges that work to brush your dog’s teeth and help their gums.

2. What Can They Do for Your Dog’s Health?

As the name may suggest, the best dental chews for dogs help to maintain your dog’s dental health. This includes both teeth and gums, and the treats themselves will also have nutritional value. The ridges on the treats act in the same way a toothbrush would to really get in and reduce plaque buildup on your dog’s teeth. Some of them can even freshen canine breath when used continuously.

3. Why Should You Buy the Best Dental Chews for Dogs?

On a basic level, giving your dog treats helps to reward them for good behavior. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool, especially while training. It encourages them to continue to do good things so that they can continue to get the treats they enjoy. Plus, it helps to create a bond between you and them, as they will see you as someone who is kind, generous, and willing to give them things they enjoy.

The best dental chews for dogs give them all that plus the added benefit of oral hygiene. This way, you can make sure your dog is keeping their mouth clean and fresh, while also encouraging them with treats they can enjoy. Many dogs may not like or sit well for you to brush their teeth every day, and these dental chews act as a great substitute.

4. Where Can You Buy the Best Dental Chews for Dogs?

You can buy dental chews at a number of local pet stores or online. The best dental chews for dogs, the ones featured here, can all be found on Amazon.

How We Reviewed

To make sure we got an accurate review of the best dental chews for dogs, we spent a significant amount of time compiling a list of brands. Once we had this list, we went over the features, pros, cons, and price for each brand in order to determine how beneficial each would be compared to the last. We then reviewed the entire list and came up with a final verdict on the best dental chews for dogs.

Overall Price Range of This Product

The price of the best dental chews for dogs may vary a bit depending on the brand, the type of chew, how many chews you get, and where you purchase them from. There are also a number of other great dental chews, not featured here, that may cost a little more or a little less than our estimated price range. The best dental chews for dogs, the ones featured on this list, will range in price from about $7 to $33.

What We Reviewed

  • Milk Bone Brushing Chews
  • Zuke'S Z-Bones Clean Berry Crisp Regular Dental Chew Dog Treats
  • Oravet Merial Dental Hygiene Chew for Dogs
  • Blue Buffalo Blue Regular Bones Dental Chews
  • Dingo Tartar And Breath Chicken Dental Sticks For All Dogs
  • Greenies Fresh Petite Dental Dog Treats
  • Purina Dentalife Daily Oral Care Small/Medium Adult Dog Treats
  • Herbsmith 30 Count 6.27 Oz. Dog Breath Formula
  • Pedigree Dentastix Dental Treats for Dogs
  • Nylabone Power Chew DuraChew Double Bone Bacon Dog Chew Toy
Milk Bone Brushing Chews (Small/Medium) 40 Dental Treats 31.4Oz By...
  • 31.4 oz box; for dogs 25 - 49 lbs; 63 calories per bone
  • 16 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium for strong bones and teeth
  • Tastes like a treat, cleans like a toothbrush; easy solution for daily oral care, clinically proven as effective as...

Features

The Milk Bone Brushing Chews are a great choice for those with small or medium dogs. These treats provide the classic Milk Bone flavor with ridges specifically designed to get in and remove tartar from your dog’s teeth. They are made in America, taste great, and include a number of essential vitamins.

Pros

  • Comes in a 31-ounce box
  • Includes calcium and 15 other essential vitamins
  • Cleans as effectively as brushing
  • Produced in America

Cons

  • May not be as resealable as described
  • Designed more so for small to medium dogs
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $25 to $30.

Zuke'S Z-Bones Clean Berry Crisp Regular Dental Chew Dog Treats - 8...
  • Contains One (1) 12 Oz. 8-Count Pouch Of Regular Sized Z-Bones For Dogs 25-60 Lbs
  • Made With Real Wholefoods, Including Cherries, Cranberries And Peas
  • Chewy, Potato-Based Treat Helps Scrape His Teeth And Support His Healthy Gums

Features

The Zuke’s Z-Bones Clean Berry Crisp Regular Dental Chew Dog Treats are full of whole foods. This treat has a potato base and is full of cherries, cranberries, and peas. The treat itself is designed to scrape and brush your dog’s teeth while also supporting healthy gums.

Pros

  • Helps to scrape teeth and support healthy gums
  • Made with whole foods
  • Can freshen your dog’s breath
  • No artificial flavors or ingredients

Cons

  • Currently unavailable on Amazo
  • Designed for larger dogs (25 to 60 pounds)
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $20 to $25.

OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Small Dogs 10-24lbs 30 count
  • DENTAL CHEWS FOR COMPLETE DOG ORAL HEALTH: OraVet Dental Hygiene Chew should be given as directed by your veterinarian...
  • FRESH BREATH FOR YOUR DOG: Always monitor your dog until the Oravet chew is fully consumed. Chews are intended for dogs...
  • NEW PACKAGING - Item may ship with varied packaging

Features

The Oravet Merial Dental Hygiene Chew for Dogs is a bit more expensive than some of the other best dental chews for dogs, but it is highly regarded by veterinarians. This treat can provide full oral health treatment in the prevention of bacteria, calculus, and halitosis. They are also able to freshen your dog’s breath and provide a tasty snack.

Pros

  • Comes with 30 dental chews in a package
  • Will freshen your dog’s breath
  • Prevents bacterial attachment in your dog’s mouth
  • Can reduce plaque and calculus build up
  • Can reduce halitosis at its main source

Cons

  • Quite expensive compared to other dental chews
  • Only designed for dogs six months and older
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $30 to $35.

Features

The Blue Buffalo Blue Regular Bones Dental Chews are another great choice for dogs of any size. They are designed to both maintain proper oral health and keep their breath fresh and clean. The treats themselves are easily digestible and include a bunch of important vitamins that are designed to support their immune system.

