7 Best Healthiest Dog Food – Ingredients + Brands (August 2019) | TheGoodyPet
Best Healthiest Dog Food For Your Furry Friend

Best Healthiest Dog Food For Your Furry Friend

PETE DECKER / JANUARY 12, 2019 / DOGS

Every pet parent wants to keep their dog healthy and happy, and food is a big part of that. With so much conflicting advice about which foods are healthy for dogs, though, it can be hard to know what to feed them.

These product reviews and tips will help you pick the best food for your dog to ensure that they remain as healthy as possible.

TheGoodyPet Halo Natural Dog Food - Editors' Pick

Halo Natural Dog Food


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If you buy humanely raised meat and organic veggies for yourself, shouldn’t you do the same for your dog? Enter Halo, a brand of dog food that never sources its meat from factory farms and never uses genetically modified vegetables.

Their kibble contains turkey, turkey liver, and duck, which is a nutritious, high protein combo. The turkey is a great source of riboflavin, which will help your dog derive energy from food. The liver and duck contain iron, which is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen.

The good nutrition doesn’t stop there. This dog food also has dried chickpeas, lentils, and peas, which contain dietary fiber that will keep your dog regular and promote colon health. Dried veggies and fruits like sweet potato, blueberries, and cranberries add even more vitamins and minerals to this kibble.

Key Features

  • Natural meat and veggies
  • Lots of vitamins and minerals
  • High protein
  • High fiber

What do we like about it?

This is one of the most natural, nutritious dog foods we’ve come across, which is why it’s our top pick. It’s a little pricey, but the ingredients are top notch, so we think it’s worth it.

TheGoodyPet Fromm Family Adult Dog Food - Budget Conscious Pick

Fromm Family Adult Dog Food


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This kibble has many high-quality sources of protein including chicken, chicken liver, duck, and lamb. It also contains chicken meal, which is a type of ground chicken that's been dried to remove most of its moisture. Chicken meal has a much higher percentage of protein than regular chicken, so it's a healthy choice for your pet.

The brown rice, pearled barley, oat groats, and flaxseeds in this recipe add a healthy dose of dietary fiber. Fiber can improve digestion and help your dog maintain a healthy weight. This formula also has probiotics that will feed the healthy bacteria in your dog's gut, and antioxidants from veggies like tomatoes, carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes.

Key Features

  • High protein
  • Nutritionally balanced
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains probiotics

What do we like about it?

This dog food is just right. It has plenty of protein, the right amount of healthy fats, and lots of vitamins and minerals. It has most of the same features as our top pick while being much easier on the wallet, which is why we recommend it.

3

Prairie Real Chicken & Brown Rice Dog Food


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One of the unique selling points of this kibble is the raw, freeze-dried chicken that it contains. Believe it or not, raw meat has health benefits for dogs. Some enzymes and nutrients are killed off when meat is cooked, so raw meat arguably provides better nutrition. Freeze dried raw meat is the best of both worlds. The freeze drying process preserves the meat, so it's much less likely to contain harmful bacteria like salmonella than unpreserved raw meat.

This kibble also has cage-free chicken and chicken meal, so it's a good source of protein. It contains fiber from high-quality carbs like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley, too. It's free of allergens like corn, wheat, and soy, so dogs with allergies can enjoy it without symptoms.

Key Features

  • Contains raw, freeze-dried chicken
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • High protein

What do we like about it?

We like this kibble because it contains lots of high quality, cage-free chicken. If you want to start incorporating raw food into your dog's diet, this kibble offers a healthy way to do it.

4

Whole Earth Farms Dog Food


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If your dog has allergies, this dog food by Whole Earth Farms is a great option. It's free of common allergens like corn, wheat, soy, and grains. It's also one of the only dog foods on this list that's poultry free, so if your dog has a chicken intolerance, this is the kibble we recommend.

The main protein in this kibble is pork, but it also contains smaller amounts of beef and lamb. Pork is a good source of vitamin B12, which will help your dog’s nervous system function properly.

This kibble also contains healthy sources of carbohydrates like dried potato, peas, and sweet potato. It has plenty of fiber from an ingredient called alfalfa meal. Alfalfa is in the pea family and contains lots of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Key Features

  • Poultry-free
  • Full of fiber and protein
  • Corn, wheat, soy, and grain free

What do we like about it?

