From dry and wet to raw dog food, there are hundreds of options, and figuring out what's truly best for your pet can be a daunting task.
Our exclusive research reveals which dog food brands are loved by which? Members (and their dogs) who offer the best value, quality and enthusiastic response from their four-legged companions.
We also asked veterinarians for expert advice on choosing the right dog food and feeding amount.
See how brands likeburns,HarringtonseRoyal Caninare rated by customers, as are dog foods from supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl.
What brand of food is the best for my dog?
Any commercially manufactured dog food in the UK that meets the requirementsPFMA(Pet Food Manufacturing Association) Guidelines will include full nutritional requirements for pets, says the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
The PFMA states: 'All "complete" pet foods are required by law to contain all of the nutrients in the correct proportions that a pet needs for healthy bodily function.'
So as long as you buy a complete commercial dog food, your dog should be getting all the nutrients they need and you don't have to supplement them with anything else.
However, the BVA adds that “Each pet has their own unique needs, so diet needs to be tailored to your pet's lifestyle, age, breed and any health conditions they may have. We advise people to speak to their veterinarian when considering getting a new pet.”
Our survey results below highlight which ones? Members' favorite pet food brands, ranked from best to worst (ranked by overall customer rating). We also asked them to rate the value for money, the quality of the ingredients, and their dogs' response to the food.
Dog Food Brands Reviewed By Customers
We researched 3,122 What? members to discover the tastiest dog foods you can buy.
One of the brands achieved an impressive customer satisfaction rating of 85%, while two fell behind with less than 60%.
Find out which four dog food brands have the highest scores, the best options, and which brands have the lowest overall scores. You can learn more about each brand and see their range of dog food by following the links below.
If you are not yet a member,join whoto get instant access.
Dog Food Brand Customer Satisfaction Survey Reviews
|Marke||customer rating||cost-benefit||quality of the ingredients||The pet's reaction to the food||Various flavors available|
|Aldi own brand|
|Asda Own Brand|
Poll of 3,122 What? Connect members who owned a dog in November 2021. Brands listed alphabetically. Which is required to view the results? belonging
Best cheap dog food
Different pack sizes and different recommended serving sizes make it difficult to calculate how much your dog's food is actually costing you per month.
We compared the monthly costs of the three most popular dog food brands, as well as the highest and lowest scoring brands in our survey.
Cost is based on an average medium sized dog (10kg) such as a French bulldog, on a simple dry food diet.
Medium dog: monthly food expenses
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- New dog owner? Don't forget about pet insurance - check out oursBest and worst guide to pet insurance
- Are you also a cat owner? see oursbest and worst nutritional guides for cats.
How to choose the best dog food
Choosing the right food can be critical to your dog's health and happiness, but figuring out what's truly best for your pet can be a daunting task.
Signs that your pet is eating a nutritious diet include bright, clear eyes, a shiny, shed-free coat, lots of zest for life, and a lack of excess body fat - you should be able to feel their ribs and see their waistline.
What is healthier - dry or wet food?
Whether one is better than the other is debatable. The BVA says: “There is not enough evidence to recommend one over the other; both have advantages. A veterinarian can recommend the most appropriate diet for you.”
You can feed your animals wet food or dry food or a mixture of both.
Dry food is generally the most economical and easiest to feed and store. Owners who feed their pet wet food should monitor their pet's teeth, as wet food can predispose to dental disease.
Whether the dog food you choose is grain-free, raw, hypoallergenic, or just plain dry, commercial grade dog food that meets PFMA guidelines is nutritionally sound.
Some pets have specific dietary needs due to clinically identified issues and should eat a diet tailored to their needs under veterinary supervision.
The most appropriate diet should be easily digested and produce dark brown, firm, formed stools.
Here's what animal welfare organization PDSA suggests you look for when choosing dog food — and what to avoid.
Where to look:
- Something appropriate to your dog's age (e.g. puppy, adult, senior)
- A commercial dog food labeled "complete"
- A manufacturer that is part of the Pet Food Manufacturer's Association (PFMA).
