Recommended Dog Food Brands as of APRIL 2015


Orijen (our favorite grain-free food)

Formulas:  Puppy, Large Breed Puppy, Adult (chicken, turkey, fish), 6 Fish, Regional Red (boar, lamb, pork, bison), Senior (lower calorie chicken, turkey, fish) , Tundra (goat, venison, mutton, duck, rabbit, fish)


Formulas: Duck, Lamb, Trout & Salmon, Turkey, Zssential (multi-protein)

Also has canned lines.





Grain-free Formulas (Regionals):  Wild Prairie (chicken, whitefish), Pacifica (salmon, flounder, herring); Grasslands (lamb, duck, fish); Ranchlands (beef, lamb, herring)

Healthy Grain Formulas (Classics):  Puppy Small Breed, Puppy & Junior, Puppy Large Breed, Adult Small Breed, Adult Dog, Adult Large Breed, Sport & Agility, Light & Fit, Senior Dog (all contain chicken and flounder for protein)

Limited Ingredients Formulas (Singles):  Lamb & Apple, Duck & Pear, Pork & Butternut Squash




Grain-free Formulas:  Surf & Turf (salmon, duck, chicken); Beef Frittata Veg, Salmon Tunalini, Game Bird (duck, turkey, quail pheasant), Lamb & Lentil, Pork & Peas 

Healthy Grain Formulas:  Pork & Applesauce, Duck & Sweet Potato, Chicken A La Veg, Whitefish & Potato, Salmon A La Veg (all part of the Four-Star line); Adult Gold, Large Breed Adult Gold, Puppy Gold, Large Breed Puppy Gold, Senior Gold (all Gold lines contain duck, chicken and lamb); Adult and Mature Adult Classics (both Classic lines contain chicken)




Grain-free Formulas (Now Fresh & Go! Fit & Free lines):  Now Fresh Puppy, Adult, Small Breed, Senior, Large Breed Puppy, Large Breed Adult, Large Breed Senior (all contain turkey, salmon, duck), Go! Fit & Free Puppy, Adult and Senior (all contain chicken, turkey, salmon)

Healthy Grain Formulas (Go! Daily Defiance & Summit Holistic lines):  Go! Daily Defiance Chicken, Lamb (both all life stages), Summit 3 Meat Puppy, 3 Meat Adult, 3 Meat Reduced Calorie (3 Meats contain chicken, salmon, lamb),

Limited Ingredients Formulas (Go! Sensitivity & Shine line): Duck, Salmon, Grain Free Turkey



Solid Gold

Grain-free Formulas:  Barking at the Moon (fish, beef); Sun Dancer (chicken)

Healthy Grain Formulas:  Hundchen Flocken Puppy, Hund-n-Flocken Adult (both contain lamb); Wolfcub Puppy, Wolfking Adult (both contain bison), Holistique Blendz Senior (fish), MMillennia Beef & Barley Adult, Just a Wee Bit Adult (bison)




Grain-free Formulas (Core line):  Puppy, Small Breed, Original, Reduced Fat (all contain chicken, turkey), Ocean (fish)

Healthy Grain Formulas (Super5Mix line):  Chicken, Lamb, Barley & Salmon Meal, Whitefish & Sweet Potato, Healthy Weight, Just for Puppies, Just for Seniors, Adult Large Breed, Puppy Large Breed, Adult Small Breed, Small Breed Healthy Weight, Small Breed Puppy (final 8 contain chicken)

Limited Ingredients Formulas (Simple Solutions line):  Duck & Oatmeal, Salmon & Potato, Turkey & Potato, Lamb & Oatmeal




Grain-free Formulas (Legacy line):  Puppy, Adult (both contain chicken, salmon, turkey); Also has Amicus line for small breeds (turkey, chicken, salmon); Also has Pulsar line with peas, lentils, chicken and fish

Healthy Grain Formulas (Complete line):  Large Breed Adult, Large Breed Puppy, Puppy, Adult, Senior (all contain chicken)




Grain-free Formulas (Pure):  Sky (duck, turkey), Land (bison, lamb), Element (chicken, turkey, lamb, ocean fish), Sea (salmon)

