Best Nutritious Dog Foods For Healthy Puppies & Dogs

Keeping furry family members happy and healthy is the primary concern of good dog owners, and choosing the right food is essential for the overall well-being of your canine best friends. Good health starts from within, and a balanced, nutritious, and appropriate diet will go a long way to increasing the happiness, energy, and longevity of your dog. But how do you choose the best dog food from the multitude of types and brands available?

We’ve done some research and found the Top 9 Dog Food Brands for enhanced health and superior nutrition! Keep reading to find out why we liked these fantastic dog food brands, and how you can meet your dog’s unique dietary needs by choosing the right kind of dog food.

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View the 9 Best Dog Foods

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1. Nature’s Variety Instinct Dry Dog Food


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Nature's Variety "Instinct" is a range of grain-free dry dog food (kibble) designed to fulfill all the dietary needs of your dog with one product. This protein-rich dog food is high in animal ingredients and low in carbohydrates - a diet close to what your dog would eat in the wild - and it is made exclusively from natural ingredients, with added probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. Instinct may provide relief from most canine food allergy symptoms, and it is perfect for all life stages, breeds, and sizes of dog or puppies. It comes in several delicious meaty flavors that your dog will love!

Nature's Variety Instinct kibble is 100% grain-free, which means that it contains absolutely no corn, wheat, soy, or grain-based fillers, all of which are common allergens. This means that food-allergy prone dogs may see an improvement in allergy-related skin and stomach conditions after transitioning to an exclusively Instinct eating plan.

An exclusive freeze-dried raw coating locks in the fresh, delicious raw taste and also ensures extended shelf-life of the product at home. It's suitable for every dog or puppy - all sizes, life stages, and breeds.

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2. Solid Gold Barking at the Moon


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Do you have an energetic, active dog who loves long walks and outdoor adventures? If so, then Solid Gold Barking at the Moon kibble will keep your pooch running wild and bouncing around to their heart's content! This premium dog and puppy food is grain- and gluten-free, high in protein, and formulated with 20 nutrient-rich "superfoods" including pumpkin, cranberries, blueberries, carrots, broccoli, almond oil, kelp and lentils.

Healthy monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil, and salmon oil are added for healthy skin and shiny coat. Barking at the Moon also includes fish meal, a lean protein sourced from the pristine waters of the Atlantic and Bering Seas, which supports overall health, lean muscle development, and a healthy coat.

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Barking at the Moon is perfect for active pets who would benefit from maximum energy and vitality, as it allows your dog to reach his or her full potential whether at work or play.
The unique dietary formula is rich in fresh superfoods that provide essential nutrients, oils, and monounsaturated fats for good health.

Fish meal is the main source of lean, low-fat animal protein that supports muscle growth and the healthy functioning of the immune system.

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3. Pinnacle Grain Free Dog Food


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f your dog struggles with food allergies, then a grain-free dog food is your top choice for lessening or even eliminating the symptoms! Pinnacle Grain -Free formula is perfect for dogs who are sensitive to most other dog foods, and the Salmon & Potato recipe is especially good for dogs who cannot eat common canine food allergens such as chicken, turkey, egg, or grains.

The grain-free formula helps to protect your dog from unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms and skin conditions caused by food allergies, and it is suitable for all life stages and ages. The main ingredient is salmon from the Pacific North West, which provides essential Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to support your dog's immune system and overall health.

Pinnacle's special grain-free formula is a great choice for dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs, as it is free from most common canine food allergens. Pamper your dogs with the luxury of delicious, real salmon in their diet! Pinnacle sources their salmon from the pristine waters of the Pacific North West to provide your dog with optimum nutrients sourced directly from nature.

4. Merrick Healthy Weight Recipe


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Could Fido benefit from losing a few pounds? Put him on the fast track to better health and a slimmer silhouette with the Merrick Healthy Weight Recipe dry dog food! This excellent kibble is 32% low-fat protein, with pure, USA-sourced deboned beef as the #1 ingredient. Being grain-free, this dry dog food reduces the risk of allergic reactions and cuts out the unnecessary calories usually found in grain-based dog foods.

The recipe also features farm-fresh produce including locally grown potatoes, peas, and sweet potatoes. It is a nutritionally superior weight-loss and weight management formula that will tempt even the fussiest of canine diners - no need to compromise on taste to see results!

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Merrick Healthy Weight Recipe is the perfect nutritional formula for pudgy pets, as it helps your dog to lose weight and then maintain a healthy weight whilst still offering a delicious and satisfying meal at every feeding time.

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the top preventative measures for protecting against disease and later health complications, so ensuring that your dog is on the lighter end of the scales means longer and happier life!

