Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by Andy Brooks
Dog Food Brands Recommended by Veterinarians
I write about dogs for several websites. Dog lovers regularly ask me about pet food that veterinarians recommend. Which products are the healthiest for dogs, according to experts?
Pet owners are apprehensive about spending more than they are able to, so my recommendations are limited to products that are budget-friendly. This article will go over a number of dog food brands recommended by veterinarians. First, we will give the top 10 list. Click the links to visit Amazon and get the price.
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- Hill’s Science
- Royal Canin
- Purina Pro
- Wellness Complete
- Castor & Pollux
- Nutro Ultra
- The Honest Kitchen
- Natural Balance
While this list will name veterinarian-approved brands, be mindful that every dog has needs of its own. There’s no universal selection for canine nutrition. You are encouraged to speak with a vet about your dog’s specific needs before changing its diet.
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With that said, this article will name arbitrary brands that are healthy for most canines. It will also explain why they are recommended. If you want more details about any of my choices, simply scroll down.
Top Dog Tips has evaluated the market for pet food and isolated several that are human-grade, completely natural, and holistic. I do not agree with their picks, though.
Honest Kitchen has also put together a list of dog foods recommended by veterinarians, but their choices are quite costly, and therefore not an option for most pet owners.
The nutrients required by your dog is contingent on many variables, including their medical history, coat and skin condition, weight, age, size, and breed.
A vet will understand your pet’s specific needs. They can recommend dog food brands to maintain their health. A vet may also recommend pet supplements if certain nutrients cannot be obtained from dog food exclusively.
Because of the size of the pet food market, there are no shortages of great products out there. Many of them provide blends for canines who have unique dietary requirements, sensitive stomachs, and skin allergies.
For more information about pet food humanization and commercial pet food safety, you are encouraged to listen to the following interviews:
Owners can buy commercial pet food that contains essential vitamins and supplements. Chondroitin and glucosamine are a couple of supplements for older dogs and active canines, both of which are found in many dog foods. You can also make your own dog food if you understand what the process entails and what ingredients are necessary.
I have selected ten dog food brands recommended by veterinarians, and I go over why I made the selections in more detail. The same criteria can be used when choosing what to feed your dog. However, as mentioned earlier, you are encouraged to speak with your veterinarian about making changes to your pet’s diet.
Usually, you can ask your vet by phone or email, as opposed to visiting them in person. Consulting your vet for advice will be far less expensive than treating your pet for allergic reactions (or another issue) after consumption of an improper diet.
Choosing a Dog Food Brand That is Vet-Recommended
As the owner of a pet, when trying to determine what to feed them, you should think about the nutritional and health benefits they will get. Do not simply take a company at their word about how healthy their food is.
There are a number of things you must look for to ensure that the pet food you choose is capable of providing your dog with all of the nutrients it needs. Begin by meticulously reading the labels of dog food, and research any terminology, chemicals, or ingredients you are unfamiliar with.
Dog Food Selection Criteria
Are AAFCO standards met, as far as balanced nutrition is concerned?
The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) isn’t regulated by the government. Rather, they are a voluntary group that establishes quality nutritional standards required for all stages of a dog’s life.
Many companies that produce dog food commercially formulate their products specifically for puppies, fully grown dogs, and senior canines as per the standards set forth by AAFCO. I follow their recommendations, as well as ones set by the FDA, many of which you will find on this list.
Keep your eye out for a statement by the AAFCO on either a pet food can or bag. If you can see it, then you know that you are getting a quality product. Freshly prepared and commercial raw diets must also meet the National Research Council’s (NRC) standards, in addition to AAFCO requirements. Each one of the recommendations I make on this list has met standards enforced by the AAFCO.
The Reputation of a Dog Food Manufacturer
Conversely, because there have been a number of melamine and salmonella contamination occurrences throughout the years, it can be troublesome to determine which brand to trust.
It can feel like just about every food manufacturer out there these days had some sort of bacterial contamination issue at one time or another. As such, a pet food recall risk remains a possibility.
Sticking to a freshly prepared or boutique raw-based diet will not necessarily prevent contamination of food, either. Some manufacturers have experienced contamination issues more than others, and as such, you will not find products manufactured by them on this list.
With regard to commercial pet food manufacturers, my choices were based on their palatability (the tastiness according to a dog), quality control, and balanced nutrition.