We especially recommend this kibble for dogs who have food allergies and sensitivities. Even though it doesn’t have chicken or grains, it’s still full of protein and healthy carbohydrates.

5

Solid Gold Adult Dog Food


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This dog food is gluten free, grain free, and high in protein. It has one of the highest percentages of protein we’ve come across. The protein comes from chicken, chicken meal, and fish meal.

To replace grains, Solid Gold has utilized tapioca and peas. Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava plant. It’s a great source of iron, manganese, and calcium, which help your dog produce red blood cells and maintain strong, healthy bones.

There’s veggies and fruits like carrots and blueberries in this recipe, too, which provide your dog with important antioxidants. Prebiotics and probiotics round out the ingredients list and improve your dog’s digestion.

Key Features

  • Grain free
  • High protein
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics
  • Contains fruits and veggies

What do we like about it?

We like this dog food because it’s high in protein and not too starchy. We think it’s great for dogs who are allergic to grains and pups who need to lose a few pounds.

6

Iams Healthy Naturals Dog Food


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This dog food contains only high-quality proteins like farm raised chicken. It's free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, so it's a healthy choice for your pup.

Sorghum and barley are the main carbohydrates in this kibble. Sorghum is rich in iron, zinc, calcium, and B2. It may also be better for your dog’s blood sugar than starches like corn because it causes less of an insulin spike. Both sorghum and barley have dietary fiber, which can help improve your dog’s digestion.

Veggies and fruits like tomatoes, spinach, and peas have also been included in this formula because they provide your dog with healthy antioxidants.

Key Features

  • Contains high-quality protein sources
  • Contains veggies and fruits
  • Corn, wheat, or soy

What do we like about it?

We like this dog food because it's free of artificial colors, flavors, and low-quality protein sources. We also like that this recipe has healthy carbs and antioxidants from fruit and veggies.

7

Natural Ultramix Adult Dog Food


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The main sources of protein in this nutritious dog food are chicken, chicken meal, and turkey. The carbs come from sorghum, ground oats, and ground barley, which all boast a high fiber content. This formula also contains prebiotics that will feed the healthy bacteria in your dog’s gut.

Some other nice ingredients in this dog food are dried bananas, which are a good source of potassium, and brewer’s dried yeast, which can make your dog’s skin healthier. There’s also plenty of phosphorus and calcium in this recipe to ensure that your dog’s bones and teeth stay healthy and strong.

This kibble doesn’t have corn, wheat, or soy, which makes it a good choice for dogs with allergies. It’s also free of artificial colors and preservatives.

Key Features

  • Contains prebiotics
  • Promotes healthy bones, teeth, and skin
  • No corn, wheat or soy

What do we like about it?

We like that this kibble has prebiotics, plenty of vitamins and minerals, and special ingredients such as brewer’s yeast. We also like the nutritious protein sources and complex carbs in this recipe.

Healthiest Dog Food Buyer’s Guide

Some people believe that dogs are carnivores, but they’re actually omnivores. Both plant and animal foods are healthy for dogs and provide them with different key nutrients. It is important to feed your dog a varied diet to allow them to thrive. The dog foods above cover a wide range of essential nutrients.

Importance Of Protein For Your Dog’s Health

Protein is an important nutrient for dogs to get in their diets because it contains ten essential amino acids that they can’t create on their own. Amino acids are needed to build and repair muscles and other tissues, so dogs can’t live without them.

An adult dog requires a diet that has a minimum of 18% protein by weight. An easy way to ensure that your dog gets enough protein and amino acids are to feed him a high-quality commercial dog food like the ones we've recommended. A protein deficiency can cause many illnesses for your dog. This includes skin issues, hormone imbalances, and even growth issues. A reduced growth rate can be one of the main signs of protein deficiency.

Amino Acids Are Beneficial

Amino Acids are one of the most important nutrients for your dog. They help to regulate many important functions for your dog. These include metabolism, tissue repair, immune system, and enzyme activity.

However, you should be aware that not all protein contains all the essential amino acids that your dog needs to maintain their health. Not all protein packed foods contain the full amino acid content for your dog.

If multiple amino acids are missing from the food, it is known as having a "low ecological value." If the food contains a high amount of these essential amino acids, then it has a "high ecological value." An example of foods that have a high value are eggs, milk, and chicken. You should make sure your dog gets plenty of these. Examples of food with low levels are Bread, Rice, and Lentils. So you should be wary of feeding a dog a diet that has a large amount of these foods.