- Leftover food and human food as they can unbalance your dog's diet
- Give your dog bones as these can cause blockages and harm your dog
Should I feed my dog raw dog food?
Raw food for dogs is becoming increasingly popular. One in six members (16%) told us they feed their dog raw food. Of these, almost four in ten said they would never eat dry or wet food again.
The BVA informed us: "At least without veterinary guidance, we advise against a raw food diet. There are two main reasons for this: the nutritional deficiencies that often accompany raw food consumption (eg, low taurine in cats or high levels of vitamin A) and the risks associated with handling raw food—both for pets and animals also for the family.”
Commercial options are a safer diet choice. The PFMA says that commercially prepared raw dog food labeled "complete" meets guidelines for providing the balanced nutrition a dog needs in its daily diet.
Some of the reasons dog owners prefer the food relate to its being "natural" along with perceived improvements in their dogs' health.
- 40% reported seeing a harder stool
- 28% better digestion
- 26% brighter coating
- 22% more enthusiasm when eating
There are risks associated with handling fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried raw foods. OPFMArecommends the following:
- Buy products in good condition. You should not see any visible signs of damage to the packaging, such as B. dents, cracks or discoloration.
- Wash your hands with hot, soapy water after handling your pet, its food, or its packaging.
- Wash and disinfect all surfaces, dishes and utensils that have come into contact with raw food immediately after each use.
- Once your pet has finished eating, carefully remove and discard any uneaten raw food.
- Clean and disinfect your pet's eating area once they've finished eating.
Raw dog food may not be right for all dogs (or owners): 11% of those who tried raw dog food for their dogs said they wouldn't do it again. Some of the reasons given were that it was too dirty or smelly, or concerns about contamination.
Overall, 33% of members haven't tried raw dog food because they didn't do enough research, and a further 28% don't want to handle raw meat - with nearly a quarter of respondents saying they fear spreading bacteria.
Is Preparing Homemade Dog or Cat Food a Good Idea?
The experts we spoke to advise against homemade dog food. This is because it can be extremely difficult to create a balanced home-cooked diet for your pet, which is why it is generally not recommended unless supervised by a veterinarian.
Can I feed my dog vegetarian?
In theory, it is possible to find and feed your dog a vegetarian diet that suits their needs.
However, the BVA warns that getting it right can be difficult and if you don't work with a dietician with a veterinary background, you risk damaging your pet's health.
Do dogs need different food as they get older?
The BVA says: "Yes. It is important that puppies and kittens are fed puppy food and kitten food as they have specific energy and nutritional needs. Different dog breeds age at different rates as they age. For example, a Great Dane is likely to be "older" than a Yorkshire terrier."
Your veterinarian can advise you on the best diet for your pet's life stage, breed and lifestyle, and let you know if your pet has any special dietary needs.
My dog has allergies - should I buy hypoallergenic dog food?
Some pets appear to be sensitive or intolerant to certain ingredients and additives, which can lead to a variety of problems.
Common symptoms include lethargy, aggressive or overactive behavior, chronic skin and ear problems, passing mucus and jelly in the stool, gas, bloating, and weight gain/loss.
The most common food intolerances seem to be colorings, sugar, wheat, milk and soy. Obviously, not all pets are sensitive to these things, but if the effects persist, it's best to see your veterinarian.
How much should I feed my dog?
How much your dog should eat depends on factors such as breed, type, age, health and lifestyle. For example, a working German Shepherd will require more energy than a small dog with a less active lifestyle.
Make sure you're feeding your dog the right amount every day by measuring each meal on a scale. A few extra munchies may not seem like much, but they can go a long way toward weight gain.
Most commercial dog foods come with feeding guidelines on the package based on your dog's weight and activity level. If you are unsure, ask your veterinarian.
Is my dog overweight?
Pet obesity is the number one animal welfare concern for veterinariansPAW Annual Report. Another 2021 study by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) found this to be the caseOne in 14 dogs was registered as obese by their veterinarian. The study also found that some breeds are more likely to gain weight.
