Though all dogs have the same basic nutritional requirements, what makes a certain product the best choice for your dog may vary according to his age, activity level, and specific dietary needs. For a brand that offers premium dog food designed to suit your dog’s natural biological needs, our top choice is Orijen. This brand creates pet foods that nourish your dog’s body just as nature intended, and it uses only the freshest regional ingredients in an assortment of formulas catered to dogs in all life stages from puppy to senior.
Named one of the top picks for dog food by Reviews.com, Orijen follows a “biologically appropriate” approach to pet nutrition. Each of its dog foods is designed to mirror the type of natural diet your dog should follow based on his wild ancestry. Orijen dog foods are rich in meat and proteins. Each product contains up to 90% meat, which is is more than three times the amount used in conventional dog food. Furthermore, each recipe contains a guaranteed minimum of 38% crude protein by volume.
While a dog’s diet should consist primarily of animal products, dogs do have a limited ability to digest plant materials, so digestible grain-free carbohydrates like fresh fruits and vegetables can be a valuable addition. Orijen dog foods contain no more than 20% carbohydrates and only low-glycemic, highly digestible carbs like lentils, pumpkin, leafy greens, and fresh fruits. Plus, all of the formulas are naturally grain-free.
Dog Food Advisor notes that Orijen's dog food is above-average and that none of its foods have been subject to recall. The brand also receives rave reviews from Dog Food Guru and Dog Food Insider.
Orijen only sells dry dog foods at this time, but it offers an assortment of kibbles and freeze-dried dog foods for puppies, adults, and senior dogs as well as a selection of treats made with 100% fresh meat ingredients.
Pros: Made in the United States, biologically appropriate diets, high-protein formulas, carbohydrate-limited and low-glycemic, formulated for different life stages, minimum 38% crude protein, traditional kibble and freeze-dried options, all grain-free recipes
Cons: No wet food products currently available, some recipes may contain plant proteins like peas and dried alfalfa, many recipes contain common proteins and other ingredients that may trigger allergies in some dogs (like chicken, beef, and fish)
If you’re looking for a premium brand of dry dog food that offers a wide selection of high-quality recipes, our top choice is Canidae. An independent and family-owned company, Canidae sources its ingredients from other family-owned businesses throughout the US, and the company produces every one of its nutritionally dense formulas in company-owned-and-operated facilities. This brand offers traditional life stages formulas as well as grain-free and limited-ingredient recipes.
As a whole, the Canidae dog food brand receives excellent reviews from Top Dog Tips and Petsho as a US-based company that offers a variety of formulas for dogs with different nutritional needs. The Life Stages line of products features seven unique recipes made with premium proteins and digestible carbohydrates. In addition to three “all life stages” formulas, there are recipes for senior dogs, puppies, and large-breed dogs.
The Canidae Grain-Free PURE lineup includes nine grain-free formulas made with premium proteins such as duck, wild boar, and fresh lamb. Each of these recipes is made with a limited number of ingredients to reduce the risk for food allergies. There are also three recipes specially formulated for small breed dogs.
Another thing that makes Canidae our top choice for dry dog food is the fact that it has an entirely separate brand that is designed to be affordable. The Under the Sun brand is still made by Canidae with its farm-fresh ingredients, but it is available at a more affordable price point for dog owners on a budget. Under the Sun appears on Dog Food Advisor’s list of 4-star brands.
In the company’s twenty-year history, Canidae has had only had one recall and it was a voluntary recall issued due to a concern for potential salmonella contamination.
Pros: US-based company, independent and family-owned, company-owned manufacturing facilities, fresh regional ingredients, wide variety of high-quality recipes, life stages formulas for puppies through senior dogs, grain-free and limited ingredient formulas for dogs with food allergies, separate brand for dog owners on a budget, recipes for small breed dogs
Cons: Company has had one recall affecting four products, many recipes contain common proteins and other ingredients that may trigger allergies in some dogs (like chicken, rice, and fish)
If you are looking for a high-quality wet dog food, we heartily recommend the Blue Buffalo brand. Not only is Blue Buffalo one of the top manufacturers of natural dog food in general, but it offers four distinct product lines so you can choose the wet food formula that best suits your dog’s needs and preferences. According to DogHealth.com, wet dog food may be more expensive than dry food, but it tends to be lower in carbohydrates, higher in moisture, and more palatable for some dogs.
The Blue Buffalo company believes that pets are members of the family and that they should be treated as such. This is why the company uses only the highest-quality natural ingredients in each of its recipes. Blue Buffalo follows a holistic approach to pet nutrition, choosing each of its ingredients carefully to ensure complete and balanced nutrition without the use of any by-products, fillers, or artificial additives. Every recipe goes above and beyond your dog’s minimum nutritional requirements.