The best dog foods have a very high ecological value since they are filled with a complete set of amino acids which means you don't have to stress about meeting your dog's amino acid requirement.

Fat Requirements

People are taught to reduce the amount of fat in their diets to prevent health problems like clogged arteries, but studies have shown that fat doesn't pose the same risks for dogs. Fat helps your dog absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A and K and contains essential fatty acids that promote skin health. Fat is also a great source of energy. However, too much fat can cause issues with diet and mean your dog misses out on other key ingredients. The key is to keep these amounts controlled and watched carefully.

Animal Fats Are Healthy For Your Dog

Don’t pass on a dog food because you see an ingredient like chicken fat on the label. In reasonable amounts, animal fats can be very healthy for your dog. It is important to remember that healthy types of foods can be different for dogs when compared to humans and other animals.

Moderate The Fat Intake

However, too much fat content can cause protein deficiencies. Therefore, you should pick high-quality meats. In general, you should try to keep your dog's fat content at around 20%.

This is the most healthy base level. For puppies, it can even be a bit lower since they require extra nutrients to grow to their full potential. The management of protein and fat can be difficult; however, when you start checking the content on the label, it can be far more easy to manage.

Importance of Plant-Based Foods for Dog's Health

Plant foods like grains, veggies, and fruits offer your dog nutritional benefits, too. Whole grains like brown rice and oats are good sources of energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are nutrients only found in plants that may reduce inflammation in your dog’s body and lower a dog’s chances of getting certain types of cancer.

Phytochemicals

Veggies and fruits also contain phytochemicals. They’re low in calories, so they can help with weight maintenance, and they contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that will support your dog’s overall health.

Plant Based Proteins VS Animal Based Proteins

You may also be aware of plant sources of protein. Whilst, these can seem like appealing food choice for your dog, you should be aware that not all sources of protein have the same. Many studies have noted that plant sources of protein were inferior to animal sources.

In terms of biological value, animal proteins are higher because the digestive systems of dogs can handle these proteins in a more efficient manner. Furthermore, animal proteins provide a fuller set of amino acids and nitrogen that your dog needs. The inclusion of animal proteins ensures the development of muscle mass and means that a healthy body weight can be maintained.

Generally, we recommend avoiding plant-based proteins since their nutritional value can be lacking.

What To Look For In A Dog Food

So, how do you make sure that your dog’s food is as healthy as it can be? Here are the main things you should look for on dog food labels.

Animal Protein

Some kind of animal protein, whether that be chicken, lamb, or turkey, should be the main ingredient. Don't be put off if you see chicken or fish meal high up in the ingredients list. Chicken meal, for example, is just chicken meat, skin, and sometimes bones that have been cooked to remove their moisture, baked and ground up into protein powder.

Identifiable Protein Source

Because meals have less moisture, they’re more concentrated sources of protein than whole meats. Just make sure that the meal in your dog food is from an identifiable protein source like chicken, fish, or lamb. Don’t buy dog foods that contain “meat meal” or “animal meal” because those are made with lower quality ingredients. Avoid dog foods that have any sort of “by-product” meal as well.

Label Splitting

Watch out for label splitting, too, which is something companies do to make their dog foods look higher in protein. You may want to skip dog foods that contain several derivatives of the same grain high up in the ingredients list. Kibble that contains chicken, wheat, and wheat flour as the first three ingredients, for example, may have more wheat in it than chicken.

Read The Labels

To ensure that the main ingredient in your dog's food is actually an animal protein, always look at the guaranteed analysis. High-quality dog foods like the ones we've recommended have 20% to 25% crude protein or higher.

Further down the ingredients list, make sure that you see some veggies or fruits and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Conclusion

Natural food that contains all the essential nutrients for your dog is the best way to ensure that they remain healthy. That's why we recommend Halo and the other brands on this list. The Halo Dog Food sources natural ingredients, but it also packs all of the nutrients that your dog may possibly need.

Feeding your pup kibble made of high-quality ingredients, that are packed full of essential amino acids will improve your dog's health and hopefully increase your pet's lifespan too so you can enjoy many happy years together.


The Review

Best Healthiest Dog Food