Pros

  • Comes with two packs of 12
  • Helps to clean teeth and maintain gum health
  • Can freshen your dog’s breath
  • Easily digestible
  • Includes a number of important vitamins to support the immune system

Cons

  • Slighting more expensive than other dental chews
  • Some dogs do not find the taste very appealing
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $25 to $30.

Sale
Dingo Tartar And Breath Dental Sticks For All Dogs, 48-Count
  • Dental Sticks Offer The Same Great Taste As The Original Dingo Munchy Stix With Added Freshness Of Baking Soda And...
  • The Irresistible Flavor Of Real Chicken Inside Each Stick Gives Your Dog A Delicious Treat, While The Chewing Action...
  • Teeth Cleaning Dental Sticks With Real Chicken In The Middle

Features

The Dingo Tartar and Breath Chicken Dental Sticks for All Dogs really give your dog both what they want and what they need. The sticks have real chicken baked into the center, providing your dog with a tasty treat. While they chew, the treat then brushes their teeth and can massage their gums to give them a healthy and fresh mouth.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes with 48 in a pack
  • Made with real chicken
  • Helps to brush their teeth through their natural chewing
  • Can massage gums to keep them healthy and their mouth smelling clean
  • Comes in multiple sized packages

Cons

  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $7.50 to $15.

Sale
GREENIES Fresh Petite Dental Dog Treats, 12 oz. Pack (20 Treats)
  • Contains one (1) 12 oz. 20-count pack of GREENIES Fresh Petite Dental Dog Treats
  • The unique texture of GREENIES Dog Chews cleans down to the gumline to fight plaque and tartar and freshen breath
  • GREENIES Treats for Dogs are veterinarian recommended and accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)

Features

The Greenies Fresh Petite Dental Dog Treats are a terrific choice for any dog. This specific treat is designed for dogs from 15 to 25 pounds, but the Greenies brand does sell varying sizes for all dog breeds. The treats, designed to look like toothbrushes, are able to help fight against both tartar and plaque. They are easy to digest, can freshen your dog’s breath, and are accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes with 20 treats in a bag
  • The texture helps to fight tartar and plaque
  • Can freshen your dog’s breath
  • Accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council
  • Easy to digest

Cons

  • Meant for dogs 15 to 25 pounds
  • Treats are quite hard and will require some chewing
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $10 to $15.

Purina Dentalife Daily Oral Care Small/Medium Dog Treats - 40 Ct....
  • One (1) 28.5 Ounce Pouch of Purina DentaLife Daily Oral Care Small/Medium Dog Treats
  • Unique Chewy, Porous Texture
  • Helps Clean Hard-To-Reach Teeth and Freshen Breath

Features

The Purina Dentalife Daily Oral Care Small/Medium Adult Dog Treats are a great way to give your dog an easy-to-eat treat that will protect their mouth. This treat is chicken flavored and chewy, but not hard. It comes in at a reasonable price point and can help clean hard-to-reach teeth.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes with 40 treats in a package
  • Has a chicken flavor
  • Can both clean their teeth and freshen their breath

Cons

  • Designed for small to medium dogs
  • Does not have an incredible flavor that dogs go crazy for
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $10 to $15.

Herbsmith 30 Count 6.27 Oz. Dog Breath Formula, Small
  • 30 Treats For Smaller Dog Breeds
  • Don'T Let Your Dog Get Halitosis, Use Herb Smith Dental Chews
  • Minty Dog Breath With White Teeth

Features

The Herbsmith 30 Count 6.27 OZ. Dog Breath Formula works to prevent your dog from developing halitosis. Each bag comes with 30 treats, all of which are designed with small dogs in mind. The treats themselves are designed to help keep your dog’s teeth bright and white, and their breath minty fresh.

Pros

  • Comes with 30 treats
  • Can prevent halitosis
  • Help to give your dog minty fresh breath

Cons

  • Designed for smaller dogs
  • Slightly more expensive than other dental chews
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $25 to $30.

Sale
PEDIGREE DENTASTIX Large Dental Dog Treats Original, 1.72 lb. Pack (32...
  • Contains one (1) 1.72 lb. 32-count pack of PEDIGREE DENTASTIX Original Large Treats for Dogs
  • PEDIGREE DENTASTIX Triple Action acts as a dog breath freshener that works to clean teeth and freshen breath, and has a...
  • Our dental dog treats have an X-shape design and are specially designed dog treats for large dogs that clean teeth and...

Features

The Pedigree Dentastix Dental Treats for Dogs are a classic in terms of dental chews. These treats have been around for quite some time and have continuously proven to improve dogs’ oral health. They come in at a decent price point and have a great chicken flavor that dogs love.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes with 32 treats in a package
  • Can freshen your dog’s breat
  • Has a chicken flavor

Cons

  • Designed for large dogs (weighing more than 30 pounds)
  • The treats can go stale, making them hard to separate
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $10 to $15.

Sale
Nylabone Power Chew Dura Chew Double Bone, Bacon Dog Chew Toy, Medium
  • Long lasting chew toy challenges even the most aggressive chewers and discourages destructive chewing
  • Tough, durable nylon chewing ends keeps powerful chewers busy
  • Bristles raised during chewing help clean teeth and control plaque and tartar

Features

Unlike the other dental chews on this list, the Nylabone Power Chew DuraChew Double Bone Bacon Dog Chew Toy is not actually edible. This toy is infused with a bacon flavor to entice your dog to chew while the textured edges work to clean their teeth and reduce plaque buildup. It is quite fun and can clean your dog's teeth time and time again.

Pros

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Reasonably priced
  • Bacon flavored

Cons

  • Not edible
  • Dog will only get their teeth cleaned when they feel like playing, not when you give them a treat
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $5 to $10.

