Ranking dog food is not an easy proposition. Dogs are different, their needs are different, and some dog foods address some needs and others address different needs. The important thing is to find the foods that are prepared with maximum nutritional value in mind, using quality ingredients, and maintaining an appetizing flavor.
In evaluating the cost of dog foods, it may at first seem that the highest quality dog foods are the most expensive. But in actual use, they’re found to be very cost-effective because the dog gets a higher level of nutrition from a smaller portion of food. Although it is difficult to recommend any particular “top ten” list of dog foods, there are some foods that are consistently ranked high by various experts, owners, and dog breeders. Here, in no particular order, are just a few dog food brands that consistently rank high among the experts.
Best Dog Food Ranked: Solid Gold Foods
Consumer reports and dog nutrition experts consistently list Solid Gold foods at the top of lists. This company manufactures a food with first-class ingredients to address specific needs of dogs that have allergies or food sensitivities. Solid Gold specializes in holistic nutrition for pets in 8 different ranges of dog food. The dry foods don’t need chemical preservatives or flavor enhancers because they’re packaged in special “foil barrier” bags.
Best Dog Food Ranked: Precise Holistic Select
In 2010, Pet Business Magazine named the Precise Holistic Select line the recipient of their award for “Best Pet Food Category.” Precise is a family-owned company that has produced superior pet foods for thirty years. They have consistently received an “Excellent” certification from the USDA/AIB, largely due to the fact that they use human-grade, all natural ingredients in their three categories of food, Original, Plus, and Holistic Complete. They even package their dry foods in-house so that they can maintain the quality all the way to the consumer.
Best Dog Food Ranked: Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo is another holistic range of dog foods, and it’s ranked high on the Best Dog Food list because of their unique, gluten-free formulation. Besides making the kibble from premium, all-natural and holistic ingredients, as you would expect, it’s also blended with a specific mixture of specially selected nutrients and antioxidants which is called “Lifesource Bits.”
Best Dog Food Ranked: Wellness
With a name like Wellness, you just know that this is a company whose top priority is the well-being of animals. This company uses predominantly human-grade ingredients and whole foods in their holistic range of pet foods that are free of meat by-products, fillers, preservatives, or artificial colors or flavors. The company offers several varieties of foods to address not only puppies and dogs of all ages, but also dogs with allergy and sensitivity problems. There is also a grain free, protein-focused variety.
Best Dog Food Ranked: Nature’s Variety
Nature’s Variety is another holistic range of dog foods, offering varieties that contain absolutely no corn, wheat, soy, chemicals, or artificial ingredients. One of the options included with this brand is the Prairie range, which contains whole grains, protein from meat, poultry, or fish, and fruits and vegetables. There is also a grain-free option, the Instinct range, as well as the Instinct Raw Frozen Diet or Freeze Dried Raw.
Best Dog Food Ranked: Orijen
Orijen received the award for Pet Food of the Year for 2010-2011 from the Glycemic Research Institute. The company calls their food “biologically appropriate” for your dog because it’s designed to match dogs’ natural carnivorous diet. The formula is based on 70 percent meat and 30 percent vegetables to meet canines’ natural nutritional needs for a diet that’s grain free, high in protein, and low in carbohydrate.
Best Dog Food Ranked: Natural Balance
Dick Van Patten’s move from the entertainment industry to the pet food industry paid off big with his company Natural Balance holding its own among the top dog food brands. This company offers a range of dog foods made from all-natural ingredients that include organic, reduced calorie, vegetarian, and hypoallergenic. Natural Balance has a formula for any dog, any problem.
Best Dog Food Ranked: Timberwolf Organics
Timberwolf Organics is a company that continues to recognize dogs’ natural carnivorous inclinations. This range of food is based on carnivore specific formulations containing high levels of animal protein, and balancing it with an assortment of different types of grains, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and herbs. These foods have concentrated nutrition so your dog doesn’t require as much food to maintain his health.
Best Dog Food Ranked: Petcurean Pet Nutrition
Petcurean Pet Nutrition is a Canadian-based company that produces dog foods under the name of Summit, Now!, and Go! This company takes great care in using fresh, natural ingredients. The Now! Variety is grain-free, and it slow cooks hormone free, deboned meats with fruits and vegetables at a low temperature in order to maintain a high level of wholesome nutritional quality. The Go! Variety is formulated to be a well-balanced, healthful diet that can transition with your dog as he grows from the puppy stage to a healthy older dog. The ingredients include all-natural, deboned meat and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Best Dog Food Ranked: Canidae All-natural, holistic Canidae is another dog food that consistently receives a superior rating. This company’s offerings are produced in highly rated facilities with human-grade ingredients. They offer grain free formulas, as well as their “All Life Stages” variety, which contains more than 50 percent hormone and antibiotic-free meat protein.
Of course, just because the brands listed here are consistently named as some of the best dog foods available, that doesn’t mean that one of them has to be the right one for your dog. There are many more brands out there that are equally as wholesome, nutritious, and safe. The important thing is to pay attention to ingredients, and try to educate yourself about the manufacturer. You want to make sure that the company that makes your dog’s food is dedicated to making quality their top priority.
Even if you don’t choose a brand from this list, there are many other excellent choices to make your dog happy and healthy. Just be sure to avoid the generic brands, and don’t get sucked in by cuteness in advertising. After all, it’s your dog we’re talking about.
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