A dog must have all the nutrition it needs for a long and healthy life. This means choosing dog food based on quality instead of price. Protein is essential for your dog and one of the most important ingredients. The highest-quality dog foods will provide its protein directly from a meat, and will say so on the label. On the other hand, lower-quality dog foods derive its protein from ambiguous-sounding sources such as "meat meal" or "meat formula." Lower-quality dog foods also contain fillers, such as corn and corn byproducts, which are harder for your dog to digest and contain minimal nutritional value.
10 Best Dog Foods
Orijen Adult Formula
Orijen Adult Formula is ranked the best dog food on many customer review sites, such as consummersearch.com. It is a dry dog food with very high-quality protein and carbohydrates sources. The top five ingredients listed are fresh deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, russet potato and fresh deboned pacific salmon.
Canidae Chicken, Lamb and Fish All Life Stages
Canidae is a canned dog food and was given four stars by Mike Sagman of DogFoodAdvisor.com. Canidae is composed of 41 percent protein, 27 percent fat and 24 percent carbs, providing your dog with a healthy nutritional balance. The first five listed ingredients are beef, beef broth, beef liver, ocean fish and oatmeal.
Newman's Own Organics Grain-Free
Newman's Own grain-free product line provides your dog with the highest-quality organic ingredients. Composed of organic beef, organic beef liver, organic beef broth and a blend of essential vitamins and minerals, Newman's Own provides an excellent nutrition profile with no filler.
With boneless lamb, lamb meal, salmon meal, herring meal and russet potato topping Acana Grain-Free's product list, Acana boasts a dog food that provides your pet with the best possible protein, fat and carbs. Acana is a bit lower in protein compared to other brands -- around 36 percent -- which places it at No. 4 on the list.
Artemis Fresh Mix Maximal Dog
Artemis Fresh Mix Maximal Dog contains a high-protein content of around 47 percent. This, combined with sources such as chicken meal, potatoes, chicken fat and chicken, puts it at No. 5. However, Artemis does contain a longer ingredient list and some questionable ingredients, such as tomato pomace.
California Natural Salmon and Sweet Potato Adult
California Natural is a grain-free, all-natural canned dog food. The salmon brand beats out the other foods in the California natural line as it has a high 55 percent protein content derived from salmon, mackerel and salmon broth. The fish is also high in omega-3, which is an essential oil for dogs and humans alike.
Merrick Cowboy Cookout
Merrick Cowboy Cookout gets its protein from beef, beef broth and beef liver and its carbs from fresh sweet potatoes, which are rich in nutrients. This is a good choice if you have a diabetic dog, as it is a low-glycemic food.
Wellness Core products rank high in protein and derive its protein from high-quality sources. Wellness Core is also higher than average in healthy fats, around 36 percent, and extremely low in carbohydrates, around 5 percent.
EVO Dog Food
EVO Dog Food is high in fat and low in carbs, which is the hallmark of good dog foods. It also contains chelated minerals, or minerals that have been bound to proteins to make them easier for your dog to absorb. EVO also contains probiotics, which aid digestion and the immune system.
Dick Van Patten Natural Balance
Dick Van Patten Natural Balance includes a longer ingredient list than other top-rated dog foods, but contains few to no questionable ingredients. The protein comes directly from a meat placed at the top of the ingredient list, and the product line offers a healthy protein-to-carb ratio. While Natural Balance is still more expensive than supermarket brands of dog food, it is one of the cheaper high-quality dog foods, making it a more affordable option.