Comparison Table

The Verdict

With so many types of dental chews on the market, it can be difficult to determine which treats are right for your dog. It is important to consider your dog’s size, age, taste preference, and your budget before purchasing any of these treats. Our overall pick of the best dental chews for dogs is the Greenies Fresh Petite Dental Dog Treats. These treats can be found in multiple size variations for any type of dog, are easy for your pet to digest, and are accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

Best Dog Food For Allergies: 10 Best Available on the Market

best dog food for allergies

We always want to make sure we can provide the best love and support for all the people in our lives, including our pets. Dogs depend on us to provide them with the nutrition they need to survive, which makes it our duty to give them food that is not only beneficial to their growth but good for their body. Some dogs are faced with harmful allergies that prevent them from being able to enjoy certain types of food. If your dog is facing allergies, check out our picks of the best dog food for allergies currently on the market.

Best Dog Food for Allergies FAQ

1. What Are Good Dog Foods for Allergies?

The best dog food for allergies are dog food brands that have worked to create much more natural products. They keep things free of harmful chemicals and preservatives and instead give your dog the taste of real food. Depending on what your dog is allergic to, certain brands may still not be suitable for them, but there is sure to be at least one bag of food on this list perfect for your furry friend.

2. What Might Your Dog be Allergic To?

Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to just about everything. They could be allergic to certain preservatives, certain vegetables or grains, or even certain types of meat. Be sure to check the packaging and ingredient lists of all the dog foods (both on this list and otherwise) to ensure you are buying something safe for your dog.

3. How Can the Best Dog Food for Allergies Enhance Your Dog’s Life?

Even if your dog is fortunate enough to not have allergies, these dog foods are designed to bring only the best ingredients to your dog’s bowl. They are generally crafted from all natural ingredients and include real meat and fish in their recipes. Not only will they keep your dog from having allergic reactions, but they will be able to enhance their growth and energy levels exponentially.

4. Where Can You Buy the Best Dog Food for Allergies?

You can buy dog food at a number of local pet stores, grocery stores, or online. The best dog food for allergies, the ones featured here, can all be found on Amazon.

How We Reviewed

To make sure we got an accurate review of the best dog food for allergies available, we spent a significant amount of time compiling a list of brands. Once we had this list, we went over the features, pros, cons, and price for each brand in order to determine how beneficial each would be compared to the last. We then reviewed the entire list and came up with a final verdict on the best dog food for allergies.

Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

The price of the best dog food for allergies will vary a bit depending on the size of the bag, the ingredients, the brand, and where you purchase it from. There are also a number of other great dog foods for those with allergies, which are not featured on this list, that may cost a little more or a little less than our estimated price range. The best dog food for allergies, like the ones featured here, will range in price from about $16 to $140 a bag.

What We Reviewed

  • Taste of The Wild Pacific Stream Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  • Evo Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  • Orijen Acana Heritage Freshwater Fish Dog Food
  • Orijen Six Fish Dry Dog Food
  • CANIDAE Grain Free Pure Land Formula for Dogs
  • Addiction Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  • AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu Adult Dog Food
  • I And Love And You Nude Food, Natural Grain Free Dog Food
  • Castor & Pollux Pristine Wild-Caught, Free-Range or Grass-Fed Protein Dry Dog Food

Features

The Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Adult Dry Dog Food is a great choice for dogs who enjoy the taste of fish. This grain-free and egg-free dog food is created with delicious smoked salmon that has been sustainably sourced. It comes in a 30-pound bag, which means you will have enough to last you for quite a while.

Pros

Cons

  • Designed only for adult dogs
  • Slightly more expensive than other dog food brands
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $58 to $60.

Sale
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey &...
  • Grain Free: 100% Grain Free, Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Dog
  • Protein Focused Nutrition: Naturally Grain Free, Rich With Delicious Premium Proteins Including Turkey And Chicken...
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No Wheat, Corn, Soy, Meat By-Products, Or Artificial...

Features

The Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food is able to provide your dog with all the nutrition they need to be both happy and healthy. This dog food is made in America and prides itself on being grain free. They pack in a ton of protein through the use of real chicken and turkey and cut out all the unwanted ingredients so many other dog foods use.

Pros

  • Comes in a 26-pound bag
  • Free of grains
  • Full of protein, vitamins, and minerals
  • Has no wheat, corn, artificial colors, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives, or meat by-products
  • Made in the United States

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than other dog food brands
  • Have had a few bad batches included in the slew of great batches
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $65 to $68.

Evo Grain Free Herring & Salmon Formula Adult Dry Dog Food 13.2 Pounds
  • Grain Free Product
  • Low In Carbohydrates
  • Added Vitamins And Minerals

Features

The Evo Grain Free Dry Dog Food has been known to set the standard for dog food in both quality and safety. Over three-quarters of their ingredients are made from animal ingredients while the rest are from fruits and vegetables. The brand puts nature first and will surely provide your dog with a great boost of energy.

Pros

  • High in protein
  • Free of grains
  • Made of salmon and herring

Cons

  • Currently unavailable on Amazon
  • Only comes in a 6.6-pound bag
  • price

Unfortunately, this product is currently unavailable on Amazon.

Orijen Acana Heritage Freshwater Fish Dog Food, 25 Lb
  • Grain Free Dog Food
  • Limited Ingredient And Single-Source Protein
  • Acana Food Is A Natural And Delicious Way To Keep Your Dog Healthy, Happy And Strong

Features

The Orijen Acana Heritage Freshwater Fish Dog Food is a great way to keep your dog both happy and healthy. This 25-pound bag is completely free of grains and created with a single source of protein. Plus, the product is made in the United States.

Pros

  • Comes in a 25-pound bag
  • Free of grains
  • Has a single-source protein
  • Made in America

Cons

  • Significantly more expensive than other dog food brands
  • Does not give your dog the freshest of breath
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $74 to $77.

Sale
Orijen Six Fish Dog Food, 25-Pound Bag
  • Made in the USA
  • For dogs of all life stages
  • Brimming with nourishing protein

Features

The Orijen Six Fish Dry Dog Food is by far one of the best dog foods for allergies. People have continuously seen results and improvements in their dog’s health by feeding them this food. While the price is a little bit steep, they do offer a smaller bag size for you to try it out and see for yourself how much it can improve your dog’s life before investing fully.

