Experts Weigh In On The Best And Worst Dog Food Brands

Making sure your dog is eating the right food is one of the most important things owners can do. While some dog food brands provide plenty of healthy nutrients, others fall short and could leave your dog feeling sick. We’ve gathered the reviews from experts, and you might be surprised by what you learn!

Best: Instinct Original Grain-Free Dry

the front of a bag of instinct original grain-free dry
Instinct
Instinct

Dog Food Advisor gave Instinct Original Grain-Free dry food five out of five stars. They use healthy ingredients such as beef, chicken meal, white fish meal, peas, and chicken fat.

It comes in several varieties including beef, chicken, duck, salmon, and more. This brand is great for dogs who tend to be a little picky when it comes to their food and doesn’t include harmful additives.

Worst: Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition

ol' roy complete nutrition dog food bag
Ol’ Roy
Ol’ Roy

According to Pet Worshiper, Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition dog food received a rating of 3.2 out of 10. The brand puts cheap fillers in the recipe including wheat, corn, and soy.

There are also several meat by-products and artificial ingredients that are used to try and give it a better flavor. These unhealthy ingredients are used in order for it to be made and sold at a cheaper price.

Best: Canidae Grain-Free Pure Dry Dog Food

canidae grain-free pure dry dog food front of bag
Canidae
Canidae

With ingredients such as salmon, sweet potatoes, and peas, Canidae Grain-Free Pure dog food received five out of five stars on Dog Food Advisor.

While it is a bit pricey, it comes in a wide variety of flavors including salmon, bison, lamb, duck, and more. Canidae has a ton of protein and is free of ingredients that disrupt digestion such as corn, wheat, and soy.

Worst: Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult With Real Chicken

purina dog chow complete adult with real chicken dog food bag
Purina
Purina

When looking for a healthy dog food brand, one of the first things you should do is check the ingredients. Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken doesn’t have the greatest recipe.

The first ingredient is grain corn, which is hard for many dogs to digest. They also use a lot of bone meal, which causes constipation.

Best: Nature’s Logic Dry Dog Food

nature's logic dry dog food with canine chicken meal
Nature’s Logic
Nature’s Logic

Nature’s Logic dry dog food received five out of five stars from the experts at Dog Food Advisor. Its food is packed with nutritious ingredients in each of its meals including chicken meal, millet, pumpkin seed, and yeast culture.

If you want to add some variety to your dog’s food, owners can pick from several different flavors including duck, lamb, turkey, sardine, rabbit, pork, and beef.

Worst: Gravy Train

gravy train beefy classic dog food bag
Gravy Train
Gravy Train

With a name like Gravy Train, it shouldn’t be too difficult to tell that this brand is one of the worst foods for dogs.

They use a substantial amount of meat by-products, compared to real meat. Also, there are high levels of soy, cornstarch, and artificial colorings and preservatives in the ingredients.

Best: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food Sensitive Stomach & Skin

hill's science diet dry dog food sensitive stomach and skin bag
Hill’s
Hill’s

Diet can affect the overall health of your dog, so feeding them the proper food can make a huge difference. Veterinarians interviewed by New York Magazine agreed that Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin was a good choice.

It helps dogs manage their weight, makes digestion a lot easier and stops unwanted itching.

Worst: Twin Pet Adult Dog Food

twin pet adult dog dry food front of bag
Twin Pet
Twin Pet

The first ingredient of Twin Pet Adult dog food should be a warning sign for owners. Ground corn is listed at the top and contains a lot of carbohydrates.

Wheat middlings is the next ingredient, which is a by-product from processed cereals and has almost no nutritional value. Twin Pet also has high amounts of sodium and preservatives.

Best: Royal Canin Small Adult Dry Formula

royal-canin
Royal Canin/Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Royal Canin/Matt Cardy/Getty Images

New York Magazine surveyed 13 veterinarians to ask which dog food is the best and at least eight said Royal Canin Small Adult Dry Formula dog food.

Royal Canin conducts research, feeding trials, and more to make sure dogs will benefit from their food. It also found dogs tend to like the flavor of its food more than other brands.

Worst: Kal Kan Complete Adult

kal kan complete adult dog food bag
Kal Kan
Kal Kan

Corn happens to be the first ingredient used in Kal Kan Complete Adult dog food. The grain messes with digestion, isn’t nutritious, and can sometimes bring in chemicals used when the corn was harvesting.