The PAW report also estimated that about half of overweight and obese dogs had health issues that could be related to their weight.
Weight-related problems can range from musculoskeletal disorders to breathing problems and diabetes, among others.
In order to know if your pet is overweight, it is important to know their ideal weight and shape. A good rule of thumb is to be able to see your dog's ribs.
If you're planning on walking your dog, check out our guide on how to do itbest dog harness
How much should my dog weigh?
- Small: less than 10 kg
- Medium: 10-25kg
- Large: 26-40 kg
- Giant: more than 41 kg
Check your dog's weight
Very thin: more than 20% below ideal body weight
- Ribs, spine and hipbones clearly visible (in short-haired animals), marked loss of muscle mass, no fat felt under skin.
Underweight: 10-20% below ideal weight
- Ribs, spine and hip bones clearly visible, waist and tummy fold clearly visible, very little fat to be felt under the skin.
- Ribs, spine and hip bones easily palpable, visible waist and abdominal fold, small amount of fat palpable.
Overweight: 10-15% over ideal weight
- Ribs, spine and hip bones are difficult to feel, the waist is barely visible, the back is broad, and there is a layer of fat on the belly and base of the tail.
Obesity: More than 15% over ideal body weight
- Ribs, spine and hip bones are extremely difficult to feel under a thick layer of fat, no waist can be seen and the belly can sag heavily, heavy pads of fat on the lower back and base of the tail.
Is my dog obese? discover the signs
The Kennel Club suggests looking for:
- a bigger and rounder face
- a reluctance to go for a walk
- difficulty walking
- get out of breath easily
- a thick and fat neck
- Ribs that you cannot easily feel when running your hands down the side of the dog
- lack of visible waist.
If you think your four-legged friend may be overweight, make an appointment with your local veterinarian for advice and a plan of action.
Can you give your dog treats?
Treats are a great way to train and reward your dog. A quarter of the dog owners we surveyed said they feed their pets treats daily, and another three in 10 feed them twice a day. But giving your dog too many treats could be a case of killing our pets with kindness.
Treats contribute to your pet's daily nutritional needs, so take this into account when measuring food.
Which? dog food research
To find out what the best and worst dog food brands are, in November 2021 we put 1,564 What? Members who have recently bought dog food and asked about their experience with their chosen brand.
Customer ratings are based on how satisfied customers are with the brand overall and whether or not they would recommend it.
For more details on the most popular brands above, check out our guides toBaker,burns,Harringtons,hilleRoyal CaninDog Food.
discover thebest headlightsto walk your dog in the dark
Best and worst dog food brands - which ones? ›
Beneful dry dog food produced by Nestle Purina PetCare has “resulted in serious illness and death of thousands of dogs,” a lawsuit says. The eight kinds of Beneful dog food have caused internal bleeding, liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, seizures, bloat and kidney failure, the suit said.What dog foods should I avoid? ›
- BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) First on our list is butylated hydroxyanisole, also known as BHA. ...
- White Flour. ...
- Meat Meal. ...
- Artificial Food Coloring. ...
- Corn Syrup. ...
- Rendered Fat. ...
- Vegetable Oil. ...
- Farmed Salmon.
- Blue Buffalo. ...
- Wellness. ...
- Taste of the Wild. ...
- Canidae. ...
- Instinct. ...
- Orijen. Orijen premium dog food is made using fresh and raw ingredients. ...
- Nulo. With Nulo dog food, your pup will enjoy nutrition and love in every bite. ...
- Nature's Logic. Nature's Logic provides 100% natural nutrition for your dog using high quality ingredients.
Beneful dry dog food produced by Nestle Purina PetCare has “resulted in serious illness and death of thousands of dogs,” a lawsuit says. The eight kinds of Beneful dog food have caused internal bleeding, liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, seizures, bloat and kidney failure, the suit said.What are the top 10 foods that are bad for dogs? ›
- Chocolate. Chocolate contains caffeine and a chemical called theobromine—both of which are toxic to dogs and cats. ...