Pros

  • Comes in a 25-pound bag
  • Made in America
  • Great for dogs of any age
  • Includes a ton of nutrients
  • Can help improve allergic skin reactions

Cons

  • Extremely expensive compared to other dog food brands
  • May not sit well with those who are not used to a nutrient-rich diet
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $60 to $65.

Sale
Canidae Grain Free Pure Land Dog Dry Formula With Fresh Bison, 24 Lbs
  • Real Meat Is Always First For Great Taste
  • Made With Whole Foods For Gentle Digestion
  • Simple Recipes For Sensitive Dogs

Features

The CANIDAE Grain Free Pure Land Formula for Dogs is rather expensive but is made with a simple recipe that is great for dogs. Since it is not overwhelmed with an abundance of ingredients, sensitive dogs can enjoy this food with ease. Plus, it is made with whole foods, which means it can be easily digested.

Pros

  • Comes in a 24-pound bag
  • Made with real meat (bison)
  • Has a simple recipe
  • Easy to digest

Cons

  • Extremely expensive compared to other dog food brands
  • Designed for adult dogs
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $35 to $40.

Addiction Wild Kangaroo & Apples Grain Free Dry Dog Food, 20 Lb.
  • Pet Food'S Best Kept Secret - The Freshest Kangaroo On The Market Comes From Australia And Is Processed In Nearby New...
  • Wholesome Goodness - Made From Australias' Wild Kangaroo With The Sweet Tang Of Apples That Boost Immune System For...
  • Healthy Lifestyle - Protein Forward Yet Low In Cholesterol And Fat. Packed With The Highest Levels Of Conjugated...

Features

The Addiction Grain Free Dry Dog Food is an incredible Australian base dog food brand. This dog food is high and protein yet low in both fat and cholesterol. It is made with natural ingredients including both kangaroo and apples.

Pros

  • Comes in a 20-pound bag
  • Full of protein
  • Free of grains
  • Low in fat and cholesterol

Cons

  • Significantly more expensive than other dog food brands
  • Made in Australia
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $88 to $90.

Sale
AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu Adult Dog Food, Trout and Pea, 22-Pound...
  • PROMOTES HEALTHY SKIN & COAT: Premium dry adult dog food made with nutritious California avocados LIMITED INGREDIENT...

Features

The AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu Adult Dog food is a terrific choice for any of your furry friends. This dog food uses limited ingredients to support healthy digestion. Plus, it includes avocados, which help to give your dog a healthy and shiny coat along with healthy skin.

Pros

  • Helps give your dog a healthy coat and skin
  • Comes in a 22-pound bag
  • Uses limited ingredients
  • Free of grains

Cons

  • Extremely expensive compared to other dog food brands
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $100 to $103.

Sale
"I And Love And You" Nude Food Simply Sea Grain Free Dry Dog Food, 23...
  • Always Grain Free: Nutrient Rich Lentils, Garbanzo Beans And Sweet Potatoes Instead Of Grains
  • No Fillers, All Love: No By-Product Meals, Wheat, Corn, Soy, Rice, Artificial Preservatives, Flavors Or Colors
  • Protein Rich: 34% Protein With The First Ingredient Always Meat

Features

The I and Love and You Nude Food, Natural Grain Free Dog Food is a high protein choice for any dog owner. This dog food contains probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes specifically designed to make eating and processing their food easier for your dog. It is also allergy safe and free from any grains or fillers. They have multiple different flavors and bag sizes, allowing you to try different things out with your pup before deciding on the perfect one.

Pros

  • Comes in multiple flavor varieties
  • Free of grains
  • Has no fillers
  • Rich in protein
  • Full of probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes
  • Contains fish oils and flaxseeds
  • Allergy safe

Cons

  • Significantly more expensive than other dog food brands
  • Has not sat well with all breeds of dogs
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $57 to $60.

Sale
Castor & Pollux Pristine Wild-Caught Salmon & Chickpea Recipe Dry Dog...
  • Responsibly Sourced Ingredients
  • All Grain-Free
  • Cooked In The Usa

Features

For those on a budget, check out the Grass-Fed Protein Dry Dog Food. This dog food comes in multiple different flavors, is free of grains, and has helped improve the health of those suffering from allergies. Plus, the product itself is made in America.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Has multiple flavor options
  • Free of grains
  • Made in America

Cons

  • Not a flavor that all dogs adore
  • Does not have the pleasantest of smells
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $18 to $20.

Comparison Table

The Verdict

There are countless brands of dog food out on the market that claim to be good for dogs with allergies, making it difficult to determine which is best for you and your dog. Our pick for the best dog food for dogs with allergies is Orijen Six Fish Dry Dog Food. This dog food is all natural, made with real ingredients, and has repeatedly been shown to improve the overall well being of dogs with and without allergies. If that is a little out of your price range, we also highly recommend the Grass-Fed Protein Dry Dog Food. This dog food can do wonders for your dog's health while also keeping your wallet in a comfortable place.

Best Dog Food for Pitbulls: Top 10 Available on the Market

best dog food for pitbulls

If you have a pitbull, you know every dog is unique. These active, determined dogs may get a bad reputation in the media, but pitbull owners know they can make for some of the best pets. Their determination makes them highly loyal companions and great for an active lifestyle. With proper guidance and nutrition, they can be ideal pets for any family. Keeping a pitbull healthy begins with proper nutrition, and the first step is to determine what makes the best dog food for pitbulls.

The best dog food for pitbulls will contain a lot of protein without fillers, which means it should have meat as the main ingredient. Many lower-grade dog foods use filler like grain or potatoes, and these might fill your dog up, but they won't give them the nutrition they need. Here at Dog Food Life, we've put together a list of the best dog food for pitbulls. Read on and find the best dog food for pitbulls' nutritional needs.