5. Wellness CORE Original Formula


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Wellness CORE is an all-natural, grain-free dry dog or puppy food that contains 80% more meat than traditional dog foods containing grains. CORE supports the raw feeding philosophy to provide protein-focused nutrition with an extremely high level of meat. The Original Formula is rich with delicious canine-friendly animal proteins including turkey and chicken, and it is enhanced with real vegetables and essential vitamins and minerals.

This premium dog food is proudly made exclusively in the USA, and it follows the popular philosophy that dogs thrive on an all-natural, locally made, meat-based diet.

With 80% more meat than most grain-based dog and puppy foods, this unique grain-free formula provides your dog with essential animal protein for muscle growth, energy, and long-term well-being.

Wellness CORE Original Formula is only made in the USA, and so it is guaranteed fresh, made with local ingredients, and ready for dinner time.

6. Eagle Pack Original


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Fulfill your dog's every dietary need with complete and balanced nutrition from Eagle Pack Original. This dry dog food is all-natural and made only in the USA with delicious, high-quality ingredients including animal protein sourced from real lamb. Wholesome grains and fiber aid digestion, which enhances the absorption of nutrients and ensures firm stool (a bonus for easy cleanup and disposal!). Give your dog superior nutrition with the right balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants and omega fatty acids for vitality and a beautiful, shiny coat.

This expertly formulated dry dog food is ideal for active dogs, as it provides sufficient energy to fuel your dog's daily adventures, both big and small.

Eagle Pack Original contains only premium, all-natural ingredients with no corn, wheat, meat by-products, artificial colorants, flavors or preservatives. This reduces the risk of allergic reactions and irritations that are caused by sub-par ingredients. 

7. Orijen Regional Red


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Orijen's philosophy involves creating biologically appropriate dog food that provides a balanced and nutritious diet that is very similar to what domestic dogs would eat in the wild. Regional Red is packed full of high-quality proteins derived from wholesome red meat sources that have not been tainted with antibiotics or hormones, including generous amounts of wild boar, lamb, beef, bison, and pork.

This abundance of red meat is supplemented with fresh and raw animal ingredients, with no gluten, potato, or tapioca that will boost your dog's immune system, while natural grasses will aid in a dog's digestion.

Your dog will love the superior quality red meat in this dry puppy food - delicious wild boar, beef, bison, lamb, pork and more. Orijen Regional Red is 100% natural and therefore contains no fillers, chemical additives, hormones or antibiotics.

8. Stella’s Super Beef Dinner Patties


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Give your furry best friend a new lease on life with Stella's Super Beef Dinner Patties! This all-natural recipe has been perfected by a devoted dog owner who is passionate about offering all dogs the opportunity to eat as nature intended them to. Every batch of Dinner Patties contains 95% grass-fed beef, organs, and bone, plus 100% certified organic fruits and vegetables to provide your dog or puppy with the complete range of nutrients for excellent health.

The patties are grain-free and freeze-dried, giving your dog the instant benefits of raw food with the convenience of food safety and easy storage in between feedings. All ingredients are sustainably sourced, and the recipe does not contain any ingredients from China or other countries - USA only.

Whether served as a whole meal or used occasionally as a meal supplement, Stella's Super Beef Dinner Patties are a great addition to any canine menu! Dogs will love the taste of pure beef, and the locked-in goodness of these tasty freeze-dried patties.

This raw dog food brand was created by a dog owner who wanted to nurse her ill dog or puppy back to health, and her philosophy is one of health from the inside out, achieved with superior, organic, locally sourced ingredients.

Our Guide to Choosing the Best Dog Food For Your Pet

With so many different dog food brands available, each offering various benefits, how on earth do you choose the top dog food for your furry friend? Should you go for a grain-free diet, a weight-control formula, or a raw eating plan? Does it really matter? Well, it absolutely does matter, as your choice will dictate the overall health and happiness of your dog, as well as his or her daily well-being.

Our top choices of the top pet food brands includes mainly grain-free kibble, as the most popular philosophy regarding modern canine nutrition is that of a biologically appropriate diet – or, a diet closest to what dogs would eat in nature. This natural eating plan consists mostly of animal derived proteins (in other words, raw meat!), small amounts of organic, grain-free carbohydrates, and added vitamins and minerals.

A raw, grain-free diet should suit all dogs over the age of 1, of all sizes and breeds, as it is formulated for optimum canine health and nutrition. Still a but unsure about your options, and keen to do some research first before making a purchase? Keep reading to learn more about how to choose the right dog food for your canine companion.

What is the Best kind of Dog Food for Dogs with Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities?


You may not know this unless you’ve actually owned a dog that has had allergies, but dogs can most definitely suffer from both food allergies and seasonal allergies, just like some humans do! Food allergies account for about 10% of all allergies in dogs, and the most common food allergies in canines are allergies to specific types of protein, such as beef, dairy, chicken, turkey, or duck. Dogs can also be allergic to gluten, which is found in grains like wheat and oats.