- Grapes and Raisins. ...
- Onions and Garlic. ...
- Bacon, Ham and Fat Trimmings. ...
- Salty Snacks. ...
- Macadamia Nuts. ...
- Anything with Xylitol. ...
- PEANUT BUTTER. Peanut butter is a healthy and safe treat for dogs to eat in moderate amounts. ...
- CARROTS. Both raw and cooked carrots are safe for your dog to eat. ...
- CHEESE. ...
- PLAIN YOGURT. ...
- BLUEBERRIES. ...
- CHICKEN. ...
- SALMON. ...
Feeding dogs a diet made with natural, real ingredients, such as beef, chicken, lamb, peas, spinach, carrots, and blueberries, can do wonders for their overall well-being — promoting heart health, increasing energy level, making coats shiny and breath smell better, improving eyesight, and even impacting a dog's stool.What is the safest food to feed my dog? ›
- Carrots. Share on Pinterest Some human foods are safe for dogs to eat. ...
- Apples. Apples provide many important vitamins for dogs, including vitamins A and C. ...
- White rice. ...
- Dairy products. ...
- Fish. ...
- Chicken. ...
- Peanut butter. ...
- Plain popcorn.
Yes, Purina Pro Plan is good for cats. Backed by 400+ Purina scientists, including nutritionists, behaviorists, and veterinarians, Pro Plan cat food formulas offer advanced nutrition and the highest quality ingredients to nourish your cat's best life. Pro Plan is recommended by veterinarians.What is vet prescribed dog food? ›
What Is Prescription Dog Food? Prescription dog foods (also called therapeutic dog foods or veterinary diets) are made with ingredients and nutritional supplements combined in just the right proportions to support the health of dogs who have a particular disease or illness.
What is the 80 20 rule dog food? ›
80:20 is the term used for kibbles that include an approximate proportion of 80% meat and 20% fruit and veg additions. They use no carb filler whatsoever. From a quality point of view, at least in terms of kibbles, they are assumed to be of the highest quality.What are the three most toxic foods for dogs? ›
- People Food (Sugars, Fats, Salt) Yep, we get it; you're probably looking at this title and starting to panic. ...
- Raw Eggs. ...
- Milk & Other Dairy Products. ...
- Human Vitamins Containing Iron: ...
- Large Quantities Of Liver: ...
- Mushrooms: ...
- Macadamia Nuts: ...
- Grapes and Raisins:
A high-end dog food that's supposed to keep pets healthy is being recalled after the Food and Drug Administration found it could actually kill them. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental, a type of prescription dry dog food, has been found to contain elevated levels of vitamin D, according to the FDA.What dog food is recently killing dogs? ›
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the recall involves select lots of Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental (PPVD EL) prescription dry dog food.Can dogs eat scrambled eggs? ›
Eggs should be cooked before given to a dog. Cook or boil eggs plain without oil, butter, salt, seasoning, spices, or other additives. It doesn't matter how your dog likes their eggs — sunny side up, scrambled, or hard boiled — as long as they are cooked.What 6 foods are toxic to dogs? ›
- Avocados. Avocados contain a toxin called persin, which is perfectly safe for human consumption but can be very poisonous to dogs ( 1 ). ...
- Xylitol. ...
- Coffee, tea, and other caffeine. ...
- Grapes and raisins. ...
- Alcohol and yeast dough. ...
- Chocolate. ...
While cheese can be safe to feed to your dog, there are some things to remember. Cheese is high in fat, and feeding too much to your dog regularly can cause weight gain and lead to obesity. Even more problematic, it could lead to pancreatitis, a serious and potentially fatal illness in dogs.What fruit is not for dogs? ›
Grapes and raisins (dried grapes) have proved to be very toxic for dogs no matter the dog's breed, sex, or age. In fact, grapes are so toxic that they can lead to acute sudden kidney failure. Always be mindful of this dangerous fruit for dogs.What dog food is recalled from Petsmart? ›
Wet Noses Natural Dog Treat Co. is recalling roughly 51,000 packages of Simply Nourish frozen dog food, citing elevated vitamin D levels.Are bananas good for dogs? ›
Yes, bananas are good for dogs in small quantities. Unlike other fruits, which may have toxic components, every part of a banana is safe for your dog to eat, for the most part.