Best Dog Food for Pitbulls FAQ

1. How Do Pitbulls' Nutritional Needs Differ from Those of Other Dogs?

All dogs are omnivores and require meat in their diets. Pitbulls are active breeds and benefit from a high-protein diet. Thus, the best dog food for pitbulls will be heavy on meat.

2. What Meats are Usually Found in the Best Dog Food for Pitbulls?

The most common meats in the best dog food for pitbulls are beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, salmon, and rarer meats like bison and venison.

3. What Nutritional Content Should Be in the Best Dog Food for Pitbulls?

The best dog food for pitbulls should contain a healthy amount of fiber to keep your dog regular. Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids also help stimulate fur growth and brain function.

4. Are There Dog Foods that Avoid Common Allergens for Dogs?

Several of the best dog foods for pitbulls contain unconventional proteins like bison or duck, which are not common allergens.

5. Where Can I Find the Best Dog Food for Pitbulls?

The ten best dog foods for pitbulls can be found on Amazon or at major pet food suppliers and retailers.

How We Reviewed

The best dog food for pitbulls were reviewed based on the following parameters - affordability, protein content, fiber and nutrient content, quality of ingredients, allergen-friendly ingredients, impact on the dog's health, and brand reputation for quality.

Overall Price Range

The sizes and prices of the best dog food for pitbulls vary dramatically. The most accurate way to compare prices is by pound, and the prices of the ten dog foods on the list begin at just under $1 a pound and can rise to as much as $6 a pound. The quality of ingredients usually explains the difference in price, and the small-batch products are on average more expensive.

What We Reviewed

  • Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food
  • Taste Of The Wild Grain Free High Protein Dry Dog Food High Prairie Adult
  • Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken
  • AvoDerm Natural Health Solutions for Senior Health
  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free
  • Orijen 1 Original Dry Dog Food
  • Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food
  • CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food
  • Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe
  • Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast
Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food (15 lbs.)
  • The ONLY 5 Star rated performance dog food
  • The ONLY Meat Based formula in its class
  • NO Corn, NO Wheat, NO Soy

Features

The rare dog food designed especially for bully breeds, this high-protein dog food is the only meat-based formula in its class. It contains none of the most common fillers - no corn, wheat, or soy - and has more calories than any other formula in its class at 535.

This meal is ideal for helping your pet gain muscle; it has a 30 percent protein/20 percent fat formula for maximum nutrition. It is primarily made from chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, beet pulp, sorghum, pearled barley, yeast, fish meal, and egg product. It contains 3.8% of daily fiber and a healthy dose of gut-health probiotics.

Pros

  • High in calories, protein, and healthy fat
  • Free of common fillers and allergens like corn, wheat, and soy
  • Designed exclusively for pitbulls and other bully breeds

Cons

  • Uses chicken meal rather than whole chicken
  • Contains plenty of grain filler
  • Only 3.8% of daily fiber
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $58 to $60 for a fifteen-pound bag.

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...

Features

A grain-free dog food filled with healthy meats, fruits, and vegetables, Taste of the Wild has a reputation as one of the best choices for dogs that need a high-protein diet. The main ingredients include buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, egg product, roasted bison, and roasted venison.

It is packed with nutrients including 4% of daily fiber, zinc, taurine, Omega-6, and Omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotic microorganisms. Its fruit and vegetable content adds antioxidants which lead to a healthier coat for your dog. If you want a high-quality meat-based dog food, this is one of the best options.

Pros

  • Free of grain and filler
  • Made of high-quality proteins
  • Avoids most allergenic ingredients
  • Loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and probiotics
  • Helps to create a shiny coat
  • Larger package is only $1.50 a pound

Cons

  • Not designed specifically for pitbulls
  • Batches purchased online have gone bad
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $14 for a five-pound bag, $30 for a fifteen-pound bag, and $50 for a thirty-pound bag.

Sale
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey &...
  • Grain Free: 100% Grain Free, Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Dog
  • Protein Focused Nutrition: Naturally Grain Free, Rich With Delicious Premium Proteins Including Turkey And Chicken...
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No Wheat, Corn, Soy, Meat By-Products, Or Artificial...

Features

A popular grain-free dog food, Wellness Core uses chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal as its main ingredients and boasts a protein content of around 40%. Using only natural ingredients, it eschews fillers like corn, soy, wheat, and meat by-products and is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Its fat content is reasonably high but isn't likely to cause weight gain, and its prebiotic content is ideal for digestive health.

Pros

  • High protein content and low fat
  • Made primarily from meat ingredients
  • Free of grain fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives

Cons

  • One of the more expensive dog foods per pound
  • Athletic dogs might need more fat
  • Goes moldy quicker than other brands
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $15 for a four-pound bag, about $25 to $30 for a twelve-pound bag, and from $60 to $65 for a 26-pound bag.

Avoderm Natural Advanced Senior Health, Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Lamb...
  • One (1) 24 Pound Bag - Avoderm Natural Senior Health+ Grain Free Lamb Meal Dry Dog Food
  • Supports Joint, Eye, And Brain Health: Natural Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine & Dha Helps Support Senior Dog'S Joints,...
  • Promotes Healthy Skin & Coat: Premium Natural Dry Dog Food Made With California Avocados To Promote Healthy Skin, Coat,...

Features

If you have a senior dog that you're looking to help maintain an active lifestyle, AvoDerm specializes in dog food for aging dogs with special nutritional needs. Its top ingredients are lamb, chicken, and salmon meal and it is a grain-free formula, meaning protein is front and center.

At 28 percent protein and ten percent fat per serving, it delivers the nutritional punch your dog needs. It also contains avocados, which support skin health and a shiny coat. This food is made entirely from natural ingredients and free of fillers like corn, soy, and wheat. It has a high content of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants and is designed to be easy on sensitive stomachs.