In addition to being rated among Dog Food Advisor’s 5-star wet food brands, Blue Buffalo is also a top choice for HerePup.com and DogFood.Guru. In terms of variety, few brands offer as many choices as Blue Buffalo. The Freedom line of grain-free formulas contains ten recipes and the Basics line of limited ingredient formulas contains nine. There are more than thirty recipes in the Wilderness line of meat-rich formulas and forty-five in the Life Protection Formula lineup.
One thing you should be aware of with the Blue Buffalo brand is that it has several product recalls in its history. This isn’t terribly surprising, however, for a brand that was founded more than two decades ago and that manufactures hundreds of products. It is worth noting that, according to Petful.com, many of the brand’s recalls were issued voluntarily as a precautionary measure.
Pros: US-based company, wide variety of product choices, every recipe starts with high-quality animal protein, all-natural ingredients with no artificial additives, recipes designed with a holistic approach to nutrition, every formula contains LifeSource Bits for a boost of nutrition and flavor
Cons: Numerous recalls in brand history, many recipes contain common proteins and other ingredients that may trigger allergies in some dogs (like chicken, rice, and fish), recent changes in recipe may cause digestive upset in some dogs
Though many dogs can digest whole-grain carbohydrates, grains have the potential to trigger food allergies or sensitivities in some dogs. A grain-free dog food should be made with digestible carbohydrates like legumes, fruits, and vegetables, though the focus should always be on high-quality sources of protein. Taste of the Wild offers nine dry food and five wet food formulas, all of which are protein-rich and grain-free.
Taste of the Wild understands that dogs crave natural flavor, which is why each of its recipes is formulated around real roasted meats like venison, bison, and lamb. Real meat is the first ingredient in every recipe, though most recipes contain multiple sources of animal protein. All of this brand’s products are also supplemented with highly digestible carbohydrates for energy and fiber, dried fermentation products for probiotic support, and chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption.
Not only does Top Dog Tips name Taste of the Wild one of its top choices for dog food, but this brand has nearly 10,000 reviews on Amazon for their most popular recipe. This brand also receives Heavy's number one rating for grain-free dog food brands. What really sets this brand apart is its use of novel proteins like bison and venison, which are less likely to trigger food allergies in dogs and are a leaner source of protein than commercially raised meats.
Pros: All products are naturally grain-free, each recipe features real roasted meat, highly digestible grain-free carbohydrates, multiple proteins in every formula, supplemented with antioxidants for strong immunity, probiotic supplements for healthy digestion, chelated minerals for maximum absorption
Cons: More limited selection of products than some brands, no formulas for large-breed dogs, recipes may be higher in calories than the typical dog food
Traditional dog foods are cooked at high temperatures in a process that may destroy a significant portion of the original nutritional content of the raw ingredients. Raw dog food is uncooked, which means that your dog gets all of the nutrients he requires without the need for a long list of supplements. Though raw foods need to be kept refrigerated or frozen, no other type of dog food can compare to their quality or nutritional integrity and Primal Pet Foods is our top choice for raw dog food.
Primal Pet Foods offers nine different recipes for raw frozen dog food, each featuring a premium animal protein that is free from antibiotics, steroids, and hormones. Each recipe is made with 100% human-grade ingredients, including certified organic produce. Because the recipes are frozen fresh to retain their nutritional integrity, you won’t find a long list of synthetic supplements. This brand also offers freeze-dried formulas using many of the same high-quality ingredients which can be rehydrated to create a nutritious, moisture-rich meal for your dog.
In addition to making it into Dog Food Advisor’s list of 5-star dog foods, Primal Pet Foods also receives rave reviews from My Dog Likes. Though the site describes it as a convenient and easy alternative to raw food, My Dog Likes notes that Primal Pet Foods’ freeze-dried food cost more $90 for a 28-pound bag, which is very expensive. This brand also receives a 5-star rating from Dog Food Insider, and Love to Know comments on the fact that the brand uses many human-grade ingredients.
Though Primal Pet Foods’ raw food is significantly more expensive than most dog foods on the market, it offers a significantly higher degree of quality as well. You can choose from a selection of raw frozen formulas or freeze-dried recipes or use one of the brand’s raw frozen mixes to create your own homemade dog food.