Healthy Grain Formulas:  Lamb & Rice, Chicken & Rice, Beef & Fish, ALS (chicken, turkey, lamb, fish), Platinum Senior (chicken, turkey, lamb, fish)

Limited Ingredient Formulas:  Chicken, Brown & White Rice (Single Grain Protein)



Lotus (has a raw formula also)

Grain-free Formula:  Duck

Healthy Grain Formulas: Wholesome Chicken, Wholesome Chicken Puppies, Wholesome Chicken Seniors, Wholesome Lamb



Earthborn Holistic

Grain-free Formulas:  Primitive Natural (turkey, chicken, whitefish), Coastal Catch (herring, salmon, whitefish), Great Plains Feast (bison), Meadow Feast (lamb)

Healthy Grain Formulas: Adult Vantage, Puppy Vantage and Small Breed (all contain chicken and whitefish), Ocean Fusion (whitefish and menhaden fish)



Eagle Holistic Select

Grain Free Formulas: Adult & Puppy Salmon, Anchovy and Sardines

Healthy Grain Formulas:  Adult, Adult Small & Mini Breed, Puppy, Puppy Small & Mini Breed (all 4 contain anchovy, sardines, salmon), Adult Chicken Meal & Rice, Adult Duck, Adult Lamb, Senior Chicken & Rice, Large & Giant Breed Chicken & Oatmeal, Large & Giant Breed Puppy Lamb Meal & Oatmeal, Weight Maintenance Chicken & Peas



Holistic Blend

Grain Free Formulas: Turkey

Healthy Grain Formulas: Hollistic Blend (Lamb & Rice; Chicken, Rice & Vegetable) and The Healthy Dog (Chicken & Herring Meal)




Grain Free Formulas: Salmon Bleu, Viva La Venison, Le Lamb

Healthy Grain Formulas: La Porchetta (Pork, Limited ingredient)

**Also has raw dehydrated formulas**



Great Life

Grain Free Formulas: Buffalo, Chicken, Salmon; Pioneers Natural Grain Free Chicken, GF Pork, GF Venison and GF Whitefist

Healthy Grain Formulas: Buffalo, Chicken, Lamb, Salmon; Pioneers Natural Buffalo, Chicken, Pork Venison and Whitefish

Limited Ingredient Formulas (Dr. E's line): Buffalo, Duck; Grain Free Buffalo, Grain Free Duck




Grain Free Formulas: Lean (chicken, duck, herring), Aqualuk (salmon, herring), Salcha (chicken, turkey, duck), Manitok (lamb, venison)

Healthy Grain Formulas: Adult (chicken, 23% protein), Encore (chicken, 25% protein), Extra (chicken, 26% protein), Option (salmon and venison, 24% protein), Ultra (chicken, 32% protein), Small Breed ALS (lamb, venison, coming soon)



Nature's Variety (has a raw line also)

Grain Free Formulas: Instinct Raw Boost (5 formulas: chicken, beef & lamb, lamb & salmon, duck & turkey, venison & lamb); Instinct Originals (5 formulas: chicken, beef & lamb, duck & turkey, rabbit, salmon)

Healthy Grain Formulas: Prairie Dogs (6 formulas: chicken, beef, lamb, duck, venison, salmon); Puppy and Large Breed Puppy (chicken and brown rice)

Limited Ingredient Formulas (Instinct Grain Free line): Turkey, Lamb, Duck, Rabbitt




Grain Free Formulas (N&D line): Chicken, Large Breed Chicken, Small Breed Chicken, Wild Lamb, Wild Boar, Wild Herring

Healthy Grain Formulas (20% Ancestral High Protein line): Chicken, Lamb, Wild Cod




Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul

Healthy Grain Formulas: Adult, Large Breed Adult, Senior, Adult Light, Puppy, Large Breed Puppy, Overweight (all contain chicken, turkey).






Honest Kitchen:


Ziwi Peak:

Stella & Chewy’s:


Tucker's Raw

I and love and you (also has kibble):

Addiction (also has kibble):



Rayne Clinical Nutrition:


** Brands that look good but have had recent recalls or buyouts; still better than Iams, Nutro, Hills, and grocery store junk…..