It is important to use the correct training to help your particular breed of dog get accustom to the new food plan. Different breeds of puppies will need different training to help them eat the canned or pellets you will be giving them at home. Larger adult pets normally will eat anything you put in front of them while they are at home, however, when they are away from the home environment you may have to train your adult pet to eat the right amount of pet food you provide.

How do you know if your dog has food allergies at home? Food allergy symptoms can be very unpleasant and even dangerous for your dog’s health – the signs include anything from chronic ear inflammation and ear pain, gastrointestinal problems like chronic diarrhoea, vomiting, and excessive gas, and persistent skin itching that may lead to hair loss. In the long term, food allergies can lead to malnutrition and more serious diseases caused by a lack of nutrients and chronic inflammation. Early detection and intervention is essential for treating the negative effects of food allergies in dogs.

So, how can you treat your dog’s food allergy symptoms, and alleviate discomfort quickly and effectively? Many vets agree that the top way to treat food allergies is with a holistic approach – a method that focuses on superior nutrition and eliminating common allergens. This means that you should choose dog food brands that use fewer, high-quality ingredients, and brands that are 100% grain free to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

With the exception of the Eagle Pack Original formula, which includes brown rice, all of our recommended dog food choices are grain free! You should consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s eating plan, as he/she might be able to give you tips and help with identifying your dog’s particular food allergies.  With the right allergen-free eating, your dog should be happier and healthier in no time!

What are the Safest Dog Foods Available on the Market?

Recently there have been worrying and devastating cases of dogs dying after consuming various brands of dog food that have been tainted with toxic mould. Whilst most of the dog food brands affected by food-associated poisoning assert that their products are perfectly safe, it is understandable that dog owners are alarmed and desperate to protect their pets in any way that they can. So, what do you need to know about toxic mould and dog food safety?

The toxins that have been found in tainted dog foods are most commonly mycotoxins, which are are poisonous chemical compounds produced by certain fungi that may grown in grain when it is in storage. Grain added to dog food may have been obtained from multiple sources, and some of it may have been improperly stored, resulting in the growth of toxic fungi.

Unfortunately it is impossible to know if your particular bag of dog food has been tainted by mould growth in grain products, and so poisoning often happens completely unexpectedly, as contaminated batches of food may be isolated and are very hard to prevent.

Most pet food companies go to great lengths to provide safe dog food, but there are a few things you can do to minimise the risk of accidental poisoning. If you want to take all the precautions you can, then it would be best to choose raw, grain-free dog food – no grain means no risk of mould growing, and potentially no toxins!

Also, look out for the following signs of mycotoxicosis in dogs – muscle tremors, seizures, panting, hyperactivity, vomiting, uncoordinated movements, weakness, increased heart rate – if you notice these symptoms, see a vet immediately!

What are the Best kinds of dog Food to Facilitate Weight Loss?


An overweight dog is an unhealthy dog, so it is one of the duties of a good dog owner to ensure that their dogs are slim, trim, and healthy. If your dog has somehow managed to get a bit rotund, don’t fret – a comprehensive weight-loss plan with the right eating habit and frequent, gentle, moderate exercise will have him or her in shape in no time. We highly recommend Merrick’s Grain Free Healthy Weight Recipe as contains 32% low fat protein obtained from USA sourced de-boned beef, which will facilitate weight loss whilst providing complete nutrition. Lean protein is also great for building lean muscle, which will help enhance your dog’s health as he/she gets fitter and loses a few pounds of fat.

Grain-free dog foods are also good for weight loss and the maintenance of a healthy weight, as they contain more lean protein and healthy carbohydrates than most dog foods that contain large amounts of grains (like wheat, soy, etc). Merrick’s Healthy Weight Recipe is also incredibly tasty, which will appeal to even the most finicky of eaters. It is recommended not to restrict meals or to start feeding smaller portions all of a sudden – stick to portions that suit your dog’s unique daily needs (you can ask your vet for guidelines), and if you change the kind of dog food you feed your dog, do it gradually so as not to upset your dog’s digestive system.

It is essential when you decide to help your dog to lose weight, that you pair a healthy new eating habit with a reasonably moderate exercise regime for the highest results. Frequent walks are a lovely form of gentle exercise for pudgy pets, as it won’t put too much strain on their hearts or joints, and you can start with short walks and gradually build up to longer, more challenging outings. Keep an eye on your dog for any difficulty breathing whilst exercising, and reduce the intensity of your walks if this happens often. Short breaks are also good for extremely unfit pets. Finally, limit treats to healthy titbits given infrequently, and stick to a policy of absolutely no left-overs or human foods!

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