The next ingredient is bone meal, which is essentially ground-up animal bones and cartilage. Other fillers such as soybean meal and wheat are used as well.

Best: Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties

stella & chewy's dinner patties front of bag
Stella & Chewy’s
Stella & Chewy’s

New York Magazine asked veterinarians what the best raw dog food brand was and they responded with Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties. Owners should beware that raw dog food can be dangerous, so it’s crucial to find the right brands– Stella passes the test!

Raw food actually has a lot of nutritional benefits including improved digestion, boosted immune system, reduced inflammation, and allergy relief.

Worst: IAMS Proactive Health Minichunks Adult

iams proactive health minichunks dog food bag
IAMS
IAMS

Try not to get too disgusted with the ingredients found in IAMS Proactive Health Minichunks Adult dog food. They use chicken by-product, which is the remains of slaughtered chickens that aren’t used by humans.

This brand is known to irritate allergies in dogs and also includes synthetic protein and corn.

Best: Orijen Dry Dog Food

orijen original dry dog food
Orijen
Orijen

One reviewer who gave their dog Origen dry dog food said, “Since he’s been on it his coat looks much better, he has more energy, and goes to the bathroom on a regular basis.”

Orijen uses natural ingredients including deboned chicken, deboned turkey, Atlantic flounder, cage-free eggs, and whole Atlantic mackerel.

Worst: Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition

pedigree
Pedigree/Mike Thomas/Express Newspapers/Getty Images
Pedigree/Mike Thomas/Express Newspapers/Getty Images

According to Alpha Paw, owners reported that their dogs vomited and had intestinal troubles after consuming Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dog food.

Pedigree confirmed that their kibble actually has pig hair. It should also be alarming that their first ingredient is ground whole grain corn, which usually disrupts dogs’ digestion.

Best: Merrick Classic Healthy Grains

merrick classic healthy grains dog food bag
Merrick
Merrick

The ingredients found in Merrick Classic Healthy Grains dry dog food are all-natural and nutritious. These include deboned beef, deboned chicken, oatmeal, barley, brown rice, pork meal, and more.

One reviewer wrote, “I switched over to Merrick and within weeks noticed a change in weight and energy in all my pets.”

Worst: Cesar Filets

cesar-food
Cesar/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Cesar/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Don’t let the cute dog on the Cesar filets dish fool you. While these may seem appetizing for dogs, they are one of the worst options.

This brand is known for having a ton of unnecessary salt in their food, which is bad for all dogs’ health. Also, there are more meat by-products than actual meat.

Best: Annamaet Ultra

annamaet ultra dry dog food bag
Annamaet
Annamaet

Dogs of all ages will be able to enjoy Annamaet Ultra dry dog food. Their recipes come in chicken meal and brown rice, salmon, and more and include many healthy ingredients.

One owner replied, “I only started feeding this food a few months ago after extensive research and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Beautiful long, thick coats, firm, small bowel movements, and great accessible energy.”

Worst: Kibbles ‘N Bits

kibbles
Kibbles ‘n Bits/Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Kibbles ‘n Bits/Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Kibble is one of the worst foods for dogs, so Kibbles n’ Bits ranks as one of the unhealthiest dog food brands.

The top ingredient in Kibbles ‘n Bits is corn, which is rough on digestion with no nutritional value. It also uses meat by-products, synthetic food colorings, preservatives, and more.

Best: Dr. Tim’s

dr. tim's dry dog food bag
Dr. Tim’s
Dr. Tim’s

Dog Food Advisor gave Dr. Tim’s dog food five out of five stars. This brand is affordable and contains nutritious ingredients including chicken meal, brown rice, dried beet pulp, and whole oat groats.

After one reviewer fed it to their dog they wrote, “He has done extremely well on this food and it has eliminated his gas/hard stool issues entirely.”

Worst: Great Choice Adult Complete Nutrition

great choice adult complete nutrition dog food bag
Great Choice
Great Choice

It won’t be a great choice if owners feed their dogs Great Choice Adult Complete Nutrition dog food. The ingredients are what you would find in lower quality dog food including corn, wheat, and meat by-products.

There are tons of fillers, additives, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and more, which can be detrimental to the health of your dog.