The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (2023)

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The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (1)

The best dog food must also be something your dog will enjoy eating and offer adequate nutrition and dietary support.

When comparing dog foods, there are several factors to take into account, says Dr. Jennifer Frione, DVM, owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital. The label of the pet food, the components, the guaranteed analysis, the age of the animal, and any underlying medical issues should all be taken into consideration.

To gather the most reliable dog food brands available, we assessed a wide range of dog food companies, consulting with vets and looking into nutritional certifications. The What To Look For the portion of this article and The Spruce Pets guide to picking a dog food both have extra information on how to evaluate dog food companies.

1. Best Overall: Purina Pro Plan

The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (2)

What We Like

  • Numerous formulae for every stage of life
  • Brand has a staff of veterinarians and dietitians.
  • goods made in the USA

What We Don’t Like

  • Costly at times

More than 80 different types of dog food are available from Purina Pro Plan, and Dr. Frione frequently suggests them to her patients. Purina Pro Plan formulas include food nutritionally tailored for adult dogs, puppies of various sizes, and elderly dogs, and specific diet support for overweight dogs, sensitive stomachs, and more. These alternatives are available in addition to wet and dry options.

A number of formulas also incorporate the most recent findings in nutritional science, integrating components like gut-health enhancing probiotics, vitamin A, and omega-6 fatty acids that may support a healthy coat. While Purina Pro Plan’s “Performance” formula for active dogs has a 30% / 20% blend of protein and fat, designed to preserve lean muscle mass, the puppy formula includes extra calcium for bone health.

Purina Pro Plan uses high-quality ingredients in addition to recipes that have undergone thorough research and certification, with genuine meat frequently serving as the primary ingredient.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has established nutritional standards, which Purina Pro Plan dog food complies with. The company creates 99% of its pet products in American factories owned by Purina and uses ingredients that are sourced ethically.

The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (3)

What We Like

  • reasonably priced
  • options for various dog breeds
  • created by dietitians and scientists

What We Don’t Like

  • The ingredients are not of the highest calibre.

Although it’s a widespread assumption that more expensive dog food is always better, there are several budget dog food brands, including Pedigree, that provide nutritious options for your pet. More than 60 different varieties of wet and dry dog food are offered under this brand, which is owned by Mars Pet. Puppies and adult dogs can both use Pedigree food, and some formulations are available for dogs who have particular requirements such as high protein and weight loss.

The Waltham Petcare Science Institute, owned by Mars, is a pet research facility with scientists and pet nutritionists on staff that create pet food recipes for all of the company’s brands. Pedigree dog foods may not always contain the highest-quality ingredients, but the meals are nonetheless wholesome and simple to digest.

Proven Buying Advice

“‘Complete and balanced’ should be written on the label. This usually refers to a specific period in the pet’s existence. Complete and balanced pet meals have either completed a feeding trial using AAFCO guidelines or met nutrient profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).-Dr. Joanne Intile, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Oncology at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, DVM, MS, DACVIM

The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (4)

What We Like

  • offers options according to breed
  • created by dietitians and scientists
  • really tasty to the majority of canines

What We Don’t Like

  • Certain formulae can be pricey.

Due to its portability and shelf stability, dry dog food is a preferred option for many pet owners. Royal Canin, which provides more than 80 dry recipes, is one of the top dry dog food companies. Royal Canin offers a distinctive line of breed-specific diets, each of which is adapted to that dog breed’s characteristics and common issues, in addition to dry food for adults, puppies, and senior dogs. Even the shape of the kibble is chosen in accordance with the breed’s jaw structure and biting style.

Another company that Dr. Frione personally endorses is Royal Canin, whose products are developed with the assistance of nutritional and research teams. The company approaches pet food with a nutrient-focused strategy, analyzing the unique nutritional requirements of dogs and developing ideal diet profiles based on research.

4. Best Wet: Hill’s Science Diet

The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (5)

What We Like

  • provides both common and specialized wet meals.
  • available in several container sizes
  • Brands that prioritize quality and safety
  • developed by a team of veterinarians and dietitians

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive

Dr. Frione also recommends Hill’s Science Diet, which is particularly well-liked by dog owners who prefer to feed their pets wet food. This company features a renowned range of prescription diets for dogs with particular medical issues, as well as an extensive selection of wet dog foods, including formulations for pups, adults, and seniors. (Veterinarian approval is required to acquire Hill’s Prescription Diet products.)

This company is dedicated to producing premium dog foods, and all of its offerings adhere to or beyond the nutrient profiles and production standards set forth by the AAFCO and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). The company has approximately 220 Ph.D. nutritionists, scientists, and veterinarians on staff, and its safety standards are based on those of producers of human food.

5. Best for Puppies: Purina One

The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (6)

What We Like

  • widely accessible
  • less expensive than Purina Pro Plan
  • Brand has a staff of veterinarians and dietitians.
  • goods made in the USA

What We Don’t Like

  • a few options for items

All of the aforementioned companies provide top-notch puppy chow, but Purina One is also a popular option for puppies. Purina One is a science-based diet that provides excellent nutrition for developing dogs, much like Purina Pro Plan does. You can often buy these items at reputable retail and supermarket stores—not just speciality pet stores—and this brand offers three puppy-specific diets, including conventional dry food, large breed puppy dry food, and a wet food choice.

Purina One formulas, like those for the company’s other products, are developed by a team of nutritionists, vets, and scientists and offer growing puppies balanced and complete nutrition. The recipe complies with AAFCO requirements and excludes filler components.