Is Purina a good dog food? ›
Purina ONE is a quality choice for dogs who need help managing their weight. However, if pet owners want to add probiotics and more natural ingredients to their dog's diet, a slightly pricier alternative is available from Purina, Purina Pro Plan Weight Management.Should I feed my dog blue buffalo? ›
Blue Buffalo's Dry Dog Food lines are touted as some of the best dog foods you can buy. With whole-food ingredients and antioxidant blends formulated at low temps to sustain their vitamin content, it's no wonder this brand is one of the more expensive dry foods around.What can I add to my dogs food to make it healthier? ›
- Add digestive enzymes. ...
- Top with a boost of freeze-dried raw dog food. ...
- Add raw or lightly steamed veggies. ...
- Add raw or lightly cooked meat or eggs. ...
- Add oils for essential fatty acids. ...
- Add goat's milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, or canned fish. ...
- Feed raw, meaty parts of poultry.
Beef. Beef is protein-rich and higher in fat than poultry and fish. Beef is packed with nutrients and essential amino acids to help your dog thrive, but is also a common allergy.What food should dogs eat daily? ›
It is entirely acceptable to feed your dog a pure kibble diet. Or you can mix their diet up with some cooked or raw meat, fish, vegetables and rice. Many owners like to feed a raw meat diet to their dogs, and while this can suit some dogs very well, there are some important considerations you need to be aware of.What foods can dogs eat everyday? ›
- Popcorn. Who would have thought that dogs like eating popcorn? ...
- Carrots. While carrots have made this list, they are technically a natural food without added preservatives or flavors. ...
- Salmon. ...
- Unsalted Peanut Butter. ...
- Blueberries. ...
- Seedless Watermelon. ...
- Eggs. ...
But can dogs eat tuna? The answer is no. You shouldn't feed your canine companion the saltwater fish because it could lead to a number of different health problems.Is Purina One or Pro Plan better? ›
Ultimately, the decision of Purina Pro Plan vs. Purina ONE comes down to personal preference. If you're looking for the highest-quality food possible, Pro Plan is the way to go. However, if you're on a budget or simply looking for good, affordable food, Purina ONE may be a better option.Can I trust Purina Pro Plan? ›
Purina Pro Plan is a well-known and popular brand of dog food, and many pet owners have reported that their dogs thrive on it. The brand offers various formulas to meet the nutritional needs of dogs of different ages, sizes, and activity levels. The ingredients used in their products are generally of good quality.Why do vets always recommend Royal Canin? ›
Royal Canin dog food is known even to those who do not have pets, it is recommended by veterinarians and trusted by pet owners. And all this for a reason. Royal Canin dog food has a healthy food composition and a wide variety of diets for all representatives of the dog breeds.
Is veterinary dog food better than store bought? ›
Veterinary diets use the highest quality of ingredients. All ingredients go through a vigorous quality control checklist to ensure only the best make it into the diet.Should you buy dog food from the vet? ›
Therefore, I would highly recommend that you speak with your veterinarian about your dog's food options, their price matching possibilities, and certainly buy your prescription dog food from your veterinarians office.Do vets make money from selling dog food? ›
In any event, in an attempt to set the record straight, let's dive in and count down these Top 5 Myths About Veterinarians: #5. Veterinarians are on the dole from certain pet food manufacturers and get kickbacks for selling their products. This is simply not true.Should dogs eat a mix of wet and dry food? ›
This is why mixing wet and dry food can be so beneficial. It's the best of both worlds. Combining the two will bring balance to your dog's diet, offering up a complete and more rounded mealtime that covers a wider range of nutrients. More variety, different textures, contrasting flavours.What is the 95 rule for dog food? ›
The “95 Percent” rule: At least 95% of the product (by weight) must be the named ingredient; for example, the ingredients of “Salmon Cat Food” must include at least 95% salmon (not including water). When including water, the named ingredient still must comprise at least 70% of the product.How many meals should dogs have a day? ›
Dogs should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart. But a breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule is an equally great option. If more than 12 hours elapses between meals, the stomach can become hyperacidic causing nausea.What 3 ingredients should you never give your dog? ›
- Corn Syrup and Artificial Food Coloring. The sweetness from corn syrup and the artificial coloring from food dye are completely unnecessary and unnatural in dog food. ...