Taste of the Wild (grain-free):

EVO (grain-free):

Innova (healthy grains):

California Natural (recommended for dogs with sensitivities):

Merrick (Before Grain is grain-free; 5-Star is healthy grains; Castor & Pollux is also owned by Merrick): |


Natural Balance (known for limited ingredient diets; merged with DelMonte 6/15/13):

Bravo (raw; more than one recall in last year):

Blue Buffalo (may have byproducts in their ingredients):

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  • A HUGE Thank You to Allyson for updating and posting this! Allyson, you rock!

  • There have been reports of problems with Evanger's manufacturing practices for awhile, with a warning letter sent by the FDA last May. FDA Letter to Evanger's May 2011

    It's a shame, because it would be very good quality food, if the contents would truly reflect what's on the label.

  • No problem - thanks for all that YOU do Karen every day!

  • Allyson, this is very good and I thank you for all this work.

    The only problem with Orijen is that all the flavors have fish in them.  If you have a dog like mine that hates any kind of fish, it's helpful to know that the Origen foods are limited in this way.

    Also, I am curious as to why you include only dry formulas.  Again, my dog will not eat dehydrated raw foods (except for Stella & Chewey's patties).  If you have any information on frozen raw (Instinct, BARF, etc.), that would be helpful to have.  I know some of these are purely locally supplied and would be nearly impossible to find info on, but the nationally-distributed brands might be workable.

    Like Roberta, I use canned food (Dave's) to top the kibble, so it would be great if we could eventually get a list of exceptional canned foods.

    This really is an invaluable list!  Thanks again!

    • Trudy, we do have a raw section in our recommended brands above, and some of those companies make frozen raw products, not just dehydrated. Also, any brand we recommend is recommended for everything they make, including canned formulas and frozen raw products, so any canned product made by one of the listed companies is included, as is Instinct, which is made by Nature's Variety. Lotus, which is listed, has a frozen raw product, too.

      This is not a list of individual products, it's a list of brands.

  • Thanks Allyson and Karen for the updated list.

  • Thank you, Allyson!

  • Hi Everyone :)  I have a question regarding food.  I was speaking to Lani's breeder last night and she asked what food I have been feeding her.  I have her and my English Bulldog on Wellness Ocean Whitefish and Sweet Potato which is a limited ingredient food.  The breeder told me Wellness is not a good food.  Every review I have read said it's a very good food.  She said there is not a high meat content in the food and is not of high quality. Also, she said I should be feeding chicken or beef or venison foods and never fish based because fish oil has been tied to canine cancer!  Please let me know.  Is Wellness a good food?  Is fish based food really bad?  My dogs do get fresh veggies and meat in their diet.  Deer hunting is big here so we have a ton of venison for the winter.  If we are having it for dinner we make sure to give our dogs some.  They also get chicken and beef, carrots, peas, broccoli, really all depends on what we are having for dinner but we make sure to supplement their food so they aren't just eating dry food.  So, because of that I don't see why Wellness is so bad when it's not solely what they are eating.  Please advise :)

    • I like this dog food analysis website. They rate the foods on a 6 star system. Wellness makes some 5 and 6 star foods. The Wellness Fish & Sweet Potato got 4 stars. You can read the full analysis hereSome of the reviews are a few years old so things may have changed since then. Does anyone know of a better website?

      Dog Food Reviews - Main Index - Powered by ReviewPost
      Dog food information reviews and ratings
      • We used to love and rely on the dog food analysis website, but unfortunately it is all out of date and there has been no current information there for several years. It's basically defunct. Most of the formulas have changed, so it's pretty much useless at this point.

        I don't really care for the "star" rating system. It doesn't take into account all variables, particularly the manufacturer. Plus, they are biased towards grain-free foods, so no food that contains grains, like the Wellness formula you mentioned, can get a top rating.

        We hope that the information here in this group will make it possible for everyone to do their own evaluations of dog foods.

        For information on evaluating ingredients, the best website out there is The Dog Food Project.


        The Dog Food Project - How does your Dog Food Brand compare?
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