6. Best Human-Grade Ingredients: The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (7)

What We Like

  • made using components that are safe for humans
  • a good range of items

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Unknown if the company works with a veterinary nutritionist

Although the term “human-grade” dog food has no official definition, it is most frequently used to describe food that is handled, packaged, and delivered in a manner similar to that of human consumable foods. (However, “human-grade” does not necessarily imply that the food has the right amounts of nutrients, thus it is crucial that it also complies with AAFCO standards.) One of the leading manufacturers of human-quality dog food is The Honest Kitchen, whose goods are free of maize, wheat, soy, fillers, meat meals, feed grade by-products, and other “feed grade” ingredients.

Dog food is available from The Honest Kitchen in a variety of forms, including wet, dehydrated, and “whole food clusters,” which are similar to dry food. It offers a variety of protein flavours as well as formulas for seniors, puppies, and adults. Although it’s not obvious if they were created by a veterinary nutritionist, the recipes adhere to the AAFCO’s nutritional standards.

The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (8)

What We Like

  • supple flavour and texture
  • Small, medium, and large dog formulations
  • The main component is fresh chicken.
  • Made in the USA

What We Don’t Like

  • Unknown if the company works with a veterinary nutritionist

If your dog typically rejects normal kibble, you might want to give Bil-Jac a try because it has a special soft formula that many dogs like. The company produces dry, moist, and even frozen food. Picky No More is a particular line of items designed for dogs with discriminating preferences. There are many dog food formulae available from Bil-Jac for small, medium, and big breeds, as well as puppy and senior feeds.

The distinctive texture of Bil-Jac cuisine is a result of its slow cooking method, which the company also claims enhances the flavour. Many Bil-Jac dog diets feature fresh chicken as the first component, which pet owners appreciate because the food is made in accordance with AAFCO standards.

8. Best for Dogs with Food Sensitivities: Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet with Healthy Grains Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

The Best 8 Dog Food Manufacturers for 2023 - Pet Royal Food (9)
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What We Like

  • made with ten or fewer ingredients.
  • available in a variety of tastes
  • by veterinarian nutritionists

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive

Merrick Limited Ingredient dog foods are designed with 10 ingredients or less and still provide your pet with a comprehensive and balanced diet, making them ideal for dogs with certain dietary sensitivities. Deboned meat, fish, or poultry is the first component in every flavour of this food line, which is available in both wet and dry recipes.

Since Merrick is a subsidiary of Nestlé Purina, their dog food recipes are developed by the same group of nutritionists, vets, and behaviourists. Additionally, the company employs its own Ph.D. nutritionists. Merrick dog foods are produced in the company’s Texas kitchen and don’t include any fillers, additives, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives.

Purina Pro Plan is a top pick for dog food regardless of the breed of dog you own. This well-known business is quite open about how it operates and provides a wide selection of formulations for dogs of all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. Pedigree offers full and balanced formulations for dogs of all ages if you’re seeking dog food that is more reasonably priced.

How to Choose a Dog Food Company

Intended Life Stage

Your decision on a dog food brand should take your dog’s age, size, way of life, and health conditions into consideration. A developing puppy’s nutritional requirements are different from those of an adult dog, and an overweight dog shouldn’t be fed the same food as a highly active sporting dog. Consult your veterinarian to determine the optimal food choice if you’re unsure of your dog’s life stage or nutritional requirements.

The Association of American Feed Control Officers (AAFCO) organisation has developed specific guidelines for defining ingredients, testing, feeding trial protocols, and official terminology for dog foods,” says Dr. Frione. Make sure the dog food you choose complies with AAFCO guidelines; this information should be listed on the label.

Under the guaranteed analysis on the back of the bag is where you’ll often find the nutritional adequacy statement, which generally says something like, “[Brand] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance/adult dogs.” The meal is not a full source of nutrition for your dog if it is marked as “short-term,” “intermittent,” or “complementary,” for example. Additionally, the AAFCO offers thorough instructions on how to read dog food labels.

Considering the formulation of a dog food brand’s goods is another way to evaluate its quality. As recipe formulation is a complex process that is not typically included in veterinary school curricula, Dr. Frione and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) both advise seeking a company that employs a veterinary nutritionist, ideally with a Ph.D. in animal nutrition.

Wet food or dry kibble are both acceptable forms of a nutritionally balanced dog diet. The former is typically bagged, whereas the latter is frequently canned. Although one isn’t always superior to the other, you might find that your dog prefers one. You could discover that combining dry and wet food might save you money in some circumstances. To make sure you aren’t overfeeding your dog, modify the portion according to the weight of your dog before doing so. Visit The Pros and Cons of Mixing Wet and Dry Dog Food on The Spruce Pets for more details on wet food and dry food for dogs.

What is the best way to find out if a dog food brand is recalled?

If you learn that a dog food may have been recalled, consult your veterinarian, advises Dr. Frione. Recent recalls will also be reported on the FDA website. On the FDA website, you may discover a current list of recalls and withdrawals, along with the cause of each one.

Is it bad to mix dog food brands?

According to Dr. Frione of Lakeside Animal Hospital, altering foods frequently has frequently resulted in gastrointestinal distress. You may want to talk to your veterinarian about moving to a different meal or boosting your dog’s diet if the dog food you are currently feeding your pet is not a full source of nutrition.

Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and lifelong animal lover, wrote this post. She now has two dogs, which she feeds Purina Pro Plan dog food to per her veterinarian’s advice.

She consulted Dr. Jennifer Frione, DVM, owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital, for advice on what to look for in a portion of dog food because pet nutrition is a complex subject. Additionally, she conducted extensive research using reliable resources, such as the AAFCO, WSAVA, Tufts University, and the Pet Nutrition Alliance. She prioritized brands with extensive teams made up of vet nutritionists, veterinarians, and scientists when evaluating the quality of various dog food brands based on their product variety, nutritional content, ingredients, recalls, and development team.


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