Putting a good amount of thought to make sure you’re giving your dog the best food on the market might seem excessive, but research suggests there’s good reason to make the effort. A recent study indicates that one in three dogs in the U.S. are classified as overweight. Scientists say obese dogs have life spans about two-and-a-half years shorter than dogs that maintain an ideal weight.
Research also suggests that a puppy’s diet influences their risk of developing allergies and skin issues. Processed commercial dog foods, such as canned or sausage-packed foods, appear to cause health issues later in life, scientists say. Puppies whose diets contained more than 20 percent of such processed foods were also more likely to develop allergies or skin issues.
Unfortunately, studies show the majority of dog owners are failing to follow FDA pet food guidelines, whether it’s for lack of time, effort, or awareness. A recent paper from North Carolina State University points out that nationwide efforts to improve education and implementation may reduce the occurrence of bacterial illness and contamination in dogs considerably.
While it’s assumed that many dog owners are not intentionally malnourishing their pets, with an infiltrated market full of dog foods advertised as “healthy,” it can be difficult to assess which products will actually benefit your pet.
StudyFinds set out to find the best and highest rated dog food across expert websites. For our findings, we visited 10 leading pet websites to see which dog foods were most recommended to help your pup live their happiest, healthiest, and longest life.
The List: Best Dog Food Brands Of 2022
- Open Farm
Open Farm is a top contender on the list of best dog foods for various reasons, including its commitment to ethical sourcing and its sustainable and traceable ingredients. “It ensures that pups are getting the best nutrition and lessens negative impacts on the environment. Open Farm kibbles are also free of chemicals, artificial preservatives and cheap fillers,” Forbes writes.
Open Farm is also a beloved brand due to its diverse line of products, offering dry food, wet food, freeze dried raw food and gently cooked food.
“The salmon in Wild-Caught Salmon and Ancient Grains comes from a reputable supplier. It also contains other high-quality ingredients, such as organic fruits and vegetables,” Discover Magazine notes in its review.
- The Farmer’s Dog
For a higher-end, more customizable option, The Farmer’s Dog offers fresh food delivery to your doorstep. “I call these TV dinners for dogs,” Judy Morgan, DVM, a veterinarian who specializes in integrative care, tells NBC News.
However, these luxury dog dishes are a far cry from the TV dinners you may have grown accustomed to. The main ingredients are chicken liver, brussels sprouts, and cabbage, offering your pup a well-balanced, heart-healthy meal to fuel their day.
“This brand worked with board-certified veterinary nutritionists to formulate recipes that are complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards. As further evidence of its food’s quality, the Farmer’s Dog has released results from ongoing long-term feeding trials showing that the nutritional value in its food exceeds AAFCO recommendations,” New York Magazine reports.
- Royal Canin
Experts agree that Royal Canin is a great overall dog food that supports calorie needs, L-carnitine for healthy fat metabolism and EPA and DHA to support brain and skin health.
“This puppy food has chicken and pork as the main protein sources. Brewers rice flour and beet pulp provide carbohydrates. Other healthy ingredients include antioxidants and vitamin E to support immune health,” Insider writes.
Royal Canin also rates highly in palatability for dogs, saving you the time of trying to convince your pup to chow down on something that is good for them. “The best foods are backed by actual research and feeding trials, and Royal Canin does the extensive work needed to prove their foods yield excellent real-world results,” Dr. Gregory Gstrein, a staff veterinarian at a VCA Animal Hospital in California, tells New York Magazine.
- Pupper Fuel
Pupper Fuel is a great dog food option for those looking for an all-natural product with several health benefits and technologies backed by science. “This dog food is formulated for peak performance and optimal health for dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds,” Outlook India writes.
The company offers a variety of dog foods and supplements that help aid in comprehensive health, with completed and ongoing clinical trials to help maintain food quality.
“Their chicken dish is made with natural ingredients without the use of added artificial tastes or preservatives. It’s also high in protein to keep your dog satisfied and full,” Discover Magazine says in its review.
Before making any changes to your dog’s diet, be sure to check with your pet’s veterinarian first.
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.