Pros

  • Specially designed for senior dogs
  • High-quality meat-based formula free of fillers and preservatives
  • High in nutrients and antioxidants
  • Designed to be easy on sensitive stomachs

Cons

  • Only comes in one larger bag size
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $58 to $62 for a 24-pound bag.

Sale
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog...
  • Contains One (1) 4.5-Lb Bag Of Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken
  • Always Features Real Meat As The 1St Ingredient. Made With Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal And Fish Meal To Supply The...
  • Essential Proteins And Carbohydrates Help Meet Energy Requirements For A Healthy Lifestyle, And An Optimal Balance Of...

Features

Blue Buffalo is one of the longest-running names in organic dog food, and this high-protein grain-free brand is one of their most popular options. Made primarily from chicken, chicken meal, and peas, it's free of most common allergenic fillers like soy, wheat, and corn. With a healthy blend of calcium, vitamins, and phosphorous for healthy bone growth, it's ideal for both young and old pitbulls where encouraging bone growth is essential.

Pros

  • Free of grains and fillers
  • Pea protein is one of the healthiest vegetarian proteins
  • Contains phosphorous for bone growth
  • A trusted brand for healthy dog food

Cons

  • Chicken can be an allergen
  • The small bag is almost $4.50 a pound
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $25 to $30 for a 4.5-pound bag.

Orijen 1 Original Dry Dog Food 25 lb. Bag & 1 Original Dog Treat 3.25...
  • 1 25 lb.Bag Dry Orijen Original Dog Food & 1 - 3.25 OZ bag of Orijen Original Dog Treats
  • BIOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE ALL LIFE STAGES FRESH FREE-RUN CHICKEN & TURKEY, WILD-CAUGHT FISH AND NEST-LAID EGGS FROM...
  • FREEZE-DRYING THE GOLD STANDARD OF FOOD PRESERVATION ORIJEN freeze-dried treats are prepared without cooking, so they...

Features

Made primarily from high-quality meats including chicken, turkey, wild-caught fish, and eggs for binding, this top-of-the-line dog food also includes a variety of fruits and vegetables including kale and berries that add nutrients and create a balanced combination.

Unlike many dog foods, 80% of the meat products in this formula are rated as fit for human consumption, so you can trust your dog is getting the best. Free of preservatives and unprocessed, this dog food has the right combo of fats and proteins. If the price is no object, this is one of the best formulas around.

Pros

  • Freeze-drying technique preserves essential nutrients
  • Primarily made from a variety of high-quality meats
  • Comes with a bonus bag of dog treats

Cons

  • Only comes in a large bag
  • Almost $5 a pound
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $126 to $130 for a 25-pound bag including a 3.25-ounce bag of dog treats.

Sale
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Grain...
  • Contains 1 - 26 Pound Bag Of Dry Dog Food
  • Grain Free, Limited Ingredient Dog Food
  • Helps Minimize The Number Of Ingredients Dogs Are Exposed To

Features

If your dog has common allergies, it can be very hard to find a dog food that meets their nutritional needs while keeping them safe from an allergic reaction. Natural Balance specializes in customized formulas, and this blend is made primarily from fish and sweet potatoes - neither of which is a common allergen and both of which contain a healthy dose of nutrients.

A low-fat formula ideal for dogs trying to lose weight, this dog food has a protein content of twenty-one percent. That makes it ideal for any dog with kidney problems. The formula has high DHA levels and vitamin/mineral content.

Pros

  • Free of all common allergens
  • Short ingredient list centers two healthy primary ingredients
  • High in DHAs and vitamins
  • Ideal for overweight dogs or dogs with kidney problems

Cons

  • Lower protein content than other brands
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $18 for a 4.5-pound bag, around $40 for a 30-pound bag, and $63 for a 26-pound bag.

Canidae Grain Free Pure Sea Dog Dry Formula With Fresh Salmon, 24 Lbs
  • Real Meat Is Always First For Great Taste
  • Made With Whole Foods For Gentle Digestion
  • Simple Recipes For Sensitive Dogs

Features

The CANIDAE brand is known for its short list of ingredients, with only eight components - fresh salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, canola oil, alfalfa, and potatoes plus a blend of natural flavors, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.

There's nothing better than knowing exactly what you're feeding your loyal companion, and this brand gives you peace of mind. It has been proven to aid in digestion and is loaded with healthy Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Pros

  • A short ingredient list of natural ingredients
  • Primarily made from high-quality salmon
  • Contains no common allergens
  • Filled with nutrients and antioxidants

Cons

  • One of the more expensive dog foods on the list
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $19 for a 4-pound bag, around $40 for a 12-pound bag, and around $68 for a 25-pound bag.

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...

Features

If you're looking for a healthy dog food option that won't break the bank, Diamond Naturals specializes in low-cost food made from high-quality ingredients. Primarily made from chicken, chicken meal, brown and white rice, pearled barley, beet pulp, and egg product, the food is supplemented with healthy compounds like glucosamine and chondroitin. Designed for senior pets, it's made entirely from natural ingredients and enriched with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

Pros

  • Free of corn, soy, and wheat
  • Uses all natural ingredients
  • Contains added nutrients for senior dogs
  • Enhanced with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals
  • Just under $1 a pound

Cons

  • Chicken is a common allergen
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $39 to $40 for a forty-pound bag.

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain Free Dry Dog Food, 28 Lb.
  • Grain Free, Gluten Free, 28 Lb. Resealable Bag
  • Lean Red Meat Bison Protein Important For Optimal Health
  • Wholesome Antioxidant Nutrient-Rich Natural Vegetables And Fruits

Features

Grain-free and gluten-free, this high-quality dog food uses lean red meat bison as its main ingredient and has one of the highest protein contents on the list at thirty-four percent. Filling itself out with fruits and vegetables like peas, blueberries, cranberries, spinach, and apple, it's free of fillers and packed with Vitamin C and E. The presence of L-carnitine helps to convert fat to muscle mass and energy, which is great for pitbulls trying to get stronger.

