What every best Dog Food has:
- Complete nutrition.
- Whole meat or a named meat meal as its top ingredient.
- No fillers or low-quality grains.
Orijen Original Adult Dog Food is expensive, but experts -- and dog owners -- say it's worth it. It's a high-protein, grain-free food made from fresh, locally sourced meats, eggs, produce and wild-caught fish. All preservatives are natural and protein sources are certified as being fit for human consumption. Orijen Original (along with most other Orijen varieties) is made in a company-owned plant in Kentucky and the food has a spotless recall history.
It costs more than the dog kibble that can be purchased in your local supermarket, but experts say Taste of the Wild High Prairie is worth it: It's grain-free and soy-free, with no artificial preservatives. Buffalo meat is its top named ingredient, followed by lamb meal and chicken meal -- and there's even venison in the mix. It's not as meaty as Orijen, however, and the safety record, while good, is not quite spotless.
It's hard to find a quality dog food on the shelves of a supermarket or warehouse store, but Kirkland dry dog food (sold primarily at Costco) comes pretty close. It has an above-average meat content compared to its supermarket competition with chicken and chicken meal being the top two ingredients. While the dog food is not grain-free, it uses better quality grains, such as brown rice and barley, rather than cheaper ones like corn or wheat.
Experts say that wet food, either on its own or in combination with a dry kibble, is the best diet for a dog, and Fromm Family Gold Salmon and Chicken Pate illustrates why. It's grain-free and loaded with meat (USDA-approved, human-quality meat, at that), and with veggies, vitamins and minerals -- a simple recipe that's ideal for dogs. While it's certainly more expensive than a supermarket food, it costs less per ounce than other super-premium canned dog foods.
Newman's Own Organics Grain Free Beef & Liver has a nutrient profile that mimics what a dog would eat in the wild. It's grain-free, GMO-free and certified organic. While the beef comes from Uruguay, that's a country with strict regulations prohibiting the use of hormones and antibiotics. The icing on the cake is that Newman's Own costs less than many other premium dog foods -- and all profits go to animal charities.
You can get pretty close to a dog's wild diet with The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Grain Free Turkey Recipe, reviews say. It's grain-free and, made from near-raw turkey and veggies. Embark comes in a convenient, dehydrated powder that you mix with water to make a moist food; a 10 pound box yields roughly 40 pounds of dog food. With all-natural ingredients and a nearly (but not quite) spotless safety record, this is a hands-down expert favorite.