- BHA, BHT or Ethoxyquin. Just say “no” to these artificial preservatives. ...
- Rendered Fat. ...
- Propylene Glycol.
Alcoholic drinks and food products containing alcohol. Avocado (only mildly toxic to dogs and cats, but can be severely toxic, even deadly, to birds, rabbits, horses, and ruminants such as cattle, goats, and sheep) Caffeine (found in a lot of drinks such as coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks) Chocolate.Is popcorn bad for dogs? ›
Plain, air-popped popcorn is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. Buttered popcorn or popcorn with other toppings is not safe for your dog on a regular basis, although eating a few dropped pieces here and there probably won't hurt them.What dog foods do vets not recommend? ›
- Taste of the Wild.
- Earthborn Holistic.
- Blue Buffalo.
- Nature's Domain.
Do vets recommend Purina One for dogs? ›
Veterinarian Recommended: Purina One is recommended by veterinarians due to its high-quality ingredients and balanced nutrition. This recommendation provides pet owners with an additional layer of assurance when choosing a pet food brand.Do vets recommend Purina One Plus? ›
Purina ONE® +Plus Tailored Dog Food
Purina ONE is recommended by veterinarians and is available in dry and wet options. From energy and immune health to strong muscles, including a healthy heart, these high-quality formulas combine nature and research for results you can see in your dog.
- Royal Canin.
- Hills Science Diet.
- Purina ProPlan.
Our Rating of Rachael Ray Dog Food
The Dog Food Advisor finds Rachael Ray to be an above-average, grain-inclusive kibble. The recipe uses a notable amount of fresh meat and named meat meal as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand 4 stars. Nutrish Peak and Nutrish Dish each get 4.5 stars.
The best food to feed is a high quality commercial kibble designed for puppies. This ensures all the nutrients your puppy needs for growth and development are present. You can add cooked meats and vegetables or rice as you wish; however, the main diet needs to be the commercially balanced kibble.What should the first 3 ingredients in dog food be? ›
When you're reading the back of your dog's food label, there are a few essential ingredients you should look out for: Protein. Carbohydrates. Healthy fats.What home cooked food is best for dogs? ›
- Beef. Ground or cubed beef is a safe food to cook for your dog. ...
- Eggs. Cooked eggs are s safe, healthy food with lots of minerals and vitamins. ...
- Raw or Steamed Vegetables. Several vegetables are safe for dogs to consume: ...
- Boiled Potatoes. ...
- Peanut Butter. ...
- Dairy. ...
- Stay Aware and Keep Your Pet Safe.
In most cases, yes! But it's up to you to do the research and make sure the food you select is the best choice for your pup. Look beyond the human-grade label and check out the ingredients list, keeping an eye out for the hidden ingredients we mentioned earlier, making sure they are healthy human food for dogs too.What is the 25 rule for dog food? ›
If you've noticed some of the food labels at the pet store saying “chicken dinner for dogs” or “tuna entree for cats,” these diets are using the 25% rule. This rule implies that the named protein makes up at least 25% of the product listed, but is less than 95%.What dog used to eat before dog food? ›
Commoner's dogs would be fed meager diets of bread crusts, bare-bones, potatoes, cabbage, or whatever the dog could scrounge on its own. By the 18th century, farm and hunting dogs were being fed mixed grains and lard. These useful dogs had to be healthy to do their jobs.