Pros

  • Less than $2 a bag
  • Free of common allergens and uses bison as its main ingredient
  • L-carnitine is ideal for pitbulls building muscle mass
  • Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients
  • Free of artificial ingredients and fillers

Cons

  • Not commonly found in pet stores
  • price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $54 to $56 for a 28-pound bag.

Comparison Table

The Verdict

All ten options for the best dog food for pitbulls on this list are high-quality products with ingredients far above the level of most common dog food brands. However, one stands out above the rest. Made from high-quality red meat and filled out with healthy fruits and vegetables, and boasting L-carnitine to help pitbulls build muscle, we give our endorsement to Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast as the best dog food for pitbulls on the market today.

Dog Food Labels: Why is It Important to Recognize Them

Dog food labels

Just like labeling food for people, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates pet food labels and even the names of products. However, they don't require any pre-market approval from the agency. So, learning how to read those dog food labels is important for caring properly for your pet. They can prove a bit tricky unless you know what to look for and how to translate it, however.

Pet food labels have many of the same requirements as the labels on people food. However, you will a few significant differences. In order to find the best food for your dog, you need to understand the label. You should learn how to read those dog food labels so your furry friend gets the best you can provide.

AAFCO Labeling Regulations

If you're having trouble learning how to read those dog food labels, you should understand the regulations in place. Some make it very easy for an unethical pet food manufacturer to make their dog food seem healthier than the ingredients list implies.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials, also known as AAFCO, is a voluntary organization that incorporates local, state, and federal agencies that regulate pet and animal foods. They guide the sale and distribution of both animal foods and animal drug remedies. They also provide guidelines for pet food manufacturers for labeling their products.

In order to make pet food labels easier for consumers to understand exactly what they're getting, AAFCO uses four rules that dictate the way ingredients in dog food are named and listed. These rules keep the labeling accurate and easy to understand for pet guardians. In this way, they can better understand the ingredients and nutrition provided in the feed they purchase.

Rule #1: The 98 Percent Rule

When manufacturers label a pet food as containing a specific type of food, like “Salmon for Kittens,” or “Beef for Puppies,” the “95 percent rule” applies to the labeling. In these cases, at least 95 percent of the package must contain the food item mentioned in the title. You'll find that this can be a bit deceptive, however. This percentage changes with the inclusion of additives such as water, vitamins, or minerals. These are considered “condiments” under the current regulations. And under these conditions, the actual percentage of beef in a product called “Beef for Puppies” can be as low as 70 percent after you remove the "condiments.".

Rule #2: The Listing Rule

Just as in food labeling for people, manufacturers must list the ingredients on the label in descending order of its weight prior to cooking. In our example, "Beef for Puppies," beef will have to be the first ingredient listed on the label. The ingredient in the name should be the first one listed in the ingredient list on the label. If the dog food has two ingredients in the name, such as one labeled “Chicken and Rice for Dogs,” both ingredients combined must account for at least 95 percent of the total weight of the contents. In this case, the item with the highest pre-cooked weight must be listed first on the label.

Rule #3: The Dinner Rule

The “Dinner Rule” comes into effect when title ingredients make up more than 20 percent but less than 95 percent of the total product. This excludes condiments or water. In this case, the manufacturer will give it a title such as “dinner,” “entrée,” “platter,” “formula,” “nuggets,” or one of the other accepted terms. With our example above, “Beef for Puppies,” the manufacturer would now label it as “Beef Dinner for Puppies.” While the difference is subtle, it still indicates a very specific distinction.

In the Dinner Rule, the named label ingredient (after water has been added for processing) must be at least 10 percent of the total contents. Also, under this rule, the named ingredient does not have to be the first one listed. In our example, the manufacturer could put beef third, fourth, or even fifth among the ingredients.

Be careful with this kind of pet food. Because of this labeling rule, it may contain more of an unwanted ingredient than the one in the title. Our “Beef Dinner for Puppies” may have “beef” listed below cornmeal, water, and peas. And the manufacturer could still call it "Beef Dinner,” as long as beef makes up a minimum of 25 percent but still less than 95 percent of the contents. If the product name contains more than one ingredient, such as “Chicken and Rice,” the combination of the two ingredients must make up a minimum of 25 percent of the product.

dog food

Percentage breakdowns

The manufacturer must still list the ingredients by weight prior to cooking. Also, each ingredient named in the food title must make up at least 3 percent of the product. So, even though our “Chicken and Rice Dinner” must have 25 percent chicken and rice combined, that ratio can be 22 percent rice and only 3 percent chicken. The same rule applies to “Chicken with Beef.” There must be at least 3 percent beef, but, by this regulation, there doesn’t have to be any more than that.

By applying this rule, “Puppy Food with Chicken” only needs to have 3 percent chicken. On the other hand, food labeled “Chicken Puppy Food” must contain at least 95 percent chicken. You can see a considerable difference, as in the first example there may be a large amount of possibly non-nutritious fillers.

Rule #4: The Flavor Rule

Under the “Flavor Rule,” the actual percentage of an ingredient is not the primary consideration. The product must have enough of the ingredient so that it can be detected, however. AFFCO stipulates several regulations regarding the labeling of these products. For example, the actual word “flavor” must appear in the same typeface, color, and size as the associated product to avoid confusion. If the label states “Chicken Flavor,” it does not have to be actual chicken. Instead, it can also be one of the many products that taste like chicken, as long as it has the taste of chicken. In many instances, manufacturers add chicken stock or chicken broth to achieve this effect.