Pros: Made with 100% human-grade ingredients, antibiotic- and steroid-free proteins, certified organic produce and supplements, products retain more of their natural nutritional integrity, assortment of raw frozen and freeze-dried products as well as mixes and supplements
Cons: Raw food must be kept frozen or refrigerated, risk for food-borne illness will improper handling, some dogs don’t like the texture of raw food, very expensive compared to traditional kibble, calculations required to determine proper feeding amount
When shopping for dog food it is important not to shop by price alone because low-priced dog foods are also typically low in quality. This doesn’t mean, however, that affordable brands of high-quality dog food aren’t out there. Whole Earth Farms, for example, offers quality nutrition at a more affordable price point than most premium pet food brands. Even so, this brand appears on Dog Food Advisor’s list of 4-star dog foods, so you know it must be good.
The Whole Earth Farms brand is manufactured by the Merrick Pet Care Company, a company that receives Dog Food Advisor’s 5-star rating. Whole Earth Farms pet foods are made in the US with fresh, natural ingredients to support your dog’s digestion while also boosting his energy levels and improving the health of his skin and coat. Each recipe starts with a quality animal protein and is supplemented with digestible carbohydrates, probiotics, and chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption.
Whereas some of the top brands on the market cost upwards of $4 per pound, Rover.com remarks that Whole Earth Farms dog food sells for an average of $1.59 per pound. Not only is this brand affordable, but it doesn’t use any corn, wheat, or soy in its products and all recipes are free from by-products and artificial additives. DogFood Guru gives this brand a 4-star rating and LifeStyle Pets speaks to the quality of the brand, though they do make note that it could be higher in protein.
In terms of their product offerings, this brand sells eleven dry food recipes and fifteen canned foods. Whole Earth Farms offers an assortment of original and grain-free products, including formulas developed for specific life stages and breed sizes so you can choose the product that best suits your dog.
Pros: Ideal combination of quality and affordability, no low-quality fillers or by-products, no artificial additives, made in the USA, designed to support healthy digestion, made with high-quality animal proteins, formulas for different life stages and breed sizes, wide variety of dry foods and wet foods
Cons: Some recipes could be higher in animal protein, many recipes contain common proteins and other ingredients that may trigger allergies in some dogs (like chicken, rice, and fish)
Choosing the right dog food for your puppy is extremely important because it will impact his growth and development during the first year of his life. Puppies require a higher concentration of protein than adult dogs with healthy fats for energy as well as essential vitamins and minerals. In addition to meeting your puppy’s nutritional needs, a high-quality puppy food should be easily digestible, and it should come in small, bite-size kibbles.
Our top pick for the best dog food for puppies is Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Puppy Food. Made with a variety of novel animal proteins like buffalo and roasted venison, this puppy food comes with a low risk for triggering food allergies.
It features grain-free, digestible carbohydrates like sweet potato with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for essential vitamins and minerals. With several fish ingredients, this recipe has an irresistible flavor and provides plenty of healthy fats to support your puppy’s skin and coat health.
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Puppy Food is included in Best Reviews top picks for the best puppy food because it is made with high-quality fish proteins. Not only does fish provide puppies with healthy protein and an irresistible flavor, but the healthy fats keep his coat shiny as well.
Pawster likes the inclusion of roasted meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and DHA supplements for brain development.
In addition to having more than 13,800 reviews on Amazon, Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Puppy Food carries an Amazon’s Choice award and maintains an impressive 4.3-star rating. Dog owners comment that their puppies love the taste and what it does for their puppies’ coats. There are comments about the price, though it is certainly not the most expensive puppy food on the market.
Pros: Made with novel protein sources, includes fresh meat and meat meals, grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables for natural nutrients, dried fermentation products for probiotic support, supplemented with DHA for brain development, chelated minerals for maximum absorption
Cons: Somewhat pricey compared to other brands, only two puppy formulas to choose from, includes some plant-based protein
As your dog gets older, he’ll start to slow down. Because senior dogs are less active, they require fewer calories than younger dogs, but they still need a blend of protein and healthy fats in their diet. Joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin become particularly important for dogs in their old age and increased fiber levels will help support gastrointestinal health. Our top pick for the best dog food for senior dogs is Wellness Complete Health Senior Dog Food.
Available in an original and small-breed formula, Wellness Complete Health Senior Dog Food features high-quality proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables to deliver complete and balanced nutrition optimized for senior dogs.
This formula contains fresh deboned chicken as well as concentrated chicken meal, both of which are natural sources of the joint-supporting nutrients glucosamine and chondroitin. The recipe is also supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption and probiotics for healthy digestion.
Labrador Training HQ likes that the recipe is free from corn, wheat, soy, meat by-products, and artificial additives to ensure healthy nutrition and easy digestion. K9 of Mine recommends the food because of its fiber-rich whole grains, high-quality animal proteins, and natural flavor.