The 10 Best Dog Food Brands Recommended by Veterinarians in 2021
#1 Hill’s Science Diet
Hill’s Science Diet is at the top of this list. Hill has been meeting nutrition standards and quality control set by the AAFCO since the early 1930s. After the melamine scare of 2007, the company chose to source their raw ingredients exclusively from North America. All of Hill’s products are manufactured in America.
Visit Hill’s Science Diet
#2 Royal Canin
As far as nutrition and quality are concerned, Royal Cannon provides several different options for various breeds, which is quite beneficial. Some breeds don’t need certain nutrients that other breeds do. But the characteristics of breed-specific options produced by Royal Canin are very appropriate.
For instance, the Yorkshire Terrier dog food produced by Royal Canin has kibble that is relatively shaped and sized, simplifying the consumption process for smaller dogs. Diets that are breed-specific aren’t very typical, but in several cases, they are essential.
Visit Royal Canin
#3 Purina ProPlan
One of North America’s oldest dog food manufacturers is Purina. This manufacturer provides quality nutrition at a reasonable cost. Over the course of eight decades, a lot of nutritional research about canines was published by Purina.
As one of the company’s premium products, Purina ProPlan is beloved by dogs and veterinarians alike. The company has received a lot of publicity as of late for continuing to satisfy its customers with innovative pet food options.
Visit Purina Pro Plan
If you have concerns about food traceability that is human-grade, you are encouraged to try out Orijen. This pet food manufacturer – who is based in Canada – is committed to sourcing ingredients that are raw from their own country only. In fact, they publish which provinces their vegetables, fruits, meats, and fished are sourced from on their official website.
Each one of Orijen’s products follows standards set forth by AAFCO. They also passed many dogs’ taste-tests!
#5 Wellness Natural Food For Dogs
This product could be a suitable choice for your puppy if you’re looking for a fairly cheap commercial food, and optimal health is important to you. Wellness’ nutrition is based on whole foods.
They contain the right mix of omega fatty acids (3 and 6), as well as a slew of probiotics and antioxidants for optimal digestion. This company has been producing dog food for quite some time now. They are a top choice when it comes to dog food brands recommended by veterinarians.
Visit Wellness Complete
#6 Castor & Pollux
This manufacturer produces dog food that is USDA organic-certified. Most of their food resembles cooked stews, which are tasty to dogs and aesthetically pleasing for humans.
I have opened up a can of Castor & Pollux for my dogs, and they are enamored with this brand. I am looking forward to some of the other dog food products they plan on releasing in the future.
Visit Castor & Pollux
Eukanuba/Iams provides several different diets for certain breeds. These dog food products are reasonably priced and are suited for dogs that have certain medical issues.
For instance, if your canine’s skin is sensitive and requires small kibble, then Eukanuba/Iams will be just right for them. Because it is inexpensive, you can let your dog try out one of their products to determine if they like it. If they don’t, you won’t go broke.
#8 Nutro Ultra
This manufacturer adds a variety of ingredients to their dog food for the sake of optimizing nutritional content. They provide several formulas for small and large breeds alike.
Although Nutro Ultra does offer formulas that are “grain-free,” a lot of their products have grains that won’t trigger allergies (brown rice and whole-grain oats, to name a couple). Most veterinarians recommend this dog food brand as a top choice when it comes to grain-free pet food.
#9 The Honest Kitchen
For those who are interested in human-grade pet food, but do not have time to prepare a balanced meal, the Honest Kitchen can simplify the process. They provide balanced dog food that’s freeze-dried, and as such, all you have to do is warm-up dinner for your dog, which doesn’t take very long.
Some of their healthy offerings include quinoa (among other whole grains) and low allergen fish and duck. The company grows bigger with each passing year, creating innovative human-grade pet food.
Visit The Honest Kitchen
#10 Natural Balance
This affordable and healthy natural diet contains plenty of omega-3’s. While the balanced nutrition product isn’t hypoallergenic, some dogs who suffer from allergies will enjoy its carbohydrate and protein recipes, including potato and salmon or sweet potato and venison. Many pet owners notice improvements in their canine’s coat, and no prescription is needed to achieve this.
Visit Natural Balance
Although this list features 10 of the best dog food brands as recommended by veterinarians, it falls upon you to choose one that accommodates your lifestyle, budget, and the individual needs of your dog. Some canines have picky tastes; others will eat anything you give them.
The objective here is to offer something nutritious to them that they will enjoy eating. If you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or diet, speak with your vet.