The Ingredient List

Usually, the first thing that most pet owners look at after the brand or type of food in the container is the list of ingredients. Ironically, the list of ingredients can prove the most difficult thing to really understand. For example, if one label lists chicken first, and another lists "chicken meal” first, your natural inclination leads you to think the one listing “chicken” is better. However, that “chicken” is roughly 75 percent moisture, and the chicken meal has already had the fat and water removed to make it about 10 percent moisture. This means that the chicken meal is mostly minerals and protein. You will actually get more protein for an equal amount of chicken meal than from chicken.

dog food

Calorie statement

Not all dog food will have the calories listed on the label. Most manufacturers include them to give the consumer a more detailed label. This, hopefully, influences their choice of pet food. If you can't find this data on the label, it will usually appear on the manufacturer’s web page. However, when it is there, calorie information will generally be listed in association with the feeding directions. Because many older dogs can become overweight, it is essential to know precisely how many calories your dog's food contains. This will allow you to better monitor their caloric intake.

Most of the calories in dog food come from fats. Because fats can make the food taste better to your dog, they are more likely to eat it with enthusiasm. This, in turn, will make you more inclined to purchase it again. The fat content in dog food can vary widely from a minimum of 5 percent (recommended by AAFCO), up to as much as 40 percent in some premium brands. Dogs love it. In addition, manufacturers can save a lot of time and money by not removing it.

Like fat, the calories in dog food can vary widely as well. There are no requirements that calories fall within a particular scale or under a set number. Also, different companies use different scales to determine calorie content. Some manufacturers determine calories by the cup. Others state the calories by ounces. Some even figure calorie counts using the metric system. You may need to look closely in order to figure out exactly how many are in your dog’s meals.

Net quantity

All pet food labels must include something called the “net quantity” of the food. This number indicates how much of the actual product you'll find in the package. For example, a medium size bag of kibble may weigh slightly more than a large bag and have the same amount of product. This can occur when the medium has a more compressed product. The large bag may have more air in each piece of kibble. Having an accurate net weight can help you determine which package is the best overall value.

Feeding directions

Feeding directions should tell the pet parent exactly how much of a particular product they should give their dog as well as how often. Some packages will offer more feeding information than others. Additionally, you can usually go to the company’s web page for more detailed and specific feeding directions.

Other Label Considerations

Sometimes you will encounter hyperbola on your label that sounds impressive, but actually carries no real information that will be helpful to you. You will see advertising tropes such as “gourmet,” “extra-tasty,” or “premium.” These terms have little to do with either the quality or the contents of your dog’s food. They are merely advertising tricks used to imply that their products are measurably better than some others.

dog food labels

Natural

One term, in particular, that sends up red flags is “natural” or “all natural.” This term has no official definition and means nothing concerning the food in the package. It can, however, indicate the type of feed when applied to specific ingredients in the dog food.

According to AAFCO, the term natural only applies to unprocessed plant, animal, or mined ingredients added the final product. This means they haven't been chemically processed or produced, such as synthetic vitamins or other nutrients. When applied to specific ingredients, “natural” usually indicated that those ingredients contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Organic

Manufacturers can only use the “organic” used under very specific conditions according to the FDA. Producers must grow organic ingredients using very specific practices. Those conditions include no use of pesticides, no genetic modifications, no irradiation, nor the use of artificial fertilizers. To label dog food organic, producers can only feed the animals they slaughter on organic feed. They can't treat them with any hormones or antibiotics, and they must also allow the animals to go outdoors.

Keep in mind, “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean 100 percent organic. When it comes to organic, labeling regulations for pet foods mirror those for human food. The USDA provides several different levels of “organic” conditions that apply to situations.

100 percent organic: Products labeled “100 percent organic” means they contain no ingredients that don't qualify as organic.

Organic: The label “organic” means that 95 to 99 percent of the ingredients are organic.

Made with organic ingredients: The manufacturer can use “made with organic ingredients” if the product contains 70 to 94 percent organic ingredients.

Less than 74 percent organic: The final category is “less than 74 percent organic.” Most organic dog foods on the market fall into the “made with organic ingredients” and the “less than 74% organic” categories since many manufacturers find that producing a 100 percent organic dog food is difficult and cost prohibitive.

Hormones and Antibiotics

Some dog food manufacturers try to give the impression that they've made their dog food with some special “hormone-free” chicken or pork. While producers still use antibiotics in chicken and pork, law dictates that all US chicken and pork is hormone free. Touting their dog food as “hormone-free” is just another way for advertisers to try to glorify their products. Some may consider this misleading, if not deceptive, advertising and labeling.

Manufacturer’s Name and Address

All dog food companies must list either the manufacturer or the distributor of the food. The company listed is ultimately responsible for the quality, content, and the safety of the product in the package. The distributor may or may not have been the manufacturer. However, if they are on the package, that makes them liable for recalls and refunds.

In some cases, they are a go-between to the actual manufacturer and the retailer. But in any case, they are the first point of contact. You'll usually find a toll-free number listed for questions, complaints, or inquiries on the label. Although not mandated by law, the company must legally have a number obtainable through directory assistance or a city directory.

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Learning How to Read Those Dog Food Labels Is Vital

There is undoubtedly a great deal of valuable information to be gleaned from the label of your dog's dinner, but you need not stop there. If you go to the company web page, you can generally find much more detailed and helpful information. You can often find everything from specific feeding amount charts based on the size and weight of your pooch to levels of calories and protein in their food per serving.

Manufacturers are usually quite happy to give as much information as they possibly can to make you more likely to choose their brands. Additionally, most major manufacturers are happy to answer any questions you may have concerning their products if you call their toll-free numbers on the packaging.

And in our experience, if you send them a very positive e-mail or praise their product on their web pages, companies are very appreciative. Some are so grateful for your feedback that you may just get a free sample or discount coupon in your mail or inbox.

Learning how to read those dog food labels can be confusing. Not only is the data itself difficult to understand, but deceptive marketing tricks also make them even less transparent. Some dog food is labeled with misleading descriptions, and others are just plain deceptive. That's why every guardian should try learning how to read those dog food labels. They can be hard to interpret, but your pet will benefit from your efforts.