Not only does Wellness Complete Health Senior Dog Food have more than 200 reviews on Amazon, but it also carries an Amazon’s Choice award and has a 4-star rating. Dog owners report that the product works well for weight loss and healthy weight maintenance, plus their dogs like the taste.
Pros: Made with fresh chicken and chicken meal, includes whole grains for digestibility, fresh fruits and veggies for natural sources of vitamins and minerals, supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics, free from meat by-products and artificial additives, added sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support, supports healthy skin and coat
Cons: May trigger allergies in dogs sensitive to grains, some dogs are allergic to chicken, some dogs developed gas or upset stomach
Many dog owners make the mistake of thinking that small-breed dogs need fewer calories than large breeds when, in fact, the opposite is true. Small-breed dogs have very fast metabolisms so, while they may need a lower number of total calories, they actually require a higher concentration of calories per pound of bodyweight.
Small-breed dog food formulas are rich in protein with higher levels of fat to meet a smaller dog’s high-energy needs. Our top pick for the best small/toy breed dog food is Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Dog Food.
While you might think that wet food is easier for a small dog to eat, most veterinarians agree that dry food is better. Eating kibble helps prevent plaque buildup, reducing the risk for dental disease, which is a common problem in small and toy breeds. Not only is Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Dog Food ideally sized for smaller dogs and designed to promote dental health, but it comes in seven different recipes.
Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Dog Food uses high-quality, animal-based proteins like chicken, salmon, lamb, and beef with grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potato for fiber. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide natural sources for key nutrients while supplements like probiotics support healthy and regular digestion. Kibbles are properly sized for small mouths, and they have a satisfying crunch that helps keep your dog’s teeth clean.
Top Dog Tips approves of the high protein content as well as the quality of the ingredients. The writer also notes that Merrick dog food is produced in organically-certified kitchens located in the USA. Smart Dog Owners also recommends this dog food because it features premium, deboned meats as the first ingredient with no gluten, grains, or artificial additives.
Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Dog Food has more than 400 reviews on Amazon in addition to a 4.3-star rating and an Amazon’s Choice award. Dog owners love the diversity of flavors and quality of the ingredients which makes it easy to find a formula any dog will enjoy.
Pros: Available in seven flavors (two with raw bites), high-quality animal proteins as the first ingredient, gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables for natural sources of vitamins and minerals, supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics, small kibble size, made in the USA with USA-sourced ingredients, no artificial additives or fillers, crunchy to clean teeth
Cons: Some dogs developed digestive upset, high protein content not recommended for dogs with liver or kidney issues, somewhat pricey compared to other brands
Large-breed dogs need an average of 20 to 30 calories per pound of body weight to meet their energy requirements without gaining weight. When choosing a large-breed dog food formula, it is important to make sure you meet your dog’s need for protein without going overboard on fat — too much fat typically means too many calories.
Large-breed dogs also require a careful blend of calcium and phosphorus to prevent orthopedic disease and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. Our top pick for the best dog food for large and giant breeds is Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Dog Food.
Available in three meat-rich flavors, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Dog Food is designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of larger dogs. Each recipe is made with high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient with whole grains, fresh fruits, and veggies for nutritional support.
There are no meat by-products or artificial additives, plus each formula is supplemented with Blue Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSource Bits. LifeSource Bits contain a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
A review from Dog Food Guide says that while Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Dog Food may be more expensive than some brands, it is reasonably priced for the level of quality it delivers. Top Dog Tips likes that the ratio of protein to fat is ideal for supporting lean, healthy muscles while also providing enough energy for an active lifestyle.
In addition to having more than 4,800 reviews on Amazon, this Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Dog Food has a solid 4.2-star rating and an Amazon’s Choice award. Dog owners report that their dogs love the flavor, though there are some comments about the kibbles being a little small for large-breed dogs.
Pros: Fresh meat is the first ingredient, three meat-rich flavors to choose from, whole grains for digestibility and nutrition, fresh fruits and vegetables for natural sources of key nutrients, LifeSource Bits supplement for nutritional balance, chelated minerals and probiotics, no artificial additives
Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to grain ingredients, somewhat pricey compared to other brands, kibbles may be too small for some dogs
Sharp teeth are no match for flimsy dog toys, but even the toughest toys can be torn to shreds by an aggressive chewer. Providing your dog with plenty of chew toys is important because it helps keep his teeth clean, provides him with mental stimulation, and it satisfies his natural desire to chew. Plus, it keeps him away from your shoes.
In addition to reading reviews from other pet parents, we've tested these toys ourselves — well, our test dog has — so you can be confident in our choices.
Here are the best chew toys you can buy:
Whether you are looking for a bite-sized indulgence or a healthy treat for training your dog, our top picks for dog treats will please your pup. Loaded with real meat and irresistible flavor, Zuke's Mini Naturals Dog Treats are the perfect choice for any dog.
You should also consider the Wellness WellBites Soft Natural Dog Treats, the Blue Buffalo BLUE Dental Bones, the Stella & Chewy's Carnivore Crunch Treats, the Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Sticks, and the BLUE Wilderness Trail Treats Dog Biscuits.
Every dog owner needs a good pooper scooper to pick up after their pup when they go for a walk around town. Of all the scoopers we researched, the Bodhi Dog Complete Poo Pack is our top pick. With rolls of bags and a clip-on bag holder included, you have everything you need in one kit.
You should also consider the Four Paws Grass Wire Rake, the Nature's Miracle Jaw Scoop, the Petmate Clean Response Waste Management System, and the Royal Pet Spotty Metal Tray with Rake.
Dogs tend to get messy and sometimes they run afoul of skunks or pick up other nasty smells. That's where dog shampoo comes to save the day. The Earthbath All Natural Vanilla & Almond Pet Shampoo is the best of the best with its all-natural formula that cleans and deodorizes without irritating your dog's sensitive skin.
You should also consider the Isle of Dogs Tearless Puppy Shampoo, the Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo, the 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo, the SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Triple Strength Dirty Dog Concentrated Shampoo, and the Vet's Best Hypo-Allergenic Dog Shampoo.
It's easy for your dog to get fleas, so you'll want to protect your pup with the best flea prevention products. Of all the flea treatment pills, sprays, shampoos, and collars out there, Frontline Plus is the best. It's easy to apply and offers a full 30 days of protection to kill both fleas and ticks.
You should also consider the Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor, the Vet's Best Natural Flea and Tick Spray, the Seresto Flea and Tick Collar, and the Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets.
Every dog deserves a comfy, cushy bed to sleep on, and our top pick is the DogBed4Less Orthopedic Memory Foam dog bed. This durable, comfortable, waterproof memory foam dog bed comes in a range of sizes, so you and your dog are sure to love it.
You should also consider the Big Barker 7-inch Pillow Top Orthopedic dog bed, the Brindle Waterproof Designer Memory Foam dog bed, the Coolaroo Elevated Dog Bed, or the PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed & Lounge.
We've tested some of the most popular dog toys on the market and scoured reviews to come up with our top pick, the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball. Affordably priced and durably constructed, this interactive dog toy wobbles, bounces, and giggles to keep your dog occupied for hours on end.
You should also consider the Starmark Bob-A-Lot, the KONG Extreme Dog Toy, the Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher, and the Mammoth Flossy Chews Cotton Blend 3-Knot Rope Tug.
Your dog may not care where he eats his dinner so long as he gets his kibble and table scraps, but having a good dog food bowl is important. For its durability and easy-to-clean design, the Our Pets Durapet Stainless Steel Dog Bowl is our top pick. We also have portable options and bowls for overeaters.
You should also consider the GPET Stainless Steel Dog Bowl, the Comsun Collapsible Dog Bowl, the Outward Hound Fun Feeder Dog Bowl, the IRIS Airtight Elevated Storage Feeder, and the Petmate Pet Café Feeder.
Every dog needs a good collar that will keep him comfy on long walks and hold his ID tags. Of all the dog collars out there, the Lupine Original Dog Collar is our top pick with its heavy-duty design, big range of colors, multiple sizes, and its lifetime guarantee that even covers chewing.
You should also consider the Blueberry Classic Nylon Dog Collar, the Perri's Padded Leather Dog Collar, the If It Barks Designer Martingale Collar, the PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Collar, and the Herm Sprenger Ultra-Plus Prong Training Collar.
We've reviewed all of the best dog leashes on the market, and our top pick is the Max and Neo Reflective Nylon Leash. This leash is constructed from durable but lightweight nylon to handle dogs of all sizes.
You should also consider the PetSafe Nylon Leash, Leashboss Original Double Handle Leash, TaoTronics Retractable Dog Leash, and the Logical Leather Training Leash.
Dog crates are great for keeping your pup out of trouble when you're gone from home, and dogs love to curl up in them for a nap. With its heavy-gauge, powder-coated steel wire construction, the MidWest Ultima Pro Folding Crate is our top pick. Not only is it highly durable and easy to clean, but you can use it for dogs of all ages and sizes.
You should also consider the Petmate Compass Plastic Kennel, the EliteField 3-Door Soft Dog Crate, the MidWest Life Stages Pet Crate, the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage, and the Crown